Phone Comparisons: Motorola Moto X vs HTC One M9



Do we have a good one for you today – the Motorola Moto X 2014 goes up against the new HTC One M9.  How does the Moto X, which was released last September stack up against the soon-to-be-released HTC One M9.  With the many technical advances found on the Moto X and the fact that they both use a similar sized Full HD (FHD) display, this race may be closer than one might suspect.

Both devices have close to the same size and the same Full HD (FHD) display – even the outer dimensions of the devices are similar.  The processors are made by Qualcomm, but are two different generations.  They both have 32GB storage models, but there are expansion possibilities in the One M9.  Both devices treat us to dual, front-mounted speakers, although the HTC One M9 uses their BoomSound technology.  They both have the usual suspects – dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, are NFC capable, packing a GPS and a microUSB port for charging or data transfer.  They both enjoy active noise cancellation, although the Moto X uses four microphones.  The batteries are non-removable on both devices, although they both have a Quick Charge capability.  They both are running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop.


Please take a look at the detailed specifications comparison found below – expand it by clicking on the "View Full Comparison" at the bottom and you will get a real sense of how these two devices match up against one another.  After that, we will look at each individual device, talk about it, and weigh out some of the pros and cons in an effort to pick a winner for this comparison.

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Moto-X-AH-8When Motorola updated their flagship smartphone, they already had a great foundation to work from.  They did all the right things to make the Moto X 2014, a better device all around.  They increased the display size, increased the specifications and still kept the price unbelievably low.  It was a true flagship for its day and we cannot wait to see what happens with it in 2015.  Motorola (now owned by Lenovo) positioned themselves with the Moto X as their high-end, the Moto G as mid-range and the Moto E as their entry-level device.


The display on the Moto X is in the upper size range of what we like to call the 'sweet spot.'  It is 5.2-inches and uses the AMOLED technology with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 423 PPI – slightly less than the 441 PPI on the LCD display of the 5-inch One M9.  Motorola selected the best processor they could when they designed the Moto X – the 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz.  With Motorola's optimizations to the processor and running almost pure Android, it will fly through its tasks with a quickness and smoothness not always found on Android devices.  This is probably one of the reasons that its 2GB of RAM is more than enough to run the show.  The Moto X does have a 16GB and 32GB internal memory option, but no microSD card slot here to expand beyond those boundaries.  The One M9 offers only a 32GB option, but it offers a microSD card slot for additional storage.

Motorola always built a great smartphone, but the cameras were a little more than an afterthought.  When they designed the Moto X 2014, they put in a very good 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-LED Flash Ring that encompasses the lens – still no OIS, but it does take decent photos.  While the One M9 does have a larger sensor, they too did not include OIS.  The 'standard' 2MP FFC is fine for social selfies or the occasional video chat with friends or family, but the 4MP UltraPixel set up on the One M9 should do a better job.

The Moto X's 2300mAh battery is rather on the small side, but it will get you through an entire day of normal usage.  If you ever get too low, just hook it up to the optional Turbo Charger for up to 8 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes!  As far as extras on the Moto X – it uses four microphones for excellent noise cancellation and voice reproduction on phone calls.  They also added front-mounted speakers (certainly not up to the BoomSound in the One M9), used a full metal frame for strength, nano-coated the inside for water repellency, and engineered Dynamic Tuning to help increase the radio strength.  It is updated to 5.0.1 Lollipop and is available on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, all for only $99 on a two-year contract and only $499 off-contract.  You can also select a real leather or wood backing for extra cash and both look very cool.


HTC One M9

HTC One M9 Hands On AH 5The new HTC One M9 looks very similar to the One M7 and One M8, but there are many subtle changes.  The all-metal body is still there, it has a great solid feel about it and is certainly a beauty to look at and a joy to hold.  The One M9 has a redesigned body on the sides so now there is a small lip to help grip it better.

It sports a 5-inch FHD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI – slightly better than the 424 PPI on the Moto X.  HTC did choose the most advanced processor by using a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz – two generations ahead of the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 in the Moto X.  It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although it also has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB while the Moto X uses 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage and has no expansion.

Fortunately, the camera area is completely revamped – HTC got rid of the 4MP UltraPixel main camera and Duo Camera and replaced it with a Sony 20.7MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, but still no OIS a feature on the new Samsung and LG devices.  HTC moved the 4MP UltraPixel camera to the front, which should give you great selfies, or video chatting.  It uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery…larger than the smaller 2300mAh in the Moto X.  It also supports Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to the Qualcomm processor.


The HTC One M9 includes a built-in IR Blaster and stereo FM radio that the Moto X does not have as an option.  It comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink.  It should be available in April running Android 5.0 Lollipop and pricing is around $649 off contract and $199 on a two-year contract.

…And The Winner Is…

HTC One M9 Hands On AH 17


Please do not think for one minute that this was an easy decision, but in the end, I picked the new HTC One M9 as the winner of this comparison.  That decision was based almost mostly on the fact that the HTC One M9 is using the new 64-bit octa-core processor over the Moto X's 32-bit quad-core processor.  HTC makes a beautiful looking device but quite frankly, they are using a display from 2013, in fact, they have used the same FHD display on their last three devices.  The One M9 is going up against the QHD displays of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and the new LG G4 (or LG G3 for that matter)…but I digress.  The HTC One M9 also has a better camera setup, although still no OIS, more RAM, memory expansion, better speakers, a built-in IR Blaster and FM Stereo radio.


The Moto X has a better radio/antenna setup, the extra noise cancelling mics and is nano-coated to resist water.  It also comes at a great price – at least $100 less on a two-year contract – so if you do not mind the 32-bit processor, and money is an object, then the Moto X is still a great choice.  But for overall specifications and most up-to-date processor and at a reasonable $199, we have to pick the HTC One M9.