The Moto X is better than it seems at first glance.
I'll admit that I didn't get the excitement about the Moto X when it launched. A so-called "Google phone" was something that people have speculated about since Google's purchase of Motorola closed last year. And yet, much of the breathless pre-release coverage (and several early reviews of the phone) seemed to treat the phone as special because Google was saying it was special, not because it was earth-shattering hardware in and of itself.
We're now about two weeks out from our first hands-on session with the phone. After living with it for a while, I get it—at least a little. There are still things about the phone that I don't understand, but I can see why people would walk into a store and walk out with the Moto X instead of a Galaxy S 4 or an HTC One or even an iPhone 5. It's the rare flagship Android handset that's greater than the sum of its specifications, even if in the end it's still just another Android phone with a couple useful extra features stacked on top.
But the Moto X doesn't need to melt anyone's face or sweep Samsung under the rug. The Moto X doesn't need to redefine the way we think about smartphones or show us Google's grand vision for Android's future. The Moto X just needs to reverse Motorola's decline, stop the bleeding, and show that Motorola and its parent company can put their heads together and put out a desirable smartphone.