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Summary:

AT&T customers hoping to get their new Moto X handset engraved won’t be able to do so at launch time. Motorola is putting that customization option on hold while it improves the engraving quality.

Meet Moto X

Custom phone engraving, one of the key personalization features of Motorola’s Moto X smartphone, won’t be available on launch day. Customers can still choose the colors of their handset, as well as color matched accessories, the pre-installed wallpaper and a display message when the phone powers on. Motorola hopes to bring the engraving feature back in the near future.

On Thursday of last week, I tested the custom order process — you can see a video walkthrough here — and chose to add an engraved message. But when my phone arrives, it won’t have the engraving, per a message I received from a Motorola representative:

“As with all testing programs, we are adapting and changing the process based on what we learn. One item that requires some additional work before we launch is creating a custom signature on the back of the phone. As such, creating a custom message is no longer available at this time.”

Since I typically buy my phones at full price and later resell them to recoup funds for new devices, I probably won’t engrave my own Moto X when I buy one. But for many consumers looking forward to this phone on AT&T — the only carrier that will have the custom option at first — this is likely a disappointment.

From a business perspective however, I think it’s the right choice for Motorola to correct whatever issues it has found before a full-blown launch. Otherwise the company will have products out in the wild that aren’t up to its quality assurance standards.

I’m starting to wonder though if the issue is related to only certain phone color choices. I ordered a Navy Blue back for my test phone, for example. Yet, a few folks that also participated in the testing did get their custom engraving on their Moto X. I’ve specifically seen a Spearmint and a White Moto X with the engraved messages intact. Perhaps the engraving doesn’t stand out as much on darker colors.

Moto X engraved

That’s just a guess on my part, but it doesn’t change the situation: Until Motorola fixes the problem, customers will have one less custom option to choose from.

  1. Can you post photos/video of the Navy Blue phone? All the Motorola site shots have hipster filters.

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  2. Lame, I really wanted to put “Monitored by NSA” if they would allow it.

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