With its aluminium frame and premium materials, the second-generation Moto X really feels in a different league from the original smartphone.

It's also in a completely different class from the new Moto G, just as it should be at over £400.

Motorola Moto X 2014 review: Hardware

Despite an increase in screen size from 4.7 to 5.2 inches, the Moto X is barely larger than its predecessor and weighs only a few grams more.

In fact, it feels much lighter than it looks and is shorter than just about every other smartphone with a screen this big, making one-handed use possible for most people.

Around the back are tapered edges which make it feel really thin, and the symmetry - with the dual-LED flash surrounding the centrally mounted camera - makes it look great, too.

The screen now has a much needed full HD resolution, and the higher pixel density makes everything look sharp and clear. Motorola has stuck with AMOLED technology, so colours are vivid, contrast is excellent and viewing angles are wide.

The edges of the display are slightly curved, just like the new iPhone 6, and it yet another reason why the Moto X feels great in the hand.

Thanks to a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, the Moto X is powerful, too. Android KitKat runs exceptionally well, and Motorola has already guaranteed an update to Android L.

It isn't the fastest smartphone for 3D games, but even so, it can handle demanding games such as Real Racing 3.  

In terms of other hardware, there's 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC and GPS.

There are also new sensors on the front - easily seen on the white version, but virtually invisible on this black model. With these, the Moto X can sense more gestures than before so you can silence your morning alarm or see the time and notifications by simply waving your hand over the phone.

And like the new Moto G, there are good-quality front-facing speakers which are great for watching YouTube or catch-up TV.

The only let-down is the lack of expandable storage, so you're limited to the 16 or 32GB of internal memory, depending on which model you buy.

Motorola Moto X 2014 review: Software

One of the major benefits of choosing the Moto X over other flagship Android phones is that it comes with pure Android so you don't have to put up with any annoying overlays or tweaks.

Motorola has instead put a lot of effort into adding useful features via its Moto app.

For example, as with the old Moto X, you can use Google Now even if the phone is off. But instead of being forced to say OK Google Now, you can record your own trigger phrase, such as "Hello Moto".

And using those extra sensors, the Moto X can figure out when you're driving and automatically read out incoming text messages, as well as let you reply by dictating a message.

 

With Moto Display, only the necessary pixels light up to show the time and whether you've got any notifications. If you have you can tap and swipe upwards to see what they are, or downwards to unlock the phone.

 

Motorola Moto X 2014 review: Moto Maker

 

Another attraction of the Moto X is that you can customise it before buying using the online Moto Maker tool. It costs extra, but you can specify a leather or wood back as well as coloured speaker grilles.

Motorola Moto X 2014 review: cameras

The 13 megapixel camera is a bit hit and miss, but is capable of decent photos and videos - and it also shoots in 4K. Colours, though, are a bit overblown for our liking.

A handy feature is that you can flick your wrist twice to quickly launch the camera app, which has plenty of features including HDR, panorama and slow-motion video.

Motorola Moto X 2014 review: verdict

The Moto X's non-removable battery isn't the biggest around, and we found we needed to charge it almost every day.

So, not only do some of its rivals - notably the LG G3 - last longer, but they also have higher-resolution screens and expandable storage.

But if you're after a top-quality phone with pure Android and the ability to customise it, the Moto X is a great - if slightly pricey - choice.