New phones have lower resolution camera

Why is it that my Moto X Pure Edition 1st Gen has a better camera than ANY of the new phones that Republic offers for sale today? It is hard to upgrade when all of the available phones are actually a downgrade for the camera. Moto X Pure Edition has a 21MP camera. The closest resolution I have seen on the new phones is 12MP.

Megapixels aren’t everything. I think you’ll find you enjoy your pictures from a Google Pixel or high-end Samsung much more than your Moto X Pure.

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Thank you for your answer but assuming that I will ‘enjoy your pictures from a Google Pixel or high-end Samsung much more than your Moto X Pure’ is not really a helpful explanation. Also assuming that I do not understand the nuances of modern camera specs is a bit myopic.

Hi @markd.eithga,

I make no claim to being a photography expert, however, having owned a Moto X Pure and having replaced it with a Pixel 2 XL, I’m much happier with the pictures taken by the Pixel than I ever was with the Moto X Pure.

Motorola made a lot of noise about the Pure’s 21 megapixels, however, I do agree with @cbwahlstrom that megapixels are not the sole measure of camera quality. Perhaps, the article he linked will provide insight behind my experience.

Thank you for your reply. However, assuming that I do not understand the nuances of modern camera specs is a bit myopic.

For anyone else with an opinion, let me say that this question is not about my knowledge of camera specifications but rather the following… 'Why is it that my Moto X Pure Edition 1st Gen has a better camera than ANY of the new phones that Republic offers for sale today? ’ More MP results in the possibility of larger prints so more MP is always better in my world. If you only look at your photos on a phone screen or on a Computer screen, you may miss this distinction.

I am a professional photographer with more than 20 years experience so let’s circle back to the original question. Thanks.

It doesn’t have a better camera. It has a higher resolution sensor. There’s a lot more to a camera than film granularity.


Digital cameras do not use film…

So analogy is lost on you. I give up.


Please give up… nothing you have proffered has addressed my question.

The short answer is because, to the best of my knowledge, is the manufacturers including Motorola have chosen not to make new phones with higher resolution camera sensors.

Motorola has a 48MP camera on the Z4.

Thanks for pointing that out. Republic does sell the Z4, however, last I looked it was backordered. One can, of course, buy the unlocked Z4 at Motorola and bring it to Republic.

So basically, I asked a question of the community to which I received answers based upon opinion not facts.

Interesting. Why would I ever reach out to a community like this one if all you get are personal opinions? I expected fact based, researched answers that address the specific issue or issues I may have.

I knew that there was a 48MP camera on the Moto Z4 but wanted to see if I got an accurate answer from the community. I did not receive an accurate answer from the community.

Let my post be as an example to anyone consulting this community that you must take any answers given by this community as suspect and possibly inaccurate because the answers are not based upon facts nor research but personal opinions. This may cause you to waste your time as I have.

It’s not hard to Google objective tests of smartphone cameras. One of the highest regarded is here


Objectively, the camera on the Moto X Pure was mediocre, at VERY best. MP is meaningless. Here’s some reading:’t+matter&iie=1

Nearly every phone in the mid-range or better availble in the last two years has a camera that produces better results. No matter the MP. Buying on MP is a bit like buying a car based only on the HP of the engine and nothing else. You can have a big engine, in a heavy car with a terrible transmission, and end up with a slow inefficient car. Same thing here.


Hi @markd.eithga,

Welcome to our Member Community. I’m afraid you may have mistaken it for something it isn’t.

Our Member Community is a place where Republic Wireless members can come together to have meaningful, civil conversations about matters (sometimes tangentially) related to Republic Wireless.

Sometimes members ask questions that other members have a factual answer to, like “How do I adjust the media volume on my Samsung A10e.” Sometimes, however, members ask questions that other members would not have a factual answer to, like “Why did Motorola decide not to put an auto-focus camera on the Moto E 1st Gen.”

When a factual answer is not available, members might still wish to converse with one another. Sometimes people learn things from these conversations. For example, several years ago, I believed Megapixels were the only thing that mattered when selecting a camera. The additional context here is meaningful to others who may not have known that other factors are also important. It’s a very good conversation to have, a welcome conversation in our Community, and I’m sorry to see you feel you wasted your time here. Perhaps such a specific question about a Motorola business decision would be better asked of Motorola. I hope when you get the answer, you’ll come back and let us know!


Avid casual photo guy here…

MP is NOT the main spec one needs to look at in a camera.
It is for the most part, irrelevant.
Far as I know, the cam on the Moto X Pure is only 21MP due to software enhancements…not hardware native.
And, in my experience, it is a medicore cam at best.
As with all Moto branded ones I have used.

I used to own a 5MP Olympus point and shoot with 12x zoom camera from 2001 ish, it sadly broke. It was a tank, but it took FAR FAR sharper, clear, in focus, minimal noise images…than its 20MP newer model (2012)of the same camera many years later.

It is all in the raw optics, and the aperture is much more important a spec these days (the amount of light the cam can get) and the raw sensor hardware quality/brand. f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm for example. Combine excellent hardware, with excellent software processing, AI and such, u get stellar images from just a quick snapshop. Some do prefer a full manual mode though.

I read somewhere, quite along time ago now, that u really only need to be concerned with the MP, or resolution of the digital image if u are needing to make a physical print of it. …and, even at 5MP, it is big enough for a print billboard image, so the article said.

Also, if all u do is look at the images on your computer or tv, the images are already FAR beyond the native resolution of those displays. Having a much large MP or resolution will only result in much large file size, so less space for photos. (Most folks still have 1080P FHD monitors, and the still images are already higher resolution than most folks monitors.)

If professional quality is your concern, then that is was RAW format is for as that pass the raw camera sensor data, and is then opened in a software like Adobe to be processed and exported as image manually by a pro who tweaks all the image values etc.

The Pixel phones are always the top preforming smartphone cams out-there, they have a very good hardware sensor combined with propitiatory software processing magic by Google. U will not be disappointed.


I hear it’s not all about the pixels.

Then how do they get developed at my CVS?

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I’ve used Moto’s for many years. Lots to love. The camera never made the list.

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