Cory's Comp Sep 16th

Phone Comparisons: Motorola Moto X (2015) vs Apple iPhone 6s Plus

September 16, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the new Motorola Moto X goes up against the new Apple iPhone 6s Plus.  It’s always a good comparison when we have an Android device going up against an Apple device – sparks are bound to fly, so let’s see if we can compare these great new smartphones and see if they have anything in common and just how far they are apart.

Both devices are solidly built, but we would be lying if we did not point out that the iPhone 6s Plus is a beauty and certainly has more premium looking than the Moto X.  Both the iPhone 6s Plus and the Moto X use an LCD display technology, are close to the same size (iPhone is 5.5-inches and Moto X is 5.7-inches), but use different resolutions.  They both offer a 16GB or 64GB of internal storage as an option and both can handle videos at 2160p at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps and both use a 5MP sensor for their front-facing camera (FFC).  They both have some of the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.2 in iPhone 6s Plus and 4.1 in the Moto X), GPS, NFC (Apple Pay ONLY) and both have a non-removable battery (2915mAh in the iPhone and 3000mAh in the Moto X).

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.

Specifications

Motorola Moto X (2015)

Moto X Style Hands On AH 42The new Moto X 2015 – Pure Edition in the US and Style everywhere else – is a nice upgrade over its predecessor.  Motorola continues to up their smartphone’s specs and still delivers it at a very reasonable price.  Is it the perfect smartphone for today, certainly not?  But for the $400 price tag there is not much to complain about – it does lack a fingerprint sensor for mobile payments and many users will think its display is too large for a daily driver.  The Moto X is built with a solid metal frame and retains the comfortable curved backing making it a joy to hold even with its large size.  It is also fully customizable with MotoMaker and you can still grab that beautiful wood backing.

Motorola dropped the AMOLED display this time around and went with an IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 520 PPI versus the FHD display on the iPhone 6s Plus of 401 PPI.  The Moto X uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core with four cores running at 1.44GHz and two cores running at 1.8GHz.  This goes up against the 64-bit A9 dual-core on the iPhone 6s Plus.  The Moto X packs 3GB of RAM and choices of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the iPhone 6s Plus packs 2GB of RAM with 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage – only the Moto X can expand that internal memory via a microSD card.

The camera on the Moto X seems like the real deal, but we will have to wait until we get our hands on one to actually test just how good of photos it produces.  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 new 12MP main camera and 5MP FFC on the iPhone 6s Plus.  The Moto X uses a 3000mAh battery versus the slightly smaller 2915mAh battery in the iPhone 6s Plus – both are non-removable, both should last through an entire day and the Moto X can use Motorola’s Turbo Charger for a very quick charge.

The Moto X 2015 includes front-facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for a great new sound.  Motorola also includes the IP52 water repellency in the Moto X and is NFC capable, meaning that it will work with Android Pay.  The Motorola is selling one Moto X that is unlocked and can be used on all major US networks.  Using the pure Android experience – currently 5.1.1 Lollipop – you will get the fastest updates possible with Motorola.  The device measures 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 and weighs in at 179 grams.  Motorola has given it a starting price of $399.90.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s PlusThe iPhone 6s Plus is basically a stretched version of the iPhone 6s with a larger display and the addition of OIS to the main camera.  The iPhone 6s series looks almost identical to the iPhone 6, with an all-metal body and a few changes – not totally new like Tim Cook was touting at its introduction.

The iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch display – it is a Full HD IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – compared to the 5.7-inch QHD display and 520 PPI found on the Moto X.  It uses a 64-bit A9 dual-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz and it is smooth and fast…comparing nicely to the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Moto X.  The 6s Plus comes with 2GB of RAM…which is not up to the multitasking powers of the 3GB of RAM found in the Moto X.  The iPhone 6s Plus offers a choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no expansion whereas the Moto X offers a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB and expandable via a microSD card slot.

The camera has always been one of the iPhone’s strong points and in the iPhone 6s Plus Apple increased the size of the sensor to 12MP and with some tweaking here and there.  It has the usual autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash and for the first time they added OIS to the Plus model.  It has always been one the best point-and-shoot cameras on a smartphone and will certainly take better pictures than the 21MP sensor in the Moto X. The FFC on the iPhone is now a larger 5MP for social media selfies or video chatting – ONLY through Apple’s FaceTime unless both users download a third-party app.  The Moto X also uses a 5MP as its FFC.  The iPhone has never been known for great battery life and the 2915mAh non-removable battery in the 6s Plus doesn’t do much to help its cause.  While not much larger, the Moto X uses a 3000mAh non-removable battery, but the Moto X should easily outlast the iPhone and should your battery get low, the Moto X has quick charge (Moto Turbo).

What does the iPhone 6s Plus have the Moto X does not?  It has Apple’s proprietary Apple Pay and its proprietary FaceTime video chat feature – if you can call that good.  It is easy to use and efficient, but rather boring when compared to an Android device and its customization capabilities and extended features.  New this year is what Apple is calling 3D Touch display, where the display can ‘sense’ up to three pressures – press once to open up and app and then press again within the app to go somewhere else.  The pricing has always been a sore spot with the iPhone, commanding an off contract price of $750 for just the 16GB all the way up to $950 for the 128GB model.

…And The Winner Is…

Moto X Style Hands On AH 41

Summary

Okay…I only put the Moto X picture as the winner, as I just could not bring myself to place the iPhone 6s Plus picture on our Android website.  But let’s face it, the iPhone really does blow the Moto X out of the park with its build, processor, camera and fingerprint sensor – provided you are okay buying into the Apple ecosystem…itunes, Apple Pay, FaceTime, etc. The iPhone iOS system is smooth, but rigid, boring and not flexible like Android, where you can add widgets, design the display the way you want it to look, easy multitasking, any keyboard you want to use, different music players, etc.

The Moto X does have a nano-coating for water resistance, a better display, more RAM, expandable internal memory, slightly larger battery, NFC capable at more places, can use Android Pay and has a fast charge battery.  You can even use MotoMaker to customize the Moto X to your personality.  The other thing that the Moto X has going for it is its pricing – it will cost you $400 for the 16GB model versus $750 for the iPhone 6s Plus 16GB version.

It you want to save a bundle of cash, and you are not as picky about photos, then get yourself a Moto X (2105), but if you want the better camera, easy operation with less options and do not mind being stuck in Apple’s ecosystem, spend the extra $350 and grab yourself the iPhone 6s Plus.