Why HTC One Still Beats Moto X Hardware

The HTC came home with me almost a month ago and it’s still the best phone I’ve ever owned. After reading our review of the Moto X and comparing it to the Samsung Galaxy S4 I think it’s the best Android phone available today, even though HTC released it almost half a year ago now.

What makes this phone a better option than even the new Motorola Moto X for Android buyers? Granted, the Moto X looks like a very nice handset, with an impressive build quality and the interesting color customizations. Still, four things put the HTC One slightly ahead of the newer Moto X. They include hardware quality, the display, camera video and photo quality and excellent sound.


Before looking into the strengths of the HTC One over the Moto X, let me admit that the Moto X software looks impressive. It listens to the user while being ready to obey commands at all times, as the following ad demonstrates:

Still, for users who don’t talk to their phones much, unless they’re in a call, this feature may go unused.

HTC One Hardware Compared to the Moto X

Before using the HTC One I wondered why so many people thought a metal body on a phone always made it so much better. As a Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 user I reasoned that plastic was lighter and therefore better? True, but it’s also more flimsy.

The HTC One feels sturdier than every other phone out there, except maybe iPhone 4 and newer. The HTC One screen looks great, the buttons feel firm and even the micro-USB doesn’t seem like it will bend or fall apart, unlike other micro-USB phone connectors.

Add the features below to these and we get a better phone. What’s more, look at the list of specs below where the HTC One beats the Moto X.

  • Pixel density for a crisper display. The HTC One offers 468ppi compared to 316 on the Moto X
  • HTC One gives us 100mAh more battery power
  • Double the storage at with 32GB compared to 16GB on the Moto X

HTC One Display Compared to the Moto X

htc one and moto x front

We like the HTC One display over the Moto X.  They both look very good, but images and text appear clearer on the HTC One thanks to the higher resolution and greater pixel density mentioned above. As a result it offers a crisper reading experience. Video looks richer and images seem more detailed. Playing games will benefit as well from a higher res screen.

HTC One Camera Compared to the Moto X

Both phones seem to offer nice photographic features and options, but we like HTC One camera better. For example, take the excellent Zoe feature on the HTC camera. It takes a short video and a series of shots at full resolution. The user can find the best frame in the short video and it saves the corresponding picture from the series of photos taken to the photo gallery. We love this feature for getting great action shots or group shots. It also pre-rolls the camera so, even if the user hits the shutter button late, she can still get the image.

In our review of the Moto X, editor Josh Smith said about the camera:

Motorola makes a big deal about the camera in the Moto X, … but the camera relies on automatic detection of exposure and focus too much in many cases.

That’s not a complaint we had with the HTC One.

Here’s a low light video sample taken with the HTC One that proves how good the HTC One sensor handles a challenging photographic setting like low light.

Here’s an image sample from the HTC One camera in low light with a lot of backlighting. While the sky looks blown out, the rest of the shot offers good color and lighting despite an extremely difficult backlighting. Few phone cameras would take as good an image.

2013-04-16 20.31.33

Some users will buy into the megapixel marketing light since the Moto X offers a 10MP sensor. However, the 4MP sensor on the HTC One makes better shots for displaying on a screen and for printing smaller images at 5×7 or lower.

HTC One Sound Compared to the Moto X

The HTC One’s two front facing speakers, we get better sound on the HTC One compared to the Moto X. In our Moto X review editor Josh Smith, wrote:

As for audio quality, Motorola delivers respectable sound but overall it is not up to par with the HTC One’s BoomSound front-facing speakers that deliver clearer, louder music and audio for movies.

That’s four key areas where the HTC One shines. That’s why it’s still the best Android handset available. We’ll see if it can reign supreme after we get ahold of the new Nexus 5 coming very soon, by all signs.