Motorola Moto X (2014) vs Moto X (2013): What's the difference?

Motorola has just announced new versions of its Moto X and Moto G smartphones for 2014.

Both handsets have undergone design and spec upgrades to make them as impressive as they were when they launched last year. In fact these are more impressive, with prices staying low.

Here we're going to take a look at the flagship model, the Moto X, to see how Motorola has made this its phone for 2014. And is it worth the £420 price tag when last year's model was just £300?

A design restart

Motorola hasn't so much gone back to the drawing board with the Moto X as had a rethink. The new model for 2014 will be made from aluminium where last year's version was just a plastic shell.

The back has also had more attention with the previous model offering a wood rear the new version not only offers wood but also an optional leather back cover. This leather rear case is a real premium looking cover.

Motorola is offering a laser engraving option for the 2014 Moto X which should create a far more impressive result than last year's pad printed engraving effort.

The 2014 Moto X measures in at 72.4 x 140.8mm at 144g where last year's, with its smaller screen, was 65.3 x 129mm and 139g.

Screen size means more

The next step in the design change for Motorola was to improve the screen. Since bigger is better these days the Moto X has been upgraded from last year's 4.7-inch display to a 5.2-inch screen. But it's not just size that's changed.

The new 5.2-inch display has a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080 for 423pp, beating last year's 316ppi considerably. So not only is it bigger but it's cramming in even more pixels too.

Both screens are AMOLEDs meaning rich colours throughout. Both screens are also sporting Corning Gorilla Glass to protect against scratches or cracks.

Power-up

A new phone means a new processor and Motorola has gone for a great one. Last year it used the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro at 1.7GHz, which was a bit dated even then. The new Moto X features a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Sure it's not the latest 805 but it's still a very impressive chip that can handle almost anything while still going easy on the battery.

The new chip means upgraded graphics with Adreno 330 running at 578MHz, compared to last year's Adreno 320 at 450MHz.

Camera upgrades

With all the extra power in the new Moto X the camera has been upgraded with support for more options than were previously on offer.

The new camera is a 13-megapixel snapper with an f/2.25 aperture and dual flash. Thanks to the phone's chip this is able to capture 4K video footage and offers 4x zoom. There are also four mics instead of three now meaning stereo sound can be captured far more clearly – this should help with call quality too.

Last year's model shot video at 1080p and featured a 10-megapixel camera with single LED flash.

Battery life

The Moto X (2014) has had a battery upgrade, meagre as it is. From 2,200mAh last year to 2,300mAh this year.

The bump in battery size will likely be to help support that larger screen that's going to be sucking more life. But offset that against the far more power efficient Snapdragon 801 processor and we'd expect battery life to be improved overall on this year's Moto X.

The 2014 Moto X also has an added Turbo Charging feature that, Motorola says, will deliver 8 hours of battery life in a 15-minute charge.

Software

Like the Moto X of 2013 the latest Moto X will have 2014's latest Android operating system pre-installed. That means it will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat.

Also like last year's model it's fair to assume that when Android L arrives all the Google owned Motorola handsets will get the update as soon as possible.

Summing up

Motorola has managed to release a more premium handset thanks to a design overhaul. It's also upgraded the camera and processor to a level that compete with most flagship handsets.

But the key is that this phone will probably undercut most other smartphones in price while still offering more than enough of every feature anyone could want.