Do we have a good one for you today – the newest OnePlus 2 goes up against the new Motorola Moto X 2015 (Pure Edition). Here we have two flagship smartphones from opposite sides of the world, offering great build quality, great specs and a reasonable price – hallmarks of both OnePlus and Motorola. Which one of these devices actually has the most value and is tops in the specification department, but is also the most functional and useful as a daily driver? First, we will see what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each individual device to go into more detail.
The OnePlus 2 and the Moto X are very close to display size, physical size and even weight…with the Moto X just slightly larger and heavier. Both devices use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon process, but different models. They both have a 3GB RAM model, although OnePlus also has a 4GB model that they claim will be the only one available for a while. While the main cameras differ greatly in size, they both have a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies and video chatting. Both have non-removable batteries and they both have most of the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, a microUSB port (Type-C on OnePlus 2 and 2.0 on 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.
OnePlus is a small startup Chinese company that builds a quality smartphone – we were impressed with their OnePlus One and build quality is even more evident in the OnePlus 2 with a solid metal frame and trim. OnePlus is all about building a quality smartphone at a low price. No matter how you slice it, it is difficult to build a quality flagship device with a low price and not cut some corners. OnePlus still uses the same FHD display and the same size camera they did last year and they removed the NFC. They did add an extra 1GB of RAM, a fingerprint sensor and increased the battery from 3100mAh to 3300mAh.
The OnePlus 2 sports a 5.5-inch LTPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the LCD QHD 5.7-inch display on the Moto X with 520 PPI. OnePlus used the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and to keep it cool, they underclocked it to 1.56GHz and 1.82GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Moto X. The OnePlus 2 has two options when it comes to DDR4 RAM/Storage – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB – according to OnePlus, the 4GB/64GB is the only one available at the time of its launch…there is no expansion. The Moto X packs 3GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage with room for an extra 128GB via a microSD card.
The camera in the OnePlus 2 retains the same 13MP sensor as the OnePlus One, but they improved it by adding larger pixels, laser autofocus, a dual-LED flash, a f/2.0 aperture and OIS. This goes up against the 21MP, phase detection autofocus and dual-tone LED flash on the Moto X. For the FFC, both the OnePlus 2 and Moto X include a large 5MP camera for selfies or video chatting. The OnePlus 2 increased the non-removable battery size from 3000mAh to 3300mAh and it goes up against the smaller, non-removable 3000mAh battery in the Moto X, which has fast battery charging.
Notes on the OnePlus 2 – it does come with a great sound 'system' built-in to the device. It is also using a newer USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer that uses a nice, reversible plug. By not including NFC means that the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone, but nothing else…no Android Pay, no mobile purchases at all and not a wise move on OnePlus' part. It runs OnePlus' own OS called OxygenOS 2.0 over stock Android Lollipop 5.1. LTE works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks with the OnePlus 2 costing you $329 for the 16GB model, and $389 for the 64GB model…but OnePlus' website is showing the 64GB model for only $299.
Moto X (2015)
The new Moto X 2015– Pure Edition in the US and Style everywhere else – is a nice upgrade over its predecessor. Motorola takes a page from OnePlus and includes some great specifications into a device and delivers it at a very reasonable price. Is it the perfect smartphone for today…certainly not – it does lack a fingerprint sensor for payments and many users will think its larger 5.7-inch 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 Moto X 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 OnePlus 2 of 401 PPI. Both devices use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but the Moto X uses the model 808 hexa-core with four cores running at 1.44GHz and two cores running at 1.8GHz. This goes up against the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core on the OnePlus 2. The Moto X packs 3GB of RAM and choices of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the OnePlus 2 packs 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB – only the Moto X can expand that internal memory via a microSD card.
The camera on the Moto X seems like the real thing, but we will have to wait until we get our hands on one to actually test how good. 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 13MP main camera and 5MP FFC on the OnePlus 2. The Moto X uses a 3000mAh battery versus the larger 3300mAh battery in the OnePlus 2 – 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 $399.99 and it will be available this fall.
…And The Winner Is…
Once again, this is a tough one to choose, but am picking the new Moto X 2015. It may cost a little bit more and not have a fingerprint sensor, but this unlocked device has been refined, upgraded, priced right and is available to use on all major US networks.
The Moto X has a much better display, a hexa-core processor that has been optimized for the device, expandable memory, dual front-facing stereo speakers, water repellency, rapid charging, running almost pure vanilla Android with quick updates and very customizable to suit your tastes.
The OnePlus 2 is a decent enough upgrade, but is still sporting 2-year-old display technology and no NFC capability. OnePlus added a fingerprint scanner, but took out the most important piece of technology to work with the scanner – making it a fancy means for unlocking the device…quite an expensive way to get into you phone. With Samsung Pay, PayPal and Android Pay about to explode onto the scene, mobile payments are about to take off, but the OnePlus 2 will not be able to participate. It runs its own OxygenOS 2.0 over Lollipop and will work with LTE bands only on AT&T and T-Mobile.
Weighing in all of the facts and figures, I would choose the Motorola Moto X 2015 as my daily driver that would be future proof for a while. Motorola should have included a fingerprint sensor with this rendition, but other than that there is just a little more refinement in the Moto X.
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