2013 has proved to be great year for innovative and just plain powerful Android phones. There are a handful of options even have the most ardent Apple iPhone zealot squirming a little.
After a couple weeks using a Moto X on and off, I don't want to give it up.
The battery life is fantastic, the phone feels good in my hand, and it's easy to set up and use.
It's the first smartphone ever to be designed and assembled in the U.S.A. That makes me feel good, as an American.
Other features like the 10MP camera that works even in low light situations, a front-facing camera that record HD video, and a processor that is lightning fast.
What else do I like about the Motorola Moto X?
It represents something of a rebirth for Motorola.
The AT&T review unit I tried is so fast, I didn't have to wait for a picture to load or an email to come through.
The “OK Google Now” command. You can set a wake up alarm, get directions to that new pizza place, find out if it is going to rain this afternoon, just back talking to your Moto X.
The two processors in the Moto X set the stage for all smartphones to come.
Have I mentioned the battery life is fantastic?
Accessories, accessories, and more accessories. As soon as the Moto X came out, there was a full compliment of accessories available to buy. Sol Republic has a great set of on-ear headphones ($99), earbuds ($39) and Deck is making a $199 Bluetooth speaker that is almost perfect sound.
“Breathing.” It knows when you pull your phone out of your pocket and starts breathing. In other words, short notifications that take almost zero battery, and the phone is "at ready," meaning it needs less juice to boot up. That is one of the reasons for the long battery life.
The Motorola "Skip" clip. This is basically an NFC tag that you clip to your clothes. Pull your phone out of your pocket or purse, tap the Skip, and your phone unlocks as easy as that.
There is an "Auto HDR" option built right into the camera on the phone. No more launching HDR apps to get an HDR image.
Launching the camera with two twists of the wrist. At first I thought this was a little hokey, but it works and you get used to it.
One last thing, and we sometimes forget. This is first and foremost a telephone and the reception is great. Those that I talked with say I was coming in loudly and clearly. There is a trio of microphones in this handset and they do a great job at limiting background noise.
What I don't like about this phone?
It's a review unit from AT&T and I have to give it back.
I'm seriously considering buying this phone for my next smartphone. It has everything I need and more.