We already know that HTC’s popular One (M8) smartphone ticks a lot of the boxes for a high-end smartphone in 2014, but how does the refreshed Moto X compare? Read on as we highlight all the key differences between the two handsets.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The two handsets are practically identical when it comes to width, while the Moto X is 3.5 percent shorter and 5 percent thicker than the One.
There’s a more significant difference when it comes to weight, with the HTC handset coming in at 11 percent heavier than its rival.
The One features a premium aluminum build that feels great in the hand, while the Motorola smartphone is available in a choice of three different build materials, all of which feature a metal band around the edge.
The HTC One (M8) is available in three somewhat muted metallic colors, while you can customize the Moto X (at Moto Maker) in a huge array of color combinations.
The Moto X’s display is 8 percent larger than that found on the One. Considering Motorola's phone is a little shorter, it gives you a much better balance of screen size to phone size.
Both devices pack sharp screens with the same 1080p resolution.
The Moto X features a Super AMOLED screen, allowing for what the company calls Active Display. When you receive a notification, it will pulse on the screen, showing the relevant information without waking up the entire display. You can also hold a hand above the screen to view recent alerts.
The Motorola device should be able to cope with getting water splashed on it, but there’s no full waterproofing tech included.
Motorola’s handset offers what the company calls Moto Voice, a feature that lets you activate Google’s Now voice control service without unlocking the device and heading to the home screen. You can also replace the “Ok Google” phrase with something that rolls a little more naturally off the tongue (and doesn't turn you into a walking advertisement).
The One’s rear camera only packs 4 MP, but the pixels themselves are bigger and take in more light. Though its shots could be crisper, we liked the camera well enough in our testing, and found that it coped particularly well in low light conditions.
The M8’s front camera also produces great results, and features touch-up tools that make it perfect for selfie-lovers.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Moto X, for more on its camera.
There are two camera lenses on the back of the HTC smartphone. The second lens acts as a depth sensor, allowing for a number of post-shot effects, including the ability to refocus a snap by simply tapping the part of the shot you want in focus.
You can instantly activate the camera on both devices by holding them in landscape mode (though you'll also have to click the volume key on the One).
On HTC’s device, you can also double tap the screen to wake it up, or swipe in various directions to reach specific home screens.
Both devices feature front-facing stereo speakers, but HTC's "BoomSound" speakers produce the louder, bassier sound.
The One’s battery is a little bigger than the Moto X’s. We were impressed with the HTC handset’s up times in our testing, finding that it could easily last a full day.
We've had a Moto X review unit in hand since its announcement and will have more to say on its uptimes soon.
Extreme Power Saving Mode
If your One’s battery does start running low before you get the chance to hook it up to a charger, then you can activate Extreme Power Saving Mode. The mode turns off most of the device’s apps and processes, leaving only the most important features running.
Both handsets are available in 16 and 32 GB configurations, but only HTC’s handset features a microSD card reader.
Both devices are powered by the Snapdragon 801, but it’s clocked a little higher on Motorola’s smartphone.
Both devices pack a standard 2 GB memory.
One of our favorite things about Motorola’s new handset is its hands-off approach to Android. The Moto X offers a near stock version of the OS, with the only changes being made to accommodate the extra features the company has put into the device, as listed in this comparison.
HTC’s flagship smartphone goes in a different direction, with HTC's custom UI, Sense, sitting on top. It's pretty streamlined, and the overall aesthetic is slick and attractive.
HTC’s handset has been on the shelves since March, while the Moto X is now up for pre-order and scheduled to start shipping later this month.
Starting price (off-contract)
In many ways, these two devices are neck and neck on the spec sheet, but there’s a significant difference when it comes to price. There’s a US$150 difference if you were to buy the handsets outright, and that should translate to the Moto X coming in around $100 cheaper on-contract.View gallery - 21 images