Moto X (2014) -vs- Nexus 5

raqball

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Moto X (2014) -vs- Nexus 5

Short comparison after using the Moto X for a day.

I am long time Nexus lover and user. I have had every Nexus ever made (except the 6) and I have not used a Moto phone since the Razr flip phone days.. Don’t laugh, the Razr was an awesome, awesome phone!

I took advantage of the Cyber Monday sale and scored a black / black / metallic dark gray 16GB Pure Edition. I figured I had nothing to lose and at $360 it was a heck of a deal.

Overall look and feel:

I like the look and feel of the Nexus a little better. It feels better in than hand to me. Granted I’ve only had the X for a day so maybe my thoughts will change on this as time goes on. I am also use to the power button being on the right and volume rocker being on the left so the X is taking a little to adjust to.

The Nexus is smaller and lighter feeling in the hand as it’s obviously the smaller device. I don’t notice a huge difference between the 2 but I do notice some. The backs on both devices feels rubbery which I like but when sitting on a flat surface the X, with it’s curved back, rocks when the screen is touched whereas the Nexus does not.

Screen:

The X obviously has the larger screen. The X is 5.2” and the Nexus is 5”. I really like the extra .2” (no “that’s what she said jokes” please) and that .2” is pretty noticeable. I really like the larger screen!

Now the tuff one. LCD -vs- Amoled. I’ve always liked LCD screens and thought that Amoled screens were very cartoonish looking (I’m looking at you Samsung) but the X’s Amoled screen does not look cartoonish to me at all. It’s actually quite pleasing and dare I say, I might just like it better than the LCD screen on the Nexus..

The colors are richer and they pop a little more than on the Nexus.

Software:

The Nexus is obviously know as the 1st to get updates from Google but since my X already has Lollipop on it, I am guessing the gap has narrowed. This is not a huge deal to me as I don’t need to be the 1st to get an update but then again I don’t want to be waiting months, and months, and months for it either (yes, I am looking at you again Samsung).

The Moto has the better overall software experience from what I can tell so far. A killer feature for me at least is Motorola Connect. I have a Chromebook Pixel and am really diggin’ using the connect extension to get SMS directly from the X to my Pixel. This is a killer and I mean killer feature for me! It might just be the reason I end up sticking with the Moto over the Nexus..

Other:

I haven’t had the chance to compare battery life or the cameras. I get about 4 hours of screen on time with my Nexus so as long as I get that I will be happy. I am not very picky when it comes to photos either. These are cameras on a phone and I expect to get camera on a phone quality, nothing more..

Phone quality is pretty equal on my end and nobody even noticed I was on a different phone when using the X so that tells me the quality is similar.

The X's speaker is slightly better but nothing to jump up and down over. Headphone usage is about the same.

So that is my initial thoughts on the 2. Both are great devices and both are worthy of a spot in your pocket or purse (if that’s how you roll). I am in California so I have 30-days to decide if I will keep the X or return it.

If I would have paid full retail price for the X I doubt I’d keep it over the Nexus 5 but at $360 after the Cyber Monday sale, it’s a steal! I’ve always thought that about the Nexus as well. For it’s price it just can’t be beat!

WTF? LOLOL ---> As I got ready to post this I had a bug on the bottom left of my screen jump up and start running around. Then it took me to a video of some sort. Now it's in the taskbar and it says it's called 'Buggy Night'.. What the heck is it? LOL
 

bjbaker

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That's one of the "spotlight" videos from Motorola.. I TRIPPED OUT the first time one of those things popped up on my screen. Lol.

Posted via the Android Central App
 

YarisT8

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I thought the Nexus 5 was 4.95" screen? I never understood the rounding off thing I'm more of a precise person. I was considering the the Nexus 5 or the Moto X 2nd Gen so great comparison.
 

raqball

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A few more thoughts since the 1st post.

  • The N5 has a TON and I mean a TON of development going for it. I was digging around on XDA yesterday and it's slim pickings for the X.
  • Love the waive for quick glance feature on the X = Awesome, pure awesome! Reminds me of my Lumia days..
  • Love the screen flash / blink notification feature on the X but I think I like the N5's actual notification light better. This may change as I use the X more and more.
  • Brightness levels are much brighter on the N5.. I have brightness maxed out with adaptive selected on both and the N5 has the much brighter screen
  • Both devices are 16GB and both have the exact same apps installed (sans the Moto stuff that's on the X) On the Moto I have 9.18GB free and on the N5 I have 10.98GB free. (I have a lot of stuff disabled on both)
@bjbaker. Yeah it took me for a loop when it 1st happened! LOL. I personally don't see the value of it as I scanned around and watched a frog eat the bugs.

@YarisT8. Correct on the screen size and correct I rounded up..
 
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Caezar07

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I also upgraded from a Nexus 5....here are my thoughts.

Build:
I got the natural leather back and it is amazing. The metal around the outside of the phone is icing on the cake. While the Nexus was as good as build quality gets for a plastic phone, and very very elegant IMO, the Moto X is truly the next level as far as build quality and design.

Screen:
I'm finding the screen to be very disappointing. The AMOLED pentile display of the Moto X is not as sharp as the Nexus' screen and the oversaturation is distracting...to the point where I specifically make sure my wallpaper doesn't have a lot orange or red in them. Also, whites in general are less accurate and not really a true white on the Moto X. Going back to the Nexus 5, colors seem washed out and viewing angles definitely aren't as good, but I can't help but feel like the screen on the Moto X overall is a downgrade. This is the most disappointing feature of the phone to me and if you're nit picky, or have not liked AMOLEDs in the past, this could be a deal breaker for some people.

OS:
The Moto X has everything the Neuxs 5 has, plus Moto Assist, Connect, and Display features. I usually don't incorporate voice actions or gimmicky gestures into my actual use of smartphones, but I will probably find myself using at least some of the exclusive Motorola features. One of my favorite features is the ability to send and receive texts from chrome on my pc.

Camera:
The camera is terrible in low light. I ran a few low light camera comparisons and the Moto X is substantially worse at low light. Luckily I don't take many pictures to begin with so this is a compromise I'm willing to make.

Battery:
From what I can tell, the battery life is about the same on both phones, which is acceptable. I don't talk on the phone much, I work a 9 - 5 with a phone charger at my desk, and I have a charger in my car, so battery life is never a huge deal to me.

Overall:
The build quality and "natural" leather back are really the main pluses of the Moto X to me. I could do with the smaller, sharper, and more accurate screen of the Nexus 5 though. I got the cyber monday discount code, and I was able to sell my Nexus 5 for almost $300, so I'm not really paying much for this upgrade, but coming from the Nexus 5, I definitely wouldn't pay full price for the Moto X.
 
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raqball

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I also upgraded from a Nexus 5....here are my thoughts.

Build:
I got the natural leather back and it is amazing. The metal around the outside of the phone is icing on the cake. While the Nexus was as good as build quality gets for a plastic phone, and very very elegant IMO, the Moto X is truly the next level as far as build quality and design.

Fully agree with you. While the Moto X feels great in the hand it's a bit more slippery as well..

Screen:
I'm finding the screen to be very disappointing. The AMOLED pentile display of the Moto X is not as sharp as the Nexus' screen and the oversaturation is distracting...to the point where I specifically make sure my wallpaper doesn't have a lot orange or red in them. Also, whites in general are less accurate and not really a true white on the Moto X. Going back to the Nexus 5, colors seem washed out and viewing angles definitely aren't as good, but I can't help but feel like the screen on the Moto X overall is a downgrade. This is the most disappointing feature of the phone to me and if you're nit picky, or have not liked AMOLEDs in the past, this could be a deal breaker for some people.

Yes the Nexus 5 screen does look washed out compared to the Moto X. I am constantly swapping between the 2 at the moment as I'm not sure which I will use once the dust settles. I am finding that when using the X my eyes adjust and I get use to it's screen. The same goes for the Nexus 5. After I immediately swap over though, the differences between the 2 screens are glaring. I think overall I do prefer the N5 screen a little better though.

OS:
The Moto X has everything the Neuxs 5 has, plus Moto Assist, Connect, and Display features. I usually don't incorporate voice actions or gimmicky gestures into my actual use of smartphones, but I will probably find myself using at least some of the exclusive Motorola features. One of my favorite features is the ability to send and receive texts from chrome on my pc.

Same here. I have most of the Moto features turned off and or disabled. I use Connect and the display features, that's it..

Battery:
From what I can tell, the battery life is about the same on both phones, which is acceptable. I don't talk on the phone much, I work a 9 - 5 with a phone charger at my desk, and I have a charger in my car, so battery life is never a huge deal to me.

In my very limited testing and use thus far, I am getting slightly better battery life with the Moto. Neither are great and neither would make me choose one over the other..

Overall:
coming from the Nexus 5, I definitely wouldn't pay full price for the Moto X.
Agree! The X is not worth the full price of $500 when compared to the Nexus 5 at $350. However at $360 after the Cyber Monday code the X is a great device! I would not consider the X as an upgrade to the N5 though. To me it's more of a sidegrade..
 

tangozebra

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I have had and really liked my Nexus 5 for a year, but jumped at a 32GB PE Moto X with the cyber Monday promo code.

They are both awesome phones, and I would be completely happy with either if the other didn't exist. It's a total first world problem to spend hours agonizing over which one to choose. Note that I don't like cases. In the end I went with the Moto X because of the following:

- GPS is much faster/better. This became an issue with 5.0 on both, as I want to use trusted locations (used to use Skiplock). The N5 would often not unlock when in a trusted place because the GPS didn't lock on.

- Moto X has LTE band 3 for Europe, so should get better coverage there. I have no trip plans so this may never mean anything, but the X just seems like a better world phone.

- There are some nice software touches. I love being able to wave my hand and see the time.

- The screen is bigger and that makes it easier to read. But the N5 is like the perfect size phone and I love its screen too.

- I want a new phone and I love pure or close-to pure Android. I figure it will be next fall until the next batch of phones like that so...

There a lots of reasons for the N5 also, I think I will miss wireless charging more than I expect.

The biggest thing to me, it the way each feel in the hand. Yes, the Moto X has a more premium feel. I will totally miss the cheap plastic feel of the N5. It's flat textured edges have the perfect grip. I never worry about dropping it or anything. It has NEVER slipped in my hand in the year it was my buddy. :'( I have never had a phone that felt so right to hold or pick up. Even the thin plastic border around the glass in the front that is rough to the touch made it feels so sturdy.

(sigh). The Moto X feels beautiful and smooth and I'm sure it will fly from my hand in the near future. I hold it gently so it doesn't spontaneously shatter. The shape of the back makes it feel much heavier that it is, my N5 feel like half the weight in comparison.

So I am going with the X. It really came down to newer/better performance and features over cheaper but more comfortable in-hand experience. I have 11 days left to change my mind...
 

raqball

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I've started the return process for the X. I don't know if I will actually mail it back but I've at least submitted the return request through Moto's website.

I really like the X but feel it's a minor side grade to my N5.

  1. I don't know if this is normal or not but my screen when on white backgrounds (Google Now, App Drawer ect) is pinkish and it's driving me nuts! Cranking up the brightness solves it a little but the pink is still there and noticeable.
  2. The phone feels much more slippery in the hand than my N5 and is a wee bit harder to handle and operate one handed.
  3. With tax and after the Cyber Monday code I paid like $390 which is a killer price. I can probably get $200 or so if I sold my N5 (It's a 16GB) so is it worth spending the extra $190 for a side grade?
I really do like the X and I am torn between keeping it or sending it back. I am still swapping between the 2 and when using the X I decide to keep it. Then I change over to the N5 and I decide to keep it and send the X back.. Round and round I go....

1st world problems I know. If it was not for the pinkish whites I'd probably keep the X..
 

luke31

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I've started the return process for the X. I don't know if I will actually mail it back but I've at least submitted the return request through Moto's website.

I really like the X but feel it's a minor side grade to my N5.

  1. I don't know if this is normal or not but my screen when on white backgrounds (Google Now, App Drawer ect) is pinkish and it's driving me nuts! Cranking up the brightness solves it a little but the pink is still there and noticeable.
  2. The phone feels much more slippery in the hand than my N5 and is a wee bit harder to handle and operate one handed.
  3. With tax and after the Cyber Monday code I paid like $390 which is a killer price. I can probably get $200 or so if I sold my N5 (It's a 16GB) so is it worth spending the extra $190 for a side grade?
I really do like the X and I am torn between keeping it or sending it back. I am still swapping between the 2 and when using the X I decide to keep it. Then I change over to the N5 and I decide to keep it and send the X back.. Round and round I go....

1st world problems I know. If it was not for the pinkish whites I'd probably keep the X..

Amoled screens have their strengths and their weaknesses. I've heard the pink thing is relatively common, but I've had two Moto Xs (a 16GB that I'm returning and my current one) and neither had any noticeable pink tinge on whites.

And I do agree that from the N5 to the X is more of a sidegrade. I had an N5 a while back from T-Mobile that I returned due to horrendous signal issues. If those didn't persist, I would definitely still have and love that phone. Everything else (other than battery) was perfect about it. I think the camera wasn't as bad as people made it out to be.

Well, either way, I don't think you can go wrong. I agree, it's a tough decision. Good luck!

Posted via the Android Central App
 

raptir

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I received my Moto X last night, upgrading from a Nexus 5 that Google is taking back due to issues. Apart from a couple "stumbles" that I've resolved now I'm liking it.

Build Quality

Overall, it feels more solid than the Nexus 5, not that the Nexus 5 was a poorly made phone. Both are fine here but I would give the edge to the Moto X. I got the royal blue back, and I will say that it's more slippery than my black Nexus 5, but not as slippery as my wife's white Nexus 5.

Screen

I'd say it's a wash. You're basically looking at a middle of the road AMOLED screen vs a middle of the road LCD, with all the benefits and issues of each. Moto X has better blacks, brighter colors, no backlight bleed (since there's no backlight). But it has slightly pink whites unless you turn the brightness up. The Nexus 5 has more pure whites and gets a little brighter, plus you won't have to worry about burn-in.

Sound

Moto X is the clear winner here. Ignoring front vs bottom firing, the Moto X speaker is much louder and clearer than the Nexus 5. I haven't tried headphones yet, I'll need to do that later and update this. But for the loudspeaker there's no contest, the Moto X is the winner.

Performance

Basically the same.

Camera

I don't think either of them have a great camera... but I also don't think the Note 4 has a great camera and that was rated as one of the best cameras on a phone. They just can't compare to even a cheap point and shoot. The lack of OIS is noticeable in low light though, especially when I was trying to take pictures of my Christmas lights. Neither camera took a great photo but the Nexus 5 was more acceptable.

Software

Again, very similar here. I like some of the Motorola tweaks but I don't make frequent use of many of them. Always listening is a neat gimmick but I don't find myself using it often "in real life." Active Display isn't that much of an improvement over a notification LED in my mind, but Approach triggering it is nice. "Sleeping" mode is a nice improvement over the complete lack thereof in KitKat but Lollipop implemented "Downtime" so it's not a killer feature.

Battery Life

Battery life seems better on the Moto X, but I'm running into what must be a bug because "Screen" is not showing up in my battery stats and so I can't get my screen on time. Maybe after it runs down further it will pop up.

Overall

Not a huge upgrade, but definitely not just a "sidegrade." I don't think I would have upgraded to it from my Nexus 5 were it not for being able to "return" my Nexus 5, but if I had an older device I would definitely buy the Moto X over the N5.
 

raqball

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I view the Moto X (2014) as a smaller Nexus 6.. If someone wants a N6 because of the look, feel and the pure Android experience but doesn't want the N6 MEGA size then the Moto X is a great alternative..

Sure the N6 has higher specs but when I played with a friends it's not really any faster or snappier than my X..

I am back to using the X for today and again, when using it I love it and want to keep it. When I switch back to the N5 I love it and want to keep it.. This is really the 1st time I've ever been so back and forth as which to choose.

I guess that says a lot about the N5 as even after a year it's still a top notch device. My brightness is maxed out and I have turned 'Adaptive Brightness' off and it does help with the pinks.

I am not using most of Moto's extra features like 'Attentive Display' or the 'Spotlight Player' as to me they are gimmicks as well. I also have 'Moto Voice' disabled as I just use Google Now and 'Okay Google'..
 

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