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Christmas Gift Guide

Motorola's Moto X sequel for 2014

Curving off the edge

Four natural wood backings

Bigger 1080p display

Signature M-dimple

Preloaded carrier apps

Moto X for the Big Red

Feeling around for the power key

Curved backing for a comfortable grip

Close to pure Android KitKat

With a wave of your finger...

Powerful hardware inside

Solid camera that can shoot 4K video

A few nifty camera tools

Flick your wrist to launch the camera

Many choices to choose from

Additional design options

Sophisticated black leather

A personal phone that's unique to you

Like its predecessor, the Moto X can be customized by users with different colors and materials. But this sequel has a faster processor, a sharper screen, and a better camera. In the US, it's available for $99.99 with a carrier contract and $499.99 without.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Compared to the original, the device looks a whole lot sexier than before. Its trimmings have been upgraded from plastic to metal, and the display curves smoothly over the edges (which is reminiscent of the Google Nexus 4).

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

There are only two color options for the front side (black or white), but for the back, you can choose between 17 colors, four types of wood grain, and four leather dyes.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The handset’s 5.2-inch OLED screen features Corning Gorilla Glass 3, a 1080p resolution, and 423ppi. It's much sharper than last year’s 720p AMOLED screen, and looks vivid and bright.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The signature M-dimple on the rear works well to anchor one's finger while holding the handset.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

As an AT&T handset, you will get some preloaded apps from the carrier. There's AT&T Live, a usage manager so you can look over your battery and data consumption, 5GB of free cloud storage through AT&T Locker, and more.

Verizon users will receive My Verizon Mobile, which lets you check your data use and minutes, as well as its storage cloud and caller ID services.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

A closer look at the carrier branding for the Verizon model.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Motorola also tacked on another front-facing speaker grille at the bottom of the display, and textured the power button (which sits on the right edge) with ridges to make it easier to discern by touch.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

With its larger display, the phone now measures 5.54 inches tall, 2.85 inches wide, and 0.39 inch thick at its deepest (140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9mm).

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Moto X runs a relatively unsullied version of Android and features Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Motorola noted that the phone will be able to update to Android L the moment the new version rolls out.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The phone has a bevy of convenient software tricks. Moto Display shows any missed notifications you have, even while the phone’s sleeping. Just wave your hand over the screen's front sensors, see what pops up, and if you want more information on a specific notification, tap the individual app icon.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Inside the device is a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 2,300mAh battery that has a reported talk time of 17 hours.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The device's camera jumped from 10 to 13 megapixels, and can record video in slow motion and in 2,160p ultra HD 4K.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

A few other camera tools features control focus, panoramic shooting, and HDR.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Similar to its predecessor, users can flick their wrists with the device in hand, to launch the camera. Though this isn't the most natural motion, it's pretty effective and useful.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Of course, one of the phone's main draws is the fact that you can customize it through Motorola's Moto Maker website.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Another look at the new leather and wood options.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

One of our review units had a black leather backing, which looked sophisticated and austere. But while the material is unique and staves off fingerprints, it does accumulate small indentations here and there from daily use that you can visibly see.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

In a sea of black slabs and few color options, the device achieves what no other handset has yet to do: it can look and feel like it truly belongs to you. Click here for more information on Motorola phones.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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