I recently purchased the mid-range Moto X Pure Edition and I’m absolutely loving it so far. I know your shocked that I got a ‘non-premium phone‘ but it is true. I’ve been so frustrated with this years premium offerings I didn’t really have a choice. **If you don’t want the long drawn out version, you can skip to the last 3 paragraphs.**

It all started with my upgrade from the S3 to the S4. I loved the S4. The battery was immensely better along with a faster chip, better screen, and all around it was a decent phone. Life was good. Then Tmo comes along with their Jump! plan. And while not a necessity, I tend to like the emerging tech phones. I’m a geek, its in my blood. I’m definitely in the ‘heavy user‘ category and require a phone with a strong battery. Since few ever meet both requirements, it made it easier to change devices often. Said freedom might have been a slight downside as you read on.

After more than 6 months I made the ‘jump’ to the S5 and was sorely disappointed.1 The battery life went down and not much else improved. Sure on paper it had a nicer screen but in reality it looked and felt the same. Plus, Sammy in their greed started diverging away from traditional Android for their home-brewed version, Tizen or some shit. It sucked. But I was able to root it and get rid of a lot of the bloat. I stuck out my 6 months but was chomping at the bit to switch. I’d heard rave reviews about the HTC M8 and gave it a whirl. I didn’t even last the full 14 days before returning it. Beautiful phone, great camera but dreadful battery life. I gladly forked over the restock fee to get rid of it.

I heme’d and hawed until I settled on the Sony Z3. For all my bitching about Sony’s lousy customer support, the Z3 was an absolute dream. I wasn’t a fan of the square edges but it was excellent. I could use it all day and it still had battery when I plugged it in to go to bed. It has become the benchmark for battery on all my future phones. Sadly, after unfortunate drop from a vehicle while in LA, I was forced to jump again. It is no secret I’m hard on my toys and luckily enough, I was 1 day over my 6 months. Jump! lolol The Z4 was still a distant release candidate and had virtually no real upgrades other than the name and knowing Tmo was ditching any future OS upgrades for the Z3, I switched back to Sammy and the S6.

As you probably know the S6 was getting high marks for finally being a beautiful phone. And it’s true. It is a beautiful phone. Imagine my total surprise to see the battery life went down even more. I’d say it was on par with the S3, which was dreadful. I could barely muster 4 hours of heavy use out of it. An absolute failure IMO for any smartphone today with a premium label. I think I’ve given up on the S-line. Needless to say, I didn’t even last the full 14 days again.

Against my nagging instincts, I jumped to the Lg G4. Something told me not to get it but I couldn’t remember anything specific so I got it. It had a noticeably better battery life right off the bat. And by ‘noticeably’, I meant I went from awful to mediocre. But having exhausted all my jumps, I resigned myself to stick it out. It was not to be though. I quickly grew to hate the damn thing. The device overall worked fine; however it was ugly and annoying. Lots of little things just bugged the ever lasting shit out of me and I couldn’t stick it out 6 full months. (Oh the first world drama, right?)

At the annoyance of my bank account, I broke away from going thru Tmo and got the Moto X Pure Edition direct from Motorola. I had misgivings after witnessing Lenovo brutalize IBM’s laptop business after taking it over. I was concerned they’d do the same to Motorola. Surprisingly, my fears were once again unfounded. I love the X Pure. It may not be a premium handset but it sure acts like one. True to their statement, it came with almost pure Android. You’d think it was a Nexus device if you didn’t know better. There is very little bloat, and I mean very little! If you’ve ever gone from a Nexus to an OEM version or vice versa, you understand the description here. No fancy launcher, no gimmicky overlays *cough – touchwhiz*. Just Android. That also means only a small handful of apps running in the background constantly zapping your battery.

Since you aren’t going thru a carrier, you get a little extra say in small aesthetics when ordering online. Normally, I scoff at such things but I have to admit, I like my personal twist of colors. You can choose colors for the back plate, the back insert, and two little front accents meant to protect the screen from scratching when you lay it face down. The battery is not up to par with the Z3 but it performs quite well under moderate to heavy use. I’m pleased and can live with it. If you use an idle throttle app, like Juice Defender, you’ll probably get way more battery as the cell radio seems to run a lot unnecessarily. It doesn’t offer wireless charging, but it really does charge super fast! Almost 50% in just under 15 minutes. The camera is pretty good and definitely the fastest focus I’ve experienced on a phone. Low light photos are slightly above decent but not awesome. Beyond that, it is a solid camera, front and back. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wireless all work fine.

It’s funny because I caught myself smiling as I took it out of the box. Setting it up was super simple and all my annoyances with the G4 melted away. I absolutely love the Moto X Pure.

  1. I seem to remember an unfortunate incident with my S4 and the back tire of my motorcycle necessitating an upgrade anyway []