This is really going to be a tough one…and I mean it this time. These two devices are very evenly matched in so many areas – even in great value. The winner will have to be chosen based on the 'extras' that it brings to the table. Which one of these devices design and features will enhance the user's experience. Obviously, these are both terrific devices, and many times the winner not only has a few better specs, but the engineering that goes into the design can make all of the difference. We try and pick the device that we believe will give the consumer the best experience.
The displays are very similar in size, and they are both using a Full HD display, however we have an AMOLED display on the new Moto X and a IPS LCD on the One – which one you like is a very personal decision. The processors are identical, as is the 16GB standard internal storage. The Moto X offers a 32GB option and the OnePlus One will jump you to 64GB and neither one has a microSD card slot. The cameras have an identical 13MP for the cameras, dual-LED flash and Auto Focus. Both have the latest Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and a microUSB connectivity.
Please take a look over the detailed specification sheet below and study the differences and similarities in detail, then move on below to read up on each individual smartphone where we will try and point out those differences – good and bad – to help us reach our conclusion – the winner of the comparison.
Motorola Moto X (2104)
Motorola took, what was one of the most beloved and surprising smartphones of 2013, and made it even better, in a more refined kind of way. When Google purchased Motorola, nobody knew what to expect, so when the Moto X debuted as their first joint flagship device, many were a little disappointed in the screen resolution (720p), processor, amount of RAM and the camera – always a disappointment on a Motorola device. However, once the critics were able to review it and play with it, they realized that the top specs are not always necessary to have a top flight experience with a smartphone.
The new Moto X continues that tradition, sort of – Motorola went for the display of most top devices, and the top processor found in the Galaxy S5 and LG G3, however, they stuck with the 2GB of RAM and did not succumb to the pressure of 3GBs. Why should they? It saves money and is not needed to run the pure Android optimized device. Motorola finally added a good camera – 13MP with Auto Focus and a Dual LED 'Ring Flash," where the flash actually encompasses the camera lens. They only have a 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) for video chats and selfies, but smartphones have used that size for quite a while and it seems to work just fine…after all this is not an $800 device so cuts have to be made somewhere. Motorola seems to like a smaller battery, using only a 2300mAh size, but Alex was able to get 16 hours on a charge and remember it does have the Turbo Charging option available. They also added a large single front mounted speaker for a great sound.
What really elevates the new Moto X is engineering and software – the four microphones for clarity and noise cancellation, the metal frame for stability, the Dynamic Tuning for better signal strength and the optional Turbo Charger to get up to 8 hours of usage from a 15 minute charge. The new Moto App is really collection from last year – Assist, Actions, Voice, Display and Meetings. There is also Motorola Connect which got a nice upgrade this year and Motorola Migrate also got an update to bring over information from your old phone (even an iPhone) over to your new Moto X.
The OnePlus One and OPPO N1 (among others in Oppo's line) were some of the most highly anticipated high-end / lower priced devices from the new China manufacturers. OnePlus' first device was, appropriately named, 'One.' There were delays and problems with the phone and they finally got a couple of batches out the end of June. It carries pretty much the same specs as the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and LG G3 for about half the price if purchased retail. The OnePlus One has a nice shape and quality feel with a slightly curved back with a rough finish for a great grip, making it comfortable to hold – but are those two items enough for it to beat the new Moto X?
Like we said in the introduction, these two devices have many parts in common – however, there are enough differences to make a real difference in these two smartphones? The One does have an extra 1GB of RAM, but the Moto X just does not need more than the 2GB of RAM to run efficiently. Other than the 'Ring Flash', the One's camera is the same 13MP with Auto Focus…and it includes the dual-LED flash. The One does go overboard on a 5MP FFC for video chatting and selfies…most devices, like the Moto X use a 2-3MP FFC. The One does include a nice set of speakers on the bottom of device – a great location for using it as a speakerphone while sitting on a table or desk.
Another interesting feature of the OnePlus One is that even though its operating system is based on Android 4.4.4 (updated from 4.4.2), it actually uses CyanogenMod's 11S UI – the first phone custom tailored by team Cyanogen. Their popular, CyanogenMod, after-market firmware is well known among those that root their devices. The price of the One is a bargain for what you get – $299 for a 16GB White model or $349 for a 64GB Black model. It does only work on GSM networks, so if you are on Verizon or Sprint networks, you are out of luck.
…And the Winner is…
Like I said at the beginning, this was going to be a tough one, but I have to pick one, so I am going with the new Moto X. While these devices are very similar in many respects, I feel that the design of the Moto X wins out over the OnePlus One – it just seems more fresh and more modern, and with the wood or leather back plate, it just has that certain, "Wow" factor. There are some people that seem to have this misconception that a device made in the USA could not possibly compete against a high-tech Chinese company making a high quality phone at a reasonable price – Motorola has proven them wrong, once again.
I also think that the technological advances that Motorola included, really help enhance the user experience – four microphones for noise cancellation and their Crystal Clear technology, the Motorola Turbo Charger, and especially the Dynamic Tuning feature. All of those features, to one degree or another help make the new Moto X a winner, not only for the consumer, but also in this comparison.
One could also argue that the pure Android 4.4.4 experience is also a winning factor with the quickest upgrades available, much like the Nexus series, and even its nano-coating to repel water is a plus factor. The availability and price also help make it a winner – the Moto X will be available on all major U.S. carriers (except Sprint) and for only $99 for a two-year contract and even the $499 off-contract price is attractive.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which one you would pick as the winner in this comparison and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.