First Look

Moto X Pure Edition vs. 2014 Moto X: A quick camera comparison

How much did Motorola really improve its Moto X camera? Take a look at these side-by-side shots from the new Moto X Pure Edition and last year's model.

Moto X Pure Edition vs 2014 Moto X: Camera Comparison

For all of its many strengths, one area where the 2014 Moto X didn't exactly excel was in the realm of photography. The phone took fine enough photos -- more or less average for a device of its caliber -- but it offered nothing exceptional in the imaging department, especially compared to the increasingly impressive photography-focused flagships being put out by other manufacturers.

With its new Moto X Pure Edition, Motorola is promising major improvements in its phone's camera quality. So does the device actually deliver?

I'll have much more to say on the subject in my upcoming real-world review, but for now, I wanted to share an early peek at some sample shots I've taken side by side with the new Moto X Pure Edition and the 2014 Moto X. While this is by no means the full story, it should give you a quick glimpse into how things are shaping up so far.

(Note: All images were taken with the phones' default settings and no post-capture processing or editing, aside from being sized down to fit on this page (and, in one case, being rotated 90 degrees in order to appear in the proper orientation). You can click on any image to view it in its full-size, full-resolution form.)

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (1)

Moto X 2014 camera (1)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. A colorful scene with bright sunshine.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (2)

Moto X 2014 Camera (2)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Partly cloudy outdoors. Both phones automatically activated their HDR modes for this shot.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (3)

Moto X 2014 Camera (3)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Low light, in a dim garage.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (4)

Moto X 2014 Camera (4)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Indoors with average afternoon lighting -- a couple of lamps and some indirect sunlight coming in through a window.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (5)

Moto X 2014 Camera (5)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Very active motion in indirect indoor lighting (a couple of lamps in the distance but mostly just natural light from a window). Given the ongoing movement, there was no way to make these completely consistent -- but I took several photos of the same sort of movement with both phones and then picked the clearest one of each bunch (i.e. the one with the least amount of motion blur) to use here.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (6)

Moto X 2014 Camera (6)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Limited movement (and what a stunning subject!) in relatively dim indoor lighting -- no lights on and just a touch of natural light coming in through partially closed blinds/curtains across the room.

Moto X Pure Edition Camera (7)

Moto X 2014 Camera (7)

Moto X Pure Edition on top; 2014 Moto X on bottom. Very low light, with just super-dimmed lamps on across the room at night.

These samples are just scratching the surface, of course. I'm taking and looking at a lot of different types of shots with the new Moto X, including images of dimly lit evening environments and on-the-go photos of my happy-dance-loving daughter in all sorts of non-ideal conditions. And I'll be looking at the images not only alongside those taken with Motorola's previous Moto X but also alongside those taken with the current gold standard of Android photography, the Galaxy Note 5.

Some busy days ahead, my friends. My full review and more phone-to-phone comparisons will be online before you know it.

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