Because the Moto X was a Google inspired phone and offered up a real breakthrough in how we perceive specifications, we thought it would be interesting to compare the older Moto X (August/September) with the newest Samsung Galaxy S5. Both devices sport 2GB of RAM and offer either 16GB or 32GB models, although the Moto X does not have a microSD card to expand its memory. Both devices have the newest Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system – the Moto X received their upgrade almost as fast as Google's own Nexus devices. While the specifications are wildly different, Motorola reworked the processor a little and optimized the heck out of everything to the point where the Moto X is as fast and fluid as a device can be. Like the Galaxy S5, the Moto X also has some interesting software features and the use of Touchless Control and Active Display really turned some heads and made us view how to use our smartphones differently. Check over the specifications below and compare them side-by side. Then we will look into each device individually and then pick the winner.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the newest in their line of flagship phones. It has the fastest processor available, Samsung's best screen technology in a 5.1-inch Full HD display, a microSD card that can add an additional 128GB, a great 16MP camera with Samsung's new ISOCELL technology, and a larger battery, 2800mAh versus the Moto X's 2200mAh. It is a Samsung, so it has TouchWiz over Google's Android – it is a kinder and gentler TouchWiz, but still has a way to go. The Samsung bloatware is gone for the most part, now located in a folder where you can choose to install the Samsung Apps or not, and choice is always a good thing. Samsung has included a fingerprint scanner for added security, as well as a Heart Rate Sensor built-in right beside the LED Flash – an advantage to some and possibly never used by others. Samsung did include water and dust resistance, which is something that all manufacturers should include. The USB 3.0 is also another feature that other manufacturers should consider adopting – it really helps in recharging my Note 3 and makes data transfer so much faster. The Galaxy S5 costs $199.99 on a two-year contract and Verizon is offering a BOGO.
The Moto X was the first device that Motorola sold that really had the Google influence – they designed the Moto X to be comfortable, customizable, and to use mid-range specs. There was no 5-inch 1080p display, only a 4.7-inch 720p display that covered almost the entire front of the device. There was no Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, only a Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. I am surprised that Motorola put 2GB of RAM in this device as it almost seems like overkill. Motorola did a good job with the battery life, but also did their usual poor job with the camera. Many thought it was overpriced for what you were getting, but it was a good seller and great look at what can be done when a phone's hardware and software are optimized to work together.
…and the Winner is…
Could it really be anything but the Galaxy S5? While the Moto X is a great device, the high-end Galaxy S5 simply beats out what was designed to be a mid-range smartphone but offer a customer a 'flagship' experience without the specifications or cost. Motorola wanted to show us that you did not have to have the best of everything on your device in order for it to perform fast and smooth. But, in most cases, the extras in a high-end device do add up to make a better experience – the Galaxy S5's display is much better, the processor is blazing fast, has a much better camera, the addition of the fingerprint scanner, USB 3.0, water/dust resistant, IR Blaster, Heart Rate Monitor, and a great price on a two-year contract simply add up to a winner. If funds are tight, you could do a lot worse than purchasing a Moto X, it is a terrific smartphone that most users would be very happy with, but it would be a stretch to say that it is a better device than the new Galaxy S5.