Motorola Moto X (2nd generation) hands-on review

We liked the original Moto X, but the Android smartphone didn't have all that much going for it. Now, with Moto Maker available in the UK and some nice upgrades, the new Moto X is an altogether different proposition. Here's our hands-on review of the second-generation Moto X. 

When Motorola launched the Moto X in 2013, it had some unique features, such as the ability to wake up to voice commands without needing to touch the phone at all. However, it was fairly expensive but didn't have the top-end specs or build quality of its rivals.

New Moto X 2014 second-generation hands-on review

The all-new Moto X (previously thought to be called the X+1) has been "redesigned from the ground up" according to Motorola, and feels every inch the flagship device.

Motorola Moto X 2014 hands-on review: price

Before we get to the specs, there's the thorny issue of price. The new Moto X costs from £420. That's a lot more than the original, but not a whole lot less than rivals such as the LG G3.

If you want a custom-built Moto X - see Moto Maker below - then you'll pay extra for the wooden or new leather rear covers: from £440. And, because it's custom, there's a chance the resale value will be lower unless you can find a buyer with your exact taste.

New Moto X 2014 second-generation hands-on review

Motorola Moto X 2014 hands-on review: design and build

With an aluminium chassis and premium materials, the Moto X really feels a step up from the original. It's also a huge leap up from the budget second-generation Moto G. There's no flex at all, and the smooth finish around the edges makes the new Moto X feel fantastic in the hand.

Despite an increase in screen size from 4.7 to 5.2in, the smartphone is barely larger and weighs only a few grams more. At 144g, it feels very light for its size.

Thanks to the beautifully tapered edges which at their thinnest points measure just 3.8mm, it feels much thinner than it really is, which is 10mm at the thickest point.

The screen now has a much needed full HD resolution (the original Moto X had only a 720p screen - one of its sore points), but this lags behind the highest resolution available today of 2560x1440 as seen on the LG G3.

The pixel density of 423ppi means the new display looks lovely and sharp, and as Motorola has stuck with AMOLED technology, colours really pop.

Around the back, the design has remained symmetrical, with a centrally placed rear camera and dual LED flash, which sits in a ring around the camera, and looks great. The camera is now a 13Mp snapper, up from 10Mp. It's also capable of shooting 4K video, which we'll be testing out shortly. The front camera has a 2Mp sensor and, from what we can see, takes pretty decent selfies.

Unfortunately, there's still no expandable storage, so you're limited to the 16 or 32GB of internal memory.

Like the new Moto G, the Moto X has front-facing stereo speakers which sounded good in our short tests.

Next section: Motorola Moto X 2014 hands-on review: hardware