Do we have a good one for you today - last fall's Motorola Moto X 2014 goes up against the new Sony Xperia Z4. The Moto X is a great all around smartphone with a curved back, making the device very comfortable in your hand. The back has optional leather or real wood, and comes with the ability to truly customize it in an array of colors.... The Xperia Z4 may look more premium with its glass and metal structure, but both are built solidly and a joy to use.
Two devices with identical size screen sizes with identical Full HD displays. Precious few other specifications are shared, okay; I guess they each have a 32GB storage model. Both devices treat us to dual, front-mounted speakers...certainly not HTC BoomSound quality, but they are great for watching videos or movies. The usual suspects are there with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 in the Moto X and 4.1 in the Xperia Z4), GPS, NFC capacities, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, both have a non-removable battery and both offer Quick Charge because of their shared Qualcomm heritage.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another - click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Motorola Moto X 2014
Motorola took one of the best values in smartphones and made it even better in every way with the new Moto X 2014. They refined it, threw in some higher specs making it a true flagship, and yet retained a reasonable pricing scheme. The Moto X uses a strong metal frame with a flat display and a curved backing for a comfortable fit in your hand.
The Moto X is right in the upper size range that we like to call the 'sweet spot.' It is 5.2-inches and uses the AMOLED technology with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 423 pixels-per-inch (PPI) - almost identical to the 424 PPI on the LCD display of the 5.2-inch Xperia Z4. When Motorola was designing the Moto X they chose to use the 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz - the best one available at the time. Motorola optimized the processor and with its UI running almost pure Android, it allows the Moto X to fly through its tasks with a quickness and smoothness not always seen on Android devices. This is probably the reason that Motorola only put in 2GB of RAM - not the 3GB we find in the Xperia Z4. However, the Xperia Z4 uses the latest 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, which blows away the older 801 model. The Moto X has either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, but no expansion capabilities. The Xperia Z4 offers only a 32GB option, but it offers a microSD card slot for an additional 128GB of storage.
Motorola always built a great smartphone, but the cameras were not a high priority on their list of features. However, when designing the Moto X 2014, they put in a very good 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-LED Flash Ring that encircles the lens - still no OIS - but it does take decent photos. The Xperia Z4 uses a 20.7MP main camera, although they also neglected to include OIS. On the Moto X, 'standard' 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) is fine for social selfies or the occasional video chat with friends or family, but the 5.1MP FFC on the Xperia Z4 should do a much better job.
The Moto X's only has a 2300mAh battery compared to the 2930mAh in the Xperia Z4, but it will get you through an entire day of normal usage. When the battery does get low, you can hook it up to an optional Turbo Charger and in just 15 minutes you will get up to 8 hours of battery life! Motorola engineered some fine features on the Moto X - it uses four microphones for excellent noise cancelation and voice reproduction on phone calls. They also added dual front-mounted speakers (also found on the Xperia Z4), used a full metal frame for strength, nano-coated the inside for water repellency, and added a great feature called Dynamic Tuning to help increase the radio strength. Moto X also includes new and improved Moto Assist, Actions, Voice, Display, Meetings, Motorola Connect and Migrate. Updated to 5.0.1 Lollipop and is available on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile for only $99 on a two-year contract and only $499 off-contract.
Sony Xperia Z4
The new Sony Xperia Z4 is very close to its predecessor, the Xperia Z3, which is one reason we may not even see the device outside of Japan, although Sony claims the Xperia Z4 will be their next released smartphone. The main structure retains the beautiful metal and glass construction with minor improvements. Sony moved the charging port from the side to the bottom of the device and it no longer needs a sealed cover - a nice convenience. The magnetic charging pins on the side are gone and the SIM card and microSD card slots were consolidated into one port - another nice convenience.
The Xperia Z4 sports the same 5.2-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 (PPI) as its predecessor...while Samsung and LG have been selling the QHD displays for over a year. We can excuse the Moto X for having a FHD display with its 424 PPI AMOLED display from 2014. Sony went with the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor to power the smartphone and an Adreno 430 GPU for graphics...this stomps on the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 in Moto X. The Xperia has 3GB of RAM versus the 2GB in the Moto X. The Z4 also has 32GB of internal memory with expandable storage via a microSD card, unlike the Moto X that has either 32GB or 64GB. The 20.7MP main camera has remained the same, which is a fine choice, but Sony still has not added OIS. The FFC went from a 2.2MP to a robust 5.1MP with a 25mm wide-angle lens for better group selfies and video chatting and much better than the 2MP FFC on the Moto X.
The new Xperia Z4 will come in Black, White, Copper and Aqua Green and is running the latest Lollipop. It is going to be released in May or June and probably will cost somewhere around $630 off-contract.
...And The Winner Is...
As wonderful a device as the Motorola X is, when it comes to specifications the Sony Xperia Z4 is simply superior and wins this comparison. Make no mistake, the Moto X is a tremendous buy and if you do not care about taking top quality pictures or having a 64-bit processor, then the Moto X is a great device at a reasonable price.
The Xperia Z4 may actually lose this comparison when it comes to the display or great Moto X software features, but the Xperia Z4 shines when it comes to its 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM and expandable storage option. Both the main and FFC cameras are top-notch for those that insist on great pictures, especially if you want to take pictures underwater with the IP67 and IP68 certification making it dust and waterproof. The 2930mAh battery will give you terrific battery life as Sony does know how to stretch their batteries.
Whether the Xperia Z4 will make it to our shores or not is unclear, but for a comparison of these two devices, the Xperia Z4 does out spec the Moto X, no doubt. However, if you don't mind the less powerful processor or limited data storage, the Moto X is a terrific buy and should make most users very happy.
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