Moto X+1: here’s our wish list
I would hesitate to call the Moto X a success story. By the usual definition we tie to “successful” smartphones, the Moto X does not apply. Motorola hasn’t sold tens of millions of Moto Xs like Samsung does with the Galaxy S series every year. And it didn’t help pull Motorola out of quarter after quarter of revenue losses like the One M8 has done for HTC.
Still, I wouldn’t consider the Moto X a failure either – not by a long shot. It was easily one of the most intriguing smartphones to launch in 2013. Motorola introduced some truly compelling features alongside its overly modest flagship. And even today, the Moto X garners just as much respect as its seemingly more deserving comrades.
The Moto X wasn’t huge like the other 2013 flagships, it didn’t house wildly impressive, envelope-pushing specifications, and it provided one of the most forgettable camera experiences in a smartphone to date, despite the marketing fluff Motorola spun about the Clear Pixel technology.
And yet, the Moto X is a phone we’re still talking about today. It’s a phone I still have no problem recommending to first-time and even repeat smartphone buyers. It’s still a fantastic smartphone, even if it has aged in the 11 months it’s been on the market. I popped my SIM card back in the Moto X a few weeks ago to make a video and I left it there for a week and a half – until I had to swap SIMs back to my One M8 for another video.
Despite not being a grand slam, the Moto X is still oddly and inexplicably relevant. And its successor, the so-called X+1, is highly anticipated. It will soon be approaching its unveiling, and like the Moto X before its official announcement, it’s generating a great deal of hype. Of course, as much as we loved the Moto X, it wasn’t perfect and we have some … suggestions for improvement. Below you will find our Moto X+1 wish list.
Moto Maker v2
One of the defining features of the Moto X, as the rumors long suggested, was customizable hardware. Unfortunately, “customizable” wasn’t exactly what we had been hoping for. It wasn’t configurable specs, but rather personalized color schemes and signatures. With the online portal, dubbed Moto Maker, you could select different colors for the back and front, different accent colors, a customized boot message, a personalize signature on the back of the phone, and even the color of the cable and AC adapter included in the box. You could even match the color of your headphones to your Moto X if you bought them through Moto Maker.
Later, Motorola added a new backplate material: wood.
Albeit very cool, Moto Maker wasn’t terribly revolutionary. Phones have come in various colors for years, and some of the cheapest smartphones on the market, like the Moto E, comes with swappable backplates.
That’s why I’d like to see Moto Maker version 2.0, where you can customize (to a light degree, anyway) the internals of the phone. You could choose between 2GB or 3GB of RAM, several different storage options, camera upgrades, etc.
We’ve already heard that the X+1 will likely come with Moto Maker, and we’ve seen a leak which included a wooden back and silver metal trim. Here’s to hoping the customization options are far more in-depth this time around.
A great camera with OIS
Motorola talked up its Clear Pixel camera in the Moto X, claiming it could capture more light and take superior photos. In short, that … wasn’t true, and it didn’t take us long to figure that out. The camera was easily one of the most disappointing features of the Moto X.
Frankly, 10-megapixels is plenty, but I’d like to see the addition of optical image stabilization and simply better photos all around. Not much else needs to be said about the X+1’s camera – it just needs to be better than last year’s. And trust me, there’s plenty room for improvement.
A derivative of the X8 Mobile Computing System
Motorola also chose not to go with a cookie cutter SoC. Instead of using the prefab Snapdragon 600 or Snapdragon 800 like most of its competitors, Motorola opted for its own custom recipe: the X8 Mobile Computing System. The X8 Mobile Computing System is comprised of eight different cores: four graphics processor cores, two application processor cores, and two low-power cores to power the Moto X’s unique features.
With Touchless Control, you can speak to the Moto X, even when its on standby and across the room, and you can control it via voice. And when you pick the phone up, take it out of your pocket, or receive a notifications, the display lights up with a simple alert that barely sips any battery.
Some of these features come baked into the newer Snapdragon chips, so it’d be nice to see some additional horsepower packed into the X+1 without losing part of what made the Moto X so impressive.
Bigger battery with Qi
The battery life of the Moto X was surprisingly great. I could last at least most the day on a single charge, which is more than I can say for most smartphones. Any improvement in that area – especially with a higher-resolution display and more advanced processing power – would be welcomed.
Even better would be Qi wireless charging, as our own Adam Doud noted. Wireless charging with Touchless Control (assuming the feature sticks around; I don’t see why it wouldn’t) is a match made in tech heaven. You could still use and control the phone without having to pick the phone up and constantly disconnect from the charger. Why Motorola didn’t do this last year with the original Moto X I don’t quite understand.
5-inch 1080p display
I wouldn’t necessarily call the Moto X’s display disappointing. I never had a problem with the 720p resolution. At 4.7-inches, 720p is plenty, even if my love for pixels tells me more is better.
I do, however, have a problem with the size of the display. Maybe it’s an optical illusion since the Moto X is comparatively small for housing a 4.7-inch display. Or maybe I’ve simply used too many bigger smartphones and feel the need for more real estate.
Either way, I’d like to see the display jump to around 5-inches without changing the physical footprint all that much. The size of the phone itself is great, but I’d like a bigger screen for sure.
What items are on your Moto X+1 wish list? Do you want a larger screen? A better camera? All the things we want? Or do you want something totally different? Sound off below with your Moto X+1 wish list!