TECH

Moto X 2 Preview: Personalisation Perfected

05/09/2014 07:03 BST | Updated 05/09/2014 08:59 BST

Motorola has unveiled the Moto X 2, a completely updated version of its most powerful smartphone. With a release date of late September and costing £419 Motorola is finally bringing Moto Maker to the UK so aesthetically at least, the Moto X will only be as good as you can make it.

We got some hands-on time with Motorola's new 'Design It Yourself' smartphone and here are our first impressions.

Key features:

  • 5.2-inch AMOLED Full-HD Display
  • Qualcomm 801 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 13MP camera with dual flash
  • 4K video-recording
  • 8GB/16GB Storage
  • Customisable voice control
  • 9.9mm thin

moto x 2

Verdict:

Pick up the new Moto X and it's clear things have changed. The new Moto X is a completely new phone, indeed the only thing it shares with its predecessor is the name.

Motorola have swapped out the original Moto X's plastic body for a stunning brushed metallic frame within which resides the back plate.

moto x 2

The new 5.2-inch display takes up most of the front of the phone with only space for stereo speakers and the front-facing camera.

This reduction in bezel size is something that's been a long time coming on all smartphones so it's good to see Motorola -- along with the LG and the G3 -- leading this change.

The front screen curves slightly at the edges onto the metallic frame, it's a small touch but one that makes the phone feel more premium.

The good news continues: Along with the new design, the Moto X has been on a diet, it's now only 9.9mm at it's thickest point and 3.8mm at the edges.

moto x 2

It's a continuation of the same design that's common across all of Motorola's phones but it looks at its best on the Moto X.

Power comes courtesy of a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz quad-core processor along with 2GB RAM and 8GB or 16GB of onboard storage.

As such the Moto X feels suitably zippy and thanks to Motorola's 'pure Google' approach the phone isn't bogged down by a clunky user interface.

There's an added advantage to that as well which is the continuation of Motorola's pledge that all of its phones will get Android updates as promptly as Google's own phones.

moto x 2

Voice control was already a key feature on the original Moto X and nothing has changed for the new model. Now you can create your own voice prompt which should -- at least -- make the whole process of talking to an inanimate object slightly more bearable.

If talking isn't your thing then the new Moto X comes with infrared sensors on the front giving you the ability to perform Leap Motion-style gestures to cancel calls and more. Don't worry it's not to a 'Kinect' degree of arm-waving, you simply swipe your hand over the phone and it stops ringing.

Finally we come to Moto Maker. First debuted in the US, Moto Maker lets you build your own phone, you can choose the colour of the backplate, down to the accents on the speakers. You can then sign into Google so when it arrives it's already set up. It's a neat concept that in the past was let down by the hardware.

Well now the hardware is up to scratch and Moto Maker is expanding across the pond to the UK where you'll be able to choose from a dizzying array of options.

Motorola has increased the shopping list of options with the addition of wooden and real leather backplates. They look and feel fantastic so here's hoping they can survive everyday use as well.

In the short time we spent with the Moto X it feels like a real leap forward over the original. The design is minimal but the use of metal and that curved-edge display means that it feels significantly more premium. Of course time will tell on whether that design is capable of surviving the day-to-day so stay tuned for our full review.

Moto Maker felt pretty revolutionary when it first launched in the US and now Motorola has a phone that's snapping at the heels of both the S5 and the M8 that element of customisation could really come into its own.