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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X: first look

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X: first look

Deepening its experience more than ever before, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is highly regarded as being the dream phone for business professionals who are on point with being organized. Conversely, the Motorola Moto X is arguably a dark horse figure in the Android space, seeing that it’s attempting to gain notoriety and recognition from hardened Android users. Even though they’re both Android smartphones at heart, they’re two very different handsets altogether – with each targeting different demographics.


If we’re to put these two smartphones next to one another and shine a spotlight on them, with random bystanders passing through, we’re very certain that the Moto X would probably garner more glances than the Galaxy Note 3. Then again, the ginormous size of the Galaxy Note 3 is enough to catch some attention, but its overall design is something we’ve seen time after time from Samsung’s camp – so it can be perceived as conventional by today’s standards. With the Moto X, however, we’re most amazed by how comfortable it is to hold in the hand, since it’s smaller in size than its rival, but better yet, the customizable aspect of its design is something that’s not seen anywhere else.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Motorola Moto X


For a flagship smartphone, the 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display of the Moto X is far from imposing, especially when it’s pitted against the massive 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display found on the Note 3. Right there on paper, we see that Sammy’s baby is dominating this category, as the Note 3’s display is both larger in size, and higher in resolution – essentially being the more attractive display between the two. Beauty and allure might be on the Note 3’s side, but we’ll admit, the Moto X’s Active Display feature is something so useful, yet, it’s only now that a phone manufacturer came up with the idea. Heck, it’s just so darn nice to see the time and some pertinent notifications as we take the Moto X out from our pocket.


Now this is where things get a bit interesting. At their core, these are both Android powered smartphones, so they’re blessed with all the base features we’d come to expect from the mobile platform. However, they’re seemingly on opposite sides of the spectrum in this category. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, its TouchWiz Nature UX experience combined with its S-Pen functionality is so expansive with its features set, which at times feels a bit overwhelming. Seriously, there are so many features that need to be remembered with the experience, that it can be confusing at times. On the opposite end, there’s the Moto X and its mostly stock Android Jelly Bean experience. Motorola doesn’t try to inundate us with a whole lot of features, but rather, they focus on making the experience simple – and that’s the beauty in it. For example, you have Touchless Control for easy access to Google Now via voice control. It works and doesn’t try to be complex.

Processor and memory

We all know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a specs beast, seeing that it’s being packed with the most cutting edge processors. In contrast, the Moto X packs hardware that’s widely viewed as last generation, a modified 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, which doesn’t seem as intimidating as the 2.3GHz quad-core packing Galaxy Note 3. When it comes down to it, the Moto X proves why specs can’t always dictate things, as we notice a more snappy response with it. Well, it’s still quick on the Note 3, but it just doesn’t have the same level of snappiness that the Moto X exudes.

Available in 32GB and 64GB storage capacities, it’s always wonderful to know that the tally can be supplemented on the Galaxy Note 3, due to the fact that it features a useful microSD card slot. We can’t say the same thing for the Motorola Moto X, since it lacks one, but it’s available in either 16GB or 32GB capacities.


Considering that the Galaxy Note 3 is packing nearly the same camera gear that’s found in the Galaxy S4, we know that its 13-megapixel auto-focus camera is more than capable of delivering some stunning photos and videos. In fact, we’ve already compared the Galaxy S4’s camera against the 10-megapixel “Clear Pixel” camera of the Moto X – and the results favored Sammy’s unit. Knowing that, it’s a safe presumption that the Note 3 will able to do the same. As always though, we’ll have to wait and see until we actually compare the two together under the same conditions.


Without question, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is going to have an easy time gaining popularity, especially when its predecessors have already achieved that. Blessed with the customary specs boost and new software features, the Galaxy Note 3 is undoubtedly steering itself into the right direction as being a prized smartphone in the space. Still, the new set of features in tow with the Note 3 show that there’s more complexity with its experience – whereas with the Moto X, it’s simplified and straight to the point. And that’s basically what’s so beautiful about the Moto X, it doesn’t try to be the biggest, baddest, or feature filled smartphone out there. Instead, it’s hoping that its uncomplicated experience and customized design will win people over. Decisions, decisions people.

  • Options

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:18 6

1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Useless comparison number two. First the iPhone, then this.

Note 3 has a 5.7" screen vs. the 4.7" screen on the Moto X. Phablet vs. phone. Seriously PA is becoming a joke lately. This site isn't the same as it was a year ago.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:30 3

6. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Re-read the article. John V is on a bias spree today. PA is a complete joke.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:48 3

7. KillgoreTrout (Posts: 53; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)

Calm down old man. People like you simply can't handle comparisons. They are both great devices. In no way does better specs mean better user experience. I would love to have both of these. If the moto x had the wooden backs now, I would probably get one. You act like the only comparisons you can handle is a product compared to itself. Products are different in different ways, get over it. If this is somehow a joke to you, then go away.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:28 2

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Old man? You know nothing about me and you call me a old man lol. I can handle comparisons perfectly fine. When the author slips in bias not once, but twice in a row, one can question their professionalism. And please don't try to come at me like that. If you don't like my comment, then go away. Thanks and have a great day.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:32 3

17. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

so it's okay for you to go after PA publicly in their comment section and not for someone to come after you? double standards m8, double standards.

oh, and your name is Papa Smurf, pretty old individual if i recall correctly...

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 17:01

25. PK1983 (Posts: 215; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)

Aside from its GPU, nothing about the Moto X is really great, at least nothing that warrants a price equal to a HTC One or Galaxy S4.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 17:05 3

26. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

the user experience warrants it.
clearly you're someone that can't see beyond specs.
go use a Moto X then maybe you'll see what i'm talking about.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:50 1

8. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

Are you mad Smurf? nvm..

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:56 1

10. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

You do the review Smurf, I think you know what's best :)

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:07 1

11. jdoee100 (Posts: 334; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Wow. I'm waiting for Galaxy Note 3 vs. Nokia Asha. And it will go something like this, Asha is snappy, good looking, and efficient device compare to too overwhelming, over complicated, plasticky Note 3. Of course, we'll have to wait for the final comparison.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:16 1

12. 1113douglas (Posts: 200; Member since: 04 Jul 2013)

get a snickers bar

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:30

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Twix is better, but +1 for the joke.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:43

23. darkkjedii (Posts: 24899; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Damn Smurf, what don't you like about it anymore dude?

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:18 5

2. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

the whole tone of this article sounded like the Moto X is an equally if not more likable device than the Note 3. the Note 3 is a beast but the Moto X is a refreshing device in all of the right ways.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:18 6

3. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

you should compare note3 with device like lg g2 just sayin

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:24 1

4. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

I would have to agree. These phones are meant for totally different people. Power hungry users will opt for the Note, whereas people who prize simplicity and style would probably prefer the Moto. Actually, reminds me of how I recommend to friends and family between Android and iPhones.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:25 2

5. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Considering that both are expected for $200 on 2yr contract, it's incredible how much more bang Samsung is offering for your buck.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:34

21. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

the Note III will probably not be offered at the same price point as the S4.
it'll probably go for the premium $300 price point.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 15:54 3

9. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1310; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

I actually like the looks of the note 3 better.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:16 2

13. lyndon420 (Posts: 5000; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

I'd take the Moto X just for the lack of physical front buttons...the way Android is supposed to be (not a fan of what Sammy thinks is the proper experience-not a fan of anything Sammy actually).

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:32 1

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I disagree. I love the physical home button on my S3. I've tried using the on screen buttons (through root) and don't like them. They get in the way too much, especially when typing.

To each their own I guess.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:16 1

14. 1113douglas (Posts: 200; Member since: 04 Jul 2013)

and that puts the iphone out of the top 12

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:33

19. GrapeEyes (Posts: 248; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)

I did warn you all that the Note 3 is way over hyped!!

Just wait for the Lumia 1520 to come out, it is going to destroy every phone on the market.


posted on 05 Sep 2013, 21:04 3

27. maccess (Posts: 742; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)

best joke of the year dude.. i'm waiting when the 1520 will destroy everything on the market.. but wait maybe a decade isn't long enough for 1520 to do that.. lol

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:34 1

20. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Shouldn't even be compared, the original Note is still better.

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:37

22. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

then you have some pretty weird ideas m8...

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 21:06

28. maccess (Posts: 742; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)

seriously mr "arguing anything because you think you're right"??

posted on 05 Sep 2013, 16:50 1

24. darkkjedii (Posts: 24899; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Specs wise the notes gonna win all these comparisons...I mean duhhh. It all comes down to the user experience, that's what sets these devices apart. I can actually care less about huge screens, yet some people swear by them. Out of all the devices I've had, and I've had tons, the iPhone provides the best end user experience for me, not saying its the best guys. That's why I continue to use them as my primary device. Watch the flak I get for this...

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 09:14

29. jonnyhugh (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Feb 2014)

Quite a few months after the launch and I've had time to use both. The moto x (Specs aside) is a much more smooth phone. The fluidity of moving between apps is brilliant. The touchless controls are no longer a gimmick or novelty, Motorola actually made good ones that become a part of your everyday life. Now the note 3 on the other hand...oh my...is all i can say. It may not operate quite as smoothly, but who cares when its got these types of features. Playing with the s-pen alone opens a whole new world. I'm in sales, and the software and calendar to keep me organized has boosted sales. I've actually noticed an increase. The large clear screen and the multitasking destroy the moto x. All in all, two best phones i've ever owned. It really comes down to what you're using yours for. Everyday user that wants a brilliant all around phone that doesnt do anything over the top but doesn't do anything badly, then the moto x. Someone that needs more organization or will be using it for business purposes, note 3 all the way.

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 00:43

30. joedon (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)

I own both the Note 3 (SM-N900A) and the Moto X (GSM DE). I was so disappointed with the experience the Note 3 provided, I bought the Moto X. Now, the Moto X is my daily driver, and the Note 3 is something I use at home, on WiFi, as though it is a small tablet. The UI on my Moto X has less lag, and is more fluid, than my Note 3. Not to mention, my Moto X has software features that I actually use. Sure, the SPen is nice. Although, I rarely ever use it. The full RGB display of the Moto X, despite having a lower PPI, looks livelier, IMHO, than the diamond pentile display of the Note 3. As to the CPU specs, I liken the Moto X to a light, sporty car with a tuned V6, and the Note 3 to a heavy, lumbering vehicle that requires a giant V8, without which the damn thing simply can't get up and go in the first place.

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