Moto X (2014) vs. Moto G (2014) camera comparison: is the Moto X camera really that bad?

© NextPit

Our Moto X (2014) review demonstrated a problematic vulnerability in the new Motorola flagship: the camera didn't really impress us, nor any of the other reviewers we've seen test the device. Some are going so far as to say that the camera is so bad that the Moto G (2014), a device that costs less than half the price of the Moto G (2014) is capable of shooting better photos. In our Moto X (2014) vs Moto G (2014) camera comparison, we'll show you just how these two cameras stack up against one another.

The Moto X (2014) and Moto G (2014): is the Moto G actually better than the Moto X? / © ANDROIDPIT

2nd generation cameras: are they bigger and better? Or just bigger?

Both the Moto X (2014) and Moto G (2014) have been gifted with a new camera this time around, and both have larger sensors than in their predecessors. The new Moto X even has a funky looking dual-LED ring flash surrounding the camera lens. But how does it work in practice? And are the larger resolution cameras better or are they just larger resolution? Our comparisons in the past have shown us repeatedly that megapixels are not everything, so we've taken the Moto X (2014) and Moto G (2014) on a camera tour. What they came up with is sometimes amazing and sometimes terrifying.

All this started because the well known tech blogger and hardcore tester Erica Griffin showed comparison photos of the new Motorola smartphones which she had just picked up at the launch event in Chicago, at the same time as we were testing them out at IFA 2014 in Berlin. The surprising results of those photos raised the question: does the Moto G (2014) shoot better photos than the Moto X (2014)? We now have both devices and have tested their cameras side by side. The result? Erica Griffin is absolutely right.

Moto X (2014) vs Moto G (2014) camera comparison: the evidence

We took the same pictures with both devices in different situations and directly compared the results. The resolution was, of course, different for both cameras at the maximum value (13 MP for the Moto X and 8 MP for the Moto G), but even more than the sharpness of detail, we were interested in factors such as realistic color reproduction (auto white balance), dynamic range and noise performance.

Before we give you our conclusions, take a look for yourself and see what you see. Here are the cropped but otherwise unedited comparison photos - the Moto X is always on the top and the Moto G is always on the bottom.

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Bright colors in the snack box: the Moto X produces a sharper picture with higher contrast, but there is also a bluish tint in the image. The mixture of artificial and natural light that illuminates our snack box could be the cause of this, but the Moto G handles it decently enough. / © ANDROIDPIT
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Here it becomes clear how far apart the Moto X (top) and Moto G (below) are in terms of contrast and color saturation. The bottom picture looks almost faded, but the reality is actually more appropriate than the over-saturated shot on top. / © ANDROIDPIT
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This shot under a cloudy sky shows hardly any differences at first glance, but on closer inspection you can see that the Moto X (top) is colder and has a slight blue tint. / © ANDROIDPIT
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There's a particularly marked difference between the two devices on the front camera too: The Moto G (right) captures skin tones and the green of the background realistically, while the Moto X (left) is much less convincing. / © ANDROIDPIT
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In these 100% crops you can see the difference between 13 and 8 megapixels: the Moto X (above) picks up more detail than the Moto G / © ANDROIDPIT
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But megapixels and sharpness of detail is not everything: in this low light shot you can see that the Moto X (above) produced significantly more noise than the Moto G (below). You can also see the well-known focus issues of the Moto X: the figure in the foreground is not in good focus, despite pointing the auto focus straight at the figure. / © ANDROIDPIT
motox motog camera comparison 2
The Moto X has a new ring flash with two LEDs - but its use proves to be disappointing, even here we prefer the result from the Moto G (below) with its conventional LED light because it produces more natural looking colors. / © ANDROIDPIT

Here are all the pictures of our comparison in a gallery – if you want to see the original images at full resolution, you can find them on Google+.

Moto X (2014) vs. Moto G (2014) camera comparison: the result?

The Moto X (2014) has a potential advantage over the Moto G (2014). When it comes to performance and speed of the camera the Moto X pulls ahead: the camera on the Moto X (2014) launches very quickly and is ready to shoot almost immediately. Even HDR images are processed without significant waiting times - just as you would expect from a top smartphone. But that's about it in favor of the Moto X (2014), despite its inflated price tag and larger megapixel count.

When it comes to image quality though – you know, the important part – the much ''weaker'' camera on the Moto G (2014) outshines the camera on the Moto X (2014). This truly is a disappointment, if only because the Moto X (2014) costs more than twice as much as the Moto G (2014). Of course, this is great news for anyone buying a Moto G (2014), as you're getting a camera better than the flagship for next to nothing.

It is not out of the question that the weaknesses in the Moto X (2014) camera cannot be repaired with a software update, but this shouldn't be necessary straight out of the box. After seeing the results for ourselves though, it is clear that it is sorely needed, and fast.

What do you think about the photos? Would you have predicted this result?

(Originally by

Kris Carlon

Kris Carlon

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  •   7
    Deactivated Account Oct 7, 2014 Link to comment

    I had a similar thought to Ricky Socer, except I wondered if I could copy the camera software on my Razr HD, and put it on my Moto G. Except I suspect it wouldn't work as simply as that. Think the best thing would be for us to write some nice polite letters to Motorola, asking them to fix our cameras. After all, both the Moto X & Moto G phones have been amazing, and therefore, quite significant products for Motorola. Hey, it's worth a try.

  • ricky socer Oct 3, 2014 Link to comment

    can you take the camera from the new moto g and plop it inside the new moto x? would it still work? (maybe that's the next blog post idea ;)

  • Reg Joo Oct 2, 2014 Link to comment

    Good thing that it's a android, that's a software fix. Maybe a dev at xda, can fix that.

  • CJ Brown Oct 2, 2014 Link to comment

    I wouldn't have predicted this, however, as a Moto X 2013 owner? I've set my camera to its maximum potential by using Adobe Photoshop app to enhance and sharpen my pictures ...

    I'm sure if enough consumers inquire with Motorola? A solution to this problem will be obtained (I don't have a problem with Motorola's Camera app, though I can download Google's Camera app if that were to improve things) ...

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