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.


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.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
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. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

7. KillgoreTrout

Posts: 53; Member since: Sep 04, 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.

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

17. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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...

25. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 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.

26. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

8. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Are you mad Smurf? nvm..

10. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

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

11. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 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.

12. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

get a snickers bar

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Twix is better, but +1 for the joke.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 31055; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

2. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

3. Rehankhan

Posts: 323; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

you should compare note3 with device like lg g2 just sayin

4. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 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.

5. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

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

21. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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.

9. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

I actually like the looks of the note 3 better.

14. 1113douglas

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 04, 2013

and that puts the iphone out of the top 12

19. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 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. .

27. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 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

20. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

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

22. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

then you have some pretty weird ideas m8...

28. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

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

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 31055; Member since: Feb 05, 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...

29. jonnyhugh

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 08, 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 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.

30. joedon

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 26, 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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