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Motorola Moto X (2014) Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/15/2014

Always an open ear. Motorola treats its flagship to an upgrade while maintaining the tried virtues. Speech control has been advanced even further. Besides that, a strong Snapdragon 801 and a 13 MP camera have been installed. The smartphone can be personalized over the Moto maker and even allows using exclusive materials like real wood and leather.

For the original German review, see here.

Motorola has revamped its Moto X and greatly improved it compared to the precursor. Whereas the first-generation flagship smartphone featured a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1.5 GB of RAM, a 720p screen, and a 10 MP camera, the technical specs have been adapted to the current state-of-the-art without using superlatives. The swift Snapdragon 801 is very fast, but it is not the present top model from Qualcomm. A Full HD screen has grown to fit the bigger 5.2-inch screen diagonal, but it cannot compete with the quad-HD resolution of an LG G3. Instead of relying on technical superlatives, Motorola focuses on user experience and the smartphone's individual design options that are not found to this extent among the competition.

The smartphone is easy to personalize online via the Moto maker's website and is available for a price starting at 529 Euros (~$674). Buyers who want a leather or wooden back cover have to invest 20 Euros (~$25) more. Besides that, a storage expansion to 32 GB also costs 50 Euros extra (~$63), which can boost the price of the Moto X up to 599 Euros (~$764).

The contenders are wide-ranging. In addition to Android smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy S5 (starting at 430 Euros, ~$548), Sony's Xperia Z3 (starting at 610 Euros, ~$778), HTC's One M8 (starting at 530 Euros, ~$676), or LG's G3 (starting at 430 Euros, ~$548), devices like Apple's iPhone 6 Plus with iOS (starting at 800 Euros, ~$1020) and Nokia's Lumia 930 based on Windows Phone (starting at 420 Euros, ~$535) also belong to the list of contenders.

Case

Glass and aluminum adorn the front.
Glass and aluminum adorn the front.
The gaps on the back are uneven.
The gaps on the back are uneven.

The casing of the new Motorola Moto X has been completely reworked while maintaining the ergonomic design. The back is curved with a thickness of just 3.8 millimeters at the outer edges increasing to 9.9 millimeters toward the smartphone's middle. The weight of 145 grams is acceptable.

We like the option of personalizing the Moto X on Motorola's website when ordering it online. The front is available in white and black. Choosing the back is more difficult. The customer has the option of 17 different plastic covers and four leather or wood back covers. The speaker parts and the ring around the Motorola logo can also be designed in color. Like Apple, the device can be etched individually.

The design's high flexibility has a negative impact on the gaps though. Our review sample features a wooden back cover that does not close evenly with the impeccable aluminum bezel. The speaker components on the front also exhibit a wide gap to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 pane so that dirt will quickly accumulate here. However, the stiffness of the Moto X is very good, and only a quiet cracking noise can be evoked.

The nano-SIM slot closes flush with the aluminum bezel, but it is difficult to open. There is no slot for expanding the storage, and the battery is not removable. Though the device does not have an IP certification, the nano-coating protects the smartphone against splash water and thus accidentally spilled liquids or rain will not harm it.

158.1 mm / 6.22 inch 77.8 mm / 3.06 inch 7.1 mm / 0.2795 inch 172 g0.3792 lbs146.36 mm / 5.76 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs146.3 mm / 5.76 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 149 g0.3285 lbs146.5 mm / 5.77 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs140.8 mm / 5.54 inch 72.4 mm / 2.85 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs137 mm / 5.39 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs129.4 mm / 5.09 inch 65.3 mm / 2.57 inch 10.4 mm / 0.4094 inch 130 g0.2866 lbs

Connectivity

The USB 2.0 port on the lower edge of Motorola's Moto X is for recharging the smartphone as well as for transferring data to a computer. The interface supports OTG so that USB sticks and input devices can be connected to the device via an optional adapter. However, MHL for video transmission is not supported. Wireless video transmission is possible via Miracast.

Upper edge: audio, nano-SIM
Upper edge: audio, nano-SIM
There are no button or ports on the left.
There are no button or ports on the left.
Lower edge: micro-USB 2.0
Lower edge: micro-USB 2.0
Right: volume, power
Right: volume, power

Software

The operating system in Motorola's Moto X is Google's Android 4.4.4 KitKat, which is presently the latest version. It has not been modified, and Motorola promises that the smartphone will be provided with timely updates to the newest Android versions.

Additional software is scarce. Only Quickoffice is preloaded, next to some proprietary apps from Motorola that are to help with managing and controlling the smartphone.

Home screen
Moto app
Google Android 4.4.4 is preloaded.
Notification center

Communication & GPS 

Motorola's Moto X has a Wi-Fi module that supports the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards and can thus transmit in both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequency bands. The components' range is satisfactory. The connection was stable even at a distance of 20 meters from the router (Fritz!Box 6360, 2.4 GHz), though very weak. Lags were not noticed when setting up websites.

The Internet can be accessed via HSPA+ (max. 42 Mbps downstream) or LTE Cat. 4 (max. 150 Mbps) using the mobile data connection. LTE Cat. 6 is not yet supported. The high frequency coverage is pleasing, and there should not be any inconveniences in European countries.

Bluetooth 4.0 LE is also installed and provided good results in pure audio streaming. However, users who stream videos from the Internet and would like to transmit the sound via an external speaker will discover that the sound is not in sync. Additionally using a smartwatch might burden the Bluetooth connection even more.

GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors

The Moto X uses GPS and GLONASS for localization. Satellites are found virtually immediately outdoors. We also recorded a still useful signal indoors.

The smartphone's accuracy is noticeably worse than that of the Garmin Edge 500 bike computer. According to the review sample, we drove roughly 720 meters further, which equals a difference of about 7%. A clear deviation from the driven route in difficult situations is seen when looking closer at the route tracking. However, the altitudes recorded by the Moto X are relatively exact so that a decent, though not outstanding, overall impression is made.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Phone app
Phone app

Telephony & Voice Quality

The voice quality of Motorola's Moto X is absolutely impressive when it is held directly to the ear. Speech was transmitted clearly and free of any audible interference on both sides. There is no reason for complaint here. However, when the speaker was used, short speech interruptions were sometimes noticed on the review sample's side, while our contact sounded a bit tinny and the sound resonated strongly.

The phone app's design is straightforward. It is convenient that the app starts with a history page that displays the last number called. A speed-dial view that lists up to four contacts is below that. They are arranged in tiles and can be sorted as pleased.

Cameras

Motorola's Moto X has two cameras. The front-facing lens provides a resolution of 2 MP (1920x1080 pixels, 16:9). It shoots useful pictures in good light conditions as long as the user only uses it for social networking and messenger apps; its videoconferencing properties are decent.

The smartphone's primary camera has a resolution of up to 13 MP (4160x3120 pixels, 4:3) and delivers good results in daylight. However, images are slightly overexposed so that some details are lost. It also affects the sharpness and details look frayed. The color reproduction is quite natural and hardly gives reason for complaint.

The camera in the Moto X soon finds its limits in the low-light range. Details look blurred and very strongly faded. The results are still better than with an iPhone 6. Nearby objects are illuminated too strongly and even grains of dust become overly visible when the ring flash with two LEDs is used. The pictures look noisy as well.

The Moto X records videos in either Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) or Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels) with 30 frames per second in both cases. This cannot be changed in the settings, which is too bad because the European PAL format relies on 25 or 50 frames per second. The quality is decent but decreases considerably in low light. The lens does not deal well with motion either. The smartphone also offers a slow motion mode in 1080p, but we would not recommend it because it simply halves the frame rate. Firstly, this is not superb slow motion, and secondly it leads to a poor picture result with streaks because 15 fps is simply too little. 

Thus, the Moto X certainly does not offer a bad camera, but it is not a gadget for enthusiasts. It cannot compete with top lenses like in the LG G3, Galaxy S5 or Lumia 1020.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3Scene 4

Accessories

The included accessories for Motorola's Moto X only encompass a modular power supply and the corresponding data cable. Unfortunately, we received the smartphone without any accessories so that we do not have a detailed overview of the articles. The manufacturer still does not include a headset.

Motorola does not offer optional accessories for its flagship. Only the Moto 360 smartwatch can be named, but this was not available in Germany at the time of the test.

Warranty

Motorola includes a 24-month warranty on its smartphone that cannot be upgraded.

Input Devices & Controls

The capacitive touchscreen of Motorola's Moto X makes a good impression and detects up to ten touch points at the same time. The surface is suave, and it implements inputs quickly and accurately. Android's stock keyboard layout is used and does not have any special features.

Motorola focuses on voice control and resorts to Google Now. However, the Moto X is still the only smartphone that uses a dedicated always-on audio processor to receive voice commands in standby. This is particularly convenient when driving a car because voice control is enabled via a key sentence or word. The exclamation "OK Google!" is known from other devices and could also be used with the review sample. However, a personalized trigger can be selected in the Moto X. That functioned quite well in practice, even in slightly louder surroundings. Google Now is expanded by handy commands. For example, the smartphone can be set to emit a high-pitched sound via "find phone" or night mode can be enabled with "good night" or reactivated via "good morning."

The Moto X detects approaches from a distance of 15 centimeters via three infrared sensors. Information, such as the time, missed calls and messages, can be displayed on the screen. The sensors can also be used for reducing the ringtone volume for incoming calls or snoozes the alarm clock by waving a hand over it.

Portrait mode
Portrait mode
Landscape mode
Landscape mode

Display

The AMOLED screen could be a bit brighter.
The AMOLED screen could be a bit brighter.

Motorola again relies on an AMOLED screen. However, it now has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD), which leads to a pixel density of approximately 424 ppi in a screen size of 5.2-inches. Thus, the displayed content looks razor-sharp.

The maximum brightness of 278 cd/m² is even lower than in the precursor (max. 320 cd/m²), and it is the lowest in the comparison field. Although OLED screens are generally not as bright as LCD screens, even other devices with AMOLEDs are brighter. Samsung's Galaxy S5 is clearly above that with 401 cd/m², and the Lumia 930 still reaches up to 297 cd/m². The illumination of 91% in the Moto X is very good, but again we find a deterioration compared with last year's model (97%). We did not notice halos.

278
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 278 cd/m² Average: 263.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 259 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.52 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.05 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.31
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Screen
-46%
7%
42%
22%
Brightness middle
259
275
6%
358
38%
519
100%
474
83%
Brightness
263
278
6%
364
38%
496
89%
486
85%
Brightness Distribution
91
89
-2%
82
-10%
90
-1%
93
2%
Black Level *
0.62
0.54
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.52
10.99
-69%
5.28
19%
3.67
44%
5.86
10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.05
8.29
-172%
4.65
-52%
3.78
-24%
5.2
-70%
Gamma
2.31 95%
2.16 102%
2.48 89%
2.42 91%
2.29 96%
CCT
6226 104%
6731 97%
7690 85%
7327 89%
7218 90%
Contrast
837
878

* ... smaller is better

The user is presented with a deep black due to the OLED technology used in Motorola's Moto X, without a sign of glowing. This results in a contrast ratio that theoretically tends to infinity. LCD-based smartphone screens cannot compete here. Black surfaces in the iPhone 6 Plus (0.62 cd/m², 837:1) and HTC's One M8 (0.54 cd/m², 878:1) always look more charcoal black.

The color accuracy already indicates what the color saturation assessment confirms. The colors on the screen of the Moto X are extremely over-saturated. While the grayscale (max. dE 5) still makes a really good impression, the mixed colors (max. dE 12) show a visible shift. This will not bother friends of AMOLED technology, but users who put value on a natural color reproduction are backing the wrong horse in this case. The Galaxy S5 does a considerably better job here by providing different color profiles, which also enables natural color reproduction. It is pleasing that the Moto X only has a minor yellowish cast.

Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)

Motorola's Moto X makes a mixed impression in outdoor use. The screen suffers under its comparatively low brightness. The excellent contrast cannot compensate for this in the sun, particularly since the glass surface is highly reflective. All this is no problem in the shade or cloudy conditions, but it looks different in direct sunlight. Sun worshipers will be pleased that the phone can read their messages aloud.

The Moto X on a rainy day.
The Moto X on a rainy day.
Viewing angles: Motorola Moto X
Viewing angles: Motorola Moto X

The viewing-angle stability of Motorola's Moto X is quite good owing to the underlying AMOLED technology. However, minor losses have to be made in extremely flat viewing angles owing to the reflective surface. Besides that, a visible greenish cast covers the displayed content starting at an angle of approximately 45 degrees, which is also sometimes annoyingly noticed in practice.

Performance

Motorola's Moto X is based on the swift Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8947AC SoC that has four processor cores with a clock rate of up to 2.45 GHz each. Alongside the 2 GB of working memory, the powerhouse provides plenty of performance and smooth operation of Google's Android 4.4 KitKat. It is only too bad that Motorola does not use the option of multitasking. The system would certainly be strong enough for that. The integrated Qualcomm Adreno 330 takes care of graphics calculations. It clocks with up to 578 MHz.

The Moto X is absolutely convincing in the benchmarks and leads the rankings in the comparison field. It only does not quite achieve the graphics performance of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone is also the leader in single-core operations. Nevertheless, the review sample promises superb performance scores that are currently only surpassed by devices with a Tegra K1 or Snapdragon 805.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
3005 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
1263 Points ∼4% -58%
Google Nexus 5
2239 Points ∼7% -25%
LG G3
2323 Points ∼7% -23%
Sony Xperia Z3
2708 Points ∼9% -10%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼9% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼9% -4%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2874 Points ∼9% -4%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
1003 Points ∼21%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
682 Points ∼14% -32%
Google Nexus 5
694 Points ∼14% -31%
LG G3
941 Points ∼20% -6%
Sony Xperia Z3
979 Points ∼20% -2%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼20% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼20% -6%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1609 Points ∼33% +60%
AnTuTu v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
38284 Points ∼89%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
21674 Points ∼50% -43%
Google Nexus 5
22379 Points ∼52% -42%
LG G3
28257 Points ∼66% -26%
HTC One M8
19844 Points ∼46% -48%
Samsung Galaxy S5
37353 Points ∼87% -2%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
43985 Points ∼44%
Google Nexus 5
35256 Points ∼36% -20%
LG G3
36792 Points ∼37% -16%
Sony Xperia Z3
42125 Points ∼42% -4%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
50360 Points ∼51% +14%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
27.2 fps ∼0%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
16.5 fps ∼0% -39%
Google Nexus 5
21 fps ∼0% -23%
Nokia Lumia 930
15 fps ∼0% -45%
LG G3
26.7 fps ∼0% -2%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼0% +1%
HTC One M8
28.1 fps ∼0% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.7 fps ∼0% +2%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
44.8 fps ∼0% +65%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
29.3 fps ∼1%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
26.6 fps ∼1% -9%
Google Nexus 5
23 fps ∼1% -22%
Nokia Lumia 930
20 fps ∼1% -32%
LG G3
20.2 fps ∼1% -31%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼1% 0%
HTC One M8
30.2 fps ∼1% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.8 fps ∼1% -5%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
52.4 fps ∼2% +79%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
16354 Points ∼19%
Google Nexus 5
9622 Points ∼11% -41%
LG G3
12939 Points ∼15% -21%
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼16% -16%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼11% -42%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼18% -7%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
9473 Points ∼11% -42%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
20806 Points ∼4%
Google Nexus 5
15100 Points ∼3% -27%
LG G3
17029 Points ∼3% -18%
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4% -6%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼3% -23%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼4% -6%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
23937 Points ∼5% +15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
19619 Points ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
13404 Points ∼6% -32%
LG G3
15911 Points ∼7% -19%
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼8% -9%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼6% -29%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼8% -6%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
17873 Points ∼8% -9%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
12141 Points ∼28%
Google Nexus 5
9471 Points ∼21% -22%
LG G3
11499 Points ∼26% -5%
Sony Xperia Z3
12603 Points ∼29% +4%
HTC One M8
10191 Points ∼23% -16%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11990 Points ∼27% -1%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
25206 Points ∼56%
Google Nexus 5
20368 Points ∼45% -19%
Nokia Lumia 930
19987 Points ∼44% -21%
LG G3
23234 Points ∼52% -8%
Sony Xperia Z3
24637 Points ∼55% -2%
HTC One M8
17913 Points ∼40% -29%
Samsung Galaxy S5
23999 Points ∼53% -5%
BaseMark OS II
Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
2731 Points ∼9%
Google Nexus 5
1924 Points ∼7% -30%
Nokia Lumia 930
1233 Points ∼4% -55%
LG G3
2530 Points ∼9% -7%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2389 Points ∼8% -13%
System (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
1540 Points ∼9%
Google Nexus 5
2287 Points ∼14% +49%
Nokia Lumia 930
1296 Points ∼8% -16%
LG G3
1387 Points ∼8% -10%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2038 Points ∼12% +32%
Overall (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
1230 Points ∼15%
Google Nexus 5
1157 Points ∼14% -6%
Nokia Lumia 930
1085 Points ∼13% -12%
LG G3
1080 Points ∼13% -12%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1299 Points ∼15% +6%

Legend

 
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960DT, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 64 GB eMMC Flash

The browser performance of Motorola's Moto X in conjunction with Google Chrome 37 is really good. Browsing on the Internet is subjectively fast, and the review sample also usually achieves good scores in the benchmarks. It is only defeated by the iPhone 6 Plus in Octane 2.0 and Kraken 1.1. However, minor weaknesses are observed in the SunSpider Java benchmarks, and it is only faster than the LG G3 and Xperia Z3.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
881 Points ∼14%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
643 Points ∼10% -27%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
835 Points ∼13% -5%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
526 Points ∼8% -40%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1097 Points ∼18% +25%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
811 Points ∼13% -8%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1164 Points ∼19% +32%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
712 Points ∼11% -19%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2613 Points ∼42% +197%
Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1576 points ∼5%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1375 points ∼4% -13%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
829 points ∼3% -47%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1370 points ∼4% -13%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1343 points ∼4% -15%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5403 Points ∼10%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3187 Points ∼6% -41%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
5416 Points ∼10% 0%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4722 Points ∼9% -13%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2737 Points ∼5% -49%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4345 Points ∼8% -20%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3892 Points ∼7% -28%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5339 Points ∼10% -1%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3131 Points ∼6% -42%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3875 Points ∼7% -28%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
7276 Points ∼14% +35%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
777.3 ms * ∼9%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
621.9 ms * ∼7% +20%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1090 ms * ∼12% -40%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
716.3 ms * ∼8% +8%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
534 ms * ∼6% +31%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
900 ms * ∼10% -16%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
629.3 ms * ∼7% +19%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
827.5 ms * ∼9% -6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
594.2 ms * ∼7% +24%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
408.7 ms * ∼4% +47%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
347.4 ms * ∼4% +55%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
6243.3 ms * ∼10%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9454.5 ms * ∼16% -51%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7852.3 ms * ∼13% -26%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11108 ms * ∼19% -78%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7279.7 ms * ∼12% -17%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7163 ms * ∼12% -15%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
6502 ms * ∼11% -4%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
8990.4 ms * ∼15% -44%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
6302 ms * ∼11% -1%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4469.8 ms * ∼8% +28%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1122.6 ms * ∼23%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1453.3 ms * ∼30% -29%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
30.35 ms * ∼1% +97%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1226 ms * ∼26% -9%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1227 ms * ∼26% -9%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1124.3 ms * ∼23% -0%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1192 ms * ∼25% -6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1355.3 ms * ∼28% -21%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1313 ms * ∼27% -17%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
499 ms * ∼10% +56%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1121.9 ms * ∼30%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1469.1 ms * ∼39% -31%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
57.39 ms * ∼2% +95%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1189 ms * ∼32% -6%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1183 ms * ∼32% -5%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1078.1 ms * ∼29% +4%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1103 ms * ∼29% +2%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
952 ms * ∼25% +15%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1016.7 ms * ∼27% +9%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
338 ms * ∼9% +70%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1771.9 ms * ∼15%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2093.9 ms * ∼17% -18%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1210.86 ms * ∼10% +32%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2515 ms * ∼21% -42%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2277 ms * ∼19% -29%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1785 ms * ∼15% -1%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7831 ms * ∼65% -342%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4534 ms * ∼37% -156%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2774.4 ms * ∼23% -57%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1463.2 ms * ∼12% +17%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
988.6 ms * ∼11%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
987.5 ms * ∼11% -0%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
28.05 ms * ∼0% +97%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1004 ms * ∼11% -2%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1202 ms * ∼13% -22%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1106.7 ms * ∼12% -12%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
875 ms * ∼10% +11%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
948.6 ms * ∼11% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2568.9 ms * ∼29% -160%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
904.7 ms * ∼10% +8%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
341 Points ∼15%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
287 Points ∼13% -16%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
302 Points ∼13% -11%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
300 Points ∼13% -12%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
314 Points ∼14% -8%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
313 Points ∼14% -8%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
345 Points ∼15% +1%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
271 Points ∼12% -21%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
237 Points ∼10% -30%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
604 Points ∼27% +77%

* ... smaller is better

Motorola's Moto X is available in two storage configurations: 16 and 32 GB. The latter can, however, only be bought over the Moto maker at present. It makes most sense because the user only has a meager 8 GB available in the 16 GB version. Expanding the storage via a micro-SD slot is not possible, and thus we would recommend investing the additional 50 Euros (~$63) for the doubled storage since the effective 8 GB soon gets tight.

The storage device's speed is compelling and belongs to the fastest ones on the market. There is nothing faster in the Android sector when it comes to writing data, and the Moto X is also very impressive in reading the storage. Only the Lumia 930 is faster in Basemark OS II.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2.43 MB/s ∼1%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2.44 MB/s ∼1% 0%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.84 MB/s ∼0% -65%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.44 MB/s ∼1% -41%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2 MB/s ∼1% -18%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.88 MB/s ∼0% -64%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1 MB/s ∼0% -59%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
13.49 MB/s ∼8%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
12.39 MB/s ∼7% -8%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9.88 MB/s ∼6% -27%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
20.98 MB/s ∼12% +56%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
15 MB/s ∼9% +11%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.53 MB/s ∼6% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
8.5 MB/s ∼5% -37%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
27.42 MB/s ∼5%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
12.04 MB/s ∼2% -56%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
15.52 MB/s ∼3% -43%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
23.83 MB/s ∼5% -13%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
18 MB/s ∼4% -34%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
19.51 MB/s ∼4% -29%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
19.05 MB/s ∼4% -31%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
140.73 MB/s ∼10%
Motorola Moto X 1. Gen 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro MSM8960DT, 16 GB iNAND Flash
62.7 MB/s ∼4% -55%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
74.9 MB/s ∼5% -47%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
167.46 MB/s ∼11% +19%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
149 MB/s ∼10% +6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
88.41 MB/s ∼6% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
83.53 MB/s ∼6% -41%
BaseMark OS II - Memory (sort by value)
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
619 Points ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
628 Points ∼8% +1%
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1500 Points ∼20% +142%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
610 Points ∼8% -1%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
536 Points ∼7% -13%

Games

The Qualcomm Adreno 330 provides an excellent graphics acceleration in the Moto X (2014). It has enough power for all titles from Google's Play Store without needing to reduce details. Even up-to-date games like FIFA 15 Ultimate Team or graphics whoppers like Asphalt 8 run smoothly.

The good touchscreen and the immaculately functioning sensors ensure that nothing stands in the way of gaming fun.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
FIFA 15: UT
FIFA 15: UT

Emissions

GFXBench 3.0 | battery test
GFXBench 3.0 | battery test

Temperature

The maximum idle surface temperature of Motorola's Moto X is 29.2 °C. Thus, the smartphone does not even get lukewarm. It reached rates of up to 42 °C in the multi-hour load test that we performed using the Stability Test app. That is still within an uncritical range. Other devices like the Lumia 930 (max. 48.8 °C) are considerably warmer. The Galaxy S5, with at most 37.7 °C, is the coolest device in the comparison field.

It is pleasing that almost the full performance of the Moto X is available even during permanent load, and that there is no thermal throttling. We checked this using the battery test of GFXBench 3.0, which performs the T-Rex test 30 times in succession and records both the charge state as well as the determined frame count.

Max. Load
 36.9 °C
98 F
40.2 °C
104 F
35.9 °C
97 F
 
 38.7 °C
102 F
42 °C
108 F
38.2 °C
101 F
 
 36.9 °C
98 F
40.3 °C
105 F
37.3 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 42 °C = 108 F
Average: 38.5 °C = 101 F
37 °C
99 F
39.3 °C
103 F
35.9 °C
97 F
37.2 °C
99 F
38.1 °C
101 F
35.9 °C
97 F
37.3 °C
99 F
40.2 °C
104 F
36.1 °C
97 F
Maximum: 40.2 °C = 104 F
Average: 37.4 °C = 99 F
Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.5 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.2 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.1 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The speaker is well-hidden.
The speaker is well-hidden.

The speaker, disguised as a mouthpiece on the front of Motorola's Moto X, offers a solid performance. The sound is balanced up to a volume of approximately 60% and delivers clean tones. Though there is no bass, the result is compelling. The trebles distort when the volume is turned up further, and that can sometimes sound unpleasant. The available volume is quite sufficient for watching short videos in a quiet surrounding. The sound output via the audio jack is good, but we could not insert the plug completely into the jack.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The idle power consumption of Motorola's Moto X ranges from 0.9 to 1.2 watts. The maximum power consumption has been reduced slightly compared with the precursor's (0.6 - 1.3 W), but this is likely primarily at the expense of screen brightness.

The maximum load consumption that we ascertained using the Stability Test app is surprisingly low, and only reaches 3.9 watts. That is the lowest rate in the comparison field. HTC's One M8 follows with quite a big difference (max. 5.7 W), and LG's G3 consumes the most power with up to 9.1 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.9 / 1.1 / 1.2 Watt
Load midlight 2.7 / 3.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery in Motorola's Moto X has 2300 mAh and is a bit bigger than the one in the precursor (2000 mAh, 9 W), but it is also considerably smaller than those in the other contenders. The low power consumption nevertheless enables a very good battery life. Only the minimum runtime under load has decreased to below three hours. Sony's Xperia Z3 (2:12 h) and the One M8 (1:42 h) solely have a shorter runtime.

However, the review sample convinces in all other areas, and it is only sometimes outperformed by the long-running Lumia 930, Galaxy S5, and iPhone 6 Plus. There is no device that really always has the lead in all fields. The Wi-Fi browsing test using a screen brightness of 150 cd/m² provides the best comparison base. A script opens a new website every 40 seconds in the browser with only enabled Wi-Fi connection. The Moto X achieves a good time with over ten hours and positions itself in the good midfield among the comparison devices. The Lumia 930 (16:42 h) achieves the best, and LG's G3 (7:32 h) has the shortest runtime in this category. The battery's capacity is high enough to easily get through a day in practice.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 58min
WiFi Surfing
10h 17min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 45min
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
32%
23%
25%
4%
Reader / Idle
1078
1387
29%
1436
33%
1695
57%
1203
12%
H.264
604
675
12%
556
-8%
682
13%
WiFi
617
1002
62%
777
26%
613
-1%
672
9%
Load
165
175
6%
199
21%
253
53%
132
-20%

Verdict

In review: Motorola Moto X (2014). Review sample courtesy of Motorola Germany.
In review: Motorola Moto X (2014). Review sample courtesy of Motorola Germany.

Motorola's second-generation Moto X is a successful and consistent development of its precursor. The upscale configuration clearly places it in the premium range, although it lacks technical superlatives. The smartphone more convinces with its flexible design options, even if we miss the last bit of precision in the build. Besides that, there is currently no contender that uses such an elaborate speech control or the possibilities of touch-less use in a smartphone. We really like that, although there is still some room for improvement. Alongside the update guarantee, we find these useful features worthy of an upgrade.

There is still improvement potential in the screen's brightness. Although the battery life benefits from that, the manufacturer could counter this with a bigger battery. The installed battery is comparatively small. The buyer should also expect to find a headset among the accessories for a smartphone that costs over 500 Euros (~$638). Besides that, the available storage is very tight. We painfully miss a micro-SD slot here. Nevertheless, Motorola provides a great piece of technology that will be fun to use for a long time.

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In review: Motorola Moto X (2014). Review sample courtesy of Motorola Germany.
In review: Motorola Moto X (2014). Review sample courtesy of Motorola Germany.

Specifications

Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014 (Moto Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 330, Core: 578 MHz
Memory
2048 MB 
, LPDDR3-1866
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 touch points, AMOLED, 423 PPI, 16:9, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 8.09 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combo headphone and microphone jack, Sensors: ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, orientation sensor and G sensor, digital compass, NFC, GPS, Glonass
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1800, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE (800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 140.8 x 72.4 ( = 0.39 x 5.54 x 2.85 in)
Battery
8 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2300 mAh, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 24 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 2 MP; primary camera: 13 MP (autofocus, Ultra HD video, ring flash)
Additional features
Speakers: one mono-speaker, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, data cable, Moto, Motorola Migrate, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
549 Euro

 

The time and messages are displayed on the screen even in standby.
The time and messages are displayed on the screen even in standby.
The 5.2-inch AMOLED screen presents very vivid colors.
The 5.2-inch AMOLED screen presents very vivid colors.
The sensors and webcam surround the earpiece.
The sensors and webcam surround the earpiece.
The alleged mouthpiece is a speaker.
The alleged mouthpiece is a speaker.
The nano-SIM slot is only difficult to open without an appropriate tool.
The nano-SIM slot is only difficult to open without an appropriate tool.
Our review sample's back cover is made of wood.
Our review sample's back cover is made of wood.
The Moto X exhibits manufacturing weaknesses in the gaps.
The Moto X exhibits manufacturing weaknesses in the gaps.
The 13 MP camera features a ring flash.
The 13 MP camera features a ring flash.
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
AndEBench Pro
AndEBench Pro
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
3DMark
3DMark
Vellamo 3
Vellamo 3
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II
AnTuTu v5
AnTuTu v5
WebXPRT 2013
WebXPRT 2013
Google Octane 2.0
Google Octane 2.0
Browsermark 2.1
Browsermark 2.1

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Adreno 330, Snapdragon 800 MSM8974

Links

Compare Prices

Pros

+Swift SoC
+Latest Android
+Good ergonomics
+Very good phone sound
+Always-on speech control
+Can be personalized
+Gesture control
+Good screen
+Wide frequency coverage
+Stable performance even during load
 

Cons

-Little available storage
-Non-expandable storage
-Few accessories included
-Uneven gaps
-Screen could be brighter
-Barely any accessories
-No LTE Cat. 6

Shortcut

What we like

Voice control is available even in standby, and it really makes sense then. Besides that, the Moto X presents a swift performance.

What we'd like to see

The storage capacity is tight in the 16 GB version. A micro-SD slot would have been nice.

What surprises us

The screen is a bit darker than the precursor's and is also relatively dim even for an AMOLED screen.

The competition

The contenders are: Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, Apple iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6, Nokia Lumia 930, LG G3, Huawei Ascend P7, as well as Google Nexus 5.

Rating

Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014 - 10/10/2014 v4(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 85%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
93%
Battery
92%
Display
86%
Games Performance
66 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
53 / 70 → 76%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
63 / 91 → 69%
Camera
63%
Add Points
+2%
Average
71%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Motorola Moto X (2014) Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2014-10-15 (Update: 2018-05-15)