The Moto X line is really strong. Last year, the Moto X hit us by surprise and we instantly fell in love with its compact design and strong performance even if it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of similarly priced flagships. This year, the new Moto X came to us with a lot more fire power, growing in size, receiving industry standard flagship specs, and more importantly, capitalizing on the design that we loved so much last year by using more premium materials. Welcome to the Moto X (2014) vs the Moto X (2013) smack down all right here on PhoneDog.com.
These two devices have much of the same DNA but obviously, there are some huge differences. The original Moto X was claimed to be the perfect Android device. It had a great fitting 4.7-inch display, had decent specs controlled heavily by Motorola and Google. And it had a design that just fits so well on the hand. Compared to the HTC One M7, the X fits so much better on the hand and gave the same exact size of screen real estate. And the benefit of having Motorola’s engineers control the hardware is they were able to squeeze every single last minute from the battery, which made this tiny phone last you a full entire day.
But that’s not to say the original X didn’t have its faults. For one, the build was good but just didn’t feel super high quality. Moto cured some of that with Moto Maker and used some really nice, exotic materials like wood and bamboo but it still wasn’t the most premium device around. The display was only 720p which people complained a lot about and the camera, while being 10MP, was nowhere close to the quality found on phones like Samsung and other OEMs at the time. And last but not least, was the hardware. The dual-core CPU was more than enough to run Android and all of its processes but it came out at the dawn of quad-core mobile processing.
Comparing all of that to the brand new Moto X, you can actually see how much work has gone into making this new device. For starters, they made it a lot bigger. From 4.7 inches to 5.2 inches, the display gained in size and also resolution—now a full 1080p display. Also, the materials have been completely changed. Around the sides of the phone, you’ll find nothing but aluminum and steel. It’s as solid as a rock and it truly feels like that when it’s in your hands. The camera, while not the best quality, has gained some important features like improved software and UHD video recording. Plus it received a gain to a 13MP camera from a 10MP camera. And the hardware is completely different from last year. We now find a standard but super powerful 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, the Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
So have these changes truly made the brand new Moto X a much better device? If we take the aesthetic look of your phone really seriously, then the new Moto X looks all grown up. The beautiful aluminum trim is much more superior from the plastic trim found on the one before and even the slight curvature of the display makes it a much more appealing device to the user. The larger size and higher resolution are all positive things for the new X. The improved hardware is questionable. Benchmarks show a big leap of power but in real world usage, they’re exactly the same. The original Moto X was really good at managing its power. The new Moto X doesn’t stutter at all and that’s a big perk of having near Vanilla Android software and also all of that power.
But it does take a huge hit on battery life. The new X has a slightly larger battery which should mean better battery than the one before. with my month testing, it’s about the same; sometimes even a little worse than the old model X. the X8 system on the first original Moto X was just really good at power management and it ran very quickly and gave you great battery life. While this 801 chip from Snapdragon is third-party so you don’t find the same optimization. The end result might be a much more powerful chip but it does strain your battery a lot faster. Also the camera on the new Moto X has gotten a little bit better but not enough to call it a great camera. Photos are okay, videos are okay. They’re better than the first X but I wouldn’t use it as my primary camera phone.
So all in all, is the new Moto X a huge leap from the original? In my book, not really. It is a beautiful device made of beautiful materials and that’s great. But they’ve just bought in parts instead of designing and make them work really, really well with their products like they used to. It’s beautiful yet sloppy at the same time. I hope that kind of makes sense. But it’s one great device and that’s for sure.