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My MotoMaker Experience + Day 1 with Moto X on Verizon
So, after reading lots and lots of reviews over the last few months, and after initially saying the Moto X was DOA due to its high price, I decided to purchase a MotoMaker Moto X as soon as it was available for Verizon. So, yesterday morning, I watched for its availability like a hawk. At 10:39 AM, I placed my off-contract order for a Black Weave back, Black Front, Blue Accent, 32 GB Moto X. Total price paid: $582.99. My delivery date was estimated for Friday, November 15th.
I received an email saying my order was being built early yesterday afternoon. When I woke up this morning (Tuesday), I found I had a shipping confirmation. My device had been picked up in Ft. Worth at 6:29 PM Monday evening (less than 8 hours after being ordered). It was finally delivered to my office today around 12:30 PM, just over a day later. That's right. My device was assembled and shipped from Texas to Michigan in 26 hours. Hello, Moto! Device was shipped in a medium FedEx box, FedEx Standard Overnight. Inside was my Moto X box, my free Skip accessory, and a bunch of packing air bags. Outside of the box had a packing slip. It's sitting downstairs still in the sleeve, but I imagine it was just a order confirmation/receipt, basically. It was turned inside out and not visible to anyone without being opened first.
Anyways, stupid me didn't read the included booklet that said "read me before powering on your phone bla bla bla," so I looked around at my off-contract device and assumed there was no included SIM card. I felt like an ***** a few minutes later at the Verizon store when the rep popped the drawer open with the SIM tool and behold - my nano SIM card sat right there (which I would have known had I of read the booklet first...). Anyways, the rep activated my new SIM card, and I was good to go.
So: First impressions over the last 8 hours...
1. Holy s***, blue accents are incredible. I mean, really - MotoMaker's online creation system just does not do this color justice. It's not metallic blue - the accents are Sexy Blue. Nothing else will do this color justice. It's a real shame that hardly anyone has bothered to post any pictures of their phones here, and the ones we've seen have been some really, really weird color phones (no offense guys, but just because you can get an orange phone doesn't mean you should). Unfortunately, this color really doesn't photograph super well - you have to hit it with light just right. The colors in these photos are very, very close to the actual color, I think. It's just a shame that my old GNex's camera is so terrible. Also, the yellow light in my room is pretty awful. But anyways, feast your eyes on these:
I mean... that color is gorgeous. "Metallic" is pretty accurate though. Think about the way that car paint shines in the sunlight. This is exactly what the metallic accents are. And that rocks.
2. The black weave back isn't as textured as I had expected. There's no slightly rough texture or anything. And quite frankly, I'm happy about that. The black weave looked better and higher quality, but I was afraid it was going to feel weird. Nope. Feels great. Honestly, if you weren't looking at it, you wouldn't know it was a weave of any sort. Thumbs up here, Moto.
3. FINALLY, MOTO RADIOS. I understood after awhile that Samsung's radios in the Galaxy Nexus were pure garbage. I saw lots of posts saying that Moto radios were so much better, and I believed them. I finally got to experience that firsthand today, and I am so very, very happy. Unfortunately, most people posting radio comparisons really don't include any other information, so those posts are basically worthless. While I was not able to monitor dBm readings on my drive home, I can give a bit of anecdotal evidence with a picture.
Above is the area between Flint and Lansing, Michigan, the route I take every day to work. This was one of the last highway areas in lower Michigan to be completely covered by LTE, with this happening sometime earlier this Spring. 3G along this route is almost unusable - only a few of the cell towers that you connect to along the way are anywhere near the highway, so you were usually at fringe coverage, with no usable signal. On weaker phones (read: GNex), there was one area where even voice service would drop from time to time. The 4G rollout was BADLY needed for this route. While the 4G signal is weak in most places, it's usable. With my Galaxy Nexus, I would lose 4G in the areas circled in red on the map. My phone would fall back to 0 or 1 bar of 3G, resulting in a pause in streaming music. Additionally, once I returned to a 4G coverage area, my phone would often just start streaming on a weak 3G signal, and then refuse to move to the 4G network until I ended my data transfer. Stupid.
The Moto X? Yeah, 4G all the way. No interrupted streaming in those circled areas. Motorola radios are the real deal, plain and simple. Samsung's radios are garbage, nothing more.
4. Battery life: Unfortunately, I can't really comment on this yet. I'm hoping to drain the battery most of the way a couple of times to let the battery stats calibrate a little better. My phone dropped from 100% to 93% in 43 minutes earlier with only half of that being screen-on. I'm a little worried about that, but I'm willing to bet that has to do with inaccurate battery reporting on a brand new battery. Here's hoping, anyways.
5. Touchless Controls - For the life of me, I *could not* get touchless controls to work properly early. I would say "Navigate to _______" and I would just get a Google Search. This was the case again and again and again. I found another thread suggesting that Google Now Location Permissions needed to be allowed for that to work. I double checked all my permissions and everything was allowed, but I prohibited them and then allowed them all again. Now, "Navigate to _________" works fine. No problems in this department anymore, just something strange initially.
6. I was streaming Google Music and using Navigation earlier, and the phone locked up on me. The music streaming continued. Navigation voice stopped mid-sentence. Screen froze while on. I had to do a hard reset on the phone. That's simply unacceptable. It's a darn good thing I did all my research on this phone before buying it, and luckily I knew how to do a hard reset (hold power+volume up+volume down for ~10 seconds). Otherwise, I would have been SOL. These are the sorts of problems that need to be avoided if you want to market these sorts of phones to the masses. There's no way the hipsters that Moto has been marketing this phone to like crazy would have known what to do.
7. Active Notifications are sweet - pure and simple. The only thing is that the phone is really sensitive to any movements. I'm sitting on my bed, and as I'm typing, my phone is resting on my bed up against my leg. The vibrations from the typing on my laptop going through my leg are enough to activate the active notifications every so often. That's really, really sensitive, and can get a little annoying. I guess I could turn my phone upside down, but... eh. Oh well. Not a big issue, really, and I'm sure many people will view this as a positive.
8. Size and weight compared to the Galaxy Nexus - It's funny, this phone is actually smaller than the Galaxy Nexus, yet the screen is larger. Pretty crazy, and while I'm sure I read about this before, you don't really appreciate it until you have the two devices in your hands to compare them. The feel of the Moto X is incredible. It's lighter than a Galaxy Nexus with the extended battery, but it feels higher-quality, like it's more dense. It's hard to explain, but the feel of the device and its weight is perfect. Size? Perfect. Motorola clearly did some testing here to find the right size for this device. They really did hit the sweet spot.
9. That dimple in the middle of the back of the phone? I keep reading that people rest their fingers there. How in the world are you guys holding your phones? There is no way for me to put my finger there in any sort of natural position. I'm so confused about that.
10. The display - I'm realizing now how yellow the Galaxy Nexus display was. The Moto X's is beautiful. I'm afraid to even power on my Droid 1 now, because it looked really yellow compared to the GNex, haha!
11. The UI - this thing flies. Forget a quad core processor. I can't get this thing to lag or stutter. This is how Android should be - unlike my GNex toward the 2-year mark.
12. I'm sure the anti-Verizon people will hate me for this, but... I really like Verizon's 4G LTE logo in the status bar. It looks cool, especially in that blue color. It's also a lot easier to see from a distance, so when you're driving, it's a lot easier to tell if you're on 4G or 3G versus the tiny icon on the GNex.
13. As a note: My device came with the latest software update (camera patch) already installed.
14. Speakers - A few others have commented on this. The speaker on the Moto X is awesome. It sounds phenomenal.
15. Camera quick-twist - I don't understand how reviewers had so much trouble getting this to work. I can get it to work every time without fail. It's all in the wrists, baby.
16. Vibration motor - This seems to have been a complaint of a lot of people. I have no problems with it at all. It's different than any other device that I've had, but I like it.
So, I think that's it for now. If anyone has any questions I can answer, fire away. For anyone contemplating a purchase... while I've only had the phone for half a day, I'd say go for it... if only for the Sexy Blue accents.
My last Motorola device was the Motorola Droid. And I am so very, very happy to be back in the Moto family. I had a Thunderbolt - low build quality, awful battery life, and it was just a terrible device all around. I next went to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Terrible radios, terrible battery life. I bought a GSM one to use while overseas for a year. That one was a little better, but not much. I am SO ready to enjoy a quality Motorola device again. I will never buy another HTC device. I will never buy another Samsung device. Hello again, Moto.