Introduction


If you haven’t noticed, the Motorola of today isn’t the same as the Motorola of the past. The company has gone through several changes over the course of the last few years, being notably gobbled up by Google back in 2012, only to be sold shortly later on to Lenovo. You’d think that the new Motorola, now a Lenovo company, would’ve been absorbed entirely and be given a clean slate, but it seems as though that’s not the case, as Lenovo’s influence is yet to have any profound presence in Motorola’s way of doing things.

That realization became more evident when its latest Moto X smartphones were revealed a couple months ago, bringing forth some upgrades that make them specs beasts like much of their rivals in the space, all the while being accompanied by affordable-for-the-class price tags. There are two Moto X versions this year: the Moto X Pure Edition for the US, and the Moto X Style for international markets. The two devices are almost identical in terms of both hardware and software, with the only difference being that the Moto X Pure Edition is sold unlocked, and has all the needed LTE bands for the US market. It'll also be the one that's going to be the focus of this review. Going for an intriguing fusion of mostly vanilla Android software with an alluring $399.99 cost, the Moto X Pure Edition absolutely seems to be our kind of smartphone. Let's take a deeper look!

The package contains:

  • Motorola Moto X Pure Edition
  • Turbocharger
  • SIM removal tool
  • Clear bumper
  • Users guide
  • Safety and information

Design

Bigger in size, same highly customizable design.

What’s most apparent here is the significant size increase, going from a manageable one with last year’s Moto X, to a size that puts it into phablet category. Certainly, it’s tougher to grasp comfortably with one hand, but it’s not tougher to hold than, say, the Galaxy Note5. Some won’t be thrilled by the increase in size and weight, but we find it still pleasant enough to operate without feeling that its size is too overbearing.

Besides the size disparity we’re dealt with now, the Moto X Pure’s design, much like previous Moto Xs, can be fully customizable to complement your particular taste and style – this alone is what makes it undeniably cool and still different. Sure, its design might not directly exude the premium finish of some other high-class smartphones out there, but when you can choose base colors for its chassis, accent colors, and even add an engraving, all without any additional cost tacked on, it’s impressively satisfying in how we’re given control to how it ends up looking. In addition, particular color combinations help to make its design stand out even more. Well, just know that certain materials, like the wood and leather options, do incur higher price points.

Considering that it employs the same design language as its predecessor, it means that many of the characteristics we’re familiar with are present here again – such as the power button and volume controls positioned on its right edge, 3.5mm headphone jack and SIM/microSD combo slot on the top, and a microUSB port on its bottom edge.

This time, however, we now have true dual front-firing speakers, which is always an appreciated asset. Another new change pertains to what’s accompanying the front-facing camera – an LED flash, which is a great addition for those who love taking selfies. And yes, the same Motorola logo dimple is found in the rear, but it has more in common to the first-gen Moto X because it’s not as recessed or large in size as the 2nd generation Moto X.

One last notable thing to point out, the Moto X Pure keeps up its protection by offering the same water-resistant nano coating to safeguard it against minor incursions - such as splashes for example.


Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)

Dimensions

6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches

153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm

Weight

6.31 oz (179 g)

Google Nexus 6

Google Nexus 6

Dimensions

6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches

159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm

Weight

6.49 oz (184 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Dimensions

6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.03 oz (171 g)

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)

Dimensions

6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches

153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm

Weight

6.31 oz (179 g)

Google Nexus 6

Google Nexus 6

Dimensions

6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches

159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm

Weight

6.49 oz (184 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Dimensions

6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.03 oz (171 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display

They ditch AMOLED in favor of IPS-LCD, and with that, improvements accompany it in every category.

Ditching AMOLED technology, and opting to go instead with a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 (Quad-HD) IPS TFT LCD protected by Gorilla Glass 3, the Moto X Pure makes for a compelling argument on the specs front. Details are crisp and plentiful, which is what we'd expect from a number crushing QHD panel with 515 ppi... Well, the fun’s just beginning with this one, seeing that there are a lot of favorable qualities accompanying this new display.

Franky, this is a substantially improved panel over last year’s dim, colder-toned, and overblown AMOLED one. Its color temperature of 6748K, for example, is very close to that ideal reference value of 6500k, which gives it a very neutral tone – so it’s neither too warm nor tool cold. Secondly, its 2.19 gamma value is also an improvement over its predecessor. What’s really most astounding, though, is how it’s better at accurately reproducing colors in the sRGB color spectrum chart, as well as emitting a blinding 715 nit luminance, which demolishes last year’s mark of 385 nits.

Everything about the screen is improved, but in parting ways with AMOLED, we, of course, can tell that black is no longer the endless, deep pitch black that it once was. It’s especially noticeable when the screen ‘breathes’ for its Moto Display feature – it doesn’t necessarily achieve the same pure black tone as its AMOLED counterparts. Regardless of that, its potent brightness output, outstanding color reproduction, and vivid looks give it qualities that rival the Note5’s almost-perfect display.



FEATURED VIDEO

140 Comments

1. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I thought that the base storage capacity was 16GB?

29. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"Available in either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB capacities... " if you would be kind enough to read the 2nd page of the review, just above the benchmark graph, before wanting to be the first to post.

32. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I was referring to the "PROS" Section where it says: "Base 32GB storage capacity with microSD card expansion" I read the review, Im just trying to keep others from thinking that 32GB is the base...

39. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Yikes!! Not my fault though... You should've mentioned "in the 'PROS'" section. XD John V should really rectify that mistake.

42. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Ya, I was a little vague on that, my bad... But yes John V. Should change that...

63. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

I've notice that mistake too, but can you confirm in Motorola's page the existance of the 16GB option? Here in Mexico the X Style is sold only in 32GB and 64GB options.

66. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

According to Motorola's own press release the Moto X Pure Edition will start at $399.99 16GB http://www.phonearena.com/news/Motorola-Moto-X-Pure-Edition-pre-orders-go-live-tomorrow-prices-start-at-399.99_id73239

84. alphabets

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

I knew what you were referring to as soon as I read it. Maybe if some people were kind enough to read page 4 of the review instead of being the first guy to call out the first guy to post, there would not be such confusion. And yes, base is most definitely 16gb.

109. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Wouldn't be a mistake if OEs would stop releasing 16GB phones. Another wtf from Motorola and several others.

110. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Apple sets the bar on this front. If they go 32GB entry point, Motorola and Google and others will follow.

118. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

At least Motorola offered an SD card reader. Considering the price for the 32GB phone it is still very attractive at $449....

121. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

That would be my pick. The base model only has 9GB free. The 32GB would kick that up to 25, which is something to work with. But microSD really clinches it.

88. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

LOL, I thought that you were referring to the video where he also mentions that the base model is 32 GB.

90. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I had not gotten to see the video yet, Its blocked where I am, but if John V. also says that the 32GB is the base storage he should probably change that too. I wonder if the "32GB base storage" factored in to his rating also?

100. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, if you're stuck behind a work or school firewall, there may be a bit of a work around, it at least works for me. Take the video link, and paste it into Google translate, then click on the translated page. Odds are the firewall restricting youtube videos isn't smart enough to block the content this way. I've niticed that on some occasions it will still block the video, simply try to change the languages it's translating from or to. https://translate.google.com/

103. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Can't get Google anything at work, its all blocked. But now that I'm at home I can watch it. Thanks for the help though.

105. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Meh, I tried.

106. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

It's all good. I appreciate the effort.

92. Ray.S

Posts: 456; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

Sorry for that, it's our bad. We've removed that from the pros.

93. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

That's cool, Scott93274 also said that the video states that the 32GB is also the base storage option also.

101. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I'm not complaining, just pointing out a discrepancy. Everyone that visits this site and is remotely interested in the phone knows all there is to know about the device already, they simply read this article and video to get hands on impressions.

104. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

The reason I bring it up is I found phonearena while looking for reviews on the LG Dare all those years ago. PA seemed to have the best specs list and reviews on it and that's what has kept me coming back ever since. So I do value when reviews have proper specs and information on devices. You never know, the information contained here could lead someone to continue to come back and be an active tech enthusiast like ourselves....

108. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Motorola really should have just went with the 32GB as the base model. This is 2015. There's no reason for 16GB to exist anymore unless it's a budget phone under $200.

111. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

But your body was ready for the iPhone, Post number 42. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-iPhone-6s-arrives-with-a-splash-welcome-3D-Touch_id73520 And I never saw any comment from you regarding your disappointment in the iPhone base model being 16 GB. And Motorola only charges $50.00 to up grade from 16 to 32, to 64. which is half of what Apple charges, you can also find a high speed, 128 GB Micro SDXC card for $60.00 on Amazon which isn't even an option for most phones these days, so your complaint about the base model storage capacity is a bit of a lost cause.

119. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I've said it before many times. Take your head out of your rear and maybe you'll see it.

126. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Share the link to the article and reference the post or you've never said it and you should just keep your mouth shut.

2. Martos

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 06, 2015

Highest score pa has given a midrange smartphone imo

28. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

It's hardly a midrange phone.

48. sgodsell

Posts: 7239; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Since when is a SD 808 with 3 GB of RAM, with a QHD (2560x1440) mid-range?

107. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It's a midrange phone.
Moto X Pure Edition (2015)
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 21 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh

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