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

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...
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84 Comments

14. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

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

15. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

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

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.

18. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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'.

19. TomTheNerd

Posts: 67; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

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

20. amancarlos

Posts: 42; Member since: May 09, 2012

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

24. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 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).

25. jellmoo

Posts: 2546; Member since: Oct 31, 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...

26. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 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

27. alltechinside

Posts: 248; Member since: Apr 21, 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 :(

28. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

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

31. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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.

32. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

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

33. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Of course there is no moto maker

34. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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?

70. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 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.

77. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Thanks MH.

36. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 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.

38. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

46. jellmoo

Posts: 2546; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

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

51. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

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

56. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

57. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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... http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/performance-preview-the-moto-x-sports-a-great-gpu-respectable-cpu/ my comment about you stands. in fact i'll go ahead and add deluded on top of what i said earlier.

74. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

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

75. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

39. Caspid

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 29, 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.

43. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 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.

48. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

49. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

52. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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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