The Motorola Moto X is unique for a handful of reasons, including that it’s the first phone to come from the marriage of Motorola and Google, the first phone to be fully designed and assembled in the United States, and the first phone to be fully customizable. Motorola opened its Moto X design studio Aug. 27, enabling customers to choose from colors, textures, wallpapers and more.
According to iFixit, which performed a teardown of the Moto X, it’s also a standout where some might say it counts most: on the inside.
“Among the usual suspects (camera, chips, display) in the Moto X are some interesting design decisions that we’ve never seen before,” wrote iFixit’s Julia in an Aug. 26 blog post. “Motorola’s design team is paying the kind of attention to detail we usually only see from Apple. Instead of making another cookie-cutter copy of the competition, Motoroogle took the time to innovate new ways of constructing their flagship smartphone.”
The headphone jack—unusually placed at the top of the device, instead of the bottom of the phone, as is more common—was as unusual for being “possibly the most modular headphone jack we’ve ever seen,” wrote Julia. “It pops right out of the upper midframe panel, spring contacts and all.”
The X’s vibrator motor is soldered to the motherboard (“The wonders never cease,” wrote Julia) and its midframe is held in place by pins that stick out from the edges of the display-assembly bezel.
“One thing about this device is certain: The design choices are nothing if not unique,” she added.
Nine steps in, the team came across the Moto X’s battery—said to offer 24 hours of “mixed usage”—and its X8 Mobile Computing System, a notable feature though not one unique to the Moto X. It’s also included in Verizon’s new Motorola Droids.
The X8 features a custom system architecture with eight processor cores—four for what Motorola calls “stunning clarity,” two for “swift action” and two low-power cores to deal with “your next command.”
As for repairability—iFixit’s primary concern—the Moto X received a respectable 7 out of a possible 10 points. (The Apple iPhone 5 also received a 7, while the Samsung Galaxy S 4 scored an 8.)
The Moto X lost points from nearly the start, as its back cover is held in place with some sticky adhesive—not an obscene amount, but enough for the team to find annoying, and have to put a warm compress in place to soften it.
In this area, iFixit celebrated the Galaxy S 4, which can be easily opened, as it’s held together by just 11 screws and common Phillips #0 screws at that.
While the Moto X contains just a single type of screw (a plus), it’s the rather uncommon T3 (a negative).
Another plus for the Moto X is that it has pressure contacts and cable connectors that make the modular components, such as the cameras, buttons and speakers, easy to replace.
Overall, the sentiment from iFixit was positive. While Motorola’s comeback phone isn’t the most repairable one on the market, Julia and company called it a “fresh look at smartphone design” with “tons of new innovations.”
That may be yet another first for the Moto X to chalk up.