Moto X (2014)

Motorola has just unveiled the new Moto X, and one of the first things people are going to want to know is if the camera has improved over the original. With an increased resolution of 13MP, an interesting dual-LED ring flash and some small new software features, things are sounding good — but how do they look?

We've only had our hands on the new Moto X for a short period of time, but we did take a nice stroll around the beautiful city of Chicago to test out its camera quality. The result is this gallery of photos from the New Moto X.

No in-depth analysis here considering how little time we've spent with it, but we can definitely say we're liking the early returns. The pictures cover the range of HDR, non-HDR and HDR Auto, all with the simple tap-to-capture method. Check out these shots and let us know what your initial feelings about the camera are.

Moto X (2014) camera sample

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Reader comments

Our first pictures from the new Moto X

69 Comments

Nice work Andrew, it's so hard to tell just how good it is when you are excited on a new device though. You don't focus so much on the small things, at least for me. You can surely tell the camera is improved. I wonder how low light is going to do.

Looks nice.

However, we need night shots, since that seemed to be the Achilles' Heel of the X's previous camera.

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Looks good enough to hang with the rivaling flagships. It gets to a point where "good" shots just become a matter of opinion.

Posted from my caseless GS5, because I believe in myself

Yes, these look great, or at least good enough to be flagship quality. Agree with previous posters, we'd love to see low light or night shot samples please.

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Since it has the same camera sensor as the S4, G2/G3, hopefully the software is up to chops to churn out some good photos.

As quoted from Phone Arena.

"It uses the 13-megapixel 1/3.06” Sony IMX135, one of the most popular sensors out there that is also used on devices like the LG G3, LG G2, and the SamsungGalaxy S4"

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Small battery and no expansion slot are a no go for me. Not bad looking device though.

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If the original Moto X taught us anything its that battery life isn't just tied to battery size. I see no reason why the new Moto X won't also be a solid performer in battery life.

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Yeah but the OG X had 720p 4.7" screen. Not quite the same. And even if 2300 is enough why wouldn't they just fit a 3200 in there and make it even better?

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Original Moto X in a way did that, but screen-on time was still the same - sort of bad when compared to competition. Now, when you put so many pixels more , increase the screen size and add an extra speaker for entertainment in Stereo, why not to try to proportionately increase the battery size or as close to it. Unless they came up with some all new hardware tech for the display I don't see how it would have a good performance - I mean very good/excellent, not just decent/OK.

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OK so let's reduce the battery to 1800 mAh and make it more thinner. Depends on what is acceptable to you, I bet it will be a solid performer with around 3 hours SOT but Z2, OPO I easily get 4+ hours of SOT. So having a larger battery doesn't hurt whatever battery "secret" sauce Moto has. I buy every damn phone since I'm a phone junkie and will but the X but it's a valid concern people have about the battery size.

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Cause he doesn't drool over this phone like you? Or think like you?

You're a tool. That's a fact, jack!

Now go kick rocks!

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Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is important to me especially when making videos.

Is including OIS cost prohibitive or problematic?

OIS is not in the HTC E8 or new Moto X

Yet the LG G3 and Note 4 have OIS.

True. Totally weird.
OIS has to be standard in a flagship device. Lower light and moving objects can can never be as clear as w OIS.
I see more and more having a phone camera as a deciding factor in purchasing, but not all OEMs are listening.

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Yeah, w this one I would start twisting my wrist after such a long time :)

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Not super impressed as a Chicago native and someone that works at the chicago merchandise mart who sees those sites all of the time

On the one hand, the shots are difficult because of the level of light and reflection from the water and buildings. Virtually any time of day, the shot can be either amazing or low in contrast.

On the auto mode of the moto x+1 it seems the lower contrast was trying to compensate for the cloudy weather (from yesterday afternoon). While these shots are typically difficult for mobile cameras, I am coming away unimpressed. I also see a yellow haze surrounding a lot of the images that are not based on the light source surrounding the mart

Let's see some normal shots though. I saw a few indoor shots because motorola sucks at hiding their new tech. Seriously they suck...

I've also used the device and am right at the merchandise mart where a lot of the photos were taken. So I can somewhat assess if the images have a good true to life reproduction.

But again the merchandise mart area itself is a difficult place to shoot many things using a mobile camera. But the immediate yellow haze I caught when I used the camera last week.

Again I work at the mart. The motorola folks aren't good at keeping secrets. We literally see them with new tech almost all of the time

I think he's saying he works there and knows what the area looks like not that he's taken photos with the new moto x. Like looking at photos of your house and saying that photo doesn't look like my house. The color blue of my siding is brighter.

I wonder if the that battery will get you through a full day on heavy use. My Moto X gets me through most of the day but I have to give it a boost around 6 or 7 to make it through. Hopefully this phone is mor efficient.

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That's still pretty good though. I have a crappy iPhone4 and have to charge it a few times a day if I'm on it a lot. I can't wait for this new phone. I'm due for an upgrade on the 19th. I'm sure the battery will be better than my iPhone

Surprised that more phones don't come with 16:9 resolution straight out of the box. With that said, good looking photos.

Agreed. But again the area where the pictures are taken is a notoriously difficult area to take a good shot. Keep in mind that also affects the image quality. Plus it's a mobile camera. I never expect much

Sorry, but I need to disagree on all your points. These shots are the easiest for a smartphone, or rather most smartphones. And these are just as lackluster as the original Moto X with just more pixels. Few of these are difficult lighting. And I do expect a mobile camera to do better. If this can't approach what Samsung does with basically the same camera or even surpass last year's Nexus 5, then this cannot be called an improvement. It's a failure.

@cubfan
You must have a cheap bestbuy Tn panel for a monitor and everything looks bad because its a cheap Tn panel that hasn't been calibrated. These photo's look good on the 27" iMac calibrated display.
I had the original moto x and these photos look 10x better. The original camera was worse than the iPhone 4 5MP.

I had the original Moto X, too. So I know that it could do decent photos in the daylight. I have also been a professional photographer, so I know average pictures from good ones. These are average.

Look good enough to sell my OPO. G3 is already on then block. I can get this and be happy for two years. Getting the unlocked version in leather and calling it a day.

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As long as it snaps them quick, those pics are more than adequate for me.

Is there really no SD slot again? That may be a deal breaker unless there is a 64 gb option.

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Actually the new moto x also captures a frame before and after [smart camera ] the snap so it takes a fraction of 1 sec more..... though Impressive.... no complaints!

its so hard to tell how good the camera is. yes, it looks nice, but IMO, anything in the past year looks really good on its own, its when you put it side by side next to the best that we start seeing its issues. I'll hold off judgement until we see a more in depth review/comparrison.

still, the pics are completely passable for the typical user posting to FB/twitter/instagram

I like it. Better still if the price remains consistent for contract free phone.

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Very much improved from the first gen moto x. I'd like to see some low light pics, though since that is the litmus test of smartphone cameras these days.

Pics look good, better than expected, but then again these are extremely ideal conditions. I could probably get similar results from my current gen Moto X. Bright cloudy days are ideal because there is enough even light from clouds diffusing light from the sun. It's when you get into uneven lighting or low light conditions that really test the mettle of the camera and software processing. I agree with a previous poster, side by side pics with a benchmark camera would be great.