Motorola Moto X (2014) review: Have it your way
Have it your way
13MP camera with dual-LED flash
The new Moto X features a 13MP f/2.25camera with dual-LED flash. The latter is setup rather originally in a ring around the sensor.
The camera can be activated by a simple hand gesture. Dubbed Quick Capture, the feature works by twisting your wrist twice when holding the device.
On the software side, the camera offers HDR, burst shots and panorama. The Moto X can also shoot UHD videos at 30fps - par for the course for high-end smartphones these days. There are also features like face detection and geo-tagging that we've grown accustomed to in most phones nowadays.
The camera UI of the Moto X is quite simple. It relies completely on sliding gestures for zoom and settings - sliding from the left opens the settings, while sliding from the right opens the image gallery. Zoom works by sliding your finger up and down the screen. Capturing an image is as easy as tapping on the screen.
At the front of the Moto X, there's a 2MP camera capable of 1080p video recording for video-chatting purposes.
As far as the image quality is concerned, the Moto X (2014) is mostly on par with its predecessor. The images it produces are rather noisy and with only an average amount of detail. The color rendering is decent, but the red channel often falls victim to the very limited dynamic range and clips.
Here are a few more camera samples for you to enjoy.
Motorola Moto X (2014) more camera samples
We do like the balance that Motorola has achieved with the HDR mode – the effect isn’t too exaggerated and doesn’t result in low contrast images, but you still get plenty of extra detail in the highlights. Given the low native dynamic range of the Moto X (2014) sensor we suggest you use this mode whenever possible.
Finally, the flash test showed that the range of the Dual-LED is rather limited – you can see that the background hasn’t been lit particularly well in this photo. The color balance with flash obviously could be better too, but the Moto X does well to produce relatively noise-free images with enough detail if you stay close enough to the subject.
Photo comparison tool
The Motorola Moto X (2014) is more than capable of carrying its own weight in our Photo Comparison tool. You can see it puts up a good fight against the other snappers we've tested.
Motorola Moto X 2014 in our photo quality comparison tool
UHD video camera
The UI of the video camera has remained unchanged. Video capture begins by pressing the button located in the top right corner of the app.
Video recording is definitely the better half of the Moto X (2014) camera performance. The smartphone produces some splendid 4K footage with excellent colors and plenty of detail. Videos are nicely smooth too and the only issue we have with them is the less than stellar dynamic range.
The 1080p clips produced by the Moto X are pretty great too, sharing many of the good traits of the 2160p videos. They do have somewhat less detail, but they also come with a much more sensible 17Mbps bitrate, compared to the 52Mbps of the 4K footage, which is rather important when you don’t have easily expandable storage.
We also have a slow-motion sample to show you – the Motorola Moto X is capable of doing those at 1080p resolution, which is pretty impressive. They don’t quite match the image quality of the regular clips, but they certainly have their uses.
Here are a few untoched samples you can download:
Video comparison tool
You can use our Video quality comparison tool to check how the Motorola Moto X (2014) measures up against other 2160p competition.
Motorola Moto X (2014) 2160p video comparison
We also shot the charts in 1080p mode, which is a good opportunity to put the Moto X up against the Apple iPhone 6.
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