Motorola Moto X vs Samsung Galaxy S4 first look

Motorola Moto X vs Samsung Galaxy S4 first look

Android is a tough space to be in, which is extremely evident by looking around at the existing set of flagship models that are available. Everyone has their own pride and joy to win over the hearts and minds of consumers all around. So, now that Motorola is back in the mix with its Moto X, it surely is going to make for one interesting challenge against another highly respected Android smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s good to be on top, since that’s where some people view Samsung to be at the moment. For Motorola, however, its Moto X really needs to bring its A-game to the table to stand a fighting chance at surviving.


Considering that the two handsets utilize AMOLED technology with their displays, it doesn’t surprise us that we’re instantly wowed by their super rich color reproduction. However, there’s more sharpness and detail found with the Galaxy S4’s 5-inch Super AMOLED display – thanks primarily to its higher 1080p resolution. In contrast, the Moto X has a smaller 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display, which can’t tangle with the S4’s higher resolution, but we’re astounded by how miniscule the bezels are around its display, making it more compact than what it is. Then again, we can’t count out the tech behind Sammy’s display – like how its various Air View features enable us to view details with certain elements by hovering our finger over the screen.


Strangely, we can’t say that the Moto X is a giant, since it’s super compact for a device that’s donning a 4.7-inch display. And at the same time, we prefer how it’s more form fitting and comfortable in the hand, thanks in part to its rubbery coating and curved back casing. Likewise, we’re also siding with the Moto X when it comes to construction, since it has a slightly more sturdy construction thanks to its closed design. Looking at the Galaxy S4, it’s just a handful to operate, but we do appreciate that it’s still sporting one skinny profile and lightweight feel – even for a giant. Oh yeah, did we mention that microSD card slot in the S4 is a handy thing to find too?


This one is going to be a pickle, seeing that the two Android experiences have their own unique elements that make them stand out. On one hand, some people will adore the stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience on the Moto X, which strengthens its offerings with key features such as Touchless Control, Active Display, and Quick Capture Camera. Conversely, the Galaxy S4’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience has its own set of complexities that deepen the experience – like its various S-branded apps, Air View, Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, and many more. It’s rather difficult to say what’s better, seeing that it’ll more than likely depend on personal preference – either that or how practical they are in each persons’ lives.

Just because it’s essentially a dual-core processing doing the major work for the Moto X, it doesn’t mean that it can’t produce a performance that’s speedy. In fact, the Moto X exhibits a fine level of control and finesse with its performance, which easily rivals what the quad-core processor in the S4 is capable of doing.


Samsung is seemingly on cruise control at the moment, especially when the Galaxy S4 has already proven itself to be one of the most popular smartphones this year. As for Motorola, who once ruled the phone landscape with an iron fist, they definitely have something special in the Moto X. Indeed, it’s not a device that’s sporting the most cutting edge hardware, but their approach in making it available with every single major carrier in the US can help to popularize its notoriety in the industry again.

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)
Galaxy S4 mini
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1900 mAh(12h 3G talk time)



1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"...we’re astounded by how miniscule the bezels are around its display, making it more compact than what it is." I don't get it. How can something be more compact than itself? I guess I'm just not cut out for this abstract metaphysical-type stuff...

15. AnTuTu

Posts: 1621; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

S4 FTW. Moto X is kinda disappointing

17. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The spec and asking price will tank its demand. Well, hope the Made in USA will sell the phone,

2. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012 micro SD slot.....and where is the unlocked price tag ?? this phone needs to be 250$ unlocked.

4. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

If it's $200 on contract it sure as heck isn't going to be $250 off... but hey, at least it's made in the US, so there's that!

9. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Seriously, when did consumers get such unrealistic expectations on price? My god...

13. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Some other sites are reporting it WITH microSD I think phonearena is making a mistake there.

16. Sarajevo

Posts: 38; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

Well, when USA companies Moto and Google bring to the market phone with "last year spec" such as "only" dual core, 720p screen and which cost 250$ on two year contract (32 GB version) there is no bad word about it. PA do not even mention that these issues are bad and negative, but when Nokia bring Lumia 920 almost year ago with similar specs it was "old spec" to have only dual core or 720p screen. Moto is thicker then 10mm but nobody say phone is "fat" or "bulky" due to there is S3, S4 or iPhone 5 which are much more tiny, but Lumia 920 was bulky in that time. There is Lumia 1020 that cost 300$ with "revolutionary" camera and it is too expensive, but Moto-hmm, nobody mention high price... This is ridicilous. PA does not have objective view at all.

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2487; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

With both being offered at $200 on-contract, I think consumers will look toward the Galaxy S4 instead of the Moto X because they'll just be looking at the spec sheet even though they are pretty comparable in real-life performance. The Moto X is a great device but I still wish they would've gone for the $300 off-contract pricing. I would buy one today if I didn't have to sign my life over for it (referring to the 2-year contract).

5. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

i have to say no matter how much i like the look of the moto X the samsung galaxy s4 gets my vote!

10. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

If the off contract price is more than $400 then it's a no brainer , ppl will obviously buy the S4 or One !!!

6. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

look!! its a new HTC One with amoled display and plastic casing...

8. scott5626

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 01, 2009

No the HTC has some innovation. This is a re packaged Galaxy S3 that reports everything it hears you say directly to the NSA.

7. scott5626

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 01, 2009

I'd take the occasionally laggy S4 over the X. 1080p over 720p, micro sd, bigger battery, faster CPU, even with faked benchmarks.

12. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

X is not S4 competitor, S3 compares better with the X. But, S3 wins on price. I don't know what motorola was thinking.

14. scott5626

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 01, 2009

All current models compete with each other in one way or another anything priced exactly the same has to be compared. This is closer to the S3 but it absolutely competes with the S4.

11. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

if im honest, i like my n4 still. sds4pro is a good soc, updates will be live within hours (days maybe) i wouldnt buy either right now.

18. horsecock unregistered

Galaxy S4 FTW! Is it me or is the Moto X pretty lame? 720p? Really?? SMH....And that shake the phone to activate the camera looks pretty remedial...S4 will be the best phone on the planet until the Galaxy S5 drops...

20. cam-whore

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

"DON'T FEED THE TROLL" A troll usually has little or no interest in contributing to the development of the site in question and is interested in some or all of the following: -Deliberately angering people. -Breaking the normal flow of debate/discussion. -Disrupting the smooth operation of the site. -Deliberately being annoying for the sake of being obnoxious. For instance, using abusive names to refer to all the members on the site. -Pretending to be profoundly ignorant or stupid, gleaning some weird sense of having "won" when other users subsequently come to believe this. -Making itself the main topic of interest or discussion. {{DFTT}}

22. horsecock unregistered

You mad bro?

23. BillyG

Posts: 305; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

thats rich coming from a cam-whore...

19. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

With specs like that, the X is a competitor to the S3 or S4 Mini. So much potential, wasted just because they wanted to expand profit margins, tsk tsk tsk

21. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Both phones are good and have nice and one of best screen to size ratios.

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