When Motorola's new Moto X smartphone ships this Friday, AT&T customers will be able to not only purchase a white or black version, but will have the opportunity to design their own phones online. In order to demonstrate how well its new Moto Maker service will work, Motorola allowed a number of journalists to try out the service in beta mode. I designed a phone last Thursday, and received the results this afternoon.
But while it's a nice idea to allow buyers to design their own phones -- and while I still think that the Moto X may be one of the better, if not the best, consumer phones out there right now -- the process still has a couple of kinks to be ironed out.
To begin with, as our own JR Raphael has reported, the custom engraving that was supposed to be included with each phone has been put on hold, because the quality of the printing wasn't up to standard.
In addition, buyers should be aware that judging the colors of a phone online is something like judging the color of clothing online -- what you see may not be exactly what you get. This isn't necessarily the fault of Motorola (or of the clothing manufacturer, for that matter) -- unless you've done some fairly precise color matching on your display, subtle differences can always pop up.
In my case, I had ordered a "Royal Blue" back with a black front and a "Metallic Blue" accent. On my screen, the accent looked as if it set off the black nicely; in reality, however, the accent is actually hard to see (and the two shades actually clash slightly). Even allowing for the differences in lighting, if this were an actual purchase, I'd be disappointed, to say the least.
Of course, if this were a real purchase, I would have 14 days in which to return the phone (post paid) and try out a better color combination. It would mean an extra few days before I'd have my "perfect" phone, of course, but presumably, I'd end up with something a bit more to my taste.
In fact, this got me thinking: In about six months or so, how many phones will be returned for stylistic reasons -- because the colors didn't look as good as they did on the screen, because somebody changed their mind, or because a couple who had each other's names inscribed on their phones broke up in the meantime?
And another question: How soon will it be before there are a bunch of refurbished Moto X phones, with weird color combinations, available for sale?