Motorola's First Hands-On Moto Shop Boutique Opens in Chicago

The Moto Shop is a place where customers can come in and try the latest Motorola mobile phones in person.

Motorola Mobility, Moto Shop, Chicago, smartphones, smartwatches, Moto 360, Moto X, Droid Turbo 2, pop-up store

Motorola just opened its first temporary Moto Shop boutique, where smartphone and smartwatch buyers can try out the company's products in person before buying them. The Moto Shop opened in Chicago on Nov. 7 and will have a grand opening celebration on Nov. 14.

Motorola describes the Moto Shop as an "experiential" store where consumers can come in to explore products in detail and get answers to questions about features and more, according to a Nov. 4 post on The Official Motorola Blog.

"Right now it's a pop-up shop that will be there through the end of May," Dawn McKenzie, a spokeswoman for Motorola, told eWEEK. "We'll see how this goes. We haven't made any decisions about the future of the shop" after the trial period. "We certainly like the idea of bringing this kind of more immersive shopping experience to other cities" in the future, she said.

The Moto Shop will have a hands-on feel, rather than being set up as a more traditional store where specifications are the focus, said McKenzie. "It's more of a hands-on interactive environment" where customers can browse, test and even purchase Motorola smartphones and Moto 360 smartwatches. Technical specs are not on hand in the shop.

The shop doesn't have a sea of devices on display but is set up instead to show off the features and technologies used in the products through real-world examples, she said.

A mini Moto X smartphone and smartwatch configuration display lets customers build their own devices just like they can at the company's online Moto X store, where colors, materials and features can be selected when a customer orders new devices.

"It's a hands-on workshop in the store with samples of the materials and inlay options," said McKenzie. "You can mix and match and see what it would look like in person."

Also in the shop is the Drop Zone, where slabs of concrete, ceramic and tile lay on the floor where customers can drop the company's new Droid 2 Turbo smartphone, which comes with a shatterproof display that is guaranteed for four years not to crack or shatter.

"People can come in and drop the phone and put it to the test," she said.

They can also test the phone's new 21-megapixel camera by taking images and then having them sent to their email addresses so they can see the impressive results, she said.

In addition, the shop includes a Moto 360 boutique for smartwatch shopping where consumers can try the watches.

Customers can buy their new phones and smartwatches in the store and take them home that day or they can order them in-store and get them delivered if they want options not available when they visit, said McKenzie.

The Moto Shop is at 108 N. State St. (Suite 140 at Block 37) and will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.