HTC has kept an ear close to the ground and put a regular 20MP shooter at the back of the One M9, whereas the front houses a 4 UltraPixel selfie snapper. The Motorola is equipped with a more modest 13MP rear/2MP front-facing camera combo. Does this mean that the One M9 is superior?

Quality-wise, the One M9 is all over the place. We can't stress enough how important lighting is for its rear snapper: in good lighting conditions, the HTC flagship might truly woo you with the detailed images it takes. We had zero gripes with the indoor performance of the camera – the resulting images are detailed and well-exposed. Lower the light, however, and it will generally disappoint you with its under-performing low-light performance, as the resulting images are seriously lacking in detail and tend to get unacceptably-blurry in HDR mode (which did not impress us either).In partucular, night-time shots under poor lighting conditions are quite disappointing.

The Moto X, on the other hand, produces fairly-detailed images in well-lit conditions. It strikes a pretty good balance between nailing the correct dynamic range and exposure. Furthermore, its performance under low-light conditions certainly has some flaws, but is generally better than the one of the new HTC champion, all things considered.

We had no gripes with the UltraPixel selfie shooter of the One M9 – it produces sharp and pretty decent selfies. The Motorola flagship will not disappoint you as well, but the UltraPixel camera has an advantage in this category.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
HTC One M9 3.75
No data
No data
No data
Motorola Moto X (2014) 3.8

Both the HTC One M9 shoot 4K videos. With details aplenty, either phone produces pretty sharp and clear videos, though each handset has certain flaws. For example, the digital zoom on the One M9 is totally unacceptable for its flagship status; in the meantime, it takes the Moto X forever to adjust its focus while you're shooting a 4K clip. The constant focus adjustment of the HTC flagship is not a pretty sight as well; it also suffers from a noticeable “rolling shutter” effect. Both devices leave a lot to be desired in low-light conditions.


Being the more feature-rich, the HTC One M9 is undoubtedly the better means for media consumption. Starting from the UI, which is centered around providing you with the best media experience, and moving on to the commendable performance of the One M9's front-firing BoomSound speakers, the One M9 outperforms the Moto X in terms of multimedia. Don't take us wrong, the latter is not humble in terms of audio output as well, but we fell that the One M9 provides an altogether better multimedia experience.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
HTC One M9 1.022
Motorola Moto X (2014) 0.435
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
HTC One M9 72.8
Motorola Moto X (2014) 75.4

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