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The Fully Customizable Moto X: Pros and Cons

Google's mission is to make the Internet as accessible as possible and, with the announcement of the new Moto X smartphone, the tech company looks to be bringing that same principle to hardware.

The user-friendly Moto X is fully customizable — the front, back, accents, wallpapers, and back engraving are chosen by the user. Don't like your design right away? Motorola will let customers return or redesign their Moto X within 14 days (30 for California residents).

Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in 2012, and the Moto X marks the first new smartphone line in the post-Google Motorola era. Unlike the Galaxy S4, the device isn't bogged down with tons of gimmicky features, just a few software quirks that get users the information they need quickly and without interruption.

With over 2,000 possible combinations, the Moto X is this generation's Nokia 8290 (you know, the one with interchangeable face plates). It's a smartphone that will appeal to users who are concerned with the look, feel, and usability of their devices, rather than fixating on the technical details.

The 4.7-inch Android device has a 720p AMOLED display and 10MP rear-facing camera (2MP front-facing). It's powered by a 2GB of RAM and weighs 130g. Moto X will land in stores and online in the US, Canada, and Latin America by late August/early September. Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon, and AT&T will carry Moto X ($200 for 16GB and $300 for 32GB, with two-year agreement), but customization is exclusive to AT&T.

Considering Motorola's new Moto X? We weigh the pros and the cons.

The Pros

  • It's assembled in the USA. After customization, the phone is put together in Ft. Worth, TX.
  • Customization is key. There are 18 different backplate covers, a black or white front panel option, and seven different shades for the side buttons and camera lens ring.
  • Google voice activation is one of the phone's marquee features. Without having to touch the screen, the phone will recognize any command after you say, "Okay Google Now."
  • Twist your wrist twice, and the phone will open camera mode automatically. Tap anywhere on the screen to capture.
  • Motorola claims the battery lasts 24 hours.
  • The "active display" lights up only a small portion of the display to show you notifications and save batteries. Tap anywhere to see the notifications without unlocking the phone.

The Cons

  • Customization is only available on AT&T. Huge bummer for those on other carriers.
  • $200 for 16GB is still a steep price for a midrange phone. It's the same price as the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, and HTC One with a two-year contract.
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