^ "better" is very subjective.
Like you, I am fed up with large phones. I had the GS4 since it came out last year (got it on day 1), and used it for most of the year. I actually quite like the GS4 -- replaceable battery, MicroSD, great camera, great display and "manageable" size. However, I wanted to try more pocketable devices, so:
- First up the Moto X. Great, great design. Awesome feel in hand, more pocketable. Active notifications are just great. Because of the lower-res screen, the non-removable battery is fine - I can usually get through 14-15 hours without a charge so even when I am travelling all day, not a big worry. The two big downsides to the Moto X are (a) crap camera -- although it can take good HDR photos in the right light, it often disappoints (b) lack of MicroSD storage. I'm consistently running at around 23/25GB so it's a bit tight.
- Now trying the z1c. Obviously it solves some of the Moto X shortcomings (camera and MicroSD). It's not perfect. First, the feel in hand is not as good as the Moto X, because it's thicker all around and it's a very square shape (so digs into your palms a bit). Screen on the Moto X (which is AMOLED) is better, but this is subjective. Battery, can't tell yet - think it's around the same as the Moto X (essentially the same size). I also removed the ASF, couldn't stand it. Fingerprints are roughly the same as on the Moto X, that is to say manageable. As of now, I had to downgrade to JB to get a bug-free ROM. Had a few KK issues (mostly sound-related including the alarm).
BTW, I had the Nexus 5 when it first came out, returned it to Google after 1 day. To me the Moto X is a much better overall device than the N5 with the same tradeoffs. The N5 is too big and cut into my hands, never mind it had all kinds of crazy bugs (they may or may not be solved now).
If you want a small, fast device with a very good camera, there isn't much choice right now other than the z1c. Maybe Samsung or HTC will make "proper" minis this year (their 2013 mini's are not high-end devices)???
Moto X XT1053 | 32GB | Black/Black Woven | KangaKat 2.0 (KitKat 4.4.2 ROM) | TWRP 18.104.22.168
Fido Galaxy S4 i337m | 16GB + 64GB Micro SD | Sapphire | Dandroid GPe KitKat 4.4.3 ROM | TWRP 22.214.171.124
Samsung Galaxy Camera 2
MacBook Pro Retina 13" 2013 i7 2.8Ghz | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | Thunderbolt display
iPad Mini Retina | 32GB | Wi-Fi