To wood or not to wood? Why I'm sticking with the regular Moto X

Wood Moto X

Man, those new Moto X wood models are some sweet-looking devices.

Motorola's now selling the Moto X in four "natural material" varieties, if you hadn't heard: bamboo, ebony, teak, and walnut. Aside from bamboo, which technically is a grass (who knew?), all of the devices feature backs made from actual wood and finished in different fashions.

I've had my eye on the darker wood designs since they were first announced last summer. But after Motorola launched the bamboo option by itself in late December -- and attached a $100 premium to it -- I decided to pull the trigger on a regular Moto X instead.

When Motorola revealed the remaining three wood models this month -- then dropped the premium to $25 and announced a new $100-off sale on all devices -- I started having second thoughts. Several readers have mentioned to me that Motorola's been willing to extend the return window and authorize exchanges for people who bought regular Moto X phones in December and now want wood models. Armed with that knowledge, I've been on the brink of sending back my navy blue Moto X and snagging a walnut device to take its place.

This morning, though, I reversed course and decided to keep the regular version of the phone instead. The reason? Feel.

One of my favorite things about the Moto X is the feel of the phone -- and while the wood model retains the same basic shape and design, there are a few noteworthy areas where it differs from the regular Moto X form.

Moto X Blue

First is just the actual material itself: The feel of the regular Moto X's soft-touch backing is something I really enjoy about the device, and as much as I like the look of the wood, I realized I didn't want to give up the outstanding texture of this particular plastic.

Second is the dimple -- the small indentation on the back of the regular Moto X model. Sounds silly, I know, but after using the phone for a while, I've come to like that little finger rest. It just feels good. The wood model, presumably because of the nature of its material, doesn't have that same effect.

And third is the construction. The regular Moto X has a single-piece back, which creates a smooth and seamless curve around the edge of the phone -- something my fingers appreciate. The wood devices have a two-piece back, with the wood plate and then a plastic frame surrounding it. As a result, you can feel the seam where the two materials meet along the edge.

Now, to be clear, I'm in no way suggesting the wood models of the Moto X are inferior to the regular models. Far from it. They're beautiful and unique devices, and the fact that Motorola is offering phones with a variety of unusual materials is incredibly cool.

The wood models of the Moto X are different from the regular versions of the device, though -- in a few ways that haven't gotten much attention so far. For a lot of people, those differences won't matter or will be outweighed (understandably) by the sheer awesomeness of the wood.

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But since those differences led me to decide the regular Moto X was a better fit for my own personal tastes, I thought I'd pass them along so you can make an educated decision as to what works best for you.

Choice is a wonderful thing.


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