Technophile

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Visvaksen P | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 04, 2015

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The Moto X Style delivers on performance, but is too bland to turn heads



Motorola decided to make two variants of its flagship Moto X this year. The higher-end version, the Moto X Style, has finally arrived in India and it is a bit of a behemoth that is dwarfed only by last year’s gargantuan Nexus 6. Its flagship-class processor and massive, high quality display probably legitimize the bulky proportions. But the style quotient that a flagship requires to past muster these days seems to be present in name only.

Design

The era when high-end phones made of plastic were a common sight is long gone. Even Samsung, which was infamous for its love of polycarbonates, has now moved on to metal and glass. The Moto X however, refuses to get with the program, persisting instead with a body made entirely of plastic, apart from the metal frame.

The design is more or less a replica of what we've seen on the lower-end Motorolas featuring the familiar ridged plastic rear and prominent speaker units that straddle the display in the front. An attempt has been made to conceal the device's true girth by making its edges thin, but the yawning gap between surface and phone when it is laid on a flat surface betray the bulge in the back. The only major departure from the lesser Motos is the lack of a removable back cover with the SIM and microSD slots moving into a pinhole tray at the top of the handset.

The display is a 5.7-inch unit capable of Quad HD resolution with a pixel density of 520 ppi.

But unlike the previous generation Moto X which had AMOLED panels, this device uses an IPS panel meaning that the Active Display function needs to light up the whole screen in order to function.

Performance

The Style is powered by a Snapdragon 808 SoC paired with 3 GB of RAM and comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB variants. The hexa-core 808 SoC might not have the outright brawn of the octa-core 810, but it also doesn't have any of the heating issues that its bigger brother has.

Performance is more than adequate for casual usage with multitasking between a multitude of applications proving entirely smooth and lag free. Graphics handling is a fair bit weaker on the 808 when compared to the 810 according to the benchmarks, but this will not be apparent to typical end users who indulge in the odd spot of Candy Crush or Angry Birds.

Camera

The rear camera on the Style is a 21 MP unit with dual tone LED flash. It has a very fast response time and can shoot 4K video. But it in terms of colour reproduction, it does not get anywhere near the established leaders in the smartphone camera space, Apple and Samsung.

The front facing 5 MP camera unit is an adequate selfie shooter with the added benefit of LED flash to light up those portraits.

Battery life

The battery on the Style has a capacity of 3000mAh, which is a whole 650 mAh less than the lower-end Moto X Play. Why Motorola decided to reduce battery capacity on a phone with a larger, higher-resolution screen is anyone’s guess. Our usage while testing does tend to be on the heavier side, but most smartphones we have tested recently seemed to be able to survive morning to night. The Style rarely managed that feat.

The fallout of the decision to use a smaller battery is somewhat mitigated by including Quick Charging functionality on the Style which it claims will provide about 8 hours of juice in 15 minutes. This proved more or less accurate in our testing, but if you are the kind of user who frequently misplaces your charger, you will be in trouble because the TurboPower 15 charger that comes with the Style is what makes the magic happen.

Bottomline

The Moto X Style suffers from terrible naming. There is very little that is stylish about the device. It uses an extremely functional but boring design that while adequate for a mid-range device, simply fails to cut it on a flagship.

The addition of a weak battery ensures that – despite being a good performer with a great display – the Moto X Style is the weakest of all the current Moto offerings. If you’re in the market for a flagship, our advice would be to look elsewhere unless you have a serious Motorla fetish.

Price: Starts at ₹29,999

Love: Display, performance

Hate: Battery, design

Published on November 04, 2015
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