Perhaps the most interesting bit about the Motorola Moto X is its unique 10MP image sensor, which makes use of what Motorola calls "ClearPixel" technology. It uses 1.4-micron pixels (same size as 8MP cameras), but instead of an RGBG matrix it uses a RGBC matrix, which should capture 75% more light. Also, the sensor has a native 16:9 aspect ratio.
Regular camera sensors employ a filter grid layer in front of the image sensor pixels. The filters' job is to single out the individual colors of light (RGB - red, green, blue) and allow for only one color of light to reach any given pixel on the sensor.
The most widely used type of filter arrangement in modern-day cameras is the Bayer filter arrangement, which follows a filter pattern of 2 green pixel filters, 1 red pixel filter and 1 blue pixel filter.
The Moto X camera, however, replaces one of the two green filters with clear, transparent one. This results into more light reaching the sensor - up to 75%, as Moto claims.
Since the conventional image sensor still needs the green light information, the image processor has the task of providing it. It supplies it by subtracting the red and blue light information from the full spectrum light, captured by pixels under the clear filters.
The camera can be activated by a simple hand gesture. Dubbed Quick Capture, the feature works by twisting your wrist twice when holding the device.
On the software side, the camera offers HDR, burst shots and panorama. The Moto X can also shoot full HD videos at 30fps - par for the course for high-end smartphones these days. There are also features like face detection and geo-tagging that we've grown accustomed to in most phones nowadays.
The camera UI of the Moto X is quite simple. It relies completely on sliding gestures for zoom and settings - sliding from the left opens the settings, while sliding from the right opens the image gallery. Zoom works by sliding your finger up and down the screen. Capturing an image is as easy as tapping on the screen in auto mode.
Because of the innovative interface, the Moto X features a quick camera tutorial, so that you can get acquainted with the UI.
At the front of the Moto X, there's a 2MP camera capable of 1080p video recording which serves for video-chatting purposes.
The stills are in 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the native aspect of the sensor. The images turned out pretty nice with decent detail levels and noise kept under control. We did notice quite a lot of purple fringing, though, suggesting less than perfect optics.
Macro seems to work like a charm (note the flowers) and colors turn out punchy and nicely saturated.
Next up we have a comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Motorola Moto X in low-light conditions. The Moto X did get better exposure and produce an image with significantly less noise, but the detail levels on the two devices are basically on par. Still less noise at equal sharpness is quite the commendable achievement.
In the next two we enabled the flash units on the two smartphones. The Moto X loses its advantage here, as the seemingly brighter flash of the Galaxy S4 helps it match the output of the Moto X.
The UI of the video camera has remained unchanged. Video capture begins by pressing the button located in the top right corner of the app.
Here's a video sample we captured with the Motorola Moto X on a busy street. Everything flows fluidly and there's plenty of detail to go around. Colors are accurate and focus never seems to miss and is quick to lock.
We've also captured a slow-motion video with the Moto X. The smartphone stretched 15 seconds of "regular" footage into a minute-long clip. You can see it below.
Users should be aware that the Moto X is set to capture only 1080p videos and there's no option to go for a lower resolution. These videos take quite a lot of space so anyone with a knack for mobile videography should go for the version with 32GB of built-in memory.