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Moto X Pure Edition review: A clever phone with a killer price

JR Raphael | Sept. 18, 2015
It isn't perfect, but Motorola's latest flagship has a lot of compelling qualities -- and considerable bang for the buck.

(I reached out to the company to inquire but had not received any additional insight as of the time of this story's publication. If/when any new additional information becomes available, I'll update this page with details.)

Stamina, meanwhile, is generally fine on the Moto X Pure Edition: Most days, I've had no trouble making it from morning to night on a single charge, even with as much as three to four hours of screen-on time. The device is by no means bulletproof when it comes to battery life -- I've had a couple of close calls, like one day when I streamed a lot of music via Bluetooth and took a lot of pictures and then ended up hitting the red zone a couple hours before bedtime -- but it's acceptably average and should be sufficient for most people, most of the time.

If you do ever need to top off, Motorola's Turbo Charge technology makes the process quick and painless. Using the charger included with the phone, I was able to go from 34% to 63% by plugging in for just 15 minutes on my way out one afternoon. The phone will work with any Qualcomm-compatible Quick Charge charger, though it doesn't support any wireless charging accessories.

How about photography? Let's make this simple: You'll be able to get some really good-looking pictures from the Moto X Pure Edition, as long as they aren't taken in low-light conditions. The phone offers a noticeable improvement in imaging quality over its predecessor, with better detail and color reproduction and less detail loss (noticeable mainly when you zoom into an image at its full resolution).

05 moto x pure edition camera sample
A sample photo taken with the Moto X Pure Edition.

That still doesn't bring it to the level of a consistently outstanding camera like the Galaxy Note 5's -- especially when it comes to low-light photography, where the Moto X's lack of optical image stabilization really shows.

But while it may not give you the most versatile shooter you can find in a smartphone, the Moto X Pure Edition is adequately equipped for most on-the-go photography needs -- including tricky tasks like capturing print-worthy photos of perpetually moving babies. And Motorola's dead-simple camera app, along with the phone's convenient twist-the-phone-twice-to-activate-anytime gesture, makes the photo-snapping process really easy. As anyone who's ever scrambled to capture a fleeting moment knows, that means as much as anything when it comes to mobile photography.

Last but not least, the Moto X Pure Edition comes with a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage (with each bump up from 16GB adding $50 onto the phone's price). The device also has a micro SD card slot that lets you add up to 128GB of additional storage.


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