Motorola Moto X first camera samples showdown

Motorola Moto X first camera samples showdown
Being the newcomer and all, we’re all curious to see how the Moto X fares when it comes to snapping quality photos with its 10-megapixel Clear Pixel camera. Who knows if the technology behind it actually all come together to produce those crisp photos we saw during Moto’s briefing on the handset in New York City, so we decided to take it out for a quick spin. However, we decided to also bring along a few other of its notable competitors – the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Nokia Lumia 1020.

Needless to say, all those aforementioned smartphones all hover around the top of the mountain when it comes to picture quality, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Moto X quickly fares against them. So what do you think about its quality? We’ll be testing out the fancy termed camera more in-depth over the next few days to really get a sense of what it’s able to produce.

Related phones

Moto X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2200 mAh(13h talk time)



1. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

Nokia Lumia the best

14. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

naturally, all we can decide with that beast around is what is the second best.

18. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

As far as details go, I'm a bit impressed by the Moto edges out the iPhone though only barely. It has some agressive oversharpening which in turn makes noise levels a bit high. The iPhone has balanced sharpness and overall modest noise levels. The Galaxy S4 does have slightly superior detail but just looking at it, it suffers from some oversharpening and wandering focus. The Nokia Lumia 1020 does have the best detail capture but I'm still disapointed with it. White balance and color reproduction goes to the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and iPhone. I'll give it tot he iPhone because it is nicely saturated why the Galaxy S 4 tends to over saturate, contributing to slight grain. The Nokia Lumia 1020 wasn't bad at all, I just was a tad bit to unrealistic with its greens and yellows. The Moto X though... Too cold a color reproduction and it is not the most adept at picking white balance. As far as exposure, all seemed to do decent except the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Not bad but just a tad bit over exposed. the Lumia 1020 seemed to underexpose but it still captures decent shadow detail so I'm not complaining either way. The Moto X seems like it can pull its own, but it needs some serious software tweekage because the camera is a slight dissapointment. I just wonder how PhoneArena is going to review the camera becuase when they have different reviewers things turn out quite contradictory.

27. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

I agree 100% with what you saw... That's how I felt looking through the photo, as much as I gave to say it, the iPhone did a dam good job especially on the shot of the tree. My question is this, why did each camera change the background color?.. Lol.. we need to find out what color the fence and wall was.. Lol

33. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

not sure what your seeing but the iphones color reproduction is not realistic starting with the first two pics. i am not even going to waste time reviewing your review

28. cam-whore

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

you mad?

42. androidfanboy

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 24, 2013


38. datapicard

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Most of these comments are revealing a lack of knowledge in digtal photography. let me point out a few things people are overlooking. Resolution asside, the most important aspect of a digital camera is its dynamic range, which is the tonal variation between absolute black and absolute white. If you look at the moto x's compared to the other cameras you will see that in the shadows as well as in the bright parts of the image, there is a significantly more detail compared to the other phones. Look at the street picture with the car in the shot, this is by far the best lighting scenario to test dynamic range. The sky is not blown out to complete white (like the other cameras), it is showing some subtle detail in the blue sky. Now look at the shadows under the tree behind the car, its full of detail and not crushed to black like the other cameras. Looking for detail in bright parts of the image, and shadows will reveal the superior dynamic range in the moto x. This asside the moto x is lacking the overly saturated images the other cameras have, which in my opion look plain wrong, to the untrained eye it probably looks good, buts its not, sorry. To be clear, i'm a filmmaker and visual effects artist so its my job to understand digiatl imaging. also btw, no one seems to care that the moto x has a proper aspect ratio, while the others are close to 4by 3

46. PeterJ

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Thanks for your review. As a non-professional when it comes to photography or digital imaging, I was disappointed in reading the bad reviews about the quality of the Moto X's digital images. I was sold on all the other aspects of the phone. Although I did notice the differences in picture characteristics that everyone was pointing out, I felt that the Moto X's photos looked more realistic. I know it's not the BEST phone for taking pictures, but I feel more confident now in my choice.

2. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1382; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

The S4 and iPhone are the best with the S4 edging out the iPhone. Surprised that the 1020 seems a bit blurry and soften and not as crisp.


Posts: 106; Member since: May 04, 2012

Go home you are drunked

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012


43. androidfanboy

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 24, 2013

Says the blind fanboy

35. faune

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Bokeh, it is called Bokeh.

3. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

well not but bad not great either, I actually expected better pictures

26. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

wtf? I hate it when I accidentaly write a mistake, and I can't edit it after a short amount of time -_-

4. glentomas123

Posts: 70; Member since: Jun 01, 2011

Moto X is a complete photographic failure! Is this for what we've been waiting?? Next! This is what you get I guess for a phone priced cheap off contract.

20. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Still better than the Nexus 4 by a longshot.

39. krysis

Posts: 76; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

cheap off contract? what you smoking

6. Saamic

Posts: 119; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

The pictures are clear, but the colors don't have much saturation.

8. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

The pictures are great actually. And it is not undersaturated, it is the other phones that are oversaturated.

21. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

This is why every camera comparison needs to have a high end DLSR for references to what the pictures color should actually look like.

7. flynfree

Posts: 374; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

Moto and Apple, ha ha ha. .. this league are between SGS4 vs nokia, and it looks S4 is edging N1020.

10. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

S4 and Lumia wins once again.

11. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

Well, the Motorola Clearpixel's pictures are exactly how I predicted. Replacing the Green in conventional RGBG to RGBC colour filters will only result washed out green with less accurate colours. All the smartphones above performed better than Moto X. Suprisingly it did not have significant difference in low-light condition. Perhaps the firmware may have not been finalised yet and too soon to judge now.

19. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

So that expains why everything is so cold.

12. dinzle

Posts: 21; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

I'd say on par with the rest except the lumia. No beating that. The S4 images look all blown out though.

13. f1r3z0r

Posts: 92; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

This phone sucks...i think s3 way better...and i still like my s4 zoom...please motorola keep making bluetooth headphone because you are good at it now like s11

15. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

First set of photos I give to the Moto X, last set to the Lumia 1020. First set the flash on it ruined the photo for the Lumia. Last set MotoX is washed out, while the Lumia is over saturated (their default). Of course I'd have to see the original with my eye to see who really is on target.

16. Eonnaydra

Posts: 217; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

S4 is edging out 1020.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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