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iPhone 6 vs. Motorola Moto X (2014): In-depth comparison

Apple’s new iPhone was arguably the most anticipated device launch of 2014. After a year-long wait that was filled with rumors, the iPhone 6 is finally here. As expected, the iPhone is to be released in two different models. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display and the larger iPhone 6 Plus is a 5.5 inch screen phablet. The devices are available for preorder on September 12, with in store arrival on September 19.

Now that it’s here, we want to find out if the iPhone 6 stacks up against other popular devices from 2014. We’ve pitted it against Motorla’s flagship handset, the 2014 Moto X, which was also just released. Does the iPhone 6 match up? See for yourself.

Power and productivity

While the Moto X is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor that’s found on most high-end Android smartphones, Apple’s iPhone 6 has the company’s own processor onboard. Apple’s new A8 processor is reportedly 25 percent faster than the A7 processor found in the 5S and has 50 percent faster graphics performance. All of that is accomplished using 50 percent less energy. Way back when the 5S debuted, it blew every other phone out of the water in speed benchmarking tests. It remains to be seen how much faster the A8 will be.

Related: Hands-on with the new iPhones

In addition, Apple’s iPhone 6 boasts a M8 co-processor, which is mostly billed as a way for the iPhone 6 to dive deeper into fitness apps. It’s a bit more sophisticated than the M7 coprocessor, which was found in the 5S. It can distinguish between walking, running, and cycling. It also includes a barometer.

Apple may be the only company that gets to lay claim to the 64-bit architecture on mobile devices — and that has its benefits — but the iPhone 6 falls short in the RAM department. We expect the iPhone 6 to have 1GB of RAM, which is pretty minimal for a flagship device, especially compared to the Moto X’s 2GB RAM.

For all that is efficient about the iPhone 6, the Moto X has a longer battery life, a processor with a good track record, and twice the amount of RAM. Neither handset offers an SD card slot for added storage.

Winner: Tie

Design

It seems that both Motorola and Apple agree that bigger is better these days. The iPhone 6’s screen grows to 4.7 inches, with a 1334 x 750 pixel resolution. It’s still slightly smaller and lower resolution than the Moto X, which has undergone a growth spurt of its own, jumping from a 4.7 to 5.2-inch screen. Even so, it’s a tad heavier and bulkier than the iPhone 6. Major design changes for the iPhone come in the form of the power button that has moved from the top to the right-side of the device and the camera that protrudes slightly from the back panel. 

Related: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen size comparison 

The iPhone 6 and Moto X both have an updated chassis. While Apple provides a fully metal rear panel,  Motorola designed the Moto X with a thin metal frame around the handset’s perimeter and reduced the bezel to increase screen size. iPhone 6, too, has increased the amount of screen real estate and now touts a slightly rounder chassis. Apple’s metal rear panel betters Moto X’s leathery skin. However, if you care about colors, you’ll be happy to find that you’ve got nearly endless options to personalize your Moto X. The iPhone 6 will initially be offered in the same colors as the 5S: gold, black, and space gray. 

Winner for build quality: iPhone 6

Winner for customization: Moto X

Camera

The iPhone 6 comes with slightly better cameras. A 2.1-megapixel camera replaces the 1.2-megapixel “facetime camera” of the 5S. The newest iPhone doesn’t boast any higher resolution with the rear camera, touting a nearly identical 8.1-megapixel camera. However, we know that megapixels aren’t everything. Apple announced that the iPhone 6 will include iSight, which should make its camera better detect faces and control exposure. It can also produce 1080p HD video and even capture video in 60 fps for a better slow-motion picture.

Related: First-generation Moto X review

So even though the Moto X has a 13-megapixel shooter on the back, the iPhone 6 should take sharper photos. Motorola has always struggled with their cameras. The Moto X will satisfy most smartphone users, though, even if it may not capture images with the same level of clarity as the iPhone 6.

Winner: iPhone 6

Price and availability

The 16GB Moto X will cost you $100, as long as you sign up for a two-year contract. It’s a low price compared to the iPhone 6’s three price options that start at $200. The iPhone is available for pre-order September 12 and will begin shipping September 19, if you ordered it fast enough. The Moto X is slated for release in “late September.”

Winner: Moto X

Conclusion

When it comes to a straight up spec comparison, the Moto X may edge out the Phone 6. The screen resolution and processing power outpace the iPhone 6 and the connectivity and design are comparable. The iPhone 6 has an advantage with its decent camera and the great functionality of iOS. Those who are looking for a better camera and easy UI might prefer the iPhone 6. However, the bottom line here is this: The Moto X gives you a terrific processor and camera for less.

Spec Comparison

Apple iPhone 6iPhone6 Motorola Moto XMotorola-Moto-X-0
Size 5.44 x 2.64 x .27 inches 5.5 x 2.85 x .39 inches
Weight 4.55 ounces 5.08 ounces
Screen 4.7-inch 5.2-inch OLED
Resolution 1334 x 750 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS iOS 8 Android 4.4
Storage 16, 64, 128 GB 16 GB (32 GB through Moto Maker)
SD Card Slot No No
Processor Apple 64-bit, A8 Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 801
RAM 1GB 2GB
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC
Camera 8MP Rear, 1.2MP Front Front 2MP, Rear 13MP
Bluetooth 4.0 Yes, version 4.0 + LE
Fingerprint sensor TouchID No
Water Resistant Yes Yes
Battery TBA, 14 hours of talk time 2300 mAh, 24 hours of talk time
Charger Lightning microUSB
Marketplace App App Store Google Play Store
Avg. Price $650, $200 with a two-year contract $500, $100 with a two-year contract
DT Review 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5

Related: iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 PlusiPhone 6 vs. Galaxy S5iPhone 6 vs. Fire Phone.