Introducing Moto X

This month marks three years since I signed my soul away to Apple for the brand new iPhone 4. It was love at first sight, and we never parted. Flash forward to 2013, and now my dear iPhone is beginning to show signs of its old age, as it begins to grow slower and more unresponsive as the days go by. Soon, the sad time will come when we will have to cut ties, and I will have to find a replacement for the role of my mobile sidekick. But which phone will be ‘the one’?

As one of the perks of being a member of Rogers’ Social Insider team, I get to be one of the first to find out about Rogers’ latest product news and launches, and even get to test some of their new (and sometimes exclusive) devices! As my first project for the program, I am trying out Motorola’s new Moto X phone for 60 days. In high school, my first flip phone (remember those?) was a Motorola V551, so with this reunion brought back many fond memories. Maybe this smartphone will pass the test?

Aesthetically, Moto X’s clean and minimalist design (the white casing is a nice touch) immediately gives off vibes of simplicity, comfort, and reliability. It is bigger than my iPhone in size, but it is lighter to hold and fits perfectly in my hand.

Running on Android, the device allows you to take Google and its services with you wherever you go, and provides access to a multitude of apps and games on Google Play. In addition to the phone’s 16GB internal memory, you can redeem 50GB of free storage space on Google Drive for two years!

Moto X is available only at Rogers, and stays true to Motorola’s promise of being “ready when you are” by offering a vast selection of convenient features such as a touchless, voice-activated control system (talk to it, and it tells you what you need to know), an active display screen (view incoming notifications at a glance), and a quick capture camera (twist your wrist, and snap a shot).

While the voice recognition commands of Google Now are cool and convenient to have when finding information (when searching for directions or a phone number) and storing information (setting important reminders for tomorrow’s schedule), I personally try not to rely too much on those features. I would say that I am a low-maintenance phone user. What’s essential to my mobile habits are social media applications (HootSuite, Twitter, Facebook) as well as camera applications (Instagram), and I am always looking for ways to conserve my battery power.

All that being said, I have noticed a massive difference with the mobile life of the Moto X when compared to my lagging, draining iPhone 4! On the Moto X, the battery holds up remarkably well, never dipping below 50% when I’m using it to check my email, scan my social media networks, and take a few pictures. When browsing the web on Wi-Fi, the speed is super quick and the connection is ultra smooth. I also like how I am able to sync my Google account with my device and have immediate access to my contacts, calendar, and maps. Android’s open system allows for more customization and flexibility than I’m used to with iOS, which is a plus!

Nick Offerman’s book signing at Chapters on Robson.
UBC Gardens (with the Vancouver fog in all of its glory)

I was most excited to test out the camera on the Moto X. Motorola has put the SNAP back in snapshot with their unique feature – you just click your heels twice twist the phone two times to activate the camera mode and, with one simple tap on the screen… voila! You have your photo! Along with the ability to capture picturesque moments instantly, the image quality of Moto X photos are worthy of praise. The four photos above were taken in a variety of settings – natural light, low light, and self portraitures (rear-facing and front-facing) – yet all appear sharp and clear. The default dimensions of images are as follows: Rear-facing – 2432 x 4320, Front-facing – 1080 x 1920, Screen capture – 720 x 1280, and  Video – 750 x 1332. Overall, I am impressed with the insanely HQ photos/videos and the ease of the entire image-and-motion capturing processes.

My favourite Moto X feature came as a complete surprise. Motorola revealed their potential to be a total gamechanger in the world of mobile applications with their Spotlight Stories app. In a partnership with the moviemakers behind Pixar, Windy Day is a unique cross between an animated short and an interactive game, featuring the adventures of a mouse chasing a red hat throughout the forest, where winter has fallen and animals are roaming around the snow. The innovation comes with how users experience the animation – using the screen from a first-person perspective, you direct the way the narrative goes by how you maneuver the device! I still can’t wrap my mind around how Motorola was able to create such a visually-astonishing and motion-driven gaming experience, but it surely is a glimpse into the future of digital storytelling – everything is possible!

Thank you Rogers for allowing me to try out the Moto X! Keep following my blog as I continue to share new discoveries and revelations about this mobile device, and check out my ongoing Moto X photoset on Flickr. Also, be sure to follow @RogersBuzz and #RogersSI to find out more about Moto X and other Rogers products.

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