Do we have a good one for you today – the beloved Moto X (2014) goes up against the new kid on the block, the Samsung Galaxy S6. Obviously, these two devices are worlds a part in price and specs, but how does the Moto X hold its own against the new Galaxy S6 powerhouse? The Moto X gives its user a tremendous value – right now Verizon has it for only $50 on a two-year agreement and that is a lot of smartphone for only $50. The new Galaxy S6 is much more expensive, probably close to $250 on a two-year contract, but then you are getting the pinnacle of technology and materials.
There are not many similarities between the two devices, but they are about the same physical size and even the display size is almost identical – 5.2-inches for the Moto X and 5.1-inches for the Galaxy S6. There is 32GB internal storage available for both devices and neither one has a microSD slot for expansion, although the Galaxy S6 does have a 64GB and 128GB option not available on the Moto X. Only 3MP separate the main camera of the 13MP Moto X and the 16MP on the Galaxy S6, but the remaining camera options all lean toward the Galaxy S6. Both have non-removable batteries, although different sizes, with the Galaxy S6 having the bigger battery. They both have the usual dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 in the Moto X and 4.1 in the Galaxy S6), GPS, NFC, active noise cancellation microphone, quick charge and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
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.
Moto X (2014)
The Moto X 2014 is an update of an old favorite – Motorola took the previous version and upgraded it in all areas of size and specifications, and they did it all for a great price. They finally made the Moto X a real flagship of their line, while reserving the Moto G for the mid-range device and the Moto E as the entry-level smartphone.
The display is now within that ‘sweet spot’ at 5.2-inches and it uses the AMOLED technology with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 423 pixels-per-inch (PPI), but still a far cry from the 577 PPI on the Galaxy S6. Motorola grabbed the best processor out at the time – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz. With Motorola’s optimizations and running almost pure Android, it will fly through its tasks with a quickness and smoothness not always found on Android devices. This is one of the reasons that its 2GB of RAM, thought too little in this day of 3GB (like the Galaxy S6), is more than enough. The Moto X does have a 16GB and 32GB internal memory option, but no microSD card slot here to expand beyond those boundaries. Motorola and Google believe that your data should be stored in the cloud, not on your device, in order that all of your devices will have access and share that data.
Motorola has never showed much concerned when it came to the camera on past models, but with the Moto X 2014 they put in a very good 13MP sensor, autofocus and a dual-LED Flash Ring that encompasses the lens – still no OIS, but it does take decent photos. The ‘standard’ 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) is fine for social selfies or the occasional video chat with friends or family.
Moto’s continued use of small batteries shows no signs of stopping with a 2300mAh battery powering the Moto X, but it will get you through an entire day of normal usage. If it is one of those days and you need more power, just hook it up to the optional Turbo Charger for up to 8 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes! As far as extras on the Moto X – Motorola used four microphones for excellent noise cancellation and voice reproduction on phone calls, they also added front-mounted speakers, used a full metal frame for strength, nano-coated the inside for water resistance, and engineered Dynamic Tuning to help increase the radio strength. It is running 5.0.1 Lollipop and is available on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, all for only $99 on a two-year contract and only $499 off-contract.
Samsung Galaxy S 6
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 is a device that Samsung desperately needed to return to its smartphone domination. It is a new device from the ground up – a solid aircraft grade aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 4 used for the display and the back of the device. It has a premium look from every angle and is very comfortable to hold in your hand.
Much like the Moto X’s 5.2-inch display, the Galaxy S6’s Super AMOLED display comes in right at 5.1-inches, but uses Quad HD (QHD) resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a whopping 577 PPI, as opposed to the 424 PPI on the Moto X. As part of their new philosophy, Samsung dropped the Qualcomm processor altogether and opted for the in-house 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. It is packing 3GB of much faster DDR4 RAM – a step up from the 2GB of DDR3 RAM used in the Moto X. It also comes with Samsung’s new, faster, UFS 2.0 flash memory offered in 32GB/64GB/128GB models with no room for expansion – a first for Samsung’s Galaxy S series.
This is simply the best camera ever put in a Galaxy S series device and quite possibly the best camera currently on a smartphone. It is using a Sony 16MP sensor, autofocus, LED Flash, a wider f/1.9 aperture, ISOCELL technology, Live HDR and OIS. The speed was also dramatically increased – taking only 7/10s of a second to open and be ready to shoot. The front-facing camera (FFC) increased to 5MP with and added the f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and a 120 wide-angle lens for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The 2550mAh battery is larger than the 2300mAh in the Moto X, and should easily get you through the entire day – the new Samsung non-removable battery can charge for up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and they also added built-in wireless charging for the first time.
The Galaxy S6 has a large speaker on the bottom of the device and comes with a fingerprint sensor, heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors, IR Blaster along with active noise cancellation. It is available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Blue Topaz. It will be running Android 5.0 Lollipop, and is releasing worldwide on April 10. Pricing on a two-year contract will probably be about $250, and $699 full-price.
…And The Winner Is…
In a battle of specifications, we have to pick the Samsung Galaxy S6 over the excellent Moto X. Many times, if the phone specs are close, we can take into account the pricing and value the user is getting, but these two devices are geared towards different audiences. If you like great value, and don’t mind not having the state-of-the-art specs, then the Moto X will give you great service at a great price.
The Galaxy S6 has so much going for it – a much better QHD display, much faster processor, more RAM, faster Flash memory, better main camera, much better FFC, wireless charging, larger battery, IR blaster, fingerprint sensor (PayPal certified), heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor and Samsung Pay. Yes, it does cost more, but you are getting the best that money can buy and a device that can handle the 64-bit Android Lollipop operating system and be re-‘spec’-able for at least two years.