This is a very tough comparison - I will tell you that up front. The HTC One M8 is a beautiful device and certainly worthy of a flagship title, but it has been out a while now, so how will it compete against the new Moto X. Motorola, not known for high-end specs, really upped their game this time around and designed a very competitive smartphone. These two devices are actually very similar in many ways.
Let's start with the design - both devices are beautifully designed with curves and while the HTC One M8 uses an all metal body, the Moto X uses a metal frame and your option of a wooden or leather backplate...both devices are comfortable to hold in your hands for a long periods of time.
Many of the specifications are also very similar, such as the displays - the Moto X is 5.2-inches and the One M8 is 5-inches and both are Full HD with a resolution of 1920 X 1080, however, the Moto X uses the AMOLED technology and the One M8 uses the Super LCD3 technology. The processors are also very much alike - both are Qualcomm Snapdragon's...the One M8 is using the 800/801 model (MSM8974AB) clocked at 2.3GHz while the Moto X uses the new 801 model (MSM8974AC) clocked at 2.5GHz. Both devices use 2GB of RAM and both offer 16GB/32GB of internal storage. Even the batteries are similar with the Moto X using a 2300mAh and the One M8 using a 2600mAh and both device's batteries are non-removable. The Moto X and the One M8 are also approximately the same size, although the One M8 is slightly heavier, weighing in at 160 grams versus the Moto X's 144 grams - probably due to the metal body and larger battery.
Please take a look at the detailed specifications below to see exactly how much they are alike and how much they differ, then we will look at each one individually and from that we will try to determine a winner of this comparison.
Motorola Moto X
Motorola really put some thought into the new Moto X, from its styling to its specifications to its technical advancements. They took last year's Moto X and refined the outside - keeping the curves - but refining it with an all metal frame giving it an even more solid feel. The slightly larger AMOLED display is beautiful with its contrast and deep blacks. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC is slightly more advanced than the 800/801 MSM8974AB found in the One M8 and clocked slightly faster, as well as having a better GPU. The Moto X does not have a microSD Card - Motorola (and Google) want you to use the cloud to store your music, videos or pictures, that way they can be accessed from any device. Although not waterproof, the Moto X does have a nano-coating for repelling water - more than the One M8 can claim.
The main camera is a huge upgrade for Motorola, which was never one to worry too much about cameras, upgraded to a 13MP lens and added a Ring Flash that encompasses dual LEDs that literally goes around the outside of the lens....and of course, auto focus. The front-facing camera (FFC) is only 2MP, so if you really value high quality video chats and selfies, the One M8 would be a better pick, although 2MP should suit most users quite well.
Where Motorola really did their homework was in a few special technological features that will really help make the user experience with their Moto X much better. The first is the inclusion of four microphones for superb noise cancellation and crystal clear talking. The second is the Turbo Charging capability - a 15-minute charge will give you up to eight more hours of battery life. The third and most exciting is the Dynamic Tuning - the antenna is designed to capture the best signal based on how you are holding the Moto X, allowing you to get up to 500X better reception.
The Moto X is running the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat and will be available on all major U.S. carriers (except Sprint) for $99 on a two-year contract and $499 with no contract - considerably cheaper that the One M8.
HTC One M8
Let's take a closer look at the HTC One M8...from its sleek and beautiful all metal construction to its terrific speakers. The main processor is a slightly older model than the one in the Moto X, but still a great engine for the One M8. The One M8 does include a microSD card to add 128GB of additional storage - Motorola thinks the future for storage is the cloud, and does not feel the microSD card is necessary, but that is a very personal thing for some people. HTC brought over the same 4MP UltraPixel camera from last year's One M7...they did add a second, Duo Camera, but it is for adding depth/special effects to the pictures taken with the main camera, not to add quality to the main camera's photos. The theory of the UltraPixels sounds good on paper, but in practice, the pictures are good, but not great. The Duo Camera is a slick feature, but many of its functions can be duplicated with software. The One M8 has a great 5MP FFC for video chatting and selfies and the Moto X only has 2MP - you have to decide how important those two features are to your smartphone experience.
Some of the features of the One M8 - it has an IR Blaster that comes in handy for working your TV, it has a stereo FM Radio, and Dual-Stereo Speakers that are front-facing and feature BoomSound - possibly the best sounding speakers you will find in a smartphone. It runs Android 4.4.2 with their Sense 6.0 overlay and is available on all major networks. The original selling price was $199 on a two-year contract, but you can find it on sale or discounted.
...And the Winner is...
As close as these devices are, I have to go with the new Moto X in this comparison. HTC One M8 does has the BoomSound speakers, a slightly larger battery, stereo FM radio, microSD card and IR Blaster, but those just do not add up to the better processor (including GPU), improved camera, nano-coating and a host of technical features on the Moto X - it has four microphones for noise cancellation and superb crystal-clear phone calls , Dynamic Tuning and the optional Motorola Turbo Charger. Motorola (and others) believe that the future storage belongs in the clouds and not on a memory card...some like the idea and others would rather continue using a microSD card. Not to mention the pure Android experience and optimized hardware and software - this means the fastest available Android updates with fast and smooth operation. The price is a bargain for what you get - $99 on a two-year contract or $499 with no contract - which is cheaper than purchasing an HTC One M8.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these device you would have picked for the winner of this comparison and why...as always, we would love to hear from you.