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Why I traded the brute power of the Nexus 5 for the personality of the Moto X

0. phoneArena 29 Dec 2013, 14:27 posted on

The vast majority of the talk around here at PhoneArena is abstract; and, if you're looking at the comment section, the talk is theoretical at best. The overriding philosophy is that numbers measure everything, so the device with the best benchmarks, the thinnest profile, the highest resolution display, and the most features must be the best, right? The trouble is that very little of that will help you to understand the beauty of the Motorola Moto X...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:34 4

1. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

So much songs of moto X, although it sounds like a midiocre phone...

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:36 11

3. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:31 12

30. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Okay, I think I can make something of this. "So much songs" means a lot of people sing (brag) about the Moto X, but it sounds like a mediocre phone, meaning the specs aren't very impressive. That's my guess.

Anyways, that guy shouldn't judge the quality of a phone just on the spec sheet. I don't have a Moto X, but I do have a device with similar specs (Droid Mini - X8 chip, 2 GB RAM, 720p display), and the experience has been fantastic. I have no issues with this device aside from the design choice, they should have went with matte Kevlar like on previous Razr devices rather than glossy Kevlar, but from a software perspective, it's been a joy to use.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 13:08

71. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

well, first of all you are an intelligent person... thumbs up for you... many people doesnt have such sense except to walk on a straight line... you are totally correct, thats what all I mean... anyway I will not change my style for the understanding of some people...

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:24

12. darkkjedii (Posts: 21317; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:30

13. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

I was actually questioning his entire statement, not just the misspelling of a word. Thanks

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:59

17. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Plz check the complete specs, dont just question

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:26 5

21. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Please communicate in a way that I can understand. Your first statement made no sense whatsoever.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 13:10

72. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

well, thats not my problem if you cant understand or doesnt make sense to you ;)

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:48 11

23. boosook (Posts: 1437; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Do you actually use your phone or just spend your time bragging about the specs?

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 00:15 1

54. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

+1 dude.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:27 4

29. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4210; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

While I don't own a Moto X (Droid Maxx for me), I have come to realize that specs aren't everything. I was always picking up phones that were tops in terms of specs, hoping to have a device that would minimize any lag I'd encounter. The problem was, in many cases between the higher resolution screen and the more bloated the manufacturer skin became, the less performance increase I saw. Now while the Nexus 5 doesn't have the skin, the screen is limiting the battery life. I looked at the screens side by side when upgrading, comparing the Moto X, Droid Maxx, G2, and HTC One. In all honesty, the little bit of difference in clarity I saw didn't outweigh the benefit of longer battery life that came with the Moto phones. And while the G2 does have very good battery life, it also has their skin, which to me is a bad knock off of Touchwiz. Beings that I came from a Galaxy S3 and one of my main gripe was TW, that was the nail in the coffin for the G2 for me.

I don't begrudge anyone owning what they want if it suits their needs and wants, but to simply call it midrange while looking at a spec sheet, rather than seeing the benefits of close to stock android and software optimization for performance, and active notifications, 720 screen, and the 8x processor for extended battery life, then you're only looking at half the picture.

I updated my backup S3 today to 4.3. I had to do a data reset because it couldn't find the update until I did. So with a clean start, it should've been extremely peppy, especially since the processor in my Maxx is supposed to be almost the same as the S4 CPU in the Galaxy S3. The difference I saw in terms of speed and lag between my Maxx (which has been in use for a few months) and my S3 (which just had the aforementioned data reset) was like the difference between my S3 and my OG Incredible. It was almost painful how much faster the Maxx was. Again that's a Maxx with a few months of use, around 150 apps, a lot of pics, music, and some videos, and a lot of customization in the settings, compared to a fresh S3 with maybe 20 apps, no media, and no changes to the settings.

The 8x processor and the near stock build of android give it a night and day performance advantage. Other than that the only advantage the Maxx has specs wise is the upgraded GPU. So if the Moto phones are built with last years specs, why the big difference in performance? And how are they able to keep up with the spec monsters of this year?

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 02:07 1

59. Mittal (Posts: 493; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

The personality is exactly what i love about my HTC One S
After a year also i dont stop admiring it...
Wish the industry was focussing more on the experience

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:36 9

2. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Nice article sir. Bravo!!! Love my Moto!!!

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:45 14

4. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1116; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

Very good post, i now respect the Moto X a lot more, this sums up what buying a phone nowadays is all about, personal preferences, really loved the post Michael and respect your choice of phone immensely. I personally own the One as i love how good a multimedia package it is with the very nice speakers and very crisp display, it fits very well with my usage and that's why i bought it, but of course people here on phonearena don't respect the "personal preferences" as for them the only thing that matters is specs and numbers.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 02:10

60. Mittal (Posts: 493; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

True but its not best to generalize that for the 'people here on phonearena'... u can say for the majority though... there are many others like you and me

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:46 7

5. PootisMan (Posts: 250; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)

I actually did the complete opposite. Had a Nexus 5 and then I bought a Moto X when that cyber deal was going on. Immediately I said no way I can't switch from my Nexus 5. No offense to Moto X owners but for me in my own opinion, the screen was to small, camera was a lot worse and although I thought I could get used to the Amoled oversaturatng characteristics I immediately saw the over saturation and knew that it wasn't for me. The active display thing was nice, but it certainly wasn't enough by a long shot to make me switch. So for me Nexus 5 FTW

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 14:49 12

6. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

finally someone is clearing this up with the specs hungry guys out there THANK YOU MICHAEL its not always specs !!!!!!!!

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:39 1

22. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1130; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

It's always specs and will always be about the specs. When ever phones were tested they alwasys were tested against iPhone specs. When ever future phones are compared it will always be about the specs. Everyone wants a hot rod that performs better.

That said some want a personal experience, and for me the Nexus 5 with Google Now is one of the best experiences I can get. My GS3 had loads of user experience that was great for sh*ts and giggles, but I raely used them. When I had those extra features turned on Battery life suffered severely.

I never ever use the stock rigng tone of any phone.....ewwwww no personality at all. I down load music or use Zedge for interesting ringtons that I like. The nexus 5 may not be top of the line Camera but it out performs my GS3.

The articles main point about use experience I think is on point, but remember each person using the same device will have a different perspective on the experience given by that device. Nontheless it is a good write up about why "you" chose Moto!

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 11:06 1

69. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Specs are always a talking point, but real life usage is always the final answer.

For the same reason I have yet to find anything that will tear me away from my N4. It has exactly the size/power/specs/customization (personally infused personality!) /options I need.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 18:45

73. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1130; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

Well I have a N5 and I feel the same as you right now. As far as I am concerned the N5 is the smoothest functioning phone that I have ever had. Way smoother than my GS3. However; Real life usage seems to vary from person to person....i.e. washed out screen reviews of the Nexus 5 on some sites, and best screen ever reviews by others. Anadntech says one of the best screens ever So I go with their review for sure.

In real life usage Windows Phones needs less processor power yet until the specs caught up no one wanted one with 2 cores!

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:06 3

7. Commentator (Posts: 3691; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Nice [and long] as usual. Since owning my Nexus 5 I've come to have a newfound respect for the Moto X, especially touchless controls. I still wouldn't trade my Nexus in (mainly because I can't stand AMOLED, I don't care all that much about customization, and I really REALLY love the feel of the soft-touch black N5 in my hand), but I really hope some Moto X features become standard in future versions of Android.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:10 1

8. Chris_Bakke (Posts: 235; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)

I think we can all appreciate how well Michael H. writes for PA, and whenever they need a special editorial or heartfelt message, they will always turn to him for his journalism expertise. Kudos on the excellent article.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 20:06 4

37. jefff (Posts: 9; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

Are you serious? Is he serious? Are you his mom? You've got to be.

You realize the lock sound on the Nexus 5 is the EXACT same one he's raving about, right? Isn't part of being a "journalist" (I can't put enough quotes around that) at least trying to attempt at being detail oriented? He didn't realize a phone he had has that exact same lock sound? And he didn't realize that, oh... I don't know... you can go download the dreadful Moto X ringtone ANYWHERE on the internet? This isn't journalism, it's making stuff up, that isn't even true, to try to convince yourself (for whatever reason) that the Moto X is amazing.

Oh, and Michael, the color you made it shows the awful aesthetic taste you have as well as the fact that you like that ringtone. Tacky, tacky, tacky. That's all =)

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 20:49 1

40. androiphone20 (Posts: 1654; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)

dude really? The moto X is an awesome phone and I can say that cuz I've been using it for quite a while now. For one the moto X is that much better at active listening that the note 3 and it way more fast and accurate too than using s-voice. Like Micheal said this is not the "best phone in the world" but this is a pretty good android smartphone cuz it has those tidbits that acyually standout.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 05:00 2

63. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1130; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

With Google Now Who uses S voice....really.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:15 4

9. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

Awesome article as always. :)

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:16

10. imkyle (Posts: 1073; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

Nexus 5 is a nice phone. Is it worth upgrading from a Nexus 4? No unless you need LTE. The back disappointed me as the Nexus 7 2013 edition is oil marks galore. Idk maybe that's just me, but I was a little disappointed in the Nexus 5.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:19

11. tacarat (Posts: 770; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)

I use a Moto X for work and love it. The only reason I haven't bought it for myself is a strict requirement for a removable battery and micro SD slot.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:58 1

35. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

I can actually forgive the removable battery easier than I can the memory issue. At least if you aren't going to give customers the option to add memory then give them the option to select a 64gb phone, and be reasonable with the memory price hikes. 50 dollars for 16 gb of memory is not reasonable when I can buy a 16 gb sd card for 15 or less dollars. 16 gb increments should be no more than 25 dollars a pop if you aren't going to allow for expandable memory.

This being said, I am still considering the X because from all accounts it is still a very good, or great, device.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:30 4

14. N-fanboy (Posts: 543; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)

Yes!! Specs aren't everything, but try telling it to a samsung fan.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:35 1

15. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2114; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Just as soon as I'm getting a Nexus 5, I see this article -_- Great article, tho.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 15:52

16. theo14461 (unregistered)

I personally, have always loved Motorola phones. Now that I rely on my phone's camera, I can't get myself to buy their products anymore. I recently purchased a Lumia 1520, and a Nexus 5. Used the Nexus for about a day, and quickly returned it. Have been very happy with my 1520.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:01 2

18. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

i'm 100% with you Michael.
i've argued these exact points in the comment section myself. i'll probably hang on to my Moto X for a long while. i just want there to be a new Nexus 10 already so that i can have something with a high memory capacity to take some load off of my 16GB FHD N7 & Moto X.

my sister and girlfriend both have Moto X's now too and they love em'.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:06

19. TomTheNerd (Posts: 67; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)

Moto X was my first choice but not effing available in UK so I went for Nexus 5.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:23 1

20. amancarlos (Posts: 42; Member since: 09 May 2012)

hopefully moto X2 will be an all rounder, and may challenge the mobile industry in other ways too.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:56

24. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2184; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

I have owned both, and the X was the superior phone by a comfortable margin. My biggest gripe with the X was the camera, but the Nexus 5 isn't exactly a "WOW!" machine, either, and I didn't find the 5 to be better anywhere else but raw performance (Which matters very little in day-to-day use).

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 16:59 1

25. jellmoo (Posts: 1591; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I did the same thing myself. I ordered a Nexus 5 minutes after they went on sale. Coming from a Nexus 4, I knew what I was getting, and by and large the Nexus 5 is a great device. I just wanted a little more personality from my device. A little more jazz.

I wound up trading devices with a dude that had a Moto X and wanted a Nexus 5. I couldn't be happier. The innovations are great, the device is actually fun to use, and it just happens to fit what I want from a phone. I don't know if I could go back to a device that doesn't have active notifications at this point...

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:01

26. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)

Same goes for my mother's Sony Xperia Neo V vs my HTC One V. Sure, the Xperia Neo V has more feature and is more compact in terms of width and length (and has better ergonomics), but the screen on the HTC One V blows me away, and the feeling of metal is phenomenal compared to plastic

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:14

27. alltechinside (Posts: 248; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)

nice article Michael! I own a nexus 5 and I was interested in Moto X but there is no Moto Maker in my location :(

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:25

28. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)

Probably you are the only one who traded a Nexus 5 for Moto X.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:31 1

31. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

The Nexus wins this on being a Nexus and having a much better camera, but the Moto X has some very interesting functions and it's beyond me why didn't they make it into Google's Google phone.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:33 3

32. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)

Just correcting, Motorola does sell moto x in Brazil, we have a moto plant here

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:34

33. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)

Of course there is no moto maker

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 17:38

34. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Michael, did you not use wireless charging with your previous Nexii? If so, how have you gotten used to the lack of wireless charging? Or was it that big of a deal?

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 12:48 1

70. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I did use the wireless charger with my Nexus, but losing that hasn't really been that big of a deal. It has helped a lot that the Moto X comes with a dual-USB wall charger, which is a big help when I need to charge my multiple devices.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:57

77. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Thanks MH.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 18:43

36. HildyJ (Posts: 294; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

If it had been on sale and wood backs had been available when I bought my Nexux 5, I would have been tempted to get an unlocked Moto X. But it wasn't and they weren't. Right now, off contract, the Moto X runs $150 more than the Nexus 5 ($250 more with wood). The benefits just aren't worth it. P.S. Your wife is right about the ring tone.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 20:16 1

38. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

I disagree. I notice a very noticeable performance difference and display difference between the two phones. Just because you don't notice the differences it doesn't mean more observant or people with more acute perception doesn't notice the differences.

In most cases, specs make a considerable difference whether fanboys with inferior hardware choose to ignore the differences or write them off as negligible or not.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 21:34

46. jellmoo (Posts: 1591; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Out of curiosity, was your post supposed to sound as condescending and dismissive as it does, or was that pure accident?

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 22:49 2

51. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

that's just how he is.
just plain ignorant and stubborn.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 00:47 2

56. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Not ignorant at all. I just call it how I see it. Raw specs always makes a sizable difference and I definitely notice them.

And this will be more apparent later when the games and apps become even more graphically intense. I can make a Moto X choke and stutter easily. No chance of making the Nexus 5 choke.

You can fix poorly optimized software but you can't fix poor hardware and I wouldn't be comfortable recommending the Moto X to anyone.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 01:22 3

57. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

you know that in terms of Graphics performance the Moto X is a top performer due to the Adreno 320 graphics only pushing 720p. it's any bit as future proof as any other top end phone released this year...


my comment about you stands.
in fact i'll go ahead and add deluded on top of what i said earlier.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 01:17

74. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Sure it does...you keep believing your nonsense...

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 03:09 1

75. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Taters, not everyone is going to play hardcore games on their phones. In fact, the Moto X is designed primarily for people who aren't looking to be on their phones 24/7. No, the Moto X is not going to be able to play the mobile port of Crysis 5, but that wasn't in its design philosophy to begin with.

It's like saying that a Ford Fusion has a crappy engine because it won't win the 24 Hours at Le Mans.

At any rate, the Moto X is more than good enough for everyday smartphone activities. I should know. I own one. And before that I had a Droid Mini. Both handle even games like Injustice pretty well. And that's about as intense as it needs to get. Beyond that I'll take the better durability, build quality, and battery life, and stronger radio.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 20:48 3

39. Caspid (Posts: 4; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

problems with this "review":
• you refuse to root, for no good reason.
• your Moto Maker customizations are hideous. normally, this wouldn't be an issue in an objective review, but this review strives to be anything but objective, so the validity of your judgment comes into question (and fails the test).
• you list the lock/unlock sound as the top pro, as it's always been changeable.
• you list the boot animation as another pro, when in practice, you'll never see it.
• you kept that (your wife is right) awful default ringtone. also, changeable on any device.
• you display a lot of peculiar signs that may qualify for something like ASD - the need for constant tactile stimulation, the bottle cap-snapping for HOURS, etc.
• you completely disregard specs, assuming that your lack of perception is shared by your reader.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 21:07

43. androiphone20 (Posts: 1654; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)

Rooting? that actually voids your warranty, presnts you to greater risks of bricking your phone or becoming unstable. I chose not to root my mooto X when I got it recentlycuz you can easily mess up your whole experience.
Specs don't really matter to an average consumer or anyone really who values their experience over gimmicky features on a smartphone. Take for say a note 3, that phone is a beast on paper but I could notice some delayed refining on web pages using the chrome browser something that actually didn't happen on the moto X. So, OEMs like Samsung like to throw in everything but the kitchen just to get you to like their devices while some of your good experience dies along with that.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 21:58 4

48. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Someone here is striving to be a massive tool.

Half of your "points" were personal insults or attacks on Michael's sense of taste. This isn't a review. It's an op-ed piece, something which Michael does a lot. Since you've only been a member for an hour, I'm not surprised that you don't know this.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 22:05 2

49. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4210; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Just because it is able to be rooted, doesn't mean it has to be. That's the whole point of android in the first place, the ability to choose.

His choice of customization has no bearing on the phone itself. Same as with the unlock sound and ringtone. Why does everyone feel if a person doesn't choose what they would choose, they're ignorant? It's quite possible that there are a lot of people who'd think your setup sucks as well, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're ignorant, it's what you want, so be happy with it. Obviously any of these tones can be changed, the ringtones have been that way since android started. He just happens to like what it came with, that's his choice. It doesn't mean everyone has to be the same to want this phone.

As far as specs, if they're so horrible, then so is the Nexus 7 (2013). It's using an S4 Pro. The Snapdragon 600 was available when it was being designed, so is the N7 also midrange and low spec'd? As I pointed out in my earlier post, the performance of my freshly reset Galaxy S3 pales to that of my Droid Maxx that's been in use for months, even though most of the specs are the same. In fact the Maxx is equal or close to other higher spec'd phones performance wise during everyday use. It just goes to show that if these other OEMS would dump their skins and do a little optimization, they could have even better performance than they currently do, regardless of hardware. With screens apparently taking a jump in resolution again next year, what's that going to do to battery life and performance? At this point a 5" screen is going to have higher resolution than a 40" screen on a TV, doesn't that seem a bit ridiculous? The specs are fine where they are, now they need to work on optimization and battery life. A beautiful screen does no good if it's constantly on the charger.

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 23:12 1

52. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

problems with your view on his review.
• what is there for him to gain from rooting on this phone? it has an AOSP experience with useful features that don't bloat the phone and this phone's actual Kit Kat update came out before there were even quality Kit Kat based ROM's.
• so because you don't find any validity in his views all of a sudden what you think of his personal design choice should make a s$%t? get out of town guy.
• without any extensive modification there's only been a toggle on Android devices for the lock sound. in this particular case you turn it on and get a charming, differernt sound from the clicking sound that you usually get from turning the lock sound on any other phone.
• the talk about personality is really more about principal than practicality. it's better to have a phone from a company that puts more pride and personality into their phones than not. it inspires more confidence that you're using a quality product.
• again how does your opinion on his taste come in?
• and?
• people that know better and has made valid points like Michael has see your perception as delusion.

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