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Moto X Style Mobile review: Style and Substance

This device has been tested in 2015. Please note that the score and contents below refer to an older Camera test protocol.


Adopting a vividly detailed 5.7-inch Quad HD (1440 pixel) screen together with stereo sound, the water repellent Android based and high-customizable Moto X Style smartphone boasts TurboPower charging tech that’s capable of 10 -hours of battery life in just 15 mins of charging, it’s claimed.

As for imaging process, the Moto X Style offers a 21-Mpix camera with a wide-angle lens, rapid autofocus and low shutter lag, plus a color-balancing built-in flash. In our industry standard photo and video tests, consisting of real world use and stringent lab analysis, this new Moto achieves some highly competitive results, proving that there’s no distinction between style and substance.


Achieving an excellent score in the DxOMark Mobile tests, the Moto X Style comes joint second alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note IV and edging the Sony XPeria Z3+ into third place. 


With an over DxOMark Mobile score of 83 points, the Moto X Style is just three points behind our current leader the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and shows the maker hasn’t prioritized style over substance. 




Photo and Video Sub-scores

In our industry standard tests the Moto X Style attained high scores across many of the categories and is a well-balanced performer overall. Scores for Exposure and contrast and Color are on a par with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and iPhone 6 Plus and remained competitive for Autofocus, Texture (detail), and for control of Noise and Artifacts.

Although the Moto X Style achieved a good score of 76 points for Flash operation, it was somewhat behind this models but it’s convincing result nonetheless. 


From our tests, a mix of outdoor real-world scenes and lab tests, images produced by the Moto X Style are generally well exposed even under tricky lighting. However, although images show good shadow recovery in high contrast scenes some highlights were clipped with the expected loss of details in those areas. In the low light tests (5 lux), exposure inaccuracies were noticeable with images being slightly underexposed, though remaining quite useable. 

White Balance was mostly accurate and color was good in most situations particularly in bright light though not unexpectedly less so in low light.  Colors remain pleasing however and are mostly free of the typical and distracting yellow cast under tungsten lighting.

Like many rival offerings color shading was evident at times, and was easy to see in bright, uniformly lit outdoor scenes, for example of subjects against a light colored wall or background. Although less obvious depending on the scene and lighting in our low light analysis (at 20 lux) the shading is visible as slightly pink coloration in the center and green in the corners.

Sharpness and autofocus accuracy were very good and focusing was fast under all test lighting conditions, though some focusing oscillation and overshooting was observed during previewing in low light. Somewhat typically, color fringing was visible on high contrast edges. And in addition to some ringing-type artifacts, saturation in the blue channel was evident. This was particularly noticeable in rendering blue skies.

Under good lighting, noise is barely noticeable and preservation of fine detail was very good. In our indoor noise tests under low light (20 lux) the Moto X Style didn’t perform quite so confidently. Although pictures retained quite good levels of detail, noise was readily visible however.

Flash performance was one area of weakness for the X Style, at least when compared to the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.  While white balance was accurate with pleasing color and good detail, images showed occasional slight overexposure, strong chroma noise and reduced illumination in the corners along with a pink tint on the left and green to the right.



Video results were equally strong with the X Style offering a good balance of performance. In our scores the X Style achieved a Video score of 83 points, just one point behind the current leader the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

The X Style delivered good results for exposure accuracy, color and white balance adjustment and particularly so with image stabilization, where it was one of the best we’ve seen to date. Although the X Style achieved a relatively low score for noise that was visible in the corners of the frame in low light, it reversed the trend and delivered a good score for texture preservation and control of artifacts. Occasional line skipping in one video test and some traces of ringing prevented the X Style from beating the S6 Edge in that category. In addition to the weaker score for noise, autofocus was another area that held the X Style back a little, where some slow focus adjustments and occasional overshooting was observed in low light levels.


Outdoors under good lighting, white balance is accurate and colors are pleasing. Exposure accuracy is generally good even under trying conditions, though slight underexposure is not uncommon.


Although the foreground in this outdoor scene shows good shadow recovery, the limited dynamic range has resulted in some highlight clipping.


Indoors under tungsten illuminant, without the typical yellow tint both the white balance and resulting colors are good.


In this outdoor scene sharpness is high and detail preservation is very good, while noise is barely noticeable in areas of single color (in this case the sky).


In our low-light (20 lux) test scene, images retain quite good levels of detail but noise is noticeable.


At 100% actual pixels, some slight ringing artifacts are visible on sharp transitions.


Photo Pros

- Very good detail preservation and low noise in outdoor conditions

- Accurate autofocus in all lighting conditions

- Pictures are well exposed

- Accurate white balance with generally pleasing colors

Video Pros

- Good detail preservation both in bright and low light conditions

- Good stabilization, one of the best results to date

- Fast adjustment of white balance and exposure

Photo Cons

- Autofocus is slightly unstable using flash with additional tungsten lighting

- Pictures are slightly over-exposed using flash with no additional light sources

- Bright areas of the image are occasionally clipped

- Saturation sometimes visible in areas of blue sky

Video Cons

- Some stabilization artifacts noticeable on indoor walking test.

- Autofocus is slow in lowlight

- Color shading noticeable with tungsten lighting.

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