The battle of potential vs need: Moto X and the Samsung Galaxy S4
0. phoneArena 01 Aug 2013, 18:03 posted on
Based on the various leaks and inside info that we had gotten over the past couple of months, we basically knew what to expect with the Motorola Moto X. We knew about the customization options, and the color choices. We essentially knew what to expect from the spec sheet. And, we even basically knew what the hardware itself would look like...
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2. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)
You do know in a few years you're not going to have any choice.
73. moroninc (Posts: 173; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)
LOL like the guy who said ipod would die in 5 years after its launch.. british bloke
76. Kal-el (Posts: 91; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)
this phone is not one that people of gotham needs....but the one they deserve
77. tech2 (Posts: 1859; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
I swear to God this is exactly the first line I thought when I read that last line of the article !
5. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3935; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Get used to it. Phones with microSD card slots are a dying breed.
6. Shatter (Posts: 1980; Member since: 29 May 2013)
I wouldn't be surprised if the S5 went the route of unibody.
22. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
people have been saying this for along time, am not saying its not going to die on phones ever but dont think it will anytime soon, i can guarantee it will be available in phones in the next 2-3 years atleast and personally as long as a phone with a sd card exist i will always buy one.
35. Slammer (Posts: 974; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
It's a dying breed because manufacturers are realizing the revenue they can make on making consumers come to a service center just for a stupid battery issue. So, they take that option away from us. One of the main reasons I switched to Samsung, is due to it offering the all important battery accessibility. Working around batteries all day, it really is amazing that more people don't realize how fickle and fragile batteries are. It is the weakest link of any phone regardless of brand, price or design. Recommendation for battery test and visual inspection on a phone should be 7-8 months. This assures that the battery hasn't started to swell or have internal anode and cathode wear.
Panasonic is banking on a 40% revenue from service of phone batteries alone. They don't want consumers changing their own batteries. A typical phone battery has an average of 15-18 month life span before consumers notice degradation. Out of manufacturer warranty, a consumer not being able to purchase their own batteries anymore, is forced to pay higher than normal replacement costs. Service centers make a killing and so do the manufacturers controlling the battery marketshare.
Batteries are a huge business and the industry is going to find yet another reason to pick our pockets. If you don't care about higher prices, then supporting the companies that don't offer removable batteries, is playing into the game plan.
58. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I made a post very similar to this when the HTC One came out. Couldn't agree more.
42. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)
No, in android world, phones without SD card slots are dying breed. Phones with SD card slots(samsung phones, and other phones) rule in android space.
62. joey_sfb (Posts: 2715; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
In the real world consumer is king. And they wonder why Samsung captured more than 50% Android market.
Every Samsung phone and tablet has microSD slot plus they also sell premium microSD card with the fastest read and write speed.
75. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3935; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Samsung captured more than 50% of the Android market because they flooded it with dozens of products and marketed some of them like crazy. The fact that those products have microSD card support is mostly irrelevant. If what you're saying is true, then Apple would have no market share because none of their products have microSD card support, but every new iPhone that comes out massively outsells the leading Galaxy S handset.
The majority of people I know that have phones with microSD card support (mostly Samsung/Motorola devices) don't even know they're there. You don't know how many times I've heard people complain about losing their pictures when upgrading, when their previous phone and new phone both had a microSD card slot, and then I had to explain it to them.
61. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 112; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)
No..expandable memory is never gonna die..as we r moving towards future we r needing more and more storage..there was a tym when a 40 gb hdd on my pc was too much..and now evn 2 TB is not enough..and external memory ll always be cheaper than the built in ssd's...and the new external cards r evn faster than the internal memory..we ll always need expandable storage cuz we ll always b running out of space(with 4k resolution videos,large pic sizes and the amount of data we hv on phones these days,probability is very high)..if mobile devices aim to evn come close to what desktops r today they ll definitely need external expandable storage..micro sd cards with evn larger memory ll be coming out soon(120GB)..
83. juandante (Posts: 277; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)
Well not a all. If iPhone was a completely new phone is 2013 it wouldn't sell. iPhone is selling well, at least until iPhone 5 because people have a good image of it, as it was revolutionary in 2007. It's more like nostalgia if people buy it now, not for it's specs like absence of MicroSD. As you can see now that Samsung phones and Android are as good and better than iOS, iPhone sales are dying and I'm sure if the iPhone 5S or 6 will be out it will not sell as good as the previous if they keep the same old closed specs. Even on iOS 7, you see they try to update things because they know that people now forget 2007 and Android has catch up iOS, without the limitations (same for iPhone and Galaxy S4, One, Z, etc.)
63. Just.Me (Posts: 23; Member since: 24 Apr 2013)
It may be true, But, By the time microSD cards slots die out in a phone, We should see phones with well over 120GB internal storage. When that happens, We won't need the external microSD Card on a phone anymore
70. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 112; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)
Oh u ll still need it..like i said earlier we r always running out of storage space...there ll never be anything like too much space..
20. mi55u (unregistered)
Sadly agree, what I see about moto x is that the device is not potential and not our need as well... But Samsung deliver that, always care for their customer and provide best service as well..
I feel sorry to moto, but kudos to Samsung
3. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Between the two...i'd take the X.
"Moto Make" it to a look that'll hardly be opted for.
As far as i can say, i think the software and OS flow within this device will be smooth since Google has an important hand over the make.
Even if the hardware isn't on top, or somewhere close, i'd take it anytime if it provides me with a lag or freeze-free experience.
8. daddysbeenabadgirl (Posts: 157; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)
Im not sure what older model phone you have now but my Note 2 never freezes or lags much less an S4. Most of that was eliminated with project butter.
12. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
"Most of it"...it happens, not very often but what if all those can be eliminated? Won't that be great.
By the way, i don't have Note II but i tried playing Temple Run 2 and i experienced freezes and frame drops.
13. Robes1 (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Dec 2009)
I actually returned an S4 because of the lag. It's real and it's terrible! Sometimes I would click on a field to type and took 6-7 seconds for the keyboard to pop up on the screen. The HTC One didn't have that problems though.
31. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
For that, i'd refer you back to the review of both versions. Play edition scored higher...maybe it was smoother than the UX.
59. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2116; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
Completely untrue. The GE versions of both the S4 & the One received the same score as the original versions. 9.3 & 9.1, respectively.
24. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
ive had the s4 from day one, and its true there use to be lag/stutters mainly in the animations but honestly its not been bad like some people go on like as if it was totally unusable..was it annoying, yes because the hardware of the phone should have meant it wasnt laggy but i personally never had so much lag that i couldnt use it..thankfully the lag is pretty much a non issue since the latest app2sd firmware and for whatever reason samsung released the s4 with poorly written firmware which is why it was docked points in many reviews. agree with you the htc one is super slick from day one, my brother has it and it is a great phone but for me the s4 is the better device mainly due to the sd card and imo the camera is also better.
28. papss (unregistered)
Um the s4 has known lag issues. Project Butter didn't do a thing against the bloatware SS added
54. sniper1087 (Posts: 344; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
the main thing that people dont realize and only look at CPU is the 2 additional cores that have context computing and and language processing might improve performance, at least Im still positive this is the way phones should be cater to the users, by them picking how to build them just like PCs.
4. daddysbeenabadgirl (Posts: 157; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)
If this phone is priced the same as an HTC One or an S4 than you can aruge all you want in favor of the phone and you will be speaking to deaf ears.
What would be the value in paying the same amount and getting less? That's where the hoopla of 1080 screens, quad core processors and/or wave gimmicks comes into play. If Im going to pay a premium price I'd rather have all the barley used features even if I'm rarely going to use them at all.
7. Shatter (Posts: 1980; Member since: 29 May 2013)
Phones are already overpriced if the Moto X can be gotten for $400 or less off contract it will be a better deal than the nexus 4.
15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
You must be mistakened.
That much for 16GB version doesn't make hell of a sense.
17. xpr3ss10n (Posts: 55; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)
Like it or not, that is what it is being calculated out to be. Carriers are selling it for 199.99. typically you add there termination fee to get the retail of the phone. Probably going to cost around 500
9. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I hate to say this, but the Moto X is going to be a very good off contract phone for everyday usage. And I do love you can design your phone's color. Im at the point that i'm sick of seeing the same color for all the phones haha... white or black...
11. Commentator (Posts: 2325; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Not that it's really any of my business, but why did you hate to say that?
16. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)
Michael says that moto x is what average user wants, but S4 which he is comparing to moto x have huge sales, so S4 IS what user wants, not this bla bla bla...
18. xpr3ss10n (Posts: 55; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)
I often enjoy reading your articles, but in this case, I couldn't disagree with you more. Comparing these two phones is not comparing apples to apples. The Moto X is running last year's hardware, but charging this year's cost for a premium device. This phone will have no chance going against the new lower cost iPhone if that phone indeed goes for $349 off contract.
It seems as though this phone was hyped about the "experience" and opting to focus the phone on software vs. hardware. Unfortunately, it is nothing that seems like it will be used realistically. You even stated in your article about how the always on voice can be used if your just being lazy. Can you say gimmick? I'm not saying the S4 doesn't have it's gimmicks, but seriously, who is going to be jerking off there phone to open the camera?
Aside from all that, the hardest argument is the fact that the phone fell short of expectations when it comes to price. Look how many articles are on the net stating that the phone was going to be $299 off contract. This could have been the phone that Google and Moto broke barriers with. Latest software updates, customizable for what the user wants, and affordable to get Android in the hands of the people. Obviously, Google is not focused on that.
Right now, I would take an S4 over a Moto X because simply put, it will live longer. Apps will continue to grow more graphic and CPU intense and those signing (and overpaying) for a 2 year contract will be left in the dust with this overpriced midrange phone.
32. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2657; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I edited that part. It's a common misconception that the Moto X is "last year's hardware", but that's not true. The Moto X SoC is something like an S4 Pro CPU with a snapdragon 600 GPU. So, it is actually faster than the Galaxy S4 on GPU tests and browser tests.
36. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
This is what happens to people when they are high on hardware race.
I'm not aware of the off-contract price at the moment but i don't think it will cost as much as the S4. If it did, it'll be DOA.
But what i'm trying to say is, like this article, people should not only care about how bad-ass the hardware in their phones are but they should also care about how the OS reacts to the given hardware, be it beefy or not.
40. alltechinside (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
It's been rumoured as $575 for the 16GB, and $625 for the 32GB model. Slightly cheaper but still expansive. But most average consumers would go for a 2 year contract anyways and this phone is priced the same as the galaxy S4 & the HTC One on a 2 year contract. So ya, this product seems to be DOA.
38. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)
"Something like an S4 Pro CPU with a snapdragon 600 GPU," how is that faster?? S4 has quad-core 600 CPU/GPU. Do you have reference for this?? As far as I know, there is no benchmark for Moto X yet.
Moto X has similar price with worse everything(cpu, screen, battery, size, options such as sd card, battery replacement,,,,just name a few).
Weird... It has nothing to do with needs and wants. Moto X would have worked and worked well if they had priced it right, but with similar price, it just doesn't compete.
39. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
If you're bent on seeing the bench mark scores, check gsmarena's hands-on.
You'll see the X does better in the 3D rendering than the S4...and is at par with most flagships.
41. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)
Samsung beat Moto X 9 out of 10 benchmarks(in 7 out of 10 benchmarks, samsung beat Moto X easily). That's not close in performance.
43. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
"...it is actually faster than the Galaxy S4 on GPU tests and browser tests." that is what Mike refered to...and that's what i meant. Never said it was better...i said it was on par.
48. jdoee100 (Posts: 305; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)
Well, fine. However, Moto X is not this year's hardware. And it doesn't change the fact that it is an overpriced midrange phone.
57. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)
Really its a Dual Core Snapdragon 600. Using the same exact Krait 300 cores as the Quad core variation in other flagships. Exact same Adreno 320.
Per core performance is where its at. Adding 2 cores makes absolutely no difference in day to day use. Actually it does. Less battery life.
44. alltechinside (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
I agree with most of what xpr3ss10n said.
I don't think Moto X is a device that average users need.
If anything, what Samsung's gimmicks and Moto X's gimmick don't seem any different other than the fact that Samsung has WAY MORE gimmicks.
First, Moto's "always on". Most consumers don't even use (or rarely use) Google voice search, Siri or S-voice so what makes the phone being "always on" a good thing? Apart from being used during driving, this feature seems useless to most users. This seems more useful for Google Glass rather than a phone.
You talked about the phone shaking, and as you said, this is pretty much a gimmick. Also to mention that the shaking doesn't work that well (Watch Engadget or verge videos)
On screen notifications is pretty debatable but this feature isn't significant.
So from what I addressed, Motorola doesn't really have any advantage in software features. These 3 features aren't going to make a difference.
As for hardware, Moto loses out in specs compared to the competition. On top of that, the Price is a huge killer for this phone.
Their only advantage is the customizable back and colour. Moto needs to heavily rely on Marketing for people to understand what Moto X can do. (and give them interest) But this would be very hard for Moto to achieve this.
And outside of US, the phone isn't customizable so this phone is practically pointless. And only AT&T has this feature so far.....
79. lola99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 Aug 2013)
I am very much looking forward to the always on feature. i don't have to grab my phone to ask a question. or when i'm online looking a cm specs and want to change them over to u.s. measurement i have to google it. Would much prefer to ask without stopping doing whatever i'm doing. I want nothing to do with the other colors but a smaller phone is definitely preferable to me than larger, and the x is smaller than both the s4 and htc one. What do i get going larger? nothing i need/want.
82. alltechinside (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
Don't get me wrong, I am also looking forward to the always on feature but I highly doubt I'll be even using it. Like the current voice commands, I forget that it even exists. It's an interesting feature, thats for sure, but having the voice command as always on isn't really useful for me yet.
The larger screen gives you larger text, images, videos, and everything. You could also fit in a bigger battery or reduce the thin size, but you do lose a bit of portability. I actually don't mind whether the screen is 4.7" or 5". I just want a long lasting battery life if anything :D
From the specs itself, this Moto X phone doesn't seem to be any different from the Moto Droid Ultra. Pretty much the same specs except for screen size and battery (Almost the same). I call bullsh*t on 48 hours of battery life on this phone because they said the same thing with the Moto Droid Maxx which has the same specs as the Ultra except the Maxx has a much larger battery.
26. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6212; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
not as overpriced as the iPhone
21. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
usually i agree with your articles but in this case i cant, the s4 is not only the device the tech nerds want but its also the device the average users are buying right now...you dont sell in the 10s of millions without being a success with the average users...as for cpu confusion with the s4 lol i can promise you no one ever has even asked me what cpu does your phone have etc etc i bet other than us techies i doubt the average consumers know that there is a exynos or s600 versions of the s4..us techies keep on complaining that samsung is giving too much options but surely if that was the case it would show in the market..anyways enough of my rant, the moto x i really really like the design, idea of choosing your own colours but i would never pay that much for that spec personally, i would want atleast a 1080p screen, trust me you can tell a 1080p vs a 720p screen, even i was a 1080p skeptic but as i said earlier with my s4 rant the average joe rarely care about spec and may well love the moto x as it is..
27. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6212; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
Kinda sad bout the battery life though. wonder how it's performance is
29. Samsungadroidrules (Posts: 104; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)
OMG. I will still stick with my GS4. Lol. Millions of people will still buy GS4. Why? worth the price, because of its FEATURES, Great Camera, even though it has polycarbonate cover, for many (except samsung jealous haters) it feels elegant and the list goes on.,This Moto X can't compete with Samsung GS4, basing from its Features and performance and companies marketing strategies. And hey, to all SAMSUNG HATERS Here, Fyi I never had experienced and Stutter/ Lag in my GS4, i have it for almost a month and my office mates Note 2 works pretty smooth too. No lags.
30. papss (unregistered)
I have to agree I think price is huge here..im still waiting for the hook about this phone. I am all about user experience over hardware but I don't see what the special user experience is. I would still buy this over the lag fest galaxy whatever number we are at for the simple fact that I hate everything except the inside of a Sammy phone. They look terrible, feel even worse to hold and they pick terrible color options but worse of all is touch piss I mean wiz.