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Phone Comparisons: Motorola Moto X Pure Edition vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

March 30, 2016 - Written By Cory McNutt

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition takes on the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in this specification comparison shoot out.  Does the Moto X Pure Edition – also known as the Moto X Style in countries other than the US – released this past fall have the specs to stand up to the new Galaxy S7 Edge flagship?  Both devices have good build quality, but it is easy to see that the metal, glass and dual curved display on the Galaxy S7 Edge looks the more premium, but then it should considering its price differential.  We will first look at the similarities between these two devices and then look at each one in more depth.

The Moto X Pure Edition and the Galaxy S7 Edge have a few things in common starting with the physical size with the Pure Edition coming in just slightly taller, wider and weighing in at 22 grams more…the S7 Edge wins in the thickness department – 11.1mm vs. 7.7mm.  Both devices repel water, although the Pure Edition only has a nano-coating, and the S7 Edge has the full IP68 certification.  Both displays use the QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, and both are close in size – 5.7-inch on the Moto and 5.5-inch on the Samsung.  They both use a Snapdragon processor, but extremely different models and they both have a 32GB or 64GB variation, and they both offer memory expansion via a microSD card.  The main camera areas are vastly different; however, they both use a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies or video chatting.  Both have non-removable batteries, and they both offer quick charging options.  The Pure Edition and S7 Edge have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Pure Edition and v4.2 on the S7 Edge), GPS, NFC and a microUSB port v2.0 for charging and data transfer.

Please take a careful 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 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 Pure Edition

Moto-X-Pure-Edition-AH-4In September 2015, Motorola released their flagship Moto X under two monikers – the Moto X Pure Edition in the US and the Moto X Style everywhere else.  The new Moto X makes improvements over the old model in just about every area, with a larger display, higher resolution, a much better camera, a 64-bit processor and more memory.  With its large 5.7-inch display, it is considered a phablet, but retains the full-metal frame and curved backing making it comfortable to hold – but how does it hold up to the new metal and glass Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge?

Motorola went with a large 5.7-inch LCD display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 520 pixels-per-inch (PPI).  Motorola went with Qualcomm, but bypassed the Snapdragon 810 and chose their 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with the quad-core clocked at 1.44GHz and the dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz.  The Moto X comes with 3GB of DDR3 RAM and a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot for expansion.

When asked to do the Nexus 6, Motorola started to take the camera area more seriously, and thankfully, this trend continues with the new Moto X.  Motorola jumped up to a huge 21MP sensor and then added quick phase detection autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash and a f/2.0 aperture.  The Moto X even includes a 5MP FFC with a f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting.  The Moto X uses a 3000mAh non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities.

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 Moto X is sold as an unlocked device that can work on all the major US networks.  With an almost a pure Android experience – currently, 6.0 Marshmallow – you should receive some of the fastest updates possible.  Motorola has given it a starting price of only $399.99

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Edge-AH-NS-wet-titanium-01The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (5.5-inch) falls right in the middle of the S6 Edge (5.1-inch) and the S6 Edge Plus (5.7-inch).  The outside of the S7 Edge does not physically look too differently from the Galaxy S6 Edge it replaces.  Most of the many changes or upgrades are inside the device.  Does that make it any less exciting of a device this year – most definitely?  The Galaxy S7 Edge is still an alluring looking device with those dual-curves of the display and body of curved metal and glass.  In this comparison, we are looking at specifications and the innovations of these two devices, so let’s take a closer look at the new Galaxy S7 Edge.

The Galaxy S7 Edge has a beautiful 5.5-inch Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with a QHD resolution and 534 PPI. The S7 Edge also sports a dual-curved display that can function on its own to access your ten favorite contacts quickly, use as a bedtime clock, alerts and more.  The Galaxy S7 Edge uses either an Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz or if you live in the US, the newest Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The S7 Edge packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and offers either 32GB or 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory, and the Galaxy S7 Edge offers room for expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.

Samsung did a major overhaul to the camera area of the Galaxy S7 Edge.  Gone is last year’s popular 16MP award-winning shooter on the S6 models.  To replace it, Samsung used a new Dual Pixel 12MP with a larger sensor, allowing it to take in more light and information than the smaller 16MP sensor.  The aperture increased to f/1.7, they included fast phase detection autofocus, auto HDR and retained OIS.  The S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens, f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its FFC for great selfies and video chatting.  The S7 Edge includes a large 3600mAh non-removable battery with quick charge and quick wireless charging as well.

What other features distinguishes the Galaxy S7 Edge from the Moto X Pure Edition?  We have to start with the dual-curved edge – it is stunning to view and even offers some functionality.  The S7 Edge also offers IP68 water and dust protection versus the IP52 nano-coating in the Moto X.  You can also use Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card.  The S7 Edge also has a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor and quick wireless charging.  The S7 Edge also included a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments. The S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and available in Black, White, Gold and Silver, costing about $790, although the carriers are offering many specials at this time – even BOGO.

…And The Winner Is…

Edge Panels

Summary

This is another one of those comparisons that can go two ways. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is by far the nicest looking of the two devices and certainly the most technologically advanced, but at a price of about $790, it is going up against the Moto X Pure Edition at only $400.  The Galaxy S7 Edge is priced in the upper range, and the Moto X is priced in the lower spectrum and hence the large difference in price. While the Moto X is reasonably priced, those savings do cost you.

The price is giving up a better display, more advanced processor, more and faster RAM and memory, a fingerprint sensor and other goodies.  If you are willing to do without those things, then you can purchase the Pure Edition with a clear conscious. However,  it still will not be the winner of this comparison.

The Moto X Pure Edition is a fantastic device and will accommodate most users very nicely. However, this comparison is about specifications and features, and for those looking for the best, the Galaxy S7 Edge will satisfy those users that will be happy to put down another $300+.  This price also allows the S7 Edge user to ‘future-proof’ themselves with a much better processor and a fingerprint sensor.

The Galaxy S7 Edge looks the part of a winner with its dual curved display and then backs up those looks with the best specifications available at this time. The Moto X just cannot keep up with the Galaxy S7 Edge in any area but pricing. Pricing is important, however, in this case, the Galaxy S7 Edge is money well spent.