Wait: Why buy the Nexus 5X when you can have the Moto X Pure Edition?

Wait: Why buy the Nexus 5X when you can have the Moto X Pure Edition?

I recently wrote about why it's too early to write off the Nexus 5X, arguing that what makes a Nexus great is more than its mere specs. But it you are the type of person who judges a phone by what it says on the box, then the Moto X Pure Edition is by far the better deal. Here's why. 

If you're going to spend 400 bucks on a phone, you could do worse than the Moto X Pure. / © ANDROIDPIT


The Moto X Pure Edition (known as the Moto X Style outside of the US) has a bigger display than the Nexus 5X. It's 5.7 inches compared to the Nexus 5X's 5.2-inch screen, and it also boasts a higher resolution and more pixels per inch. Its screen-to-body ratio is better too; around 75 percent, compared to the 70 percent ratio of the 5X.

Some might say that the benefits of QHD resolution are overstated and that 5.7 inches is too big. But based on the cold, hard specs, it's hard to argue that the Moto X Pure display isn't more impressive in almost every department.

androidpit moto X Style 3
The Moto X Pure has a stunning display for a US$400 phone. / © ANDROIDPIT


The Motorola Moto X Pure Edition houses a 21 MP main camera with dual-LED flash. It might not be up there with the likes of Samsung's cameras, but it's a good offering considering the price of the phone. And it's certainly better-specced than the Nexus 5X camera, which comes in at 12 MP.

More megapixels does not mean better pictures, of course, and neither phone's camera offers optical image stabilization. Once we've done an in-depth comparison we'll be able to compare their results side by side, but for now, the X Pure does look like the winner in the photography stakes. 

androidpit moto X Style 6
The Moto X Pure has one of the best cameras of all Motorola devices. / © ANDROIDPIT

Battery and memory

The Moto X Pure has a 3,000 mAh battery, whereas the 5X's is only 2,700 mAh. Normally we'd point out that the Nexus device will be better optimized for the OS than other manufacturers, but in this case, the Motorola UI is essentially stock Android, so the software/hardware integration on both handsets should be comparable.

The X Pure has 3 GB of RAM, the Nexus 5X has 2 GB, the same as the two-year-old Nexus 5. Make of that what you will.

In addition the Moto X Pure Edition offers microSD support, meaning you're not restricted to the 16 GB of internal storage that the base model of the device comes with. The base model of the 5X also comes with 16 GB of internal memory, but lacks microSD support. 

androidpit moto X Style 5
Expandable storage and 3 GB of RAM makes the Moto X Pure a sweet deal. / © ANDROIDPIT

So where is the Nexus 5X better?

Long-term support will probably be better for the Nexus 5X, based on past Motorola and Nexus life cycles. The 5X is almost 25 percent lighter than the Moto X Pure too; batteries are getting smaller in favor of slim and lightweight designs, so a significant number of people must care about the weight of their phones.

Also on the subject of batteries, the Nexus 5X makes use of a USB Type-C port for faster charging and data transfer speeds. The Moto X Pure uses the older/more common micro-USB standard. 

Design is a subjective area and some people might prefer the 5X for its appearance. Personally I like the fact that Moto X Pure edition is metal, with more customizable rear and without the camera sensor bump that blights the 5X.

Nexus 5X 3
The Nexus 5X is thinner and lighter than the Moto X Pure. / © ANDROIDPIT

The other thing the Nexus 5X has in its favor is that it will receive Android updates first, but as the Moto X Pure is running a near-stock version of Android, it will still get the update to Marshmallow sooner than the majority of its competitors. You can decide for yourself how much of a big deal that is.

Lastly, the Nexus 5X has a fingerprint scanner which the Moto X Pure lacks. There is no way around this: if you want a fingerprint scanner, you would have to go with the 5X. Until contact-less payments become more prevalent though, I would question how desirable this feature actually is. 

Google Nexus 5X vs. Motorola Moto X Style technical specifications

  Google Nexus 5X Motorola Moto X Style
Dimensions: 147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
Weight: 136 g 179 g
Battery size: 2700 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in 5.7 in
Display technology: LCD LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi) 2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 12.3 megapixels 21 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0 - Marshmallow 5.1.1 - Lollipop
User interface: Stock Android Stock Android
RAM: 2 GB 3 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
32 GB
32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: Not available microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Number of cores: 6 6
Max. clock speed: 1.8 GHz 1.8 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1

Final thoughts

The Moto X Pure Edition has a better display and camera, more RAM, expandable storage and a bigger battery, plus stereo speakers and arguably better looks, but at what cost?

Not a huge one, actually. The Moto X Pure Edition starts at US$399, the Nexus 5X starts at US$379. When you’re already spending hundreds of dollars, a price difference like this is negligible. What's more, Motorola sales occur frequently; it will only be a matter of time before you can pick up the X Pure Edition for less than the 5X.

androidpit moto X Style 4
However it compares to the Nexus 5X, the Moto X Pure Edition provides excellent value. / © ANDROIDPIT

None of this is to say that the Nexus 5X won't still surprise us. Until our full review, we can only judge it on what we know. But what we know is that the Moto X Pure Edition can give it a serious run for its money.

That's my take, what's yours? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • itprolonden Apr 6, 2016 Link to comment

    Are you sure the Pure doesn't have a fingerprint scanner?

  • Paul Chamberland Oct 28, 2015 Link to comment

    I had a Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 and appreciated the quick updates which improved performance and increased my satisfaction as a user. When the Nexus 6 came out, that screen size was just too big. So, I picked up a Moto X (2014). Even though this device was only a year old, it was not included on the recent list for any further updates. So, never again. I received my Nexus 5x and am just so impressed with its performance, camera, and battery life. I could not be more satisfied with my decision to return to the Nexus line.

  • Mark Conroy Oct 28, 2015 Link to comment

    I would have one immediate reaction to this, that is to say that Motorola appear to have forsaken the quick update policy for some customers with the Moto E. This puts me off considering anything that purports to be pure Android. I used to use Samsung phones, but the inordinate delays in their updates combined with bloatware drove me away, and after experimenting with custom ROMs I switched to Nexus. Nothing has since influenced me to go to other manufacturers. Speed of update with reasonable power is far more attractive, to my eyes.

  • wkm001 Oct 24, 2015 Link to comment

    I use to think anything more than 1080P was a waste. Until I got the Moto X Pure Edition. The MXPE has Quick Charge 2.0, I would be interested to know if that is slower than the 5X.

  • Robstunner Oct 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Theres a few issues with this review. The MXPE without question charges faster than the 5x, especially with that turbo25 charger. Also, the Type - C is a usb2.0 connection, which is the same speed as the MXPE. The camera in my use IS NOT better, I would say too close to call in the day, and N5x as obviously better in low light. The battery is also seeming to be a tad bit better on the n5x. 3000mah with a QHD vs 2700mah on a 1080p kind of equal eachother out.

  • manish dangi Oct 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Nexus 5x should be compared with moto X play. Not with moto X style. Moto X style can be compared to nexus 6p. Like it or not Motorola has the best product it's worth for money. If talk about size of the screen battery life technology Motorola has everything with the fantastic price.

  • Amelia Adam Oct 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Nexus mobiles and Moto Phones are now available online at

  • Atanu Mukherjee Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Motorola is slow in rolling out bug fixes. Moto X 2014 had a bug and wouldn't connect to wifi network supported by multiple routers. The fix came 9 months after release although they knew about it from the beginning.

    They won't be upgrading Moto X 2013 with marshmallow although it's barely 2 years old. They are reluctant to upgrade Moto X 2014 to marshmallow although they said they would (no ETA).

    Motorola makes great phone (albeit poor battery) and their software is great too. However, they tend to abandon their products after a while. My Nexus 5 got all the updates till date. Nexus 5x will get all the updates in the next 2 years. Can I say that for Moto X pure edition? I can't.

    • Francesco V. Oct 24, 2015 Link to comment

      Really do "Motorola makes great phone (albeit poor battery)"? Then, I really invite you to check out the Moto X Play's 3650 mAh beast ;-)

      • Atanu Mukherjee Oct 26, 2015 Link to comment

        Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I believe Droid Turbo or one of those models for Verizon also had moster battery.

  • Arjun Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Does Moto X has Fingerprint sensor?

    • Scott Adam Gordon Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

      Hey this is a good question. I've updated the article to make a note about it. The Style doesn't have a fingerprint scanner. :)

  • Paolo Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    I CAN'T in my good conscience recommend any new Motorola phone, ever. They're basically Lenovo phones that try too hard to be a Nexus, with none of the benefits whatsoever (Software support? Lenovo chucked it out of the window. Reliability? Apparently questionable.)

    If you want a Nexus, get an ACTUAL Nexus.

  • Hemang Bhavasar Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    I personally think "Nexus 5" still ROCK in all nexus devices ..... New nexus 5x and 6p are still not a big market changer...

  • Vadim Ladon Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Just FYI, the "not yet available" model number of the Moto X Pure Edition is XT1575. Cheers!

  • Collin Page Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    If Moto could guarantee to keep it updated then maybe but we know how reliable that word would be.

  • Austin Bixby Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Moto x vs 6p is definitely the more appropriate comparison

    • mitchell lopez Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

      Not necessarily, I think the author is comparing the two mostly because of the very similar price. If you you aren't wanting to spend more than ~$400 on a new phone these two are your best options.

  •   31
    Deactivated Account Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    can't help thinking that the N5 looks like the phone they should have released last year...

  • Digitalzen Oct 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Going to need the larger battery for the larger display. Shouldn't make much difference in life, all else being equal.

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