Now that the Moto X phone is rolling out on Verizon, it's time to see how it stacks up against similarly priced devices on other networks. AT&T is offering the HTC One mini for about $100, while you can get the Moto X phone for a little over that price with a discount on Verizon Wireless, starting today. Here's how they compare.
First off, the HTC One mini is a "mini," meaning that the device's 4.3-inch screen is not going to compete with the 4.7-inch Moto X phone. However, both phones have a pretty good resolution, though not top of the line, at 1280 x 720p. The Super LCD 2 display on the HTC One mini makes the diminutive handset have a brighter screen and better viewing angles, while the Super AMOLED HD screen type on the Moto X will help boost its battery life and give you darker blacks on the screen. In any case, both screens are pretty good (depending on what size you want), but neither is at premium smartphone status.
For portability, you'll want to go with the HTC One mini. The Moto X phone's dimensions are 5.09 x 2.57 x 0.41 inches, making it a little thick for a smartphone these days, while the HTC One mini's 5.20 x 2.50 x 0.36 inches give the mini an advantage on pocket-ability. The HTC One mini is rather tall for such a small screen, but that's in part to accommodate the BoomSound speakers, which we'll get to a little later. The HTC One mini also comes in at a lighter 4.3oz, compared to the Moto X's slightly heavier almost 4.6oz body.
The HTC One mini got a lower-quality processor from its larger cousin in order to keep costs down on the device. It sports a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. The Moto X has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but it's a Snapdragon S4 Pro, which is a year old. However, the Moto X's 1.7GHz clock speed, plus the 2GB of RAM will outperform the 1.4GHz One mini with 1GB RAM for support.
As you would expect, the HTC One mini also takes a hit on battery capacity, giving you just a 1,800 mAh Li-Po for the pared-down HTC device. The Moto X phone has been relatively favorably tested against some of the flagship smartphones (except the iPhone 5), and its 2,200 mAh battery should get you through the day. However, the Moto X has customizable front and rear panels, and you might think that it has a removable battery. But, like the HTC One mini, it doesn't.
The Moto X phone has a 10.5-megapixel clear pixel camer that can record video in 1080p. That's impressive for a mid-range price. However, the HTC One mini's camera is probably better in real-world situations. While skimping on some of the hardware for the HTC One mini, the 4-megapixel HTC "Ultrapixel" sensor - which the company touts as much better in low and bright light conditions - made its way through the One-to-mini conversion. So did the HTC Zoe features and software, with lots of little extras like automatic highlight reels, sharing features, and extra settings. While it can only record in 720p HD, the HTC One's camera will, for the most part, feel much more professional and feature-rich than the Moto X phone's. Both have front-facing cameras, with a 1.6-megapixel for the HTC One mini and a 2.1-megapixel shooter for the Moto X.
Both phones are a little sub-par in the storage department. Neither offers microSD expansion, which limits the amount of storage you have off the bat. The HTC One mini only comes with a 16GB storage option, and the Moto X has a 16GB or 32GB storage option, but no expansion either. You get what you pay for.
OS and Extras
Usually it's the extra features of a phone that make it worth your money. The HTC One mini has the BlinkFeed UI and HTC Sense 5, so if you want HTC's take on Android - along with a screen-panel sized widget that can pull form over 10,000 feeds and bring customized news to the front on updating live tiles, the HTC One mini is your best bet. Also, the HTC One mini inherited another nice piece of hardware from the HTC One, which are the BoomSound speakers from Beats. You're getting an amplified stereo speaker set with your little smartphone, which is pretty cool if you like listening to music and not keeping it to yourself.
However, the Moto X isn't without its own extras. Being a Motorola phone, which is now a subsidiary of Google, it's likely to get faster operating system updates than the HTC One mini, which has to wait for HTC to lay its custom UI over the new OS before getting an update. Also, if you want something like BlinkFeed, there's always Google Now. And with the Moto X phone, you can voice-activate Google Now, which is pretty cool and the first handset to have that feature.
Finally, if you can wait for it (currently not available on Verizon) or if you have AT&T, the Moto X has a design-your-own phone option. It will cost you more, but you can get your choice of 18 back panel colors, accents such as button or camera rim colors, engraving (eventually), and other cool customization options like a custom message or boot animation or a wooden back panel (which will cost even more when it's available).
On the hardware front, both phones are actually pretty close to each other. But if you want to pay a little more for a bigger screen, the voice-activated Google Now, and the customization options, the Moto X is for you. If you'd rather have the best nuts and bolts of the HTC One with a great price, go for the HTC One mini.