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Galaxy S5 vs. Moto X: Spec Showdown

galaxy s5 vs moto x motox showdown header
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Samsung has been hard at work preparing for Mobile World Congress 2014 — and it shows. The most anticipated new product by far is the Galaxy S5, the next in a line of successful and popular Android-based devices. As expected, the company has made a number of appealing design changes sure to please fans of the Galaxy series of smartphones, most notably a larger screen, built-in fingerprint sensor, and submersible construction. But how does it compare to Motorola’s flagship smartphone, the Moto X? Check out our brief head-to-head comparison below to see which device comes out on top in terms of hardware, software, and overall functionality.

Also, check out our like-minded Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4, or our Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S comparison to see how Samsung’s new offering stacks up against its predecessor and Apple’s flagship smartphone. 


Galaxy S5

Samgung Galaxy S5
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Moto X

Motorola Moto X
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Size 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 (mm) 129.4 x 65.3 x 5.7-10.4 (mm)
Weight 145g 130g
Screen 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 4.7-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels 720×1280 pixels
OS Android 4.4.2 with Samsung UI Android 4.2.2
Storage 16/32GB 16/32 GB
SD Card Slot Yes No
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 801 Dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC
Camera Front 2.1MP, Rear 16MP Front 2 MP, Rear 10 MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0 + LE
Motion Processor Heart Rate Monitor Yes
Fingerprint sensor Yes No
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 rated No
Battery 2800mAh  2200mAh
Charger USB 3.0 Micro USB
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $N/A $199
Availability April on AT&T, Sprint Major US Carriers, Unlocked
DT Review Available Soon

Motorola Moto X Review

Power and productivity

Both the Moto X and Galaxy S5 run on Snapdragon chips that are largely the same in terms of available functionality, with some notable exceptions. The Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Moto X runs two cores at 1.7GHz, and touts an ample 2GB of RAM reserved for games and demanding applications. However, the Galaxy S5 includes a new Snapdragon 801 chip, taking  performance to a new level with a four cores running at an impressive 2.5GHz  and an additional 2GB of RAM to back it up.

While both phones have motion processors, the Moto X is designed to figure out its current environment, and allows users to unlock the phone simply by picking it up. Alternatively, the Galaxy S5 tracks motion throughout the day, measuring your heart rate through a panel on the back. Morever, the Moto X lacks a card reader for external storage, likely rendering the device less appealing to users in need of more than the standard 16 or 32GB of storage.


The design concept behind both smartphones couldn’t be more different. While the Moto X is available in a large number of colors and material options, and embellished in a comfortable curved-back casing, the Galaxy S5 essentially takes its predecessor’s construction and improves upon it with a waterproof encasing capable of being submerged for up to 30 minutes in less than three feet of water. The screen size on the S5 is larger and offers a higher resolution than the Moto X — 1080 x 1920 pixels compared to 720 x 1280 pixels — while taking advantage of Super AMOLED technology for a brighter, less reflective screen that uses less power. In addition, the S5’s super low-power mode ensures the device will use less power when the battery becomes low.


While the front-facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S5 barely beats the camera in the Moto X in terms of raw megapixels, its rear-facing camera more than topples the Moto X with an astonishing 16 megapixels of auto-focusing goodness. The camera is even capable of recording 4K UHD video, and comes equipped with high dynamic range shooting and an LED flash. In comparison, both the 2MP front camera and the 10MP rear camera on the Moto X shoot 1080p video, with latter offering flash capabilities for shooting in darker environments.


While some of the specs of the Galaxy S5 show a drastic improvement over the Moto X, Motorola offers options that a good deal of users will find very attractive. Furthermore, we can expect Motorola’s next release to follow the Moto X with some serious competition fit for the newest addition in the Samsung Galaxy line.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has been confirmed by AT&T and Sprint. It will be available on the Sprint network in April.

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Brad Bourque
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brad Bourque is a native Portlander, devout nerd, and craft beer enthusiast. He studied creative writing at Willamette…
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