Motorola Moto X Style review
Say hello to Marshmallow
The Motorola Moto X Style is a gem of a smartphone and it’s a great time to buy, as Motorola is starting to roll-out the free, over-the-air, Android Marshmallow upgrade for this device.
The Moto X Style looks pretty darned awesome with its uniquely Motorola design. The front of the phone is made out of the ultra-durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3. This meets a solid metal frame that at the edges, measures only 6.1mm thick.
The curved back is palm-friendly and swells to 11.06mm at its thickest. The most distinguished design feature is the coloured inlay that house the camera lens, flash and Moto logo.
Two colour variants are available and the Moto X Style black has a black lens and soft feel inlay with dark grey frame and accents. The Moto X Style white has a white lens, chalk soft grip inlay and champagne frame and accents.
The display doesn’t disappoint and the true-to-life colours are produced on a canvass that stretches across 5.7”. This firmly places the Moto X Style in the phablet category, which is where phones become practical for website browsing and advanced game play. The screen resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels equates to 520 pixels per inch.
The front-facing speakers produce stereo sound with Smartboost, which makes its difficult to believe that the quality of sound is really coming out of the phone. The 179g Moto X Style is also designed for real-world use with a water repellent nano-coating protecting it against the rain, spills and splashes.
The whole Moto experience is powered by a 1.8GHz hexa-core processor with 3GB RAM. A 32GB internal memory offers plenty of user storage but support is there for inserting a 128GB microSD memory card.
Phone Set Up
The set up process for the Motorola Moto X Style is pretty straightforward because the phone offers a pure Android experience. This means that there is no bloatware filling up the screens or slowing down performance.
The Moto X Style interacts with its owner in unique ways that makes the experience fun and practical. Hand gestures can be used to launch the camera, switch on the torch or with a wave across screen you can see the time and notifications, without fully activating the display. It is also possible from here to get a preview of messages, while preserving battery life.
The Moto X Style is also always listening for voice commands. The voice can the be used to get directions, get the answer to questions and make searches.
Moto Assist intuitively adapts the phone to its surroundings and can be set to only allow priority calls through when you are asleep or it can automatically reply to important messages when you are in a meeting.
Moto Assist will however be removed once the Android Marshmallow update goes through. When it does, features that are part of Marshmallow will take over the role and once again, Motorola keeps to its ethos of no bloatware.
New additions that come with Marshmallow include Doze Mode, which automatically monitors and puts the phone into a deep sleep when not being used, to drastically increase the battery life. Google’s Now on Tap will also become available and this feature reads what is on the screen to offer quick links and actions to, for example, give directions, get reviews of hotels or book seats at a restaurant.
Camera & Video
If we simply look at camera resolution, the Moto X Style is only beaten by the Sony Xperia Z5 at the moment, with its 23MP camera. The 21MP camera of the Moto X Style is paired with really useful features such as a rapid focus, zero shutter lag, 4x zoom and a colour balancing flash.
There is also a burst mode that helps to get the perfect result, night mode and panorama mode. Video can be recorded at Full HD or at 4x the resolution of this (4K), with entertaining playback modes such as slow motion.
The secondary 5MP camera has a wide-angle lens for group selfies and large 1.4um pixel sizes. These large pixels on the camera’s sensor allow them to capture more light photons in low light. This enables the photographer to experiment between using the flash or not, when capturing the action at night, for realistic colour reproduction.
The 3,000mAh battery will give most users, under a mixed usage scenario, all day power and maybe a little more. The cable situation has also been improved with a USB Type-C cable in the box. This cable has a connector that is symmetrical, so it can be inserted either way up.
The new USB Type-C cable also offers TurboPower charging. Here 10 hours of use can be gained in only 15 minutes, when the battery has run pretty flat. Motorola also claim that the Moto X Style is the fastest charging of any smartphone.
Moto X Style verdict: We love what this phone has to offer and the all-round performance comes with a pleasing price tag. The unique design also offers something different looking, compared to the run-of-the-mill competition.
Written by: Michael Brown