Reader Ratings And Advice: Flagship Smartphones

Motorola Moto X

The Moto X has many things going for it, and it managed to score an average of 4.6 points out of 5, which is one of the highest user ratings readers awarded a smartphone. Seventy-four customers provided feedback on the Moto X.

Our readers' favorite feature is that the Moto X's software is very close to stock Android, which also helps with the device's performance. Although the Moto X has a rather old processor, many of its owners seem to be happy with how well it handles everything, with no signs of slowdown.

Another big thumbs-up from our readers is the device's design and how comfortably it fits in your hand. With a 4.7-inch screen, the phone can be used with one hand and still has enough screen real estate. Many readers also liked the quality of its AMOLED display.

The original Moto X didn't start with a great price last year, but now, the price is much lower, making it an easy buy.

The major downside of the Moto X seems to be the quality of its camera, according to our readers. Although the camera is usable, it can't compete with other flagships'. Another negative is the phone's battery life; most say it is about average. Other major downsides include a small amount of internal storage by default, as well as the lack of microSD support.

Some users also didn't like that Moto Maker, which lets customers customize the looks of their phones, wasn't available in their countries.

If you're a Moto X owner and you haven't given us your feedback yet, the form is still available. Below, you can see some of our readers' most representative comments for this device.

Top Ten Comments:

Comment: "Great high end phone with near stock experience and fast updates."

Comment: "Has almost everything you could want in a smart phone except for the bells and whistles; it's the Kia of smart phones."

Comment: "Android OS, always on voice control, quick updates, freedom to move files in and out using a simple file manager, freedom to install anything I want."

Comment: "It is the right size and has the right capabilities for an affordable cost."

Comment: "Very close to stock experience with meaningful and useful features added onto the experience."

Comment: "First off, I mostly got this specific phone for the leather. Solid anodized aluminum is nice and all, but there's just no substitute for leather.Second, there's the pure speed of one of the lightest Android build there is. It not only boots faster, loads things faster, it also takes up less memory space on the device, which is handy since there's no micro SD slot (which is a bit of a drawback). Moto X (the always-on voice command recognition) is kind of useful, too since it's actually more capable than Samsung's S Voice - it's a bit more capable of directly parsing information for other apps, and it's smart enough to open Google Now when it doesn't immediately recognize something on its own.The better but less advertised part is that this phone comes with remote-wipe capability on its own, all you have to do is tell Motorola your Gmail address, and the phone becomes linked to it. So if you ever lose it, you'll be able to use Motorola's built-in location features to figure out where your phone is and if you need to wipe it.There are some trade-offs though. First, like I said there's no memory card slot, so one needs to be sure they're buying a model with enough memory for their needs. Second, I actually had to swap my first handset out after owning it for about three days - the camera flash had a faulty shade between the flash and the lens, and so no matter what video or picture I took, if it required flash, you'd get massive glare across the entire picture that would wash out whatever you tried to photograph. Other than that, the pictures are crystal-clear, and the video mode has 4k and slow-motion recording abilities. And apparently this is a rare defect (after four hours of searching I was only able to confirm three other cases of this happening), but still, if you're buying it from AT&T (like I did) or any other retail location, test out the camera with flash before you walk out."

Comment: "Hardware is irrelevant since all flagship phones run similar specs; software is what makes the difference and Motorola nailed it."

Comment: "It is one the best smartphones I have tried so far. Right size screen (IMHO), decent camera, doesn't lag (processor, GPU and memory are OK) and a very competitive price. The Gimmicks are OK as well.Here in Brazil we only had the 16GB version and it is too little memory. Also, not sporting a MicroSD card was really frustrating."

Comment: "Battery life could be better and more storage (SD) would make this a totally awesome phone."

Comment: "What I like: size of phone, good grip on back, battery life, cell phone reception, good WiFi reception, fast LTE access, Kit Kat 4.4.4, Miracast to Smart TVs, Bluetooth works well, and clean GUI.Things to improve:The camera is not great but usable. Wish there was a removable battery and SD card slot (like Moto G). Would be interested in using the 2nd generation Moto X to see what a larger display is like."

  • Janithdalw
    In my opinion best phones are,

    The best Hardware => iPhone 6 Plus

    The best Phablet => Note 4

    The overall the best phone => Note 4

    Better value for money => OnePlus One

    I don't know why Tom'shardware added the G3 into the list. It has a poor battery life and the display also not so good despite the 2K resolution. I would rather replace it with the Z3.
  • Vorador2
    I'd say:

    If you have deep pockets and want a phone that provides a great (if constricted) experience, get the iPhone 6

    If you want a design that can turn heads and feel rock solid at the same time, get the One M8. Or better, wait for the upcoming refresh.

    If you can get an invite, get the OnePlus One. It's hard to get ahold of an unit, but it's probably the best device in relation to cost, and best device all around. If you can't, get the Moto G.

    And if you want the best big phone/phablet of the market, get the Note 4.
  • Tomtompiper
    If you want a good phone around the size of an iPhone 6 go with the Sony Z3 Compact, it beats the iPhone hands down. I like big screens so my choice was the Note 4, and I'm very happy with my decision. The S pen is fantastic and the video quality is outstanding. If I was being ultra critical I would ask that the plastic inserts in the metal frame were better colour coordinated.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Tom's, where is the Sony Xperia Z3 (and the smaller Z3 Compact?) I feel that you're missing out on what I feel is the best phone, with the best camera and, in my opinion, the least amount of customization to Android and what customization there is, is extremely intuitive useful.

    Or is this a primarily a US-based line-up, where you'll have to list the Xperia Z3v, the Verison version, which I don't think is on par with the international Z3?

    @Tomtompiper: I miss my stylus from the P990i days... :-)

    Thank you.
    South Africa
  • Matous Mojzis
    Where is Sony Z3 or Z3 Compact ?
  • wtfxxxgp
    I think that you should have done a very brief survey for all respondents to first complete before commenting on the handsets. That could have provided better context for the results. Not sure if this was done or not to be honest, but if not, then it would surely add value. Just as an example, 2 users have completely opposite opinions about battery life - yet the one uses the phone more for work-related activities, sees the occasional small video and chats - no gaming or movies or tinkering with apps and does not have LTE connectivity so doesn't use it. The other person that hates the battery is a heavy gamer when they're bored, or watches a full episode or 2 of a series on the daily commute and tinkers a lot with new apps etc. Suddenly very obvious why one person says that the battery life is great compared to the other one that thinks it sucks.
  • firefoxx04
    Weird. My S5 has no lag even with "restrict cpu performance" enabled to increase battery life.

    The bloatware isnt even active.. its just installed and hangs out.
  • randomstar
    I am a bit biased towards windows phones, and would love to see at least one of the top models here. I have not found anything that I feel compares well against my older 928 Nokia on the new iPhone.
  • beetlejuicegr
    Where is the Nexus line?
  • Lkaos
    Funny people saying an iPhone has the best sound when the phone's speakers are MONO and not STEREO....