After a few months on sale in the US, Motorola's flagship Moto X smartphone has made its way to UK shores.

The Moto X is a pretty standard looking phone from the front, but turn the Moto X over and things improve dramatically. The handset features a nice curved back that fits your hand and a nice woven effect. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?

A big shame is that not only does the Moto X feel very plastic, lacking a premium feel, Motorola has failed to bring the Moto Maker to the UK. This lets users customise the phone with different rear covers, accent colours and even wooden options.

A dual-core processor might not sound like much these days, but some clever software optimisation means the Moto X feels just as nippy as its quad-core rivals. Benchmark results aren't great, but it's the user perspective which is far more important here.

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A 4.7in screen means the Moto X sits at a happy medium for smarthphone sizes – big enough to carry out tasks comfortably, but not so big that's its unwieldy. However, it's a shame that Motorola has opted for a standard HD resolution of 720 x 1280. A pixel density of 312ppi means the screen isn't as crisp compared to the Full HD smartphones out there.

The Moto X is armed with a 10Mp camera and although the quality is clearly better than mid-range handsets, it's not quite as good as the number suggests. Indoor shots look okay, but are sometimes overexposed. Meanwhile, head outdoors and you'll get sharper results, if you've got good lighting conditions.

Quick Capture means you can switch on the camera app by flicking your wrist twice. It's cool but we'd rather have a dedicated shutter button.

For us, software is the main reason to buy the Moto X over other smartphones, with a few tricks up its sleeve which might just win you over. For starters, the phone will show you the time when you pick it up, avoiding the need to push buttons.

Active Display interesting feature which means the Moto X give you notifications without the use of a typical flashing LED. Instead, all your notifications show up on the lock screen.

We've always loved Motorola's SmartActions, but that's been replaced by Moto Assist. Instead of letting you automate the phone with a wide range of actions, Moto Assist offers basic settings for when you're driving, sleeping, or in a meeting.

Touchless Control is a headline feature, letting you can control the Moto X with your voice, avoiding having to interact with physically – even if the screen is turned off. Based on Google Now, all you have to do is say "Ok Google Now" and then speak your command. It can also learn your voice.

Motorola touts 24 hours of mixed use from the Moto X's no-removable battery. This makes it sound like you'll have to charge it most nights and in our experience, that is exactly the case.

The Moto X comes at a reasonable price offering excellent performance and software but lacks a premium feel and is a little way behind the leaders in other areas. Unfortunately, Motorola spent too long bringing it to the UK so the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and Nexus 5 are better alternatives. We award four stars.