Phone Comparisons: Motorola Moto X Play vs LG Nexus 5X

Moto X Play vs Nexus 5X cam AH


Do we have a good one for you today – the new Motorola Moto X Play goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X.  Both devices are considered mid-range and both devices rely on plastic outsides to keep costs down.  The Nexus 5X has a somewhat better feel to it than the Moto X Play – it just feels more solid, with better looks.  Let’s take a look and see what these two devices have in common before we look at each individual device in more depth.

For starters, both devices are almost identical in their physical size, with the Nexus 5X winning the race for thinnest of the two – 10.9 mm x 7.9 mm.  Both devices use the IPS LCD screen technology, both use a Full HD (FHD) resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with the Moto X Play at 403 pixels-per-inch (PPI), and the Nexus 5 X at 424 PPI.  Both use a 64-bit Qualcomm octa-core processor, although different models and both offer either a 16GB or 32GB model.  Both have a 5 MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and data transfer.  The batteries on both devices are non-removable and both have a means for rapid charge.

They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 on the Moto X Play and 4.2 on Nexus 5X), GPS, are NFC capable, a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer (Type-C on the Nexus 5X), non-removable batteries and both offer fast battery charging.

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.


Motorola Moto X Play

Moto X Play AH-2The Moto X Play is a mid-range device, but is a competent device.  It is unmistakably a Motorola by its looks.  The device is made of plastic, although the back actually feels nice and ‘grippy’ in your hand, and the plastic trim around the edge will try to convince you it is actually metal.  It will be available across Europe, Latin America and Canada, but not the US.

The Moto X Play sports a 5.5-inch LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 PPI…that falls right in line with the FHD display and 424 PPI on the Nexus 5X.  Motorola went back to Qualcomm and snatched up the 64-bit Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.0GHz and another quad-core clocked at 1.7GHz.  This goes up against the Nexus 5X’s 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor that outdoes the Moto X Play’s 615, which lagged and jerked in our review model.  The Moto X Play is packing 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot to expand that memory an additional 128GB.  The Nexus 5X comes with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of memory and no room for expansion.

The Moto Play X uses that same camera sensor found on their flagship, the Moto X Style – 21 MP with a dual-tone LED flash and an f/2.0 aperture and is capable of HD videos in 1080p and 30fps.  However, we must point out that on our review model, the Moto X Play took adequate pictures, and the Nexus 5X’s 12.3 MP camera should out shoot this setup.  Both devices sport a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chatting.  Powering the Moto X Play is a huge non-removable 3630 mAh battery that offers TurboPower charging and should easily get you through 2 days.  The Nexus 5X uses a smaller 2700 mAh non-removable battery that should easily make it through a day and can rapid charge thanks to its Type-C connector.

The Moto X Play comes with 4G LTE connectivity and a single front-facing speaker at the bottom of the device and it also sports an FM radio.  It is running almost stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop – except for the added Moto Voice, Moto Assist, Moto Display and Moto Actions.  The device measures 147.3 x 73.7 x 10.9 mm and weighs in at 169 grams and will cost approximately $430.

LG Nexus 5X

The Nexus 5x has trouble multi-tasking sometimes.LG is very familiar with Nexus smartphones, more so than any other manufacturer.  LG has built two other models, the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013.  Motorola took a turn in 2014 for the Nexus 6, but Google went back to LG and asked them to make the mid-range Nexus 5X this year.  With a 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a popular size and priced at only $379.  Any mid-range device has to cut a few corners and in this case LG had to use a polycarbonate build that is rugged, but not very premium feeling or looking.

The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI.  This goes up against the 5.5-inch FHD LCD display on the Moto Play X with 403 PPI.  The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz.  Motorola decided to go with the 64-bit Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor on the Moto X Play.  The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available.  The Moto X Play also comes with 2GB of RAM with either a 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, but offers a microSD card slot to expand another 128GB.

The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor – 12.3MP main camera with laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS.  It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats.  This goes up against a huge 21 MP sensor on the Moto Play X and a 5MP FFC.  This is a perfect example of how more pixels does not necessarily mean a better picture – the 12.3 MP Nexus 5X will actually take a better picture.  The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700 mAh non-removable battery while the Moto X Play has a much larger 3630 mAh non-removable battery.  Both devices should make it through a full day and both devices have rapid charge capabilities.

The LG Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS.  With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay, among other things.  The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector and a single, bottom mounted speaker.  The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice.  It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.

…And The Winner Is…



On paper the Moto X Play and Nexus 5X are very similar in specifications, but a closer look reveals the Nexus 5X as the top dog in this comparison.  It has a better processor, the same amount of RAM and internal memory, although no expansion like the Moto X Play. It has a better main camera and an equal FFC and although it has a smaller battery, the Type-C microUSB connector allows for a quicker charge – not necessarily faster than the Motorola Turbo-Charger, but charging is about on equal grounds.  The Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and will have Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.  Most likely, the Moto X Play will receive a fast upgrade to Marshmallow, but with no fingerprint sensor, you will not be able to unlock or verify Android Pay purchases with the sensor.

The overall feel and better reviews, as well as pure Android, the LG heritage and the cheaper price, steer me to pick the Nexus 5X over the Moto X Play.

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