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iPhone 5s vs Moto X: quick look

The iPhone 5s has arrived, and that has us wondering how it compares Android's best flagship devices, including the Moto X. Join us as we compare the iPhone 5s to the Moto X.
September 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?