Do we have a good one for you today – the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition goes up against the new LG G5. Can Motorola's six-month old flagship hold its own against the new and powerful LG G5? The Moto X has a metal frame and a multitude of available backings via Moto Maker, but no all-metal casing like that found on the LG G5. While many may feel the LG G5 looks more premium, both devices have a solid build and feel great in your hands – even with a 5.7-inch display, the curved back of the Moto X make it a joy to hold. It is true that the LG G5 is using the latest and greatest Snapdragon 820 processor and 1GB more in RAM, but the 808 and 3GB of RAM in the Moto X runs its almost pure Android quite nicely. We will take a quick look at what these two flagships have in common and then look at each one in more depth.
The Moto X and the LG G5 have a few things in common, even though they look quite different on the outside. They are very close in physical size with the Moto X coming in slightly larger and 20 grams heavier. They both employ the IPS LCD technology and the same QHD resolution, although different sizes – 5.7-inches on the Moto X and 5.3-inches on the LG G5. They both use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, just a different model. Both offer a 32GB variant and both devices allow for expansion of that memory via a microSD card and they both have great camera areas. The usual suspects are all there – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Moto X and v4.2 on the LG G5), GPS, NFC, a microUSB port (v2.0 on the Moto X and Type-C on the LG G5), and 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 Pure Edition
The Moto X released in September 2015 can be called the Moto X Pure Edition in the US and outside the US it is called the Moto X Style. The newer Moto X makes improves over the old model in just about every area – larger display, more pixels, better camera, 64-bit processor and more memory. It is considered a phablet with its large 5.7-inch display, but retains the full-metal frame and curved backing making it comfortable to hold – but how does it hold up to the new all-metal LG G5?
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) while the LG G5 uses the same LCD QHD technology in 5.3-inch display with 554 PPI. Motorola went with Qualcomm and put in their 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with the quad-core clocked at 1.44GHz and the dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz. This goes up against the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor in the LG G5. The Moto X comes with 3GB of RAM and a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot to expand. The LG G5 bumps that up to 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal storage with room to expand.
Motorola started taking the smartphone camera a little more seriously with their Nexus 6 and this trend continues with the new Moto X. Motorola jumped up to a huge 21MP sensor that comes with quick phase detection autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and an f/2.0 aperture. The Moto X even includes a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) with an f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. The LG G5 looks like it will carry on its great camera tradition with a 16MP main camera and adds an additional 8MP for wide-angled shots and an 8MP FFC. The Moto X uses a 3000mAh non-removable battery, while the LG G5 has a slightly smaller 2800mAh removable battery. The Moto X and the LG G5 both have 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. Another nice feature is the new Moto X is an unlocked device that can work on all major US networks. With almost a pure Android experience – currently 6.0 Marshmallow – meaning, that you will receive some of the fastest updates possible. Motorola has given it a starting price of only $399.99
The LG G5 is nothing like the LG G4 – a complete redo from the ground up. We knew that G5 would have an awesome camera, but TWO main lenses keep us wanting to review the G5 even more. We knew there was an all-metal body coming, but the LG G5's big news are the modules the device can use – by pushing in a button on the lower side, you can slide out the battery and slide in different modules. There are promises of many types of modules down the road, but one available now adds a larger battery and camera controls – it makes taking pictures easier by giving you a bulge to grab and offering up physical camera controls. LG kept its built-in IR Blaster and FM radio, while finally adding a fingerprint sensor where the rear set of buttons used to reside. The sensor does click inward to act as an on/off switch, but the volume controls return to the side of the device. LG also followed Google's lead by starting to use the Type-C USB port on the G5. Let's take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the Moto X.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 PPI that is smaller than the Moto X's 5.7-inch IPS LCD QHD display and 520 PPI. The brains come from the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory, expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card. This goes up against the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with 3GB of slower DDR3 RAM and either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of expandable internal memory.
LG made big changes in the G5's camera area by taking the 16MP sensor from the LG G4, adding another 8MP wide-angle sensor for dual cameras and adding new software, while retaining the 8MP FFC from the G4 for selfies and video chatting. This goes up against the impressive Moto X camera area that uses a main 21MP sensor and a 5MP FFC. LG decreased the battery size from the 3000mAh found on the LG G4 to 2800mAh, but it is still removable and has quick charge capabilities, although loses its optional wireless charging due to the metal case. The Moto X has a slightly larger, non-removable, 3000mAh battery but it has quick charge capabilities.
The LG G5 gains the always-on display, a fingerprint sensor, has a built-in IR Blaster and FM Radio. It measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold and Pink. It should be available in April, with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and Best Buy. It will be running Android 6.0 with LG's UX skin on top. Pricing will probably be around $650.
…And The Winner Is…
Whoa, I did not see this coming – I am a firm believer in a smartphone having a fingerprint sensor for mobile purchases and the Moto X Pure Edition does not have one, yet I am picking it as the winner. Certainly, the LG G5 is more technologically advanced than the Moto X, but it is also $250 more expensive than the Moto X, and I just do not think the LG G5 is worth that much more for the average smartphone user…please read that – I said "average" smartphone user.
The Moto X has a larger display, a QHD display, 3GB of RAM, expandable memory, a terrific camera area, dual front-facing stereo speakers, Turbo Charger, nano-waterproofing, good sized battery, Moto Maker to allow you to design the device your way and some of the fastest Android upgrades outside of Nexus devices. I just do not see a real downside to the Moto X Pure Edition, unless it is deciding how to spend the extra $250 you will save.
Certainly the LG G5 is all-metal and has a more premium look, but certainly not a more solid build than the Moto X. You get an extra 1GB of RAM and a newer processor, but the Snapdragon 808 and 3GB of RAM run the Moto X just fine. We will have to see how the new camera area works, but knowing LG, it should be excellent. It does have a built-in IR Blaster and FM Radio, if you would ever use those. The removable battery is nice if you are a traveler or high powered user…are you? The modules could prove to be an interesting twist, but only if you use them. Like I said earlier, the fingerprint sensor was a huge overlook on Moto's part, but you can still make mobile payments.
Does the LG G5 have the most technology and better specs? Absolutely. Does the Moto X Pure Edition offer a great value? Absolutely. It simply depends on which path you take at the fork in the road.