Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable LG Nexus 5X takes on the powerhouse Lenovo Moto Z Force. This is not a very fair comparison – the Nexus 5X was sold as the mid-range Nexus device while the Huawei Nexus 6P was marketed as the flagship. However, we would be amiss if we did not compare a Nexus device to the new devices coming out in the market. Besides, it gives the Nexus owners something to talk about around the water-cooler! The Nexus 5X is a plastic coated device and the new Moto Z Force is an all-metal design. The Nexus 5X is a great all-purpose device – complete with fingerprint sensor, NFC, and Type-C reversible plug – and sold at a reasonable price…it may be all most people need. The flagship Moto Z Force is a spec’d out device with features to please everybody – except the price tag. Let’s take a look and see if these two devices have anything in common before we look closer at each device to see what they offer.
The Nexus 5X and the Moto Z Force have very little in common – they were built with different specs and a generation apart. In physical size, they are very close to the Z Force being slightly taller and weighing 27 grams heavier. They are both running a Snapdragon processor but are lightyears apart in technology. They both have a 32GB variant, but only the Z Force’s memory can be expanded via a microSD card. Both have excellent cameras but go about them much differently. They both have a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting, and both have a non-removable battery. Both devices have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.2 in the Nexus 5X and v4.1 in the Z Force), GPS, NFC, and a Type-C USB connector for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful 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.
LG Nexus 5X
Nexus users are a different sort of breed when it comes to buying a smartphone – they are more interested in running pure vanilla Android than they are about the latest bells and whistles – just a solid device at a reasonable cost. After the huge 6-inch Motorola Nexus 6, with flagship specs and a flagship price scared off last year’s buyers, Google decided to offer two Nexus devices and the Nexus 5X is exactly what prior users were looking to own. However, along with mid-range specs and mid-range price comes mediocrity – it starts with the polycarbonate body – it is rugged and looks okay, it can certainly not compete with looks and feel of the all-metal Moto Z Force.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) For the Nexus 5X, LG went with the mid-range 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.44GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82GHz and an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics. The Nexus 5X packs 2GB of DDR3 RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory and no means to expand. We are comparing the 32GB model to make it a fairer and more realistic comparison – it is highly unlikely that someone would get a 16GB model when there is no room to expand.
The Nexus 5X camera uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for the primary camera with a large 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS. The Nexus 5X takes some great photos for the most part, and its FFC uses a 5MP for selfies and video chats. The Nexus 5X has a 2700mAh non-removable battery to power the device – provided you use the proper cord you can have rapid charge capabilities.
The LG Nexus 5X comes with one very important Nexus feature – it runs pure vanilla Android. That fact alone will guarantee the fastest updates possible each time Google updates the OS. Because the Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow you can also authorize Android Pay purchases with your fingerprint sensor. The Nexus 5X has a large, single, front-facing speaker that can put out some good sounds. The available colors are Carbon, Quartz and Ice and the Nexus 5X will cost $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB variant – although expect those prices to drop as Google gets closer to releasing the new Nexus devices.
Lenovo Moto Z Force
Many were taken back by the high cost of the new Moto Z Force, but there are some differences between the Moto Z Force and Moto Z to justify the higher cost – the Z Force offers a larger battery, the ShatterShield display, and better camera than the Moto Z. Moto Mod is a new term introduced by these devices – a much easier way to add modules to your device by simply snapping them on the back of the phone via magnets – which means small contact points are showing when no mods are in use. This design also allows the user to add backings of different materials to give it an exceptional, personalized look.
The Moto Z Force sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 535 PPI. ShatterShield – a 5-layer design protects the screen from breaking. Lenovo went with the Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz and the Adreno 530 GPU to handle the most intense graphics you can throw its way. The Z Force packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers up to 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory. Need more, it is expandable with a microSD card.
The Moto Z Force uses a 21MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS. The Moto Z Force uses a 5MP FFC with a f/2.2 aperture, LED flash for selfies and video chatting. The Moto Z Force uses a large 3500mAh non-removable battery with one of the fastest chargers – 5v/5.7a TurboPower 30 charger that can charge the Moto Z Force battery 50-percent in only 20 minutes. Those desiring more battery power can use one of the ‘Mods’ that increases the battery by 2200mAh and adds wireless charging capabilities as well.
The Moto Z Force is a great device that can utilize Moto Mods, but remember, it does lack a 3.5mm earphone jack, and lastly, it is a Verizon exclusive. Because the Moto Z Force does not include the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, it handles headphones via an adapter that plugs into the Type-C reversible port to accept earphones – it produces a better sound, but you have to remember to carry around an adapter. It measures in at 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm and weighs in at 163 grams. It comes in four colors – Black/Gray, Black/Rose Gold, Black/Gold, and White with pricing at $720 exclusively on Verizon.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
Indeed, it comes as no surprise that the Moto Z Force is the winner of this comparison. It is newer, a high-end device, and simply out specs the Nexus 5X in all categories except one - the Nexus 5X runs Android in its purest form and will receive the newest updates before any other device.
The Z Force has the QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820 processor, Adreno 530, twice the RAM, the ability to expand memory, an excellent camera, larger battery, and capacity to use Moto Mods.
The Nexus 5X is a good device but made for a different crowd - at the time it came out, it had practical specs and a reasonable price. It is a great Nexus device but at the lower end of the specification sheet. However, if you want a low cost, Nexus smartphone, then the Nexus 5X could be a good decision for you.