Reviews

Motorola fans with a desire for as big a screen as possible were given a great option in the Nexus 6 last year. While the phone wasn’t part of the Moto X family, the device featured a lot of Motorola’s typical design flair and, considering how stock Moto’s software generally is, even the software experience was relatively similar. This year, Motorola has released yet another big screen device, this time branding it as the Moto X Pure Edition in the states, and as the Moto X Style elsewhere.

From screen size to even the general aesthetic, the Nexus 6 and Moto X Pure have a number of things in common, though there are certainly plenty of differences a well. So how do these two big smartphones compare? That is what we find out, in this comprehensive look at the Moto X Style / Pure Edition vs Nexus 6!

Design

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-13

It’s not surprising that the Moto X Pure Edition and the Nexus 6 both share the same design language, given that both smartphones are manufactured by the same OEM. Both feature the same metal frame that wraps around the sides, the same curves along the corners and the back, as well as the identical placement as far as the button layout, ports, and front-facing speakers are concerned.

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-4

The signature Motorola dimple on the back is a differentiating aspect however, with the one on the Nexus 6 more reminiscent of the original Moto X from 2013, while the latest Motorola flagship takes on a new look, with the dimple housed in a metallic strip along with the camera.

The Moto X Pure Edition is also the smaller of the two smartphones, not only courtesy of its slightly smaller display, but also because of the fact that it features thinner bezels along the sides of the display. The Nexus 6 does manage to be slightly thinner, when comparing the two at their thickest points. All said and done, neither smartphone is small by any stretch of the imagination, but the Moto X Pure Edition is definitely the more manageable device, and doesn’t have the same unwieldy feel as the Nexus 6, as far as one-handed usability is concerned.

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-12

The biggest difference in design comes when taking a look at the variety and availability of color and other customization options. While the Nexus 6 can be found in a standard white or blue, users get to take advantage of Motorola’s Moto Maker with the Moto X Pure Edition, allowing for choices in colors, accent colors, and back cover materials, along with the ability to add engravings and messages, for an ever more personalized experience.

Display

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-17

On the display front, you get a 5.96-inch AMOLED display with the Nexus 6, while the Moto X Pure Edition features a slightly smaller 5.7-inch screen, with Motorola also making the switch to a TFT LCD panel this year. Both boast the same 2560 x 1440 resolution, resulting in pixel densities of 493 ppi and 520 ppi for the Nexus 6 and Moto X Pure Edition, respectively.

Both displays are absolutely gorgeous in their own right, especially with the Quad HD resolution, but if you are someone who is looking for those deep blacks and more vibrant colors that pop, that is something you will get only with the Nexus 6. On the other hand, the Moto X Pure Edition display allows for some great looking colors as well, but with an LCD panel, features like Moto Display unfortunately don’t look as sleek anymore, especially in darker environments, where the entire backlight lighting up is a lot more noticeable. Obviously, the Nexus 6 also has the leg up as far as screen real estate is concerned, but the new Motorola flagship does win out when it comes to overall brightness and outdoor visibility.

Performance

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-7

Under the hood, both smartphones are packing Qualcomm processing packages, with the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, clocked at 2.7 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB of RAM in the case of the Nexus 6, and the hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, clocked at 1.8 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 418 GPU and also 3 GB of RAM, as far as the Moto X Pure Edition is concerned.

The Snapdragon 805 may be the older of the two, but it certainly isn’t showing its age yet, and is still a very capable processor, helped along by the stock iteration of Android it runs. The performance of the Moto X Pure Edition is fantastic as well, and it is extremely fast and fluid while running everyday tasks. Multi-tasking is a breeze with both smartphones, and neither have any issues with gaming either, made even more enjoyable with the large display real estate and high resolution that both feature. As far as day to day performance is concerned, you will be hard pressed to notice any real difference between these two devices.

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-18

With regards to benchmark test scores, with Geekbench, you are looking at a single core score of 1072 and multi-core score of 3425 on the Nexus 6, which is lower than the 1257 and 3572 that the Moto X Pure Edition manages. The newer processing package does mean that the Moto X Pure Edition has the edge in this regard, but the difference isn’t significant, and as mentioned, you’re not going to see or feel a huge disparity when it comes to real world usage.

Hardware

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-11

As far as on-board storage is concerned, the Nexus 6 brought with it a pleasant change, with the base storage option going up to 32 GB, with a 64 GB version also available for the power users out there. Like previous Nexus smartphones however, there is no expandable storage to be had. Lack of expandable storage was also true with past generations of the Moto X, but that is no longer the case with the Moto X Pure Edition. Expandable storage via microSD card is now available to further enhance storage by up to 128 GB, in addition to the on-board storage of either 16, 32, or 64GB that the Moto X Pure Edition features.

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-1

Where these two devices are complete winners is when it comes to speaker quality, with both the Nexus 6 and the Moto X Pure Edition featuring dual front-facing speakers, which allows for fantastic audio quality when listening to music, watching videos, or playing games. It has to be said though that the speakers of the Moto X Pure Edition sound just a touch louder, along with a little more low end punch, and you also have the option of tweaking the audio settings with the external speakers when using headphones, something which isn’t available with the Nexus 6.

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-14

There isn’t a lot of difference when it comes to battery capacities either, with the Nexus 6 packing a slightly larger 3,220 mAh battery, compared to the 3,000 mAh unit of the Moto X Pure Edition. In my experience, both smartphones are perfectly capable of comfortably lasting through a full day of usage, if not more, which is all you can really expect from most current generation smartphones. Both also boast fast-charging capabilities, so it doesn’t take long to get either back up to a hundred percent. The Nexus 6 does also comes with wireless charging as well, something that Motorola continues to keep leaving out with their flagship line.

Camera

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-9

Motorola’s biggest weakness with their smartphones historically has always been the camera, which has coincidentally also been a concern that has plagued the Google flagship series. The Nexus 6 broke that mold, and so did the Moto X Pure Edition, with both featuring some drastic improvements to rear and front cameras, and in the case of the Moto X device, Motorola also went as far as to add a front-facing flash, to help avoid any dimly-lit selfies.

Nexus 6 camera samples

With the Moto X Pure Edition, you get a 21 MP primary camera with phase detection autofocus and a dual tone LED flash, while on the Nexus 6, there is a 13 MP rear shooter with optical image stabilization, and a LED ring flash. As far as the megapixels go, the Moto X Pure Edition obviously allows for more zooming and cropping, but as we all know, just the numbers doesn’t allow for the declaration of a clear winner.

Moto X Pure Edition camera samples

When it comes to overall image quality, and if you are just sharing these images on social media, you aren’t going to notice too much of a difference between the two, with both cameras being capable of taking some great looking images with tack sharp focus. Most people will probably find the images taken with the Moto X Pure Edition to be more pleasing however, with their higher contrast and slightly more saturated colors, while the images taken with the Nexus 6 camera are much flatter, but more natural looking. Both perform decently in poorly-lit environments as well, and while the Nexus 6 does tend to hunt for focus quite a bit, the resulting images are typically much cleaner, brighter, and with better white balance, when compared to the Moto X Pure Edition.

Both cameras are also capable of video recording in 4K, but again, the Nexus 6 suffers from the same hunting for focus problem when recording video, and for some reason, the footage isn’t quite as smooth or stable as what you get with the Moto X Pure Edition, even though the Nexus 6 is the one with optical image stabilization.

Software

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-16

The real advantage of owning a Nexus smartphone, and one of the key aspects of the program itself, is with regards to software, with the updates coming directly from Google. This means that not only do you get updates quickly, but the software experience itself is as pure as it gets. A lot of Nexus 6 owners will have already received, or will be getting very soon, the official update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which introduces a lot of nice improvements, like Google Now on Tap, and Doze, that will bring enhancements to the battery life. In the case of this comparison however, the Nexus 6 is still running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

android 6.0 marshmallowSee also: A tour of Android 6.0 Marshmallow58

Motorola has historically not been all that far behind with regards to quick software updates however, and in some cases, the company even managed to get updates out to their devices before other Nexus devices. If you are looking for a device that will feature speedy updates, the Moto X Pure Edition is probably one of the best options out there, though obviously the Nexus will still be the absolute best choice.

Moto X Pure Edition Tips & Tricks-1

The Moto X Pure Edition also features a very clean software experience which is as close to stock Android as it gets, but with a few very useful additions baked in, that actually make the experience even better than what you would get with a Nexus device. To name a few, some of these enhancements are Moto Voice, that lets you call upon the device at any time, Moto Actions, that include gestures such as twisting your wrist to quickly open the camera application, or the ability to wake up the display and see any notifications by simply waving your hand over the phone. While some of these features may seem trivial or gimmicky at first, it does make switching to another device that don’t have these quite difficult, once you get used to them.

Specs comparison

 Moto X Style / Pure EditionNexus 6
Display5.7-inch TFT LCD display
Quad HD resolution, 520 ppi
5.96 AMOLED display
Quad HD resolution, 493 ppi
Processor1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Adreno 418 GPU
2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
Adreno 420 GPU
RAM3 GB3 GB
Storage16/32/64 GB
expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
32/64 GB
no expansion
Camera21 MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus, dual tone LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera
13 MP rear camera with OIS and dual ring flash
2 MP front-facing camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS + GLONASS
NFC
microUSB 2.0
a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS + GLONASS
NFC
microUSB 2.0
SoftwareAndroid 5.1.1 LollipopAndroid 5.1.1 Lollipop
Battery3,000 mAh3,220 mAh
Dimensions153.9 x 76.2 x 11.1 mm
179 grams
159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm
184 grams

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

The launch of the Nexus 6 was not without controversy, given the fact that at the time of its release, it was the most expensive Nexus smartphone to be made available, with a price point starting at $650, but the still impressive device can now be picked up for $350 for the 32 GB version (or even as low as $300 on sale), and $400 if you are looking for 64 GB of storage. The Moto X Pure Edition is also quite the bargain, especially for a phone that’s only about a month old at this point. Starting at $400, you can get yourself a 16 GB device with a standard color back, and the price point goes up from there, depending on your storage needs and material choices.

Buy Nexus 6 on Amazon

Moto X Pure Edition Vs Nexus 6-16

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Moto X Pure Edition vs Nexus 6! If you want the purest Android experience possible, the guarantee of quick updates, and a large canvas on which to play on, then the Nexus 6 continues to be a great choice, especially given the price drop associated with the launch of its successor. On the other hand, the Moto X Pure Edition also promises a similar software experience, with some great enhancements, along with the availability of microSD expansion. The Moto X Pure Edition holds the edge by virtue of being the newer smartphone, but regardless of which way you decide to go, you are going to come out a winner.

Buy Moto X Pure on Amazon
  • Marty

    My GeekBench score on the Moto X Pure 2015 I had for about 2 days:

    • Marty

      The GeekBench score on the Nexus 6 I replaced the Moto X Pure 2015 with:

    • Marty

      My GeekBench score on the Nexus 6 I replaced the Moto with. Note that WiFi, Bluetooth and location are off, which give a little better score:

      • Still love my nexus 6. Camera is great, battery life is amazing. Love the 805.

        • Marty

          Same here. Also love the AMOLED. The Moto X has nothing on this N6.

          • mcdonsco

            Have you ever even used a new Moto X?

          • Marty

            So you think I didn’t do that screenshot myself?

          • mcdonsco

            Na, just didn’t notice it was you that posted it.

          • Marty

            I suspect the Moto X Pure 2015 I had was defective because it scored so low in all benchmarks. But having gotten this Nexus 6, I really don’t care to reconsider an X.

          • xgudwilx

            Whered you buy the N6? I’m still on the fence between N6 & Moto but leaning towards the N6P lately.

          • Marty

            Bought both from Best Buy. The N6 is good. Returned the X.

        • 805 2.7 GHz is a buzzsaw.

    • Karly Johnston

      Mine is usually over 1200 sc but if it gets hot it does slow down to that.

      • Marty

        I’m sure the one I had was defective. It pretty much has to be since everyone else is having better scores.

  • arjun malik

    Great comparison, i chose the moto x pure

    • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

      Me too!

  • alex

    I’ve been a big fan of the Moto X since the 2013 edition, but their recent announcement on not supporting very current phones for upgrades has really soured me on them. Probably switching to Nexus only for my next purchase.

    • Marty

      Yeah, Motorola has a long history of wishy/washy update commitment. I figured by now Motorola would have changed, especially since Lenovo now owns Motorola, but I suppose the ones in charge of updates are still hanging onto their jobs like an Alabama tick.

  • Nexus 6 is awesome. The 805 holds up just fine, no issues here other than the size of the phone. I really wish this came at 5.5 inches like my g3, I wouldnt be looking at other phones so soon if it was.

  • I bought two N6s (32 & 64GB) when they went on sale because I can’t go back in screen size. I guess my hands are larger than average(?) because I never once “threatened” to return them or “wish” for a smaller phone (as if there’ aren’t plenty of smaller phones available.)

    Absolutely the best phone I’ve ever seen or owned and I read teh handwriting on the wall with so many people complaining, that’s why I stocked up. The Moto X is a stunning phone, though.

    • 0neTw0

      Amen to the size. I never have any issue “Wielding ” my N6. Actually I dropped my BlackBerry curve or the Nexus Sammy so many times. Because they were too small. N6 just feels right. I enjoyed my OPO as well it was a good size. I’d like to see a smaller bezel if anything regarding size.

    • Pablo Elizondo

      Once I owned a Nexus 6 and it was a great phone but it was to big, then I bought a Oneplus One and its just perfect, outperforms my nexus 6 in speed, battery life and camera, the best phone I’ve ever owned(even better than my iphone)

      Now Im looking for the Nexus 6p

      • Eric Chen

        I went from opo to n6. I considered it a slight upgrade. Battery life on opo wasn’t as good on lollipop as it was on KitKat. Amazing phone though. Opt was a little disappointing

  • iantrich

    With Motorola failing to update even phones released this year to new software releases, the win clearly goes to the N6. With the recent security scares that have come up, and the lack of movement on releases by mfgs and carriers, I think Nexus wins almost always purely for that reason.

    • xgudwilx

      Moto did this for carrier models or unlocked?

  • dpbeardsley

    I’m completely sick of the comparison reviews where the author doesn’t pick his or her winner. The info in the review is what is important and a reader would much rather have you declare a winner and say why than get to the end of the article and get nothing out of it. These are op ed pieces, NOT factual articles. U want more readers, don’t be afraid to express your opinion.

  • #Note5 IsBoss

    My Note 5 and S6Edge+ Pimp Slaps Any Silly Motorola or Nexus fake ass wanna be phablet so easily it’s comical.

    • Marty

      My Galaxy S6 also gets really good scores. But I don’t like it. I like my Nexus 6 very much because it’s a supremely sweet device. It works really well and has a super clean UI, unlike the clunky Chinese knock-off UI of my GS6.

      Power is only one aspect of a device. It also needs to appeal to you and provide convenient and smooth operation. My Nexus 6 provides all of that. My GS6 only provides power.

    • Marty

      My Galaxy S6 also gets really good scores. But I don’t like it. I like my Nexus 6 very much because it’s a supremely sweet device. It works really well and has a super clean UI, unlike the clunky Chinese knock-off UI of my GS6.

      Power is only one aspect of a device. It also needs to appeal to you and provide convenient and smooth operation. My Nexus 6 provides all of that. My GS6 only provides power and that’s all.

    • Marty

      My Galaxy S6 also gets really good scores. But I don’t like it. I like my Nexus 6 very much because it’s a supremely sweet device. It works really well and has a super clean UI, unlike the clunky Chinese knock-off UI of my GS6.

      Power is only one aspect of a device. It also needs to appeal to you and provide convenient and smooth operation. My Nexus 6 provides all of that. My GS6 only provides power and nothing more.

    • Robert Tomas Good

      Sure, just three things: 1. Touchwiz 2.touchwiz and 3. Touchwiz. Please Samsung keep having glitchy software it makes us pure Android users look so much better.

      • Marty

        My Galaxy S6 also gets really good scores. But I don’t like it. I like my Nexus 6 very much because it’s a supremely sweet device. It works really well and has a super clean UI, unlike the clunky Chinese knock-off UI of my GS6.

        Power is only one aspect of a device. It also needs to appeal to you and provide convenient and smooth operation. My Nexus 6 provides all of that. My GS6 only provides power and maybe a decent camera, but that’s all.

    • infamousjax

      Typical nigger.

    • squiddy20

      Yeah, because benchmarks are the only things that matter. What a mindless spec-whore.

    • Kalavere

      Clown, I’ve still got a Note III with a custom ROM and it’s silky smooth. Specs mean nothing.

    • Touch *blurp* Whiz!

      (sorry, a little vomit came up saying that.)

    • Karly Johnston

      but it multitasks like 1GB RAM.

  • FQ2

    It was a toss up for me until they mentioned storage. No expandable storage=instant deal breaker.

  • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

    Hopefully I can get my Moto X Pure Edition by my birthday (fingers crossed) 😃😁

  • Dvr Dhanapal

    moto x pure and nexus 6 are amazing smartphones…

  • Shitzngiggles

    While the new Motorola does look very nice, and as a grown ass man the only kid at Christmas feeling I get anymore is a new smartphone each year (or an new xbox/PS but that’s once every 6-7 years a smartphone is everyear) but the problem is I can’t see anything nicer or better than my nexus 6, I mean half the things in ur acticle have the older nexus 6 winning the category

  • Don Williams

    all the whining about size pissed me off i love the size and especially the width

  • PlanB77

    I’ve had my Moto X for about a month now and its hands down the best Android phone I’ve ever owned. I mainly chose it over the N6 for the moto maker customization. But the Nexus is a great phone.

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  • Fareed Alhafashi

    By The Time Guys Motorola Will be One Of The Best Compony Ever And I will Remean U Guys
    Coz It Made A Great phone ,The Only thing That I Think It Nead Is Support
    I love Everything That Motorola Made :) ;)

  • nainai

    Except for the smaller bezels on the moto x, I still prefer the nexus 6.
    Thanks for the comparison Lanh