This will be a sweet comparison – the newly released Motorola Moto X and the just released formidable Apple iPhone 6. Can the Moto X stand up to the specifications of the iPhone 6, and which device offers more options and features? As a writer, there are some articles that your dread writing, but you write them anyway because it is your job…then there are other articles that you are chomping at the bit to write – ones that you would do for free (you didn’t hear that, Chris). This comparison falls into the latter category because it is always exciting to compare an iOS device and an Android device, just to see where they differ and if all of the hoopla about the new iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iOS 8 is justified.
Much like the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the Moto X and the iPhone 6 have very little in common. About the only place they come close to common ground is in size, with the Moto X slightly larger overall and certainly heavier at 144 grams versus the iPhone 6 at 129 grams – most likely caused by the thinnest of the iPhone 6 and the larger battery and display (Gorilla Glass) in the Moto X. Pretty much from the display size to the materials to the specs to the operating systems, these two devices differ.
One place they do find themselves very similar is in the user experience – now before I get shouts of blasphemy from Android users (Oh no, it’s too late), please let me explain. BOTH, Apple and Motorola (read that as Google) want that smooth, quick, and easy to use, user experience – a sort of, “Here is our newest device. We have polished everything that we can to give you an out-of-the-box user experience that is both satisfying and as perfect as we can get in this crazy world. Yes, there may be a compromise here and there, but for the most part…simply enjoy.” And I would suspect that either set of users will be happy…but which device offers more in the way of technology, design and function – those are the areas that we hope to expose in this comparison.
Please, take some time to carefully look over the specifications listed below and then we will will talk about the individual devices and take a closer look at their pluses and minuses in order to help us make an informed choice for the winner.
Motorola Moto X
The new Moto X is an improvement in every way over the previous model, which was already pretty damn good. The design of the curved back is very comfortable to hold and with the optional leather or wood, it just looks sexy, as well…even with its large dimple in the back. The device looks and feels solid in the hand and inside Moto truly built a flagship for the day. I must also note that in view of the latest ‘bend test,” that the Moto X was outstanding with no give whatsoever.
Beginning with the display, we can see that although the device is barely larger, Motorola was able to squeeze in a one-half inch larger screen size – 5.2-inches versus the 4.7-inches of the iPhone 6. The Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 423 pixels-per-inch (PPI) is also better than the iPhone 6’s 1334 x 750 resolution with only 326 PPI. The Moto X relies on the AMOLED technology versus the IPS LCD technology of the Apple.
Next, we will look inside the devices to check out their specs. The Moto X uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM with either a 16GB/32GB option for internal storage or no room for expansion. These figures best the ones found in the iPhone 6, with the exception of the internal storage, with the iPhone 6 offering 16/64/128GB options, although you pay dearly for them. The Moto X’s camera specs of 13MP versus 8MP are also better, however, taking a good picture is more than just about megapixels and in the past, Apple has done an excellent job of creating an easy to use and great experience with photos. However, Motorola also believes that less options is more with their camera software as well…but does the lens deliver…so far the pictures have proven to be very good. The 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) is also more megapixels than the 1.2MP on the iPhone 6. The 2300mAh battery is also larger than the 1810mAh found in the iPhone 6 and is an area both devices could expand a little – fighting to have the thinnest smartphone is not a victory if it needs recharged all of the time and bends (did really type that or just think it outloud?).
The final area is the features – what does the new Moto X have that makes it special or above the iPhone 6. Motorola, the top-dog of radios and signal strength has done it again by giving the new Moto X Dynamic Tuning. The feature allows the device the ability to adjust the antenna based on where you are holding the device. Tests have shown this gives the Moto X up to 500X the signal strength and adds to that an excellent talking/sounding experience on your phone calls. Part of the phone call quality comes from the new Moto X being the first device to use four microphones for excellent noise cancellation. Another feature is the available Motorola Turbo Charger that allows you to charge the Moto X for only 15 minutes to give you up to eight additional hours of service. Motorola did not go the whole IP67 specs, but they did give the Moto X a nano-coating to repel water, which is more that Apple did on the iPhone 6. There are little niceties as well – the front mounted speaker, the headset jack on the TOP of the device where it belongs and the excellent design options with Moto Maker.
Apple iPhone 6
Now let’s take a look at the new and highly anticipated Apple iPhone 6 – does it deliver the goods? I look back at the iPhone 6 launch much like the Samsung Galaxy S5 – it is a better device all around, but both Samsung and Apple could have done a lot more. The new design is a little less bold, going to an all-metal back and that slight protruding camera lens that everybody wishes would go away. It is very comfortable in the hands and has been described as if you are “holding a museum piece.” Excuse me while I gag – I am sorry, but really?
The 4.7-inch display is a huge improvement over the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5 and 5s, but it is still only using a 1334 x 750 resolution with 326 PPI versus the 423 PPI of the Moto X. Apple now calls this their new Retina HD display, but it is still only 326 PPI? Some may argue that the IPS LCD display is better than the AMOLED display technology used on the Moto X, but not the professionals that test those two displays.
Inside the iPhone 6 it is a little like comparing ‘Apples to Android,’ as the processors are so different. Spec-wise, the Moto X has it over the iPhone 6 – you have a quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz versus Apple’s A8 dual-core clocked at 1.4GHz, 2GB of RAM in the Moto X and only 1GB in the iPhone 6, however the iPhone 6 will run quite smooth and fast as is. iOS 8 does not have the options or tasks involved to need more memory…for now, but if they get multitasking and other such niceties, they will need to up the RAM, especially if they want to claim they are a true 64-bit device – oh, they do that already. The iPhone 6 does offer the option of 64GB or 128GB of internal storage whereas the Moto X only goes up to 32GB on board as they are pushing for cloud usage for storing your data so that all of your devices can access it from one location…much like iTunes on Apple.
The camera is an improvement over the 8MP used in the iPhone 5 – and will still take excellent pictures – one of the best at point-and-shoot picture taking. Apple chose not to include OIS in the iPhone 6 while including it in the 6 Plus – not sure what their reasoning was at the time. Motorola upped their game with a 13MP shooter that is proving to take great pictures as well. One area that iPhone really needs attention is the battery – 1810mAh is just not going to cut it for a full day’s usage, but Apple seems more interested in just how thin they can make their iPhone (I think they have seen the limit) rather than a larger battery. Users want longer battery life than bragging rights on how thin their smartphone is…trust me.
The featured area of the iPhone 6 will be a little smaller than the Moto X. Apple finally included the NFC capability, which the Moto X already enjoys, but in their usual fashion, Apple made it Apple Pay ONLY – their own proprietary system that is not compatible with everyone else’s NFC. The iPhone 6 does have a great fingerprint scanner for unlocking the device and verifying purchases for iTunes, etc. – it works like a charm, but does take up a lot of space on the front, making the bezel rather large…but that does not seem to bother iPhone users. Apple included a sapphire crystal lens cover for added durability against scratches – they refuse to use Gorilla Glass for some reason. Both devices allow VoLTE calling, although the iPhone 6 does include Wi-Fi calling as well.
Here we will talk a little bit about operating systems and pricing. Apple’s new iOS 8 is a huge leap forward over their iOS 7, however, it is finally getting some features, such as multiple keyboards, that Android users have enjoyed for years. There are still no widgets, live wallpapers, customizable screens or multitasking – items that Apple claims makes Android too difficult and confusing to learn and use. iOS 8 finally does have a nice notification area and a huge library of apps, that do need upgraded to work properly on the larger displays – it is definitely an upgrade from Apple’s OS 7, but it still lacks too many functions that I enjoy in Android.
The iPhone always has, and still does, command a high dollar figure to own. If you are willing to stay with the 16GB model, you can get at for a respectable $199 with a two year contract versus $99 for the 16GB Moto X…even more respectable. The iPhone 6 will cost you $649 off contract versus $499 for the Moto X.
…And the Winner is…
This is another easy pick for me…and NO, it is not because the Moto X is an Android. I chose the Moto X over the iPhone 6 because of value and features. The Moto X is, plain and simple, a much better value – it has all the specs and MORE than the iPhone 6, comfortable to hold and well-built at almost half the price. It has pure Android and runs as fast and smooth as iOS 8 and has many extra features and functions that just are not found in the iPhone 6 or iOS 8. The call quality and noise cancellation is second to NONE, as is the reception. The Full HD display and decent battery life, not to mention the Turbo Charge option if you get into a pinch. The iPhone 6 is a nice device if you are used to using iOS and offers a better experience than iOS 7, but it still does not hold a candle to the freedom of choice that we have on Android. It may be more difficult to ‘setup,’ but once it is, it is a pleasure to use…oh, and by-the-way, nobody said you have to ‘monkey’ with it at all…you can use it out-of-the-box, just like an iPhone.
So please, hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which phone you think deserves to win this comparison…as always, we would love to hear from you.