Do we have a good one for you today – the iconic Motorola Nexus 6 goes up against the newest Motorola Moto X (Pure Edition in the US and Style elsewhere). Here is a rare battle to see how two popular Motorola devices stack up to one another. We have the beloved Nexus model going up another charmer, the Moto X, each device with their own following and set of expectations…I told you this would be a great comparison.
With both devices built by Motorola, there must be a few things that the Nexus 6 and Moto X have in common, and you would be correct to a certain degree…but there is less than you may think. They both use the QHD display resolution, but use different technologies – Nexus 6 uses an AMOLED display and the Moto X uses an LCD display. Both use a Qualcomm processor, but different bits, models and number of cores – the Nexus 6 uses a 32-bit octa-core style while the Moto X uses a 64-bit hexa-core processor. They both use 3GB of RAM and have 32GB or 64GB of internal storage options, but the Moto X takes it a step further with a 16GB option and the Moto X includes a microSD card slot to expand.
They also have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and a microUSB 2.0 port for battery charging and data transfer. They both have a quick charge feature and they both have non-removable batteries.
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 Nexus 6
When Google selects a manufacturer for its annual Nexus smartphone, Google dictates a few guidelines the selected manufacturer must follow, but the manufacturer puts a lot of its own ‘flavor’ into the pot. When Motorola was selected for the Nexus 6, they definitely slanted it towards the Moto X design – think of the Nexus 6 as a Moto X on steroids – bigger and better in every way. It still maintains the Moto X’s shapely curved back…but straight display, making it easier to hold even with its large size.
The first surprise was the huge 6-inch display for an everyday driver – a tad large for most people and its QHD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI). While large, it squares up quite nicely with the 5.7-inch QHD LCD display on the Moto X with 520 PPI. Motorola used the best processor available at the time of the Nexus’ design – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a 32-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz. The Moto X uses a newer 64-bit hexa-core processor. Both the Nexus 6 and the Moto X offer the same 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage as standard, but the Moto X adds the ability to expand their internal memory. You can also get a 64GB Nexus 6 model and a 16GB and 64GB Moto X as well.
Motorola and the Nexus line were never known for their photographic prowess, however the camera on the Nexus 6 and Moto X are another surprising upgrade. The main camera areas are far apart, but both will take great pictures and video, although the nod will certainly have to go to the Moto X. The Nexus 6 uses a unique dual-tone flash ring around a 13MP lens and comes with autofocus and OIS…it does not have the 21MP lens, f/2.0 or phase detection autofocus of the Moto X. The small 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) does not hold a candle to the huge 5MP FFC in the Moto X…also with an f/2.0 aperture and wide-angle.
The Nexus uses a huge non-removable 3220mAh battery to make sure you will get through the entire day without having to charge…and when you do need a charge, you will be able to use Motorola’s Turbo Charger that comes with the Nexus 6 and get up to a 60-percent charge in only 15 minutes. The Moto X also enjoys a large non-removable 3000mAh battery and can also take advantage of the Turbo Charger for a quick charging battery.
As far as extras go, the Nexus 6 enjoys built-in wireless charging and shares the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop, completely unskinned with the fastest upgrades available. It is available on all major US Carriers for $199 (down from $249) on a two-year contract or the newly reduced cost of $499 (32G) and $549 (64GB) off-contract in the Google Play Store, with your color choices of Midnight Blue or Cloud White.
Motorola Moto X (Pure Edition/Style)
Every year a smartphone manufacturer gives us an update on their product and this year Motorola has redefined their flagship device for 2015. In the US they are calling it the Moto X Pure Edition and outside the US it is called the Moto X Style. The new Moto X has been improved in just about every area of its design. They are many ways to customize and personalize the look of the new Moto X – colored backings, casings and even the wood backings – and you can further customize its look using the Moto Maker. It is a larger device, but retains the full-metal frame and curved backing making it comfortable to hold.
On the Moto X Pure Edition (Style), Motorola replaced the AMOLED display for an IPS LCD variety. It is 5.7-inches with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 520 PPI, while the Nexus 6 uses the same QHD display technology in a 5.96-inch display with 493 PPI. Motorola decided to stick with Qualcomm and put in their 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with one quad-core clocked at 1.44GHz and the other dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz. This goes up against the 32-bit Snapdragon 805 quad-core clocked at 2.7GHz in the Nexus 6. The Pure Edition comes with 3GB of RAM and either 16GB/32GB/64GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot to expand. The Nexus 6 also has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and no means to expand.
Motorola never put a whole lot of thought into the cameras on their devices, but they went the extra mile on the Moto X with a 21MP sensor. The camera is complete with quick, phase detection autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and uses an f/2.0 aperture. The Moto X even includes a 5MP FFC with an f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. This goes up against a 13MP main camera and a puny 2MP FFC in the Nexus 6. The Pure Edition uses a 3000mAh battery versus the larger 3220mAh battery in the Nexus 6 – non-removable battery in both and both can use Motorola’s Turbo Charger for a very quick charge.
The Moto X Pure Edition includes front-facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for a great new sound. Motorola also includes the IP52 water repellency in the Moto X. The Pure Edition is a device that is unlocked and can be used on all major networks – they call this “carrier freedom.” Using the pure Android experience – currently 5.1.1 Lollipop – you can be assured of getting the fastest updates. Motorola has given it a starting price of $399.99 and it will be available this fall.
…And The Winner Is…
I thought this comparison would be much harder to decide, but after weighing all of the pluses and minuses, I pick the new Moto X Pure Edition as the winner in this specification comparison. I am sure some diehard Nexus fans will disagree, but after they study both devices, I think it is clear that the Moto X has a lot more going for it at this point.
The Moto X has a slightly more manageable display size, a 64-bit processor, the ability to expand internal memory via a microSD card, a much better camera area in general and more water protection. To top it all off, you get all of this for a starting price of only $399.99, or $100 less than the newly reduced price of the Nexus 6 on Google Play.
I know that the Nexus 6 is pure unadulterated Android, but the Motorola is using almost a pure vanilla on their Moto X, as well as giving them extremely fast updates. If you are a pure Nexus user at heart, the switch to the new Moto X may not hurt much at all.