Do we have a good one for you today – the new Motorola Moto X Pure Edition goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X – both devices have a solid build, if not elegant looks. The Moto X comes with a typical Motorola look and a variety of customizations available. While the curved back makes the large device easier to hold. The Nexus 5X is the lower costing Nexus device, and as such, it is made from polycarbonate – a fancy name for plastic. We that it is cheap feeling…it is not, but you can only do so much with plastic. We will look at what these two smartphones have in common and then take a more detailed look at each individual device.
The Moto X and Nexus 5X have physical measurements that very close to one another with the Moto X being slightly larger and weighing an extra 43 grams. They use the same 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. You can get either 16GB or 32GB internal storage variants and only the Moto X has the ability to expand via a microSD card slot. Both devices share a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC). They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.1 on the Moto X and 4.2 on the Nexus 5X), GPS, NFC, USB ports (v2.0 on the Moto X and Type-C on the Nexus 5X), both have non-removable batteries and both have rapid charge capabilities.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Motorola Moto X Pure Edition
Motorola did a nice job upgrading last year’s Moto X with the Moto X Pure Edition in the US (Moto X Style elsewhere). Motorola continues with the same design and offering up a great smartphone and pricing it very competitively. The Moto X is not the perfect smartphone by any means, but for only a $400 price tag, there is not much you can complain about. One area that is lacking is a fingerprint sensor for mobile payments – the next ‘big thing’ as Samsung Pay and Android Pay hit the ground running…okay, no wireless charging either. Many users think the 5.7-inch display is too large to use as a daily driver. Motorola built the new Moto X with a solid metal frame, while retaining the comfortable curved backing making it a joy to hold even with its larger size. You can also customize it with Moto Maker and they still offer that beautiful wood backing.
The new Moto X has an IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 520 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the 5.2-inch FHD display on the Nexus 5X with 424 PPI. The Moto X uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core with four cores running at 1.44 GHz and two cores running at 1.8 GHz and the Nexus 5X uses the same processor. The Moto X packs 3GB of RAM with choices of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of storage. Only the Moto X has the ability to expand ton the internal memory, 128GB via a microSD card.
The camera on the Moto X Pure scored well on the DxOMark test and our in depth review shows that it takes good, but not great photos. It uses a 21MP sensor with phase detection autofocus, an aperture of f/2.0 and dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC with the same f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great group selfies or video chatting. This goes up against the 12.3MP main camera that takes great photos and a 5MP FFC on the Nexus 5X. The Moto X uses a 3000 mAh battery versus the smaller 2700 mAh battery in the Nexus 5X – both are non-removable, and both should last through an entire day of normal usage. The Moto X has a fast charging battery that can use Motorola’s Turbo Charger – a 34-percent charge in only 15 minutes. The Nexus 5X has rapid charge via its Type-C microUSB connector.
The Moto X Pure includes front-facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for a great sound. The Moto X is being sold unlocked so it can be used on all major US networks. It also has a nano-coating for water resistance. Using the almost pure Android experience – currently 5.1.1 Lollipop – you will get the fastest updates possible from a non-Nexus device. Motorola has given the Moto X Pure Edition a starting price of only $399.90.
LG Nexus 5X
LG has now built three Nexus devices – the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013. Motorola was handed the reins in 2014 and produced the huge 6-inch Nexus 6 – hailed by some as a true flagship, but many thought it was too large and expensive to be a Nexus. This year Google went back to LG and asked them to design a mid-range Nexus 5X. With a 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a great size – that ‘sweet spot’ many customers look for – and then priced the device at only $379. When pricing is that low, it results in a few ‘cut corners,’ and as such, LG had to use a polycarbonate build that is rugged, but not very premium feeling or looking as say a Galaxy S6.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. This goes up against the 5.7-inch LCD QHD display on the Moto X with 520 PPI. The Nexus 5X uses the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. The Moto X decided to go with the same Snapdragon 808. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available – Google would prefer that you use the cloud for storage. The Moto X comes with 3GB of RAM and a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, but also offers a microSD card slot for adding an additional 128GB.
The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor for excellent pictures according to our review – a 12.3MP main camera with laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. This goes up against a large 21MP sensor on the Moto X main camera and a 5MP FFC. The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700 mAh non-removable battery while the Moto X has a larger 3000 mAh non-removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day and both can charge quickly – the Moto X with its Turbo Charger, and the Nexus 5 X with its Type-C microUSB port.
The LG Nexus 5X is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS. With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector and a single, bottom mounted speaker. The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice. It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a very tough decision – on one hand, we have the new Moto X with a QHD display and huge 21MP camera and on the other hand, we have the Nexus 5X with only a FHD display with a respectable 424 PPI, a smaller 12.3MP camera that takes better pictures. Then you add to that the fingerprint sensor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Type-C connector, the same processor and a smaller, but adequate battery with rapid charge and only $379…and it makes the decision a tough one.
I picked the Nexus 5X as the winner of this comparison based on the fact it just seemed more future-proof. With the fingerprint sensor and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you will be able to authorize mobile payments (Android Pay) with your fingerprint. You are also running pure stock Android and will get the new updates faster than even Motorola. It is the perfect size for an everyday driver and it will take great photos.
Yes, the Moto X gives you the QHD display and dual front-facing stereo speakers and expandable memory, for just a little more money. If you value those features then knock yourself out with the Moto X.