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Moto X Camera Update: New vs. Old Software Photo Comparison (Updated)

moto x camera update

A new software update is rolling out to the T-Mobile Moto X variant starting today with a focus on improving the camera experience. We have had the pleasure of testing the software for about a week now, and have results to share with you below. With two Moto X phones in house, we had the opportunity to take a variety of shots in a variety of settings with a tripod to get a bunch of before and after photos. One thing is clear, the camera is certainly improved post-update.Β 

Here are the changes according to Motorola:

  • Enhanced auto-white balance performance and color accuracy
  • Improved exposure in outdoor and backlit scenes
  • Reduced noise in low light scenes

From our test results, you’ll see a pretty dramatic increase in color accuracy after the update. Photos no longer look like they have a brownish tint and actually show color where you wouldn’t have seen it previously. Take for example the picture below of a spare bedroom in my house that shows a white dresser up against a dark blue wall. The new camera software picks up the blue tint behind the white dresser, while the old camera shows the wall as almost a grey or charcoal color, along with a yellowish dresser. You’ll see the change in most outdoor shots as well, with sky looking bright blue and green shining through on vegetation, where the old camera software left the sky looking pale and greenery looking lifeless.

The only area I noticed a decline in performance was in extreme low light. I found that the new camera software couldn’t quite display as much of a dark closet, but I think I can live with the color accuracy improvements over extreme low light performance decreasing. How often do you need to take a picture in a completely dark room?

Other than that, I can’t wait for this to rollout to everyone.

Samples

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moto x compare4

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motox compare3

motox compare2

UPDATE: Β A number of readers asked to see how the camera update makes the Moto X compare to other top devices. Here are some tripod shots with the Moto X up against the Galaxy S4 (Google Play Edition) and the LG G2 (international variant).

moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4

moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4

moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4moto x camera vs lg g2 galaxy s4

So what do you think? Solid improvement?

  • James B

    So does anyone leave HDR in auto? My Moto X seems to take better pictures with HRD off.

  • chris125

    Any word on if this will be coming to the maxi? I think that would make it a huge check in favor of the maxx with that huge battery and the much improved camera software

  • Tim Swann

    Kellex, can you take the GS4 pictures again for the comp using the 16:9 ratio? It looks like you have it set to the 4:3 ratio which takes 13MP pictures. If you use the 16:9 ratio it takes 10MP pictures btw. Someone I work with has the GS4 and we went through the settings and saw that.

  • Rob

    Looks so much better and not washed out.

  • Hunter Stephenson

    Does anyone know if they have ripped the new camera .apk yet? I would really like to install it on my verizon moto x, but I don’t wanna wait until an upgrade b/c i’ll loose my root and write access. any links would be appreciated!

  • Rafael

    Impressed, in some shots (not all of them) it showed better colors than the other devices! Take for example the last comparison where the LG and S4 show overexposed colors in the objects behind the windows (the fence for example), or the comparison of the purple flower. Motorola is doing it right, and I’m buying this phone at whatever cost.

  • Pedro

    From the last set, you should not use your tripod during an earthquake. I almost got dizzy.

  • bluemon

    Keep in mind the Galaxy s4 camera is from a google play edition. Not touch wiz.

  • Gabriel Ionescu

    I’m not impressed at all. They seem to have raised the contrast and saturation and changed the white balance towards blue/violet.

  • n900mixalot

    None of this is helpful without an histogram. At least that what we could see what kind of levels the camera is shooting at so we can tell whether or not it is the camera or the software.

    All I see is purple.

    • dizel123

      If you can’t tell how good a picture is by looking at it with your own eyes and need some kind of chart to tell you if its ok, then you shouldn’t be looking at pictures. Ever.

      • n900mixalot

        A histogram is not just some kind of chart. This is why people like you need to get iPhones and stop trying to be smarter than you really are.

        If you can’t take the time to pull your finger out of your ass so you can Google a damn histogram, you can eat a bowl of hair.

        • dizel123

          Sorry…its a graph not a chart. Minor technicality. You still have no business looking at pictures because not only are you blind, but you’re a idiotic snobby little bitch. This why people like you need to stay off the internet.

          • n900mixalot

            People like me just know how to use the internet to LEARN about stuff like how histograms work and why they are VERY important to photography.

          • dizel123

            And people like me have the intelligence and self awareness to look at a picture and know if I like it without having to google it. But hey, if you need someone else to tell you whether or not you can like something, then more power to you. Whatever works for you.

  • TalkingMoose

    It’s pretty clear that none of the cameras do it all very well. Each seems to work best under some conditions, while not as good in others. The perils of automatic exposure.

  • chris125

    Well glad they improved it but I will still hold off until this makes it to verizon before deciding about buying. This was the only thing holding me back before.

  • MarkHammond

    Thank you Droid Life. This is exactly the kind of information we as consumers can use when selecting a phone. My wife and I currently have HTC DNA’S. Both have had probelms. I’d love to go back to MOTO but the crappy camera wasn’t worth it. Now that I know MOTO is working the camera issues, I may just go buy a couple.

  • Al-Burrit0

    Wow that is a great improvement. IMO the G2 did slightly better than the rest except for the picture in the room, the Moto X actually captured the light and colors better IMO.

  • shelderman

    Looks like i just found my new phone!!!

  • LionStone

    Wow! Niice update! Moto X wins!

  • jnt

    Can you add some shots with a flash? That’s where Moto’s really been weak before and was especially horrendous on the X, while the S4 and now the 5S really excel with these shots. I’d rather take a flash-based shot that turns out crisp than a low-light shot that sucks a little bit less than other phone’s low-light shots…

  • flosserelli

    Contrast and dynamic range are much better. Good job, Motorola

  • Brendan

    Can we see a low light vs the HTC One? Pretty sure the One will win, but I want to compare noise and color accuracy in both.

  • Tim

    Very big improvement in the Moto X…Some pics I think the X is best in others very close. The very last pic with the book shelf I think the X is by far the best. Just look at the books, you can see every books color much sharper than the other two. Now Motomaker to Verizon hurry up!

  • Gnex

    Could this be ported to the Verizon version? Me gusta.

  • Love my Moto X. Thanks for the update, Moto!

  • Excelsior1021

    Any word on whether or not the new Verizon Droids will also get this update? It would make sense as they all have the same hardware.

  • guest

    im not a camera geek ..for me all look good! with subtle differences ..if I had to look at each picture separately and told that this is what you will be getting with this camera i would be happy any of these phone’s as far as camera quality is concerned ..

  • guest

    s4 camera is superior

    • jbdan

      Agreed, although it’s superiority might just end there..

  • jbdan

    Thanks for the great comparo’s, nicely done. This might be the hair that broke the camels….The X is teasing me to no end..

  • Dominic Powell

    The last photo with the curtains I would personally take the Moto X shot over the other two. but I think the GS4 wins two out of the 4 the G2 wins 1 and the Moto X wins 1

  • Mordecaidrake

    All look good but looks like the S4 wins

  • ßen Murphy

    S4 wins any day, any night.

  • Jessie Cochran

    Ok so when is it coming to the ATT Version of the X

  • Kenny G

    That last photo doesn’t look good at all. What happened to the flash?

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      From that distance, flash wouldn’t overpower the natural light, so its a good thing none of them went off. It looks like the Moto X used its HDR mode, while the other two did not, which is a good decision on the part of the X imho. The next to last photo the X and S4 are behind the G2 slightly with a cool and warm cast respectively, but all three nail the exposure.

  • chris420o

    After the ny giants broke my heart yesterday…i decided to take a lil trip to at&t by me…i said this in another article but i was truly impressed with the feel of the moto x…what a great design its like the nexus ive always wanted…i watched an hd trailer on youtube and it looked great to me not sure the hate on the screen yes 1080p would be nice but to save bat ill take 720 on a tiny screen any day…4.7 is the best screen size(i loved the gnex 4.65) and it felt so well built and it had weight to it which i love and was pretty surprised…feels better then other phones ive handled even the htc one(which i really like)…and the colors are def something u wanna see in person i actualy liked the red better in person then on motomaker were its very bright looking…moto maker needs to get to vz asap..this article takes the cake this will be my next phone(less vz gets nexus which i doubt)…or make the dev $449 woo ill buy ina heart beat

  • Manthas

    Hoping they will eventually incorporate some of the other features from the stock camera, specifically photosphere and the integrated G+ albums into the gallery. I was a little sad to see these two features missing, but not enough to balance out the other things that the phone offers.

  • Fozzybare

    anyone have the camera and gallery apks?

  • Cliff Keene

    Hey Kellen & All,

    I think that this improvement is great because my pictures have come out really crappy, worse that what you are showing from the before and after. Also if you could help in some voice commands, I cant seem to ask “Ok Google” to know who is Obama’s wife with out asking “who is Barack Obama’s Wife” instead of “who is Barack Obama” then ask “who is his wife” you demonstrated it plenty of times. So I do not know if its just me.

  • chris420o

    you know those arent bad looking photos…for a phone thats camera is supposedly no bueno…id take those pics in a hearbeat…cant wait to get my motox on vz when motomaker finally here

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The current camera is definitely inconsistent, but this update looks like a fairly profound improvement. I caved and got my Moto X on VZW this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • Shane Redman

    So, we’ll wait 6+ weeks for VZW to test this and possibly pass it on to the DROID family , huh…

    • Probably. πŸ˜›

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I’m guessing 3-4 weeks on the Droids, and 4-5 weeks on the Moto X. Honestly they should be within days of each other (especially the Ultra and X), but Verizon has their priorities.

  • Rob Delaney

    definite improvement except the lowlight.

  • GVLBob

    Overall, I think the S4 pictures look the best. But I would also be curious as to whether a 3rd party app would produce even better pictures with these three phones.

  • JRUIV

    Wow…that last shot by the window looks nice

  • Robert Macri

    So much better in low light then the S4 and G2… Also a little wider.

    • Tim242

      Did you not see the low light pics of the Moto X? It got worse

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        The last pic in the 3-shot comparison is pretty low-light, and it is noticeably brighter and better exposed than its competitors. The only thing that got marginally worse was extreme low-light, i.e. near-dark conditions that are exceptionally difficult. If this is only the first round of refinements, I am genuinely excited to see exactly how good it can get as they further zero-in the firmware and app for the new sensor.

        • Tim242

          The S4 has a nifty night mode that takes much better low light pics.

  • BeejRich

    This should be headed to the Maxx, too…..right?

  • Ryan Powell

    OK Google/Verizon. Get it together. I want my custom Moto-X already.

  • ERIFNOMI

    Wow. The X now looks better than the G2 and the S4. I want one.

    • Tim242

      You need your eyes checked.

      • John Galt

        YOU NEED UR FACE CHECKED.

      • ERIFNOMI

        The first one has some weird purple tint, and the one with the dresser is kind of a toss up, but the rest are in favor of the Moto X. If I want a great picture, I’ll use a real camera. My phone is to show someone something quickly, and for that the Moto X looks just fine.

  • shecalledmejay

    I think the only thing I’m waiting for is the Moto Maker wood version to come to verizon. Hopefully it will be here before christmas so I can bum one of my aunties for it lol

  • Sporttster

    My question would be, don’t they have anyone actually doing tests on these BEFORE they send em out and then have to redo the camera?!?? Wouldn’t they catch the problem BEFORE they even ship the first one doing this??? Makes no sense whatsoever……

    • Tim242

      That’s what I am thinking. Why wait to be bashed to act?

    • chris420o

      for them to delay the phone for this incremental update i dont think it makes sence from a business standpoint…they promised camera software improvements and they did relatively quick i may add

    • jose

      Because they thought they could get away with crap quality like they have for all these years. Surely somebody on the Moto team had to have used the camera and realized it was producing garbage photos. They can’t be that stupid.

    • guest

      Im sure thats what they were shooting for ..you should understand that there is lot of engineering work that goes in to this considering that this is new clearpixel sensor and all ..its takes time to get it right ..basically they were not able to finish the work before launch date ..and it probably didnt make sense for them to delay phone launch specially in the crowded market with iphone and galaxy note launching soon ..they would have lost lot of money and compromised on contracts they had with carriers to meet the deadlines.

  • radiohead14

    hi Kellen.. in your opinion, do you believe the X camera is just as good as the S3? thinkin of getting this now with this update as the camera was my main concern.

  • Ronald Bernard

    Ugggghhhhhh….I really did not want to do it but just may have to take advantage of the Edge Program and get the X. I love the form factor and the screen was more than sufficient for my liking. But I know in my heart of hearts that I will buy this dam thing then the Nexus 5 will come out. Yes….I have heard it will most likely not be on Verizon but I am free and clear of Verizon in December. I just can not deal with this crapppy ass battery on my GNEX any longer.

    • Matthew Rebmann

      Use the Device payment plan if you have Unlimited. It won’t mess with your contract

      • Ronald Bernard

        I will probably look into it a little more, but really hoping for a miracle with the Nexus 5.

    • Ronald Bernard

      And thanks to the GOD DAM crappy ass Buffalo Bills I am out of the running in the eliminator challenge.

      • BobbyG

        damn Jets, I picked the Bucs week 1

  • CARPDM

    Will using something like the Focal app make a difference?

  • Bald_Sasquach

    Of cooourse they do this the weekend I decide against the x mainly because of its camera….. I picked up a G2 and coming from an SGS2 the speed, screen, and battery are ridiculously good, but I’m not in love with the camera or buttons.
    But really this battery is incredible. I started it up at the store at 83% battery at 3:00 PM, set up and installed apps for 3 hours nonstop, used it sparingly (screen on maybe 10 min per hour) until 1:30 AM, and then was on it nonstop until I got home around 2:45 AM. I plugged it in at 23% battery and it was fully charged an hour later. You can HAMMER this thing and it won’t flinch.
    Any comparison to the X’s battery? :/

    • guesswhat

      X gets very good battery life too ,I get screen times of close to 6 hrs if im on wifi all day and close ~4 hrs on LTE ..X definitely handles battery well even with always on voice listening and notifications

  • Significantly improved. Moto X decision looking even better. Sadly, still waiting for Moto Maker on VZW.

    • chris420o

      your not alone

  • rotard

    any changes in the sharpness?

  • Eric Whitaker

    Now if they can just fix the stupid Assist app. I’ve had two Moto X’s now and neither have worked properly.

    • guesswhat

      update include includes fixes for assist too

      • Derek Duncan

        wow so every single issue I had with the device is now fixed. Too bad I already returned it.

  • Low light image seems to have gotten worse, but I can’t complain since rest there are noticeable improvement….

  • ToddAwesome

    Whatever sharpens up my nude selfies, I’m all for!

    • Robert Macri

      Eagerly awaiting the leaks.

      • ToddAwesome

        Oh, there’s some sagging and drooping, but no leaks, yet!

        • Pierito

          Good Lawd someone ring up evleaks please!

  • Derek Duncan

    Is camera as good as S4 now? Deciding between the two.

    • mapsnetman

      Moto X is better. now its a lot better

      • Tim242

        He asked about the camera, not your fanboy opinion. The camera on the Moto X is not even in the same class as the S4.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Pot, meet kettle. I think you’ll get along swimmingly.

          • Tim242

            Yeah, you don’t think people that pay full price for phones pay double. So, your opinion isn’t coveted.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Awww, I thought we hugged that one out. While our opinion of the semantics involved differs, we did agree that Verizon is a for-profit publicly-traded company that will seek to increase its revenue by any means. Bad for the consumer, but great for their shareholders.

          • Tim242

            We hugged it out, but then you had to go and fire shots : )

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Shots? Shots are great! And shots of Fireball are best πŸ™‚

          • LionStone

            Or Bulleit Frontier Whiskey! That’ll work too! πŸ™‚

        • Matthew Rebmann

          Every time I read any comment you post it’s highly aggressive. What the hell is your problem?

        • mapsnetman

          The reply is also with respect to the camera. Camera was a let down before but now the phone is lot better. implying that camera is better

    • Tim242

      No. There’s no way it could be better than the S4.

      • guesswhat

        its a better overall phone than s4! with camera getting better it makes it better than s4 ..I have used both so I know what Im comparing with

        • Robert Macri

          Yeah, my wife has the s4, she’s jealous of my x

          • Derek Duncan

            My wife has the S4. I’m strictly asking about the cameras. Because I have used both phones and originally I liked the Moto X more, even more than the S4 GPe. But the camera was oh so bad.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I don’t know, those shots are pretty compelling. I’d love to see another shootout.

      • LionStone

        Sorry buddy, the proof is in the pudding.

        • Tim242

          Not one sane person would claim the Moto X camera as being better than the S4. I’m not sure what you are trying to prove, but you need to just stop.

    • Added comparison shots with the GS4. Give it a look.

      • Derek Duncan

        thanks!

        • LionStone

          Definitely! There’s only 1 shot where the S4 looked better, the one of the little plant in the glass.

  • GentlemanScholar

    Is it just me or is there still a pinkish hue to pictures with white objects (e.g., sky, dresser, etc.)? I wonder if they are still working on it and may release updates to the camera in the future. I’m glad they’re listening to customers though and attempting to improve the camera.

  • orion11

    I just hope it doesn’t take verizon forever to push this too.

  • Tim242

    It still looks inconsistent. Some show better, some show the same, some worse.

    • John Galt

      You need to get your eyes checked.

  • Louis

    Will this update roll over to the MAXX since basically the same phone?

    • Eric

      Doubt it, moto don’t care about droids.

      • guest

        the new updates for droid and X is in VZW lab for testing already should be release in next few weeks ..

  • Pierito

    Shows just how much of a difference software can make. Precisely why spec whores need to slow their rolls and demand better software instead of more Geebees.

    • Tim242

      Software can’t add detail.

      • n900mixalot

        That’s true. I think they tweaked contrast and saturation but there is a lot of purple in a lot of them.

        • GentlemanScholar

          I was wondering if I was the only one seeing the pinkish, purpleish hue in the pictures, even with the update. It can’t be that hard to make a good camera these days.

          • mac_zac

            yes they are so purple – whites seems to be not captured properly…

      • Pierito

        It was a general statement for mobile phones….Not just cameras.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        It actually can, by pulling back overly-aggressive noise reduction algorithms. Check out the pictures here and especially the full-res ones over at Anandtech, the difference is nothing short of astounding.

        http://www.anandtech.com/show/7353/moto-x-update-dramatically-improves-camera-quality

        • jose

          I think you’re confusing ‘detail’ with contrast and saturation. I viewed the full-res pics and while the After versions look much better, you’re not getting more detail. The additional contrast gives the illusion of more details while removing the washed out look.

          • Keyboard Solomon

            It’s not just contrast and saturation, but levels and curves which are being adjusted. And of course these things can bring out details in a photo, just as they can take them away; bumping down saturation or lightness will remove details from a photograph. The information will still be their, but the details will be hidden, via software.

            Another example is Photoshop’s de-blur ability, which tracks motion paths and focus to correct images, thus adding detail.

          • jose

            I was trying to un-jargonize it for DL speak. I know what curves and levels are because I use photoshop and work with RAW files a lot. Most folks only know the basics like contrast, saturation, brightness, exposure. The end results is still the same.

            Back to Tim’s point about adding detail. He’s right in a sense. If you look at the before and after images at a 100% crop they’re just as mushy, it just “appears” more vivid. But I digress. We’re just splitting hairs here since these are cell phones after all.

          • bestpred

            How are the things you mentioned not details? How is blatantly wrong
            color which is now displayed correctly not “detail”? How is a scab on a
            fence that didn’t have color saturation enough to be visible now suddenly becomes visible with new SW is not “detail?

      • j__h

        And often (especially for phone cameras) MP don’t add it either!

        • Tim242

          Every reviewer praised the S4’s detail that is provided by its 13 megapixels. After using for viewing and printing vacation pics, I concur. Megapixels may not be everything, but they definitely matter.

          • jose

            You used a cell phone for vacation photos, and you printed them?! Do your family a favor, get a real camera when trying to capture important memories.

          • Tim242

            They turned out better than the ones on my point and shoot. The S4’s camera takes excellent outdoor pics.

          • jose

            Most point-n-shoots these days I’m sure. But I try to convince all my friends to buy a budget DSLR that cost less than a smart phone these days. A phone has replaced the point-n-shoot camera but it still can’t hold a candle to even the most economical DSLR cameras.

          • Tim242

            It’s not that serious. The pics from a good phone are more than sufficient. I’m not a professional photographer, taking wedding pics with a phone haha

          • sindeslroyer

            DSLRs are bulky. That is why they are not good for just straight up normal day to day use personally. They are great cameras for sure but convenience is a wonderful thing even if it means a sacrifice of some extra quality. πŸ™‚

          • fanboyssuck

            Nothing more annoying than a fan boy…youre not going to convince anyone dude

          • Tim242

            I’m your first comment under this profile. I feel special : )

          • Jon

            Sometimes the important memories aren’t foreseen.

      • teleclimber

        Bad software removes detail.

        (usually as a side-effect of trying to reduce noise.)

        • Tim242

          That is definitely true

      • Steve Rodrigue

        @tim242:disqus: I prefer to have clear images instead of blurred or noisy details.

        • Tim242

          The S4 gives you that…the Moto X, not so much.

          • jnt

            I’ve had a 5S since opening day, and even still I’m missing some of the aspects of the S4’s camera. Those extra megapixels make a difference…

          • pocketdrummer

            You guys might as well buy a Nokia 1020, then.

            … still a shame Microsoft bought Nokia. They make some solid phones, but too bad the OS is crap.

          • Matt LeVeck

            Windows mobile might be bad. But is it really worse than Symbian?

          • pocketdrummer

            I don’t see any flagship Symbian phones around. Do you?

          • Steve Rodrigue

            The S4 impressed no one in low-light situations, which is not good for me. I want a balanced camera. The iPhone offers it, the HTC One lack pixels, but it can take awesome low-light photos. The latest software update of the Moto X seems to fix most of the camera problems. The Lumia 1020 is just not comparable to the other camera, I have yet to see a smartphone that can beat it overall.

            My point is simple: I don’t care about pixels count, most of the time we check our photos on small screens and we don’t print them often anymore. So give me good picture quality, low noise, low artifacts, great contrast/color. Then, I’ll check the pixel count.

            I’m glad most company are now taking this “quality” path. Good for us as customers!

          • Tim242

            The S4 takes the best overall pics of any smartphone. If you need it to be better in lowlight, it’s as simple as a 1 second switch to night mode. I’m not so sure though why people try to take pics in low light. Low light pictures even when bright, are still noisy and lack detail, regardless of the device. Flashes were invented for a reason.

          • jose

            Almost hate to admit, but I agree with you. I don’t even take low-light photos with my DSLR. If you have a good smartphone, then the camera should be able properly balance the flash with the overall scene. Every Moto phone I’ve tried does a terrible job at this, especially with skin tones.

            This was taken with my HTC One. It was pitch black, aside from string lights hanging up top. The flash did a really good job. Doing a ‘low light’ photo would have looked like crap with any camera. May not have the most detail from other phones, but the overall pictures are good.

          • sindeslroyer

            Except for the 1020. It doesn’t even come close to touching the 1020.

          • Tim242

            The 1020 compresses pics, which renders them useless unless you transfer to computer. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

      • jnt

        I gotta admit after analyzing anandtech’s photos (since you can get the originals), in *some* of the comparisons they did – the update has a sharper look with less noise when zoomed in. Not in every case, but in some of them…

      • GentlemanScholar

        Could software remove detail? Could you write a software program that lowers the detail of the camera’s output? If so, then it might be possible that the original software didn’t take advantage of all of the detail able to be provided by the camera’s sensor, thus the software update could add detail to the previous software running the camera. Not saying that this does, just that it is possible.

      • TalkingMoose

        Not completely accurate. The image you see is not a raw sensor image. While software can’t compensate for lack of focus or insufficient light hitting the sensor, how that raw map is process makes a lot of difference. It can drastically change the color, and to some extent sharpness by doing a better job of interpreting boundaries.

      • Lincoln Maurice

        Actually, if you compare the hardware of older digital cameras to the ones today, there’s actually very little that has changed. The software, on the other hand, has gone from strength to strength.

        If Adobe was so forthcoming, they would enable it even further by inputting some of their image algorithms used by Photoshop, but for obvious reasons they won’t. Software is the very thing that changes one camera to the next, with the exception of the amount of MP, but a 41MP camera may pale (literally) in comparison to a 10MP camera which has better software, and not even, necessarily, 4.1x better; the maths don’t matter, and that’s why spec whores hate software, because it doesn’t matter. Software just needs “good enough” hardware to perform.

      • serotheo

        Unfortunately you have to consider that a lot of flagships make use of Sony sensors and these cameras are the same across the board but what really brings out a picture in comparison to the rest is how the algorithms were made to handle the data captured, good comparison?

        Galaxy S4 vs Xperia Z.

    • jose

      All they did was bump up the saturation.

      • Keyboard Solomon

        Curves, levels, white balance. Try just bumping up the saturation on any of the before images and see if you get the same result.

    • jose

      Preaching to the choir about this when it comes to the camera. It’s been no secret that Moto and Nexus phones produce horrible pictures despite having MPs to match other phones. It’s all about the post-processing that HTC and Samsung add. Google and Moto just need to figure that part out.

    • Jarren

      HTC you better be taking notes!

    • Alex

      shut your face hippie we still want better specs Moto x is a fail deal with it son

  • Ray Gray

    low light picture looks worst although they both suck

    • Eric

      Yes but the other pictures have better color reproduction.

      • Ray Gray

        when you say “yes but” that says it all we shouldn’t be making excuses for Motorola. The quality is better but the camera still isn’t on par with the HTC One or S4 which cost the same.

        • Eric

          Every phone has a weakness moto the camera, The S4 battery, One button placement.

          • Ray Gray

            The S4 battery seriously not sure where your read that garbage but I get 5hrs of on screen time….and I have several spares

  • Russell Sprague

    Well this just made up my mine on which phone will be my next. Come on Verizon update.

    • Eric

      I wish I could get the moto x on verizon but I need 32gb.

      • Addison

        I know it costs more, but don’t forget about the Developer Edition! That is most likely going to be what I get, but I’m still debating between that and the DROID MAXX Developer Edition.

        I’m torn. Thoughts?

        • moelsen8

          have you seen the maxx in person yet? i just went to verizon today to play with the X in person, and I also looked at the new droids. my first reaction was that they are big. not galaxy note big, but much bigger than I expected. very thin, but tall.

          the hyper-masculine detailing on the power buttons and crap would tick me off after a while too. but it’s impressive how big the battery is on the maxx for how thin it is.

        • Eric

          I don’t have that kind of money to throw away.

        • Sporttster

          Get the HTC One. Saw the screen yesterday….wow!

      • orion11

        get the developer edition on verizon. it has 32 gb

  • Sravan Vadapalli

    Glad they did this. Hope i get the update soon πŸ™‚

  • moelsen8

    anybody know of any motorola.com promo codes?

    • Ronald Bernard

      I called Moto dorectly asking if they had any promo codes, more specificly military ones…..and got a big fat NO!

  • Tyler

    I think you need to make another article comparing camera with the other flagship devices. Get that moto money.

    • MichaelFranz

      agreed, maybe a quick compare of the same pictures using old vs new, vs s4, vs one

      • joseph barrientos

        lol the one will smoke it tho, i love my camera

  • monkey082506

    Just got this bad boy! Customized on MotoMaker with AIO Wireless, pretty pumped about this!

  • guest

    kellen ..comparison shots with S4, LG G2, and moto x with the new software pleaseee..!!

    • A.Miller

      Yes, please! Camera will be one of the biggest factors in my next phone and I’m looking at all of those.

    • moelsen8

      as long we’re doing requests, Nexus 4 too!

      • Phone that came out almost a year ago still ranks amongst the flagships… I am proud to own one πŸ˜›

        Now Where is my Nexus 5 0.0

        • evolutionx1

          I hope Google releases some OTA for improvements in the camera department on the Nexus 4. :/

          • Nexus 4 is almost at the end of it life line. I think you’re better off hoping that nexus 5 will have amazing camera.

            and 4.3 may did something we all didn’t notice? Just dreaming here xP

          • ERIFNOMI

            Typically, when a new Nexus comes out, the previous version becomes the baseline for mid-range phones. But yeah, it’s getting old.

          • pocketdrummer

            I was hoping Motorola would have skipped the carrier BS with the Moto X so we could get faster updates. Yet here we are again… T-Mobile (of all carriers) is getting it first, and the rest have to wait on their carriers to get off their asses to give it to them.

    • Robert Macri

      I think all of the above take good enough photos for a phone.

    • Done. Added.

      • Eric

        Am I the only one that thinks the comparisons look almost the same?

        • Hayden7200

          Maybe you need to look at them on a better screen because there is clearly a difference and the new Moto X pictures look great! I like them better than the G2 and S4 shots as well.

          • LucasMonroe

            I disagree. I think it goes S4, Moto X, G2.

          • S4, G2, then Moto X

          • TboneTim

            I agree. Moto X wins when compared to the G2 and S4. I was leaning towards a S4 or waiting for the N5 but now I’m buying the Moto X.

          • n900mixalot

            How are you not seeing all of that purple?!

          • kixofmyg0t

            I’ve looked at them through multiple monitors(including my 2013 Nexus 7 which is regarded as having a extremely accurate display), I don’t see any of this purple you speak of.

            Perhaps it’s your monitor?

          • Travis

            look at the sky background in the comparison pics to see the purple. it’s like it doesn’t do sky’s correctly.

          • Only in the fence shot do I see purple. This is me viewing on HTC One screen

          • SparkysShocker

            It’s weird though the purple is definitely not consistent. Some photos with the updated software have less than the old software and vice versa. Also some of the photos on both seem to have no purple. So is this still a software issue?

          • Mark Aaron Collado

            I Was debating Moto X or Nexus 5. We’ll see how the N5 camera compares

          • Jon

            The beauty of the S4 is that it has a Google Play Edition sibling. So basically, when the S4 Google Play Edition gets an update, you can quickly get the update for non GPE S4. So I’m on T-Mobile with a stock S4 running the GPE. It’s great!

            The Moto X voice feature is awesome though, but I still prefer the way better camera of the S4, the bigger and better screen, the changeable battery, and sd card slot. But kudos to Motorola for fixing this issue. At least now we can say the Moto X camera doesn’t suck.

      • That’s great service!!

      • jose

        How bout some pics in dark settings WITH flash of people? From my experience Moto cameras really blow it when taking pictures of people with flash. Give them an alien skin tone.

  • tomn1ce

    Very interesting, here hoping that they make it even better…..and for their next release to have an even better camera……….

  • jamdev12

    You know. I thought to myself that Motorola just would not be able to do this. That this was an issue with the sensor and not the software. I must say, that without me actually having this phone and testing it for myself I am pretty impressed by the difference. My Gnex definitely could take better pictures than this phone when it first came out, but now after this update, I must say that the colors are deeper. Looking specifically at the one with the cabinet drawer and the background. With the old, I could not tell if the back was green or teal, but with the improvement I can see that the color is blue. And the white cabinet has high contrast in it and it is sharp as heck. Same thing for the outdoor scene. The colors are now more realistic than a washout.

    Now I’m wondering if the camera speed has slowed or is it still the same? Can you compare it to the LG G2?

    Thanks Droid Life. I was about to buy the LG G2 this weekend, but this improvement has me looking at the MotoX again.

    • Jeralmac

      If you get the MotoX, you will not regret it. I’ve had mine now for about 2.5 weeks (coming from Gnex) and it is THE phone to get. The memory management is out of this world, it’s faster than my wife’s Note 2, runs Chrome faster than my laptop and after a day of moderate to heavy use, I still have 40% battery left.

      • makapav

        What’s your screen-on time?

        • Robert Macri

          I get 4 – 6 hours depending on usage.

          • makapav

            Thanks for your response. 4-6 hours? That’s not very encouraging. I thought the Moto X had stellar screen-on time. I get 3.5 hours on my Nexus 4, auto-brightness on HSPA+. Considering the larger number of pixels, smaller battery and bigger screen on the N4, I thought 6 hours screen-on time should have been the bare minimum for the Moto X.

          • ERIFNOMI

            4-6 hours of screen on time isn’t enough? I get through a day on my GNexus with at most 1,5 hours of screen on time.

          • makapav

            1.5 hours of screen-on time? Something’s not right. I had 3 hours on my Galaxy Nexus GSM on HSPA+ on JellyBean with everything background enabled.

            4-6 hours is ok. I still think 6 hours should be the bare minimum. Battery saver should push it to 8-9 hours of real screen-on browsing time.

          • ERIFNOMI

            VZW Galaxy Nexus on extended battery. That’s fairly typical, if not a little better than others. Of course, that’s not always 1.5 hours screen on to a dead battery, but it’s not much left.

          • makapav

            Yeah, LTE is a real battery killer. I wonder what jackass at Google / Android thought the Galaxy Nexus was good to ship on LTE so under-powered. But then again, the same jackass thinks the Nexus 5 with the bigger screen will be good with a 2300mAh battery. They must not be using the Nexus phones clearly to cripple them all so badly.

        • Jeralmac

          Well, so far today I’ve been unplugged for 9.5 hours. My screen on time is 1hr 58m and my battery is at 78%. I’ve had music playing for 5 hours straight as well as about 20 minutes of gaming.

          • makapav

            That’s impressive. As suspected, those 8 cores are really able to keep the battery siping very low for background processes when the screen is off. It’s one of the reasons why I am hoping that Motorola will drop the prices on their Moto X Developer versions or unboxed carrier branded Moto X’s will make it to eBay and Craigslist for cheap to flash with their stock ROM πŸ™‚ $679+ tax is a bit of a robbery, I say.

            Thanks for sharing your experience – far more useful than the drivel from this author.

          • Jason B

            Music doesn’t task CPUs. There are hardware decoders that run with ultra-low power consumption on most devices. Even the original Droid could play music for more than 8 hours because of that.

            Now, if you’re streaming on LTE (and to a lesser extent Wifi), that’s a different story, but if it’s local storage, the phone will stay in low-power mode.

          • Jeralmac

            I have 230GB of music, I don’t use internal storage. Google Music All Access all the way. Half with wifi at work and the other half on 4G while visiting another work site. I agree that the music process uses very little power but I do use copious amounts of data which uses battery. The efficiency of the 4G radios in the MotoX is in an entirely different league than my previous Gnex. No comparison. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the 4G power consumption is almost as good as the wifi radios.

          • Jason B

            That’s more impressive, IMO. And 230GB of online music is ridiculous! =]

      • SchwannyT

        I thought it was a special chrome for the Moto X it runs so fast. My Gnex with extended battery was charged every night at 20%. My Moto X goes 2 days easy without charging (although sometimes I still freak out at 40% and try to find a charger but then I remember, “This is a better phone”)

    • Added comparison shots.

    • tharealoc

      It seems like they tuned the exposure settings. Basically, the one of the main issues was that the camera was over exposing. I was one of the few posting on multiple sites claiming a firmware update could change things….toot toot. haha

    • Jivester

      Sorry but there is no way you GNex took better pictures than the X, just not true. Outdoor shots have always been stellar on the X and are going to be better now…the gnex pretty much always sucked…Speaking as someone who went from the gnex to the X last month.

      • Jeralmac

        Same here, no comparison. MotoX pictures way better than my Gnex, both with natural light and more so with low light.

  • moelsen8

    wow. i’m really starting to sway in this direction..

  • Open1Your1Eyes0

    Let’s hope the DROIDs get a similar update since they use the same camera.

    • I’d guess they will at some point.

      • guest

        With the speed of Verizon 4G LTE, updates are super fast!

        • tuname1t

          Yet they still recommend you update over WiFi…

          • Mike Hilal

            If you’re in a poor signal area, it could result in a corrupted DL. That’s why they recommend wifi.

          • tuname1t

            The point is that they tout their “ultra modern super fast 4g LTE network” of which the main selling point is faster DL/ul speeds and then tell you to use WiFi.

          • ERIFNOMI

            My WiFi is still faster than LTE so I’ll use it whenever I can. But we get your point.

          • Mike Hilal

            The point is data integrity. Wifi has far fewer dropped packets. Sadly, this is not part of the verizon conspiracy…no matter how much we want it to be. Even the play store does this on larger downloads.

          • tuname1t

            I understand your point completely about WiFi and Data integrity… My original comment was intended to poke fun at Verizon and their persistent WiFi notifications and recommendations while they continually market the crap out of their LTE network being the most reliable.

          • Mike Hilal

            Dont remind me, as I might be on a touchwiz device fairly soon

          • mike livingston

            do they still use touchwiz? i thought its dead

          • Mike Hilal

            OMG no, it’s still going strong. They’ve even made it touchwizzier to counteract every elegant improvement on AOSP. “Gingerbread theme or die!” says samsung

    • kixofmyg0t

      You should be able to just replace them with the new ones.

      You need RW to system though.

      I can verify if it works soon.

  • joejoe5709

    Oh wow! Noticeable improvement!

  • fartbubbler

    Kellen, any guesses on how long before Big Red customers get this?

    • guest

      updates for X and droid are in VZW & att labs for testing, should be out in few weeks.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I figure with the Moto X T-Mo version rolling out, Sprint will be out in 2 weeks, AT&T in 3.5, and VZW in 4-5 weeks. But the Droid updates will be out in 3-3.5 weeks.

    • Not really sure. Their testing team always takes extra long. I’d bet we’ll see an AT&T update before Verizon.

      • Mike Hilal

        Adding bloat takes time, good sir.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Thankfully, the blost on every Moto X is as minimal as a I have ever seen on a carrier-branded device. I have a grand total of 7 Verizon-added apps, vs. 20+ on the G2. I’ll take that any day of the week.

  • ranlil

    If only I could get my in-stock dev edition (VZW) shipped!!! Moto is out of stock on SIMs.

    • ts14

      I too would like the in stock phone I ordered on release day. Le sigh…

      • Dreas

        Looks like we’re in the same boat here. :/

      • ranlil

        I’m hoping Friday

  • Jordan Webb

    And now I’ll sit here with my Maxx, waiting…waiting…

    Seriously, though, I look forward to this update. Motorola’s making the weakest point of this phone better.

    • Jason Kahn

      Have you tried a camera replacement app, Like CameraICS or CameraJB, I use camera ICS on my GNEX and it produces much better results

  • Joshua Kirchmer

    I just want them to give me an ISO limiter.. I want my BLACKS to be BLACK not noisy-purple! That’s my biggest complaint about the camera on the X.

    • Spider210

      I totally agree!

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Just hold on we’re going home!!!!!

  • Paul Hansen

    Wow, nice improvement. If it’s just an APK pull rather than libs/firmware… please pull πŸ™‚

  • Samvelavich

    it seems like there is a pretty big improvement wherever there is natural light.

  • samosa king

    Ok Motorola. I am impressed. Thumbs up!

    • Ryan Powell

      I’m with you. As a potential future X owner this has me excited. The camera shots before looked worse than my GNex but these new test shots give me a little more confidence that the X camera will be an improvement over what I have now.

      • bonix

        As a current Moto X user and previous Gnex user, I can say that the camera was leaps and bounds better on the Moto X out of the box. I am still excited for further improvements in this update though!

        • A.Miller

          How quick is the focus and shutter compared to the GNEX?

          • bonix

            I use tap to focus and hdr mode and still feels quicker than my gnex.

        • Ryan Powell

          Thanks for the info. The camera was the one thing I thought I’d be sacrificing but good to hear its way better than the Gnex. I don’t even bother taking photos with my Gnex because of how bad they look. I just tell my wife the grab the pics with her iPhone… *sigh*

          • GentlemanScholar

            Ha. Same here. And now that she’s replacing her 4S with a 5S, I would like my new Moto X or Nexus 5 to at least be able to take high quality pictures. Is that too much to ask?

          • daburghit

            I do exactly the same thing. “Hey, hun, take a picture of that.” “You’re holding your phone.” “Yeah…but my camera sucks.”

      • GentlemanScholar

        When I tested the Moto X versus my GNex, the Moto X looked better even pre-update.

      • Robert Macri

        Former GNEX owner here… Moto X is so much better then the GNex in regards to the camera (and everything else).

        The shutter speed is real fast, not nearly as much motion blur as I would get with the GNex.

        • Andrew

          I’ve had mixed opinion on this. Some shots on the X are nicer than GNex, some are way worse.

          Agree the X is a better phone all around as well.

          • ddevito

            I second both points. I love this X

      • bprichard

        Hahahaha, as a Galaxy Nexus owner, I can confidently say that no camera is worse. Good thing that’s not one of my concerns when phone shopping. (I take about a dozen pictures a year.)

    • MichaelFranz

      im impressed with a quick turnaround. We’re talking just under a month. big applause…

      ….now how long until verizon releases it for all new moto phones…i’ll start at end of november

    • T4rd

      Ugh, if only they fixed it sooner. They lost a sale to my wife solely because of the camera, so she went with the GS4, which she has been happy with, but I would have rather given Moto my money and I’m sure she’d have better battery life with the X.

      • makapav

        You should have stuck around and instead followed Punit Soni – Product Manager for the Moto X. He gives out regular (almost daily) support and news to Moto X users.

      • Matt

        How would she have better battery life with the X? It’s quite a bit smaller than the S4.

        • T4rd

          Larger battery != better battery life. If you’ve seen any reviews on the S4 and Moto X, you’d see that the Moto X has significantly better standby and WiFi (what she’s on the most) browsing time than the S4. Talk time and LTE browsing is about the same as the S4.

          • Matt

            I’ve always had terrible battery life with Motorola phones. My S4 on average gets at least 15-17 hours of normal to heavy use each day. I don’t take standby into consideration personally since I use my phone a lot each day. But I guess Moto has upped their game with battery life overall.

    • samosa king

      What’s up with the dislikes??? NO SAMOSA FOR YOU!!!

  • ruchir chhabra

    looks better than before. But how does the pictures from the MotoX compare with out flag ship devices?

    • A.Miller

      That’s what I want to know, too. Camera has become one of the more important things to me now.

    • Jivester

      was the end of the article not posted when you wrote this?

      • ruchir chhabra

        nope, it wasn’t…glad to see Kellen adding the pics from other devices. DL staff on top of things πŸ™‚