Introduction


Remember when Motorola challenged Apple a few years ago by unleashing the original Motorola DROID? We bet you do, seeing that it jumpstarted Android’s fanatical evolution over the next couple of years. Well, that’s what the Moto X is attempting to accomplish now in this present day, as it’s no doubt going to try and challenge the just launched iPhone 5s. Out of all the Android smartphones out there, the Moto X closely mimics the iPhone’s simplistic operation, since it doesn’t really try to inundate users with redundant features.


Design


Let’s cut to the chase folks! The customizable aspect of the Moto X’s design is undoubtedly something that helps to make it more intriguing than the iPhone 5s, especially when Apple’s prodigy has a recycled design. In fact, we’re astounded by the level of control and personalization that the Moto X brings to the table, giving certain customers (AT&T to be exact right now) the ability to select different patterns and colors to make each phone unique. In comparison, the iPhone 5s sports the more premium design between the two, which is attributed to its brushed aluminum casing and sturdy construction. As a whole, though, there’s nothing new with its design – except for its new color options.

Even though the two are comparatively sized, making them very easy to grasp with a single hand, there’s more of a natural feel with the Moto X – thanks partly to its curved rear casing. Our hands still take a liking to the iPhone 5s too, but its chamfered edges feel sharp. Moreover, we’re totally impressed by how closely the Moto X matches the iPhone 5s’ size, even more when it’s packing a larger display.

With its diverse color combinations combined with its ergonomic design, we find the Moto X to have the more interesting design – easily catching the attention of any bystander.

Looking around the sides of both phones, they pretty much boast the same set of buttons of ports. However, we actually prefer the power and volume controls on the iPhone 5s, mainly because they’re larger and more distinctive to the touch.


Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

Dimensions

5.09 x 2.57 x 0.41 inches

129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

Dimensions

5.09 x 2.57 x 0.41 inches

129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page




Display


Seriously, in this day and age, the screens on these two flagship phones don’t necessarily have the specs to astound hardened users who have been so accustomed to using and seeing 1080p resolution displays. Nevertheless, the 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina Display of the iPhone 5s, and 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 AMOLED screen of the Moto X, are pleasant enough to use. In terms of details, the iPhone 5s edges out the Moto X with its higher pixel density count of 326 ppi, whereas it’s 316 ppi on the Moto X, but in all fairness, there’s barely any noticeable difference between the two as we look at them from a normal distance.

Relying on different display technologies, IPS LCD for the iPhone 5s and AMOLED with the Moto X, they have their unique characteristics that make them stand out. For starters, we get those typical saturated colors with the AMOLED display of the Moto X, as well as its wide viewing angles and deep black color, but the iPhone 5s’ IPS LCD display offers the more realistic colors and superior outdoor visibility.

Ultimately though, it’s a matter of what actually pleases your eyes more. Some will vouch for the punchy and glowing color tones of the Moto X’s display, while others prefer the superior outdoor visibility of the iPhone 5s.

Apple iPhone 5s 360-Degrees View



Motorola Moto X 360-Degrees View



FEATURED VIDEO

70 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

This is a no brainer. Moto X > iPhone 5S.

9. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

moto X had to be compared with the best

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

46. DukeX

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Johnny Appleseeds.

24. HansGoneInsane unregistered

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: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah HGI, I think apple brought a sweet device in the 5S. 2014 is looking good. +1

28. HansGoneInsane unregistered

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: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 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: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 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: 129; Member since: May 01, 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: Oct 19, 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: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The 5S doesn't have the best camera on the market... Not even in the top 5.

59. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 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: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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: Jan 16, 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.

4. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

No doubt! Moto x > than iPhone 5s any day

7. mottykels

Posts: 387; Member since: May 15, 2013

Oh i think its a tie :)

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The conclusion though... Smh. I'm not going to take this route again. Someone handle this for me.

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

15. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

You know, cuz 64 bits and stuffs. /s

52. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

My amplifier goes to 11.

68. dragonscourgex

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Seems*

30. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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 unregistered

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: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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 unregistered

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.

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

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