The Moto X Play rocks a 64-bit, 1.7 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 – a midrange SoC, which we've found to be quite adequate in our experience. The phone is equipped with 2 GB of RAM and has 16 GB / 32 GB storage variants. Both are expandable via microSD of up to 128 GB. The display has a 5.5” diagonal with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and the Play doesn't have the stereo speakers, which adorn the front of the Style. The battery that keeps the lights on has an impressive capacity of 3,630 mAh and Motorola promises up to 48 hours of “mixed usage”, and turbo charging. In terms of camera, the device packs impressive specs – its main snapper rocks a 21 MP sensor with F2.0 aperture and a dual-tone LED flash, while the frontal cam has a 5 MP sensor. Motorola's UI philosophy is along the lines of “the lighter – the better”. The midranger comes with Android 5.1.1 installed out-of-the-box and offers it in its vanilla form.
Once you have root access on your Motorola Moto X (2014), you’ll be able to:
Remove apps that were preinstalled by your carrier/manufacturer from your device.
Free up storage space (because of the above benefit).
Increase battery life (apps that might have been running constantly can be removed).
Increase performance (after removing apps that are always running, the device will be less bogged down and run smoother).
Update to a new version of Android (by flashing a custom recovery/ROM, see the end of this procedure for more info on that).
Tons of other customizations when you use your new found administrative rights to flash a custom ROM (again, see the end of this procedure for more info on that).
Interested? Here’s how to root your Motorola Moto X (2014):
I. Before You Begin
1. This’ll void the warranty of your device. We won’t be held responsible for the issues that may arise as the result of this procedure. Do it at your own risk.
2. This only works for the XT1097 variant of the device.
3. You should have Motorola USB drivers installed on your PC. If you don’t, get the latest drivers installed from here.
II. Downloading Required Files
1. Download CF-Root and save it to your desktop.
III. Rooting the Motorola Moto X (2014) on Android 5.0 Lollipop
1. Uncompress files from CF-Root over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.
2. Enable USB debugging on your device by heading to Menu > Settings > Developer options > USB debugging.
3. Turn OFF your device.
4. Reboot your device into bootloader mode by holding down Volume DOWN and Power buttons simultaneously.
5. Plug in your device to your PC via USB cable.
6. Launch CF-Root by double-clicking on root-windows.bat available on your desktop.
7. Follow the on-screen instructions for rooting your device.
8. When you’re rooted, head over to the Google Play store and download and install Busybox on your device.
9. You’re done!
Wonderful! Your Motorola Moto X (2014) running Android 5.0 is now rooted. It should now let you install your favorite root-only apps that previously didn’t work.
If you’re looking to flash a custom ROM on your device, you’ll first want to flash a custom recovery on your device. It’ll then allow you to flash custom ROMs, wipe data, wipe cache, and even make nandroid backups. If this sounds good to you, here’s how you can flash a custom recovery on your Moto X (2014):
IV. Flashing a Custom Recovery on the Motorola Moto X (2014)
1. Head over to the Google Play store and download and install TWRP Manager on your device.
2. When the app’s downloaded, launch it from your app drawer.
3. Tap on Install TWRP.
4. Select your device from the list and tap on Install Recovery.
5. It should automatically download and flash the recovery for you.
6. You’re all done!
Excellent! The TWRP Recovery is now up and running on your 2014 variant of the Moto X. Go ahead and have some custom ROMs flashed on your device!
You can click here to find all of the Motorola Moto X (2014) How To’s.
One of the best features that was showcased prominently on the Moto X is the voice control that has been built in. You can make all kinds of queries just by talking to your phone even from the lock screen, you just have to make sure it is enabled. To enable the Voice Control, head to Settings and go to Voice Control. First, you’ll need to calibrate the Moto X to your voice, so you’ll have to say “OK Google Now” three times for it to register it. From there, whenever you want to use your phone just by your voice, you can go ahead and just say “OK Google Now” out loud.
Access the camera quickly
Another feature that was showcased a lot when the Moto X first came out was how easily it was to get the camera going and to take a picture. Often, you’ll miss a spur of the moment picture opportunity just because you’re fumbling around trying to open up the camera app. With the Moto X, you can just shake the phone twice from your wrist and it’ll fire up the camera app and you just have to tap on the display to take a picture. This will work even from the lock screen.
Official Motorola Camera
If you haven’t already done so, you should probably update the camera application via the Google Play Store. When you do, you’ll find you’re updated to the official Motorola Camera which will allow you to tap anywhere on the display to take a photo, even if you’re taking a video. As well, if you hold down your finger on the display, the Moto X will take continuous photos until you lift it up. To gain access to camera options, such as HDR, slow motion, and panorama mode, you just need to swipe from the left of the display.
When you’re opening different applications and swapping between them, the Moto X will show some transitional animations. If they’re moving too slow for your liking, you can easily change the speed of them. Simply head to the Developers Option part of Settings and scroll down until you find the Transition, Animation, and Window Scale. Change these lower if you want them faster and higher if you want them slower. If you don’t have Developer Options enabled yet, go to Settings > Device Info > Build Number. Tap Build Number seven times and you’ll enable access to these options.
The Moto X is the king of active notifications and there are a ton of different applications for other devices that try to mimic the same features. And while they are all pretty practical, the Moto X does it the best. By default, all applications are enabled for Active Notifications, so you might have to play around with them a bit if you don’t want to receive notifications from everything. In order to manage these, head over to Settings > Notifications > Manage Notification Types. From there, you can pick and choose which applications you want to get Active Notifications from.
Widgets on the lock screen
The Moto X, in addition to having Active Notifications, allows users to have widgets built right into the lock screen. From the lock screen, simply swipe to the left and you will see a + sign. When you click on that, you can select from a bunch of different widgets that you can add to the lock screen.
Fixing battery issues
Batteries and how long they last are one of the biggest concerns for users when it comes to smartphones and the Moto X is no different. Motorola does provide a few solutions built in, including a battery saving mode for the Moto X. What this does is that when there’s a certain amount of battery left (15%), it reduces the amount of data it’s pulling, reduces the display brightness and turns off additional features that draw battery power. To activate this, you can head to Settings > Battery and simply check the box.
Furthermore, there have been some issues brought to light when it comes to the Moto X, but there are some fairly simple ways to fix them. Check out our article on how to fix Moto X battery issues for more information.
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