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Motorola Moto X Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the photographic capabilities of the Motorola Moto X, it has a 10 megapixel sensor, auto HDR and panorama shooting.

|  Motorola Moto X in Camera Phones
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Moto X

The Motorola Moto X was announced in January 2014 and features a 10 megapixel Clear Pixel (RGBC) camera with LED flash, 1080p HD video, 4x digital zoom, auto HDR, a panorama mode, and manual control of the focus and exposure. It also has a 2 megapixel front camera that is also capable of shooting 1080p HD video. The Motorola Moto X is available now SIM free for around £280.

Motorola Moto X (5)

Motorola Moto X Features

The Motorola Moto X has a 10 megapixel sensor with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. The lens has an f/2.4 aperture, there is 4x digital zoom and full 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps as well slow motion movie recording.

There is simply just an auto shooting mode which adjusts all the camera settings for you. The only shooting options you have are HDR, flash, touch focus, panorama and slow-motion videos.

The Motorola Moto X has a 4.7 inch screen with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution and runs Android which can be updated to KitKat version 4.4. This lets you download a number of apps to edit and share your pictures, as well as surf the web and check your emails.

Motorola Moto X (1)

Key Features

  • 10 megapixel sensor with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 4mm f/2.4 lens (35mm equivalent: 30mm)
  • 4x digital zoom
  • 4.7 inch 720 x 1280 pixel screen
  • Android operating system
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Auto HDR
  • Panorama
  • Photo burst
Motorola Moto X (8)

Motorola Moto X Handling

The Motorola Moto X has a curved rear, making it comfortable to hold - the rear is also rubberised which aids grip and also means it is less like to fall off, for example, a table top by mistake. The front of the phone is filled largely by the 4.7 inch screen, which has a superb resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels.

There aren't any buttons on the front, but there is an on / off switch and volume controls on the side. Everything else is controlled by using the touch screen. To access the camera settings you slide your finger across the screen from the left edge. Sliding from the right takes you to your photo album. You take a shot by pressing the screen, sliding up and down adjusts the zoom.

There isn't a CIPA rating for the battery life, but as a smartphone, regular charging is necessary. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.15 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   30 secs (6 seconds from standby)
Shot to Shot without Flash   0.9 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.6 secs
Continuous Shooting   2.7 fps

For continuous shooting you simple need to hold your finger on the screen when taking a shot.

Motorola Moto X (4)

Motorola Moto X Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Motorola Moto X Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Skin tones are OK in portrait shots - but when using the LED flash, your subject won't be able to avoid squinting as it's extremely bright.

Motorola Moto X Lens test images

Lens Performance - Image detail is OK, but there is clearly some issues with image quality - there are patchy areas on the building in the Wide Angle picture above. There is also significant purple fringing. Detail is poor when using the digital zoom - macro shots aren't the best either.

Motorola Moto X ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - There's no option to manually control the ISO, so we have manipulated the light to obtain a range of pictures at various ISO's. Noise is kept low with good images produced up to ISO 640, where images become a little softer. Image quality gradually reduces through ISO 800, with quality becoming particularly poor by ISO 3200.

Motorola Moto X White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Again, you can't set the white balance, so you are relying on Auto White Balance (AWB). Thankfully, the AWB performs well under both our incandescent and fluorescent lights.


Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are extremely well stitched together.

Motorola Moto X Digital filters

Digital Filters - Too add creativity to your shots there are nine filters available, with examples of each above. You can download other apps with even more editing features.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD - quality is good but there is a purple tint in the videos at times.

Value For Money

The Motorola Moto X costs around £280 without a contract, with a contract prices start for free from Phones4U. Other premium smartphones with plenty of megapixels on their sensors include the Sony Xperia Z with 13.1 megapixels at around £270iPhone 5S with 8 megapixels for around £470, Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41 megapixels for around £350 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 with 16 megapixels for around £560. You may want to buy a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Motorola Moto X Verdict

The Motorola X looks stylish and is one of the cheaper smartphones available. For those who want a smartphone with a good camera, it's bad news. Images have decent colour reproduction, but detail isn't impressive and there are clearly quality issues with a number of our sample shots. The camera has limited options - so it's easy enough to use, but the user lacks control.


Motorola Moto X Pros

Stylish smartphone
Large, high resolution screen
Speedy continuous shooting
Quite cheap for a smartphone

Motorola Moto X Cons

Limited control over camera settings
Poor image quality
LED flash is too bright for portraits


Motorola Moto X Specifications

Front Camera
PixelsNo Data
Max ApertureNo Data
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
    Additional CamerasNo Data
    Max Aperturef/2.4
    35mm equivalent30mm
    Optical Zoom1x
    Image Sensor
    Pixels10Mp (Megapixels)
    Pixels (W)4320
    Pixels (H)2432
    Sensor TypeNo Data
    Sensor SizeNo Data
    Sensor Size (width)No Data
    Sensor Size (height)No Data
    Aspect Ratio
    • 16:9
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor4.7in
    Screen resolution720 x 1280
    Touch ScreenYes
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data
    ISO sensitivityNo Data
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPS30
    Stereo SoundNo
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationNo Data
    USBUSB 2
    Internal MemoryNo Data
    Power Source
    Battery Type2200 mAh
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsMoto X, Charger, Cable, SIM Removal Tool, Quick Guides

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