Spec-by-spec: Here's how the Moto X stacks up to the competition

By on August 1, 2013, 3:45 PM

Following a string of leaks and official teasers Motorola finally unveiled the Moto X smartphone at an event in New York this afternoon. The device is not only the first to be developed under Google's stewardship since last year’s acquisition, it’s also the first smartphone to be assembled in the US, which aside from scoring them a few  political and PR points, allows the company to offer ‘built-to-order’ devices with minimal delay.

Customization options cover quite a few cosmetic choices and your pick of either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. Specifically, Motorola will let you pick any combination between 18 backplate covers, a black or white front panel, and seven different colors for the side-mounted buttons and the ring around the rear camera lens. In all there are actually more than a thousand possible combinations to make something that’s uniquely yours.

In terms of specs Motorola isn’t going for the high-end crown. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing; rather, the company believes it can carve itself a market with a high-quality device that can do nearly everything the majority of people will want or need it to do, without getting caught in the specs race.

The tricky part is Motorola still wants the Moto X to compete in the big leagues at $199 on-contract. Detractors will be quick to point out that you are getting mid-range internals at high-end pricing, and with reason. But aside from the unprecedented level of customization, Motorola is hedging its bets on battery life (quoted at 24 hours of mixed usage), as well as signature features like always on voice controls and gesture recognition.

Whether that amounts to a recipe for success or a missed opportunity -- specifically on the pricing front and lack of stock Android -- remains to be seen. For now, here’s how the Moto X stacks up next to the current crop of high end smartphones, as well as its spiritual counterparts in the mid range of the market.

High end smartphones

  Moto X Apple iPhone 5 HTC One Samsung Galaxy S 4 Sony Xperia Z Nokia Lumia 925
Price
(on contract)
N/A ($200) $650 ($200) $600 ($200) $650 ($200) $600 ($0*) $528 ($0*)
Availability 3Q 2013 Now Now Now Now Now
Metascore N/A 89 88 86 84 81
Review More info Review More info Review More info More info
 
System chip Motorola X8 (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro) Apple A6 Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960
CPU 1.7GHz dual-core, Krait 1.3GHz dual-core, Apple Swift 1.7GHz quad-core, Krait 300 1.9GHz quad-core, Krait 300 1.5GHz quad-core, Krait 1.5GHz dual-core, Krait
GPU Adreno 320 PowerVR SGX543MP3 Adreno 320 Adreno 320 Adreno 320 Adreno 225
Display 4.7-inch
AMOLED
4-inch
IPS LCD
4.7-inch
S-LCD 3
5.0-inch
Super AMLOED
5.0-inch
TFT
4.5-inch
AMOLED
Resolution
(PPI)
720 x 1280
(316)
640 x 1136
(326)
1080 x 1920
(468)
1080 x 1920
(441)
1080 x 1920
(443)
768 x 1280
(334)
RAM 2GB 1GB 2GB 2GB 2GB 1GB
Front camera 2MP 1MP 2.1MP 2MP 2.2MP 1.2MP
Rear camera 10MP 8MP 4MP 13MP 13.1MP 8.7MP
Storage 16/32GB 16/32/64GB 32GB 16/32/64GB 16GB 16GB
USB Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
microSD No No No Yes Yes No
 
Cellular HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0
NFC Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
 
Operating System Android 4.2.2 iOS 6 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2 Windows Phone 8
App Marketplace Google Play iTunes Google Play Google Play Google Play Windows Marketplace
Weight 130g 112g 143g 130g 146g 139g
Other Always-on voice recognition / authentication, gesture controls Airplay HDMI out
via microUSB
HDMI out
via microUSB
HDMI out
via microUSB, Water resistant
 

Mid range smartphones

  Moto X Apple iPhone 4S HTC One mini Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini Nexus 4 Nokia Lumia 625
Price
(on contract)
N/A ($199) $550 ($100) N/A $500 $350 ($0*) N/A
Availability 3Q 2013 Now August 2013 Now Now Q3 2013
Metascore N/A 88 80 79 85 73
Review More info Review More info More info More info More info
 
System chip Motorola X8 (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro) Apple A5 Snapdragon 400 Snapdragon 400 MSM8930 Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 
CPU 1.7GHz dual-core, Krait 800 MHz dual-core, Cortex A9 1.4GHz dual-core, Krait 1.7GHz dual-core, Krait 300 1.5GHz quad-core, Krait 1.2GHz dual-core
GPU Adreno 320 PowerVR SGX 543MP2 Adreno 305 Adreno 305 Adreno 320 ?
Display 4.7-inch
AMOLED
3.5-inch
IPS LCD
4.3-inch 4.3-inch
Super AMLOED
4.7-inch
TFT
4.7-inch
Resolution
(PPI)
720 x 1280
(316)
640 x 960
(326)
720 x 1280
(341)
540 x 960
(256)
768 x 1280
(318)
480 x 800
(201)
RAM 2GB 512MB 1GB 1.5GB 2GB 512MB
Front camera 2MP 0.3MP 1.6MP 1.9MP 1.3MP 0.3MP
Rear camera 10MP 8MP 4MP 8MP 8MP 5MP
Storage 16/32GB 16GB 16GB 8GB 16GB 8GB
USB Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
microSD No No No Yes No Yes
 
Cellular HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+  HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+ / LTE HSPA+  HSPA+ / LTE
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
NFC Yes No No No Yes Yes
 
Operating System Android 4.2.2 iOS 6 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.2.2 Android 4.3 Windows Phone 8
App Marketplace Google Play iTunes Google Play Google Play Google Play Windows Marketplace
Weight 130g 140g 122g 107g 139g 159g
Other Always-on voice recognition / authentication, gesture controls Airplay     HDMI out
via microUSB, Wireless charging
 



User Comments: 17

Got something to say? Post a comment
1 person liked this | Guest said:

"microSD: No"

I was done reading at that point...NEXT!

Guest said:

This article makes me laugh. Since when is the Nexus 4 considered mid-range.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Since now.

Guest said:

Bootloader is still locked. bad egg

Guest said:

Where is the Lumia 1020 on this comparison chart???

wastedkill said:

Guest stop trolling -.-.. was funny.. until the Lumia part..

Guest said:

No MicroSD was also where it lost me. I mean come on, I filled I understand they want you to have motivation to buy the 32gb model, but I have a large amount of music I'd like to carry around for offline listening, and if you take a few videos and high res photos, you fill up the rest of the space fast.

venimdenim venimdenim said:

This article makes me laugh. Since when is the Nexus 4 considered mid-range.

When has it not been considered mid-range?

JC713 JC713 said:

The Moto X is impressive.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wish they didn't call it "Moto X" - because I'm a fan of motocross and when ever I see Moto X I think of motorcycles, but then realize you're talking about a telephone.

Are they really this far into the Moto line of their product brand? And what happened to the Moto iX or is their product numbering department just playing with my mind? =)

JC713 JC713 said:

I wish they didn't call it "Moto X" - because I'm a fan of motocross and when ever I see Moto X I think of motorcycles, but then realize you're talking about a telephone.

Are they really this far into the Moto line of their product brand? And what happened to the Moto iX or is their product numbering department just playing with my mind? =)

It was kind of a bad name. But it makes sense.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Hah. I have an s4. I'm comparing my S4 to the Moto X. Has a better rear camera, has a more powerful CPU, and has better resolution...not THAT impressed. Sticking to my S4 for a long while. =P

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Hah. I have an s4. I'm comparing my S4 to the Moto X. Has a better rear camera, has a more powerful CPU, and has better resolution...not THAT impressed. Sticking to my S4 for a long while. =P

Yeah. The Moto X was a disappointment. In order to have a great Android phone, you need good specs, a good manufacturer to back it up, an SD card slot, customizability, and no carrier exclusive deals. The Moto X misses on the big ones like the lack of a SD card slot and carrier exclusive deals.

Guest said:

"Always on voice controls" ... requested by the NSA no doubt.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Hah. I have an s4. I'm comparing my S4 to the Moto X. Has a better rear camera, has a more powerful CPU, and has better resolution...not THAT impressed. Sticking to my S4 for a long while. =P

I assume you were just comparing specs because I can see little to no reason why anybody would consider switching to a Moto X if they already have a S4 unless they consider the so called 'unique customizations' as a must have.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The Moto X is impressive.

It would be more impressive if it sold at a mid range price because it looks like a mid range device (how do you like that poetry?) ;-D

JC713 JC713 said:

It would be more impressive if it sold at a mid range price because it looks like a mid range device (how do you like that poetry?) ;-D

Yeah, true.

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