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Officially unveiled only moments ago, the upcoming Motorola Moto X definitely faces some stiff competition. In a smartphone market that’s being dominated by Samsung and Apple, does the Moto X have what it takes to capture the hearts — and wallets — of consumers the world over? There’s no question both Motorola and Google have a lot riding on the X. Not only is the X Motorola’s first Google influenced smartphone, but one of their first devices to launch across all major US carriers. That being said, you’re no doubt wondering how the X stacks up to current heavyweights like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and even (heaven help you) the Apple iPhone 5. Let’s take a look.
Motorola Moto X
Believe it or not, the Motorola Moto X is the first smartphone built here in the US. While that may not sound like a big deal to those living overseas, this is pretty huge for those in the US and typically, smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and even US-based Apple outsource all their device manufacturing to other countries. More like brownie points, we can’t be sure how much this will influence the buying decisions of Americans, but it’s definitely something to consider.
The Moto X also features Motorola’s new X8 “mobile computing system” that, while only technically a dual-core processor, features a powerful GPU for gaming, and 2 separate co-processors for handling a variety of X’s sensors. This means the X can handle Facebook and gaming, while also operating in a super low-power state when sleeping for optimal battery life.
Bored with all these Android devices that all look the same? Want to express your individuality? Well, the Moto X is the first Android smartphone to make that happen. Motorola has built a special online customizing center dubbed “Moto Maker” that allows customers to jump in, and design a smartphone in a variety of color options to fit their individual style. Killer feature? Not really. Cool? Most definitely.
The Motorola X’s biggest weakness is one that most consumers will most likely never notice. Under the hood, the X doesn’t feature the ridiculously high-end specs of rivals, coming equipped with only a 720p display, dual-core processor, and adequate storage options. While this is easily trumped by other high-end devices like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, the X should have little trouble mopping the floor with upcoming Mini variants of these devices, with the X being nearly the same size.
The HTC One is still regarded by many as the best Android device to date. With a plethora of smartphones on the market and the uber popular Galaxy-line taking up a good portion of that, really, that’s saying a lot. Widely seen as the underdog in the smartphone world, HTC pulled a Hail Mary with the One, equipping the device with every high-end spec imaginable. Aluminum body, full 1080p HD display, all new version of Sense, great low-light camera, and front facing stereo speakers. There’s little here not to love.
While the HTC One offers a lot, it doesn’t feature the flexibility that some Android users have come to expect from their devices. No micro SD slot means you’re confined to the One’s 32GB/64GB of internal storage, and non-removable battery means bulky portable chargers are the only option for keeping the device juiced up on-the-go. Don’t forget that, at the time of this writing, the One is still running on an older version of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and while 4.2.2 is promised in the future, 4.3 has already been released.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is arguably the best device the Korean manufacturer has ever built. Featuring a 1080p full HD display, SD card slot, removable battery, and more software features than you can shake a stick at, the Galaxy S4 is the veritable Swiss Army Knife of smartphones. The fact that Samsung is pouring countless dollars into advertising the Galaxy S4 means more people will have one and greater app compatibility. Combine all of this with Samsung’s dedication to supporting new and older devices with timely Android updates and you have the makings of a real winner.
Of course, while Samsung’s countless software features may sound great, the OS has become bogged down by many features you’ll likely never use. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, TouchWiz has become stale and the Galaxy S4′s glossy plastic build materials make for a device that feels cheap, no matter how many tricks it has up its sleeve.
Apple iPhone 5
Alright, so I think we all know this is an Android focused blog — there’s no denying that. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically bash the Apple iPhone 5, which admittedly, has a lot going for it. It’s currently one of the most popular smartphones on the planet, and because of this, is likely a strong contender to anyone considering a new smartphone.
Apple recently overhauled the system software with iOS7 and while it’s not quite ready for prime time, they did a good job at finally updating the OS to the 21st century. The best part? Both the older iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will get the update at the same time. Because of the very tightly knit and closed ecosystem, you can find more quality apps and games on iOS than any other platform. For wanna-be photogs, the iPhone 5 still has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, though it remains to be seen if it can outperform the Moto X’s new “Clear Pixel” 10MP camera.
Keep in mind the iPhone 5 isn’t smartphone perfection (as some would have you believe). The tiny, low resolution display is best suited for teens and young people with still perfect vision. If you want a smartphone you don’t have to hold to your nose, the Moto X or other options remain the best choice. Apple’s closed OS means iOS is always one step behind Android devices, which get better with multiple updates and enhanced features throughout the year.
Really, only you can decide what phone is best for you. With that being said, we’re curious; Exactly which one of these smartphones do you find is best in its class? Vote in our poll, leave a comment as to why, and don’t forget to visit the Moto X forum where you can chat with others about the X and voice your excitement (or displeasure) with Moto’s latest flagship.