Motorola Moto X Pure Review

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015)

Posted: , posted by John V.




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


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.

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


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.


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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.7 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (520 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera21 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size6.06 x 3.00 x 0.44 inches
(153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm)
6.31 oz  (179 g)

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