iPhone 5s vs Moto X: quick look

by: Andrew GrushSeptember 23, 2013

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For all the Apple fans out there, it’s that time of the year again. The iPhone 5s is here, and with it, come several improvements over the original iPhone 5.

Now that the latest iPhone has arrived, those in the Android camp might wonder how Apple’s “amazing” new handset compares to some of Android’s most popular flagship devices, including the Moto X.

Let’s jump right in and take a quick look at the iPhone 5s versus the Moto X. In a hurry? Jump straight to the video.

Design and build quality

With the iPhone 5s, you get an aluminum shell, chamfered edges, and a home button that is made of sapphire crystal with a stainless steel detection ring around it.

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In the other corner, we have the Moto X, which is constructed of PET composite and keeps hardware keys to a minimum, with just a volume rocker and power button. While the handset might be plastic, don’t let it fool you — the Moto X is highly durable and a very premium looking device.

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Comparing size and weight, the iPhone 5s comes in at 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and weighs just 112 grams. In contrast, the Moto X is a little bigger at 129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4mm, with a weight of 130 grams.

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The iPhone 5s features a 4-inch Retina display, with a resolution of 1136 x 640, rated at 326ppi.

In comparison, the Moto X rocks a larger 4.7-inch 720p display, though it has a slightly lower pixel density at 316 ppi.

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When it comes to the camera department, the Moto X has the advantage of a 10 MP back cam with f/2.4 aperture. There’s also LED flash, digital image stabilization, 4X zoom and Motorola’s ClearPixel technology. Beyond the hardware, the Moto X also comes with an easy to use, gesture-controlled camera app.

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For the iPhone 5s we get a slightly lower 8MP camera with f/2.2 aperture. The zoom is also only 3X, though it does have dual-toned LED flash, which enables more natural looking tones. There’s also several iOS 7 camera features such as auto image stabilization and a new burst mode that takes up to 10 frames per second.


Both handsets feature non-removable batteries, though the Moto X packs a 2,200 mAh Li-Ion battery, versus the smaller 1,570 mAh Li-Po found in the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 5s will supposedly handle about 10 hours of browsing/Wi-Fi, 10 hours talking/3G and 10.4 days in standby.

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As for the Moto X, with its bigger battery you get around 9 hours of browsing/Wi-Fi, 13 – 14 hours talking/3G and roughly 13.8 days standby.


Outside of its 1.7GHz Apple A7 64-bit dual-core CPU and fingerprint scanner, nothing about the iPhone 5s’ hardware really stands out. There’s 1GB of RAM, and storage configurations are comparable to many Android devices: 16, 32, or 64GB.

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Looking to the Moto X, you’ll find Motorola’s X8 computing platform, which has a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor at its heart. The handset also has 2GB RAM, 16/32/64GB storage, and comes with 5GB of free cloud storage.


Being Android fans here, we are obviously going to favor Android. Looking at beyond just the OS itself, the Moto X also has some pretty cool special features in its lightly customized version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Some of the best known features include Active Display and Touchless Control capabilities.

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As for the iPhone 5s, you get the newly redesigned iOS 7. There are quite a few special features here too, but it’s no Android.

Hands-on video

Wrap up

The iPhone 5s is a great handset, if you don’t mind the walled garden that is iOS. If you’d rather have a more robust OS that gives you the freedom to do with it as you please, the Moto X is certainly a solid choice as well.

Ultimately, both devices represent best of breed experiences from either ecosystem. Apple continues to make inroads with iOS, and the Moto X has received some interesting features that no other Android device currently has. We’ll let you decide — which device whets your appetite?

  • VasyaPupkin

    another useless article.
    and the same comment ;)

  • Luka Mlinar

    Should have called this article; War of the overly expensive gimmick phones.

    • Ryan Castle

      Someone else who hasn’t even touched the Moto X. Carry on folks.

    • Perv Bear

      Well at the 300 dollar price mark that republic wireless has it at I disagree.

  • not a spark

    I thought the a7 was @ 1.3 ghz

    • Valtheus

      Does anybody in this community actually cares at what speed A7 runs? I don’t!

      • lesportif

        Curiosity in tech is always great.

  • Brent

    What a clearly biased article, especially the camera section. It’s worded as if the Moto X is clearly better. 10 MP is clearly better than 8. Why? They are both plenty big for any normal use. Not even a mention that the iPhone’s F2.2 lens is a quarter stop faster (25%) for low light or sharper action shots.
    Better digital zoom!?!? Who cares which phone let’s you automatically throw away more pixels.

  • cno

    I love my moto x close to stock fast everything is great…except camera does need a little work but its still good. And best phone out! I don’t need all crap on s4 and etc.

    • Maxim∑

      well. im sure your happy today, huge software update fixed everything!

  • modified_67

    AFAIK, the Moto X doens’t come in 64GB storage capacity.

    • Ryan EWing

      who needs that

  • Lee

    Haha… Another biased article, desperately trying to show that the new Apple iPhone is no big deal. In benchmarking tests, the iPhone 5s blows all Android phones out of the water. Android is laggy shit with crappy apps. But I guess, you chaps are happy that you can install an antivirus & a fake iMessage app on your phone.

    • ManVSFood

      Well, the site is called “Android Authority,” so what do you expect? Also, calling Android laggy isn’t always correct. On Samsung phones, sure, because they add their TouchWiz UI to Android on their phones. It’s gimmicky and slows them down. However, the Moto X has stock Android, so it’s going to be as smooth and snappy as iOS. You obviously won’t have the speed of the 5s because of the iPhone’s superior hardware, but it’s definitely going to be as smooth. Personally, I’m torn between these two and need to keep reading what people/sites have to say about their comparisons to make my final decision.

      • Steven Z

        Since when did the iPhone have “superior hardware” that somehow just makes it magically faster than all Android phones?
        Hint: It doesn’t have superior hardware. If you’re talking about 64-bit, then please remember that 64-bit is very useless unless you’ve got 4GB of RAM or more.

        • kpom

          ARM v8 > ARM v7 even without 64-bit.

      • ryan

        the moto x is almost stock android, don’t forget active display and touchless control that motorola added

    • bklm1234

      iPhones blow dicks. Its worth is make Android makers push forward their hardware. iOS’s closeness is to serve Apple and idiots like you. Can you use a different keyboard? No. And No Apple doesn’t make the best keyboard already as you would no doubt say. Don’t kid yourself Apple beat the 10s of keyboard developers like Swiftkey, Swype, TouchPal. Mutliple companies going at it constantly is not better than Apple? Surely no to blind cult follower like you who don’t have to try anything to make conclusions as you did in “Android is laggy”. Keyboard choice is just one example of open is better than Apple’s rob-idiots-blind-and-the-idiots-still-say-thank-you-Apple approach. You guys will never give credit to Android’s ingenious open architecture. One more example, I can cut/copy multiple clips into a clipboard and come back to it and pick which clip to paste easily. And there are multiple Android clipboard apps out there. iOS absolutely sucks on comparison.

    • balthasar

      well said… You clearly got their point… Haha really funny these anfroid fans are…

    • Steven Z

      This website is called Android Authority. If you hate Android and love Apple so much, then why do you even visit this site?

      • preston


    • TheSocalGuy

      Can you please provide the proof that the iPhone 5s blows all Android phones out of the market in benchmarking. At least when Android has a OS update they don’t need to release patch fixes like iOS does. IOS 7 and right behind that iOS 7.0.2 now 7.0.3 and soon behind 7.1 all within a couple months.

    • frank

      Its not. Had one for three days. Sent it back and got an X. Way better device. Motorola is the one to watch….again.

    • frank

      By the way the X blew the 5 away in my tests.

  • To call the Moto X’s10MP f/2.4 camera better than the iPhone 5S’ 8MP f/2.2 camera just shows the sheer and utter ignorance of the author of this article. Are there better smartphone camera’s than the iPhone 5s? Probably, but the Moto X is definitely not it.

  • siribalwant KHALSA

    very useless article.

  • bklm1234

    To be fair, hardware of iphone 5s is at least 1 class above Moto X. Can’t blame the iSheep get outraged by this article. Get real Motorola. Give us higher end hardware on the next Moto X. But iphone 5s is very gimmicky. That awful mechanical home button (I have so many friends’ worn out) just doesn’t belong in a modern touchscreen device. And now it’s also the fingerprint scanner?! As CCC pointed out an unchangeable security token is a bad idea. And you can’t implement the fingerprint scanner on the back instead of taking up valuable front real estate? BTW, all Android phones should get rid of capacitive and mechanical buttons too. Make the touchscreen bigger. Let it host the buttons like on the Nexus 4 and Moto X.

  • Job Anson McKee

    as a long-time Apple iPhone user (2008), and having tried the Moto X after using the 5 for ~1 year, I liked this article a lot. Albeit not a completely side-by-side fair comparison, it is what the title says — a ‘quick look’ — GENERALIZATIONS — of each phone in contrast. For someone trying to choose explicitly between the two, I give +1 for this article

  • vzoom

    i hope nexus 5 is the phone of the androids and smartphones in general

  • Brendon Brown

    The Moto X isn’t aimed at the “Geeks” or the tech enthusiasts , it is aimed at the mass market , average Joes if you will , these people really only look at features (Same reason as why Samsung has all these features in their Galaxy devices and sell in millions). Hence why they didnt put the best specs in the X.
    You see geeks go for the best comparison of the Price and The specs
    And the normal “non Geek” goes for the comparison of Features and price.
    And that is why the Moto X should do great and that is also the reason why Samsung devices sell like they do.

    P.S – The Moto X specs are really not that bad either and is still pretty darn good.

    • gommer strike

      It “should” do great – but is it doing well? I haven’t heard a thing. For people who don’t care about specs, what compels that same, non-techie, to buy a Moto X and not an iPhone?

  • Jose


  • gommer strike

    Not a good article. At least try to pretend to be a little bit impartial.

    The Moto X’s camera is awful. There is no dispute whatsoever, that the iPhone’s camera is far better – why gloss over that? The iPhone’s slow-motion cutesy thing is actually pretty good. On a slightly more relevant topic, are you suggesting for a second, that the Moto X takes better pictures than the HTC one? Don’t try that. Remember how specs aren’t everything?

    A non-techie person comes to the store. He/she sees the iPhone and the Moto X. And has enough money, for ONE phone. Which will that person buy? This article, which talks about specs, won’t sway that customer.

    • frank

      Software update. Camera is now excellent.

  • frank

    Please take a side and pick one!
    Man! The X blows it away.