Apple iPhone 5s vs Motorola Moto X
Around back, they’re naturally armed with some impressive camera gear. Specifically, it’s an 8-megapixel iSight camera on the iPhone 5s that features a backside illuminated sensor, f2.2 aperture lens, 1.5 micron sized pixels, dual-LED flash, and 1080p video recording. Meanwhile, the Moto X is flaunting a 10-megapixel “Clear Pixel” camera. Say what you will about its fancy termed attachment, but it’s alleged to offer good performance with fast moving objects thanks to the combination of its 1.4 micron sized pixels and its f2.4 aperture lens.
Interestingly, neither handset boasts an eclectic mix of shooting modes. In fact, they’re very slim in what they have in tow, since they primarily place their attention on providing us with the focus of quickly and easily taking photos. Moreover, there are no manual controls whatsoever with either.
Snapping the same photos with the two, there’s one clear victor with this comparison. There’s no questioning it folks, but it’s the iPhone 5s that’s proving to be the better at snapping images with its camera. In fact, it beats out the Moto X in all shooting scenarios – especially under low lighting conditions! Checking out the samples taken by each, it’s quite noticeable that the iPhone 5s’ camera delivers the goods in this comparison, like its sharper fine details, natural color reproduction, and better handling of dynamic range.
Heck, the iPhone 5s outclasses the Moto X with low lighting conditions too – mainly because there’s more noise evident with the Moto X’s shots. Furthermore, its details are significantly softer than the iPhone 5s. At the end of the day, it’s the iPhone 5s reigning supreme here.
Also, there’s no comparison with their 1080p video recording quality as well. The race isn’t close with them, but rather, it’s a dominating finish for the iPhone 5s. Well, the Moto X takes some okay looking videos outdoors when there’s enough lighting around, but under low lighting, it fails to even give the iPhone 5s a good challenge. Rather, there’s an abundance of noise that softens its looks immensely – while its slow 18 FPS capture rate doesn’t help either.
1. Apple iPhone 5s Sample Video
2. Motorola Moto X Sample Video
3. Apple iPhone 5s Nighttime Sample Video
4. Motorola Moto X Nighttime Sample Video
We’re not particularly fond of one music more than the other, mainly because their presentations and functions remain mostly identical. Placing their volumes to their maximum settings, we’re pleased by the punchy and robust tones put out by each – with no clear winner in this category.
Considering that it’s packing the larger display and has support for a wide array of video codecs out of the box, the video watching experience is more ideal with the Moto X. It’s still pretty good too with the iPhone 5s, but it requires us to convert videos so they’re able to be played properly.
1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
This is a no brainer. Moto X > iPhone 5S.
9. androiphone20 (Posts: 1401; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)
moto X had to be compared with the best
12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I was going to write the best response in the world, but I know someone would have moderated it (ahem).
Simply put, iPhone 5S is not the best. Don't post a troll bait comment.
24. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
You need to wait until 2014 before you find a smartphone that can beat the 2013 iPhone 5S. Due to its superior CPU/GPU combined with an OS that take advantage of the processor, the iPhone is one generation ahead of the competition. Just admit that the Apple has done a terrific job with the 5S. You'll feel better then, believe me. Lying to yourself is not good for your health.
26. darkkjedii (Posts: 10622; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Yeah HGI, I think apple brought a sweet device in the 5S. 2014 is looking good. +1
28. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
Yup. In 2014 smartphones will be taken to the next level when Android also goes 64 bit. I am especially interested in what Sony is going to do. But of course I can't wait to find out what Apple is up to! :) What do you think are they going to add to the utmost left desktop of iOS where spotlight was located before iOS7? Maybe it has something to do with iWatch or their TV?
39. darkkjedii (Posts: 10622; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I think widget functionality,or as you mentioned TV and iWatch capability could be there. Apples got some big things in store for 2014, and I'll be lined up.
63. tacarat (Posts: 133; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)
Well, yeah. It's called leapfrogging. It would be more interesting if every manufacturer had to release something new on the same day and stick with it for a year. Samsung or another company will release a "superior" phone late this year or early next year and then Apple will be behind until next fall.
One should concede, though, that the Moto X is going for points in the "something new" or "useful" categories rather than just the normal spec waving contest.
58. Diazene (Posts: 123; Member since: 01 May 2013)
well, except for the camera, I wonder how apple's cameras are usually betterr than most other phones?
62. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
They're more fine tuned. The Moto X physically has a decent camera, but Motorola didn't focus as much on the software side, which is a key component. The slow-mo video on the Moto X is nowhere close to the smoothness of the iPhone 5S. I believe this is more of a software issue rather than an actual camera issue.
66. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
The 5S doesn't have the best camera on the market... Not even in the top 5.
59. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
I really wish OEMs or sites like Phonearena would show the display size correctly: (a) the actual display size of 4.7" and (b) the actual display after OMITTING the on screen soft keys. It was really disappointing thinking you will be getting a 4.7" display for web surfing only to see it's say 4.4" or so.
61. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Ardent, did you really not figure out the Moto X had soft keys until late in the game? That was, like, immediate knowledge.
Also, I'd say that if the decreased real estate is the biggest thing you complain about, Motorola did a pretty good job with the phone. :)
67. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
Well, when you watch a video, the button are going to go away. So, you will get the full 4.7" in that case. Which is where it count, in my eyes.. Reading something on the web, even more so in portrait mode, is non issue for me with soft keys at the bottom of the screen.
8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
The conclusion though... Smh. I'm not going to take this route again. Someone handle this for me.
13. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Except for call quality and camera (which I still think is bogus) the Moto X was better than, or equal to, the iPhone 5s, but at the end, John V had to say "Oh, but the Moto X isn't really in the same league as the iPhone 5s. Why? Just Cause (2)!"
I mean, what really makes the 5s better than the Moto X, other than it having the Apple logo on the back? (note: the Apple logo does not actually improve quality; merely the perception of it). I am so sick of the 5s winning by default whenever it's pitted against competition despite the competition clearly outpacing it in several areas.
68. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
It's a good use of farsite, but it's truely is not that big of a upgrade.
16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7766; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Motorola has the best radios on their phones, so call quality semms skeptical. Camera can be easily fixed with the update (unlocked version) and greatly improve the quality of the photo samples.
I completely agree with you. I got limited for saying the same exact thing. The whole conclusion section is messy and unprofessional.
30. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
You got limited for saying virtually what I said?
I know I got nailed about a month ago (but not limited) for ripping on Alan F. about the fingerprint scanner on the Atrix, which he labelled a "huge failure" without any supporting facts or figures about its effectiveness. I actually had popular support from other commenters prior to the comment being hidden.
I did repost my opinion more politely and didn't get nailed again. I think the key is to avoid personally insulting the authors of the articles. They have feelings and stuff.
19. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3957; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Seriously though, I have no idea why John said the Moto X can't compete with the iPhone on the same level. Literally, the only two things the iPhone has the advantage in is the camera and call quality, but that should have been made up in the "Interface and Functionality" category where the Moto X obviously won.
Also, wasn't the update for the Moto X supposed to improve call quality? Yet John V said the exact same thing for the Moto X's call quality now as he did for the initial review. That, paired with the unusually sub-par camera quality, makes me believe he used a Moto X without the update installed.
31. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Note how every time we ask about whether or not the Moto X's camera was updated in these articles where the camera supposedly does horribly, the answer is always deafening silence.
Michael H. seriously seems to be the only author on this site who doesn't want to bury the Moto X under a pile of bullsh.it and lies.
27. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
Buy the iPhone and you won't want to buy anything else again. Give it a try. You'll fall in love it.
33. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
You do realize that many of us here are veterans both in post count and years spent paying attention to these devices.
You do also realize that many of us have used iDevices and found them wanting.
You do also realize that there are those of us who recognize the quality of the iPhone and iOS, but still prefer Android.
You do also realize that there are those of us who prefer iOS and the iPhone, but also like to use Android.
You do also realize that people like you who would never buy anything but an iPhone again are not the only ones with valid opinions.
You do, finally, realize that pro-Apple evangelism like yours ("iOS is the best ever and everything else sucks in comparison!!!") comes across as exceedingly ignorant, arrogant, and obnoxious.
I assume that you realize all of these things. But I've been wrong before.
Please, even if you haven't yet, for the love of God, realize these things before you post another Goddamn word.
35. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
I am a veteran WP8 user and I like Sony devices (even though they run Android)! But I still favor Apple for now. Thanks for your comment anyway. I guess you'll need to accept that some iPhone users disturb your "We dislike Apple Sit-Ins" at PA.
41. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
See, now you've completely contradicted yourself. In your last comment you were all "hur durr, if you use an iPhone you'll never want to use anything else again!" Now you're all like "hey, I like other OSes too."
Which is it, you weasel? Is iOS the perfect system everyone should use forever, or are there other valid options for other users?
43. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
No, I didn't contradict myself, since I am still using iPhone 5S and neither a Sony device nor a WP device. All I said with what I've said is that I know why I love my 5S so much. It is just not like I don't pay attention to other devices. I just don't buy them....
49. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1313; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
Umm, so there is no reason why someone could not possibly not want to use the iphone? You make it sound like anyone who doesnt want to use it is crazy or just bitter. But the thing is, it's people's choice to like or not like something. I have said to many people on here who get into fanboys arguments, telling people what they need is arrogant and a bit presumptuous. Each person has different needs for their device, and to pretend to know what they need or somehow believe that one device is everything to everyone is naive.
I get it the iphone is great, and I used to be very pro Apple myself, but how I was treated as their customer, along with their business practices recently, has kept me from going back. They tried to make me repay for media I had already purchased when the problem was theirs, and using the courts to try to set who is competitive and who is not (many of these disputes could've been handled easily, but since Apple doesnt need the money they seem to prefer the strongarm method when dealing with others). Now that doesn't mean I think Samsung is right (but I also believe some of what happened in that case wasn't right), but at least they seem to treat everyone the same, like a bully treats the bullied.
53. tedkord (Posts: 4530; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
I've tried it. It's too limited, has no spark. It's just boring.
11. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3957; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Moto X. Love the 5S, but the smaller screen kills it for me.
14. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
"Without question, the iPhone 5s is going to be the smartphone that all other smartphones will try to overcome for the next one year."
What kind of BS is this? - S4, HTC one and G2 are all better phones already. There is no overcoming the iphone because it is not the leading device anymore - it hasn't been for some time.
Samsung hasn't bundled aload of features to beat the iphone, it added those features to beat the current android flag ships and the same with SPEC.
38. sniper1087 (Posts: 351; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
there is one thing for sure though, the iphone has the best browser experience, with 400 sunspider test is getting very close to real computers which my pc does 185.
55. Fallout09 (Posts: 413; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Try again..... Youtube - Phone 5s Web Browsing Lag - Android Vs iOS 7
22. Smokin (Posts: 120; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)
"It’s not to say that the Moto X is by default inferior, but it just can’t compete against Apple’s pride and joy on the same level."
The same level?
Lemme clear things up for ya.
Design = iP5S wins by a litlle margin just because it's alumunium.
UI = Really? Android 4.1.2 up smack iOS7 to pieces.
Processor and Memory = Tie. 64bit on 1gb ram is a joke.
Connectivity = tie.
Stills and video = Pre updated Moto X, iP5S wins. Updated Moto X tie.
Call quality = Now this is a joke. I've read it somewhere that Moto X's earpiece is one of the best. it's loud crisp and clear.
Conclusion = On almost every aspect is a tie with only the iP win in the design.
37. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
I was enjoying the read and found it was a fair comparison of the two devices. But, then you lost it at end. Through out the whole write up, I read how the MotoX offer a better experience or they both offer the same experience. Then at the end...you do a complete about face and go on how the MotoX can not compete against the iPhone 5s. Your own article does not even support your conclusion.
As for the camera section, was this test done before or after the update? I have seen many picture taken with the MotoX with the new update and they are very good. Even in low light. So, maybe the iPhone might edge out the MotoX, iPhone have already taken pride in their camera performance. But, I truly don't believe it was the beat down you tried to make it out to be.
Call quality: I have read more then one review that contradict your claim about the superior performance on the iPhone 5s. So, I'm going go wit the "majority rules" on this one. Maybe you guys got a bad unit.
Both phones are very good at what the do. But, the iPhone 5s is in no way the "benchmark" phone that some people keep trying to make it out to be. Just cause it's made out of AL does not mean much. AL is a very weak metal. It is easily bendable and any type of metal, regardless what type of setup you use, will introduce some degradation into a wireless signal.
I tip my hat to Apple for coming to market first with a 64 bit chip. This is the logical next step. It was a smart move on Apple part to insure that the iPhone 5s will be future proof. But, the major advantage of a 64 bit architect is the ability to use more than 4GB of RAM. So, the iPhone 5s will never be able to take full advantage of it.
50. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1313; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
That's how I read it as well. I was pleased that it seem to be an unbiased article through each section, though like you I couldn't believe the camera shots taken with the X (I wonder if once the update is out to every device if they'll update these articles or not). When I read the conclusion I thought I clicked a link to Appleinsider. Out went the unbiased and in with the "nothing can touch Apple" mantra.
It's writing like this that wishes there was a decent tech blog out there, that doesn't favor any OS in their articles, just gives the facts, but there doesnt seem to be any around, it's kinda sad really.
47. trickster_qc (Posts: 80; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
i think that's the ugliest motoX i've ever seen. black and lime green and yellow? yikes.
48. Tyrexl050 (Posts: 11; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
I would like to see the displays with the same background instead of two different ones.
69. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
This research firm would have to disagree with your comparison.
70. Sniggly (Posts: 6837; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Oh, John V., you royally screwed up.
How dare you publish this comparison with the camera results now, knowing an update to the AT&T Moto X was already available? You took these photos nearly TWO WEEKS before the camera update was available! And you publish this comparison now, and don't offer any disclaimers that the phone you used didn't have the camera update?
Are you freaking for REAL, John?