Do we have a good one for you today – the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition goes up against the new HTC 10. Which one of these devices has the specifications, the hardware, and the value to win this competition? The Moto X Pure Edition is the US version of the Moto X Style, both released this past fall. Does it have the necessary features and performance to equal of beat out the newest HTC 10? Both devices have a solid build, but that all metal body of the HTC 10 is nice looking and certainly looks more like a premium flagship, but the price difference reflects those materials and looks. We will first look at the similarities between these two devices and then look at each one in more depth.
The Moto X Pure Edition and the HTC 10 do have a few things in common. Both displays are using the LCD technology, and they both use a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, but differ in size – 5.7-inch on the Moto and 5.2-inch on the HTC 10. They both use a Snapdragon processor, but extremely different models and they both have a 32GB variation, and they both offer memory expansion via a microSD card. The main camera areas are vastly different; however, they both use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies or video chatting. Both use dual speakers, but they are placed differently with the Moto X having front-facing speakers, and the HTC 10 using a bottom speaker and the front earpiece. Both have 3,000 mAh non-removable batteries, and they both offer quick charging options. The Pure Edition and HTC 10 have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Pure Edition and v4.2 on the HTC 10), GPS, NFC and a microUSB port (Type-C on the HTC 10) for charging and data transfer. One glaring absence from the Pure Edition is the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and authorizing mobile payments.
Please take a careful 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 device in greater depth 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
In September 2015, Motorola released the Moto X Pure Edition for sale in the US and called it the Moto X Style everywhere else. Motorola took the popular Moto X, gave it a larger display and made improvements in just about every area. Motorola finally took the camera seriously and included a better camera. They added a 64-bit processor and more memory – it was everything the Moto X needed. The only feature missing is a fingerprint sensor for authorizing mobile payments. With a large 5.7-inch display, the Moto X is in phablet territory and too large for many, but includes a full-metal frame and curved backing making it comfortable to hold. You can use Moto Maker to customize further your Moto X, but just how does it hold up to the new all-metal HTC 10?
Motorola decided to go with a large 5.7-inch LCD display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 520 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – much bigger than most users' 'sweet spot' of 5-5.2-inches. Motorola went with Qualcomm, but bypassed the controversial Snapdragon 810 and chose their 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with the quad-cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and the dual-cores clocked at 1.8 GHz. The Moto X comes with 3GB of DDR3 RAM (the 808 does not support DDR4) and a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot for expansion to 128GB.
Motorola started to take the camera area more seriously after they worked on the Nexus 6 – up until that time, Motorola treated the camera as a necessary evil on a smartphone. Thankfully, this serious attitude continues with the new Moto X, and they jumped up to a huge 21MP sensor and then added quick phase detection autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and a f/2.0 aperture. The Moto X even includes a 5MP FFC with a f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. The Moto X uses a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery that comes with rapid charge capabilities.
The Moto X Pure Edition includes front-facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for a great new sound – Moto's version of BoomSound Hi-Fi. Motorola also includes the IP52 water repellency in the Moto X. Motorola sells the Moto X as an unlocked device which can work on all the major US networks. With an almost pure Android experience – currently, 6.0 Marshmallow – you should receive some of the fastest updates possible. It will be interesting to see how Lenovo handles future updates now that they own Motorola Mobility. Moto gave it a great starting price of only $349.99 for the 16GB model and $399.99 for the comparable 32GB model.
It is so nice to see that HTC loyalists finally have reason to shout about their new HTC 10. It has everything you want in a flagship smartphone – a beautifully carved aluminum body, a QHD display, the best processor, GPU and memory, finally a great camera and while it is not the original BoomSound, it still looks like it may still have the best sound found on a smartphone.
HTC finally included a QHD resolution and the HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. HTC picked the most advanced processor on the market – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with the dual-cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual-cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. An Adreno 530 GPU provides the graphics, and it should satisfy even the most avid gamer. The HTC 10 packs a full 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microSD card.
HTC has played around with their cameras over the past few years…always trying different ideas (4MP UltraPixels or Duo Cameras) never getting it quite right. However, that stops with the HTC 10 – they went with UltraPixels, but instead of trying to pass off 4MP, this time around HTC is using a 12MP sensor for their primary camera to capture more light and image. They added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, a large aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. With these specs and their software, HTC was able to tie the 88 score of the top rated mobile camera in the Galaxy S series. They added a 5MP FFC with a f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle lens, screen flash and even OIS to ensure great selfies and video chatting even in low-light. The HTC packs a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
HTC changed their BoomSound around by eliminating dual front-facing stereo speakers on the HTC 10. They replaced that setup with BoomSound Hi-Fi that features two separate speakers with the woofer placed on the bottom of the device, and the high-end sounds originate from the earpiece, although the Smartboost dual front-facing speakers on the Moto X can give it some competition. HTC also included Dolby Hi-Res music for your earphone enjoyment. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $699 for 32GB of memory.
…And The Winner Is…
I understand the tremendous price difference that exists between these two devices – $400 for the 32GB Moto X Pure Edition versus $700 for the HTC 10. However, the fact remains that the HTC 10 is the preferred device when it comes to specifications, and that is why it is crowned the winner in this comparison. The HTC 10 has a more technically advanced Super LCD5 display, a much better processor and more advanced GPU, faster and 1GB more DDR4 RAM, better camera, reversible Type-C connector, and a fingerprint scanner. It has BoomSound Hi-Fi and Hi-Res Audio to enhance your listening experience. The HTC 10 is the clear winner in the build, looks, and the specifications department.
The Moto X Pure Edition is a terrific smartphone – it has a decent display, processor, camera, and features…and that is just what you would end up with…that and an extra $300 in your pocket. If you do not mind not having the top-of-the-line smartphone and the large size doesn't scare you off, then the Moto X may be just what you need. Many users have a mobile phone strictly for communication purposes – the better camera, lack of a fingerprint sensor and better GPU for gaming, are of little use to them. If that is the case, then the Moto X Pure Edition is the winner in this comparison, especially factoring in the $300 in savings.