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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nexus 5 vs Moto X comparison review: Which Google Android smartphone should you buy?


Google's Nexus 5 smartphone has been very popular since launch and after a number of months on sale in the US Google-owned Motorola has decided to bring the Moto X to the UK. See how these to mid-range priced smartphones compare to each other in our Nexus 5 vs Moto X comparison review.

If you can't afford smartphones like the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z1 or Nokia Lumia 1520 then the Nexus 5 and Moto X are two great alternatives. The devices have decent spec but without a premium price tag.

Despite launching in the US last year with a price of $199, the Moto X has come to the UK with a SIM-free price of £350. Rip off Britain right?

This means it costs a fair few quid more than the Nexus 5 which starts costs £299 for the equivalent model - an outrageously low price for a flagship smartphone.  

With the Moto X coming into the UK market at a higher price than the Nexus 5, does it stand any chance? Read on to find out.

With a slightly bigger screen and a higher resolution, things are looking a bit better if you opt for the Nexus 5. Its got a 4.95in screen with a Full HD 1080 x 1920 resolution. The Moto X's display is only slightly smaller at 4.7in which isn't a big deal but at 720p there's less detail on offers. It's 312ppi vs 445ppi in the pixel density stakes.


Moving onto internal components and the Nexus 5 is on top in the power battle with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. That's a set-up found in much more expensive flagship smartphones.

The Moto X is equipped with a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor, also with 2GB of RAM.

Things are a dead heat on the storage front since both the Nexus 5 and Moto X are devoid of a microSD card slot and both come in 16- and 32GB storage options. Just make sure you pick which size carefully.


Motorola gets one back with its 10Mp camera which outpaces the Nexus 5's 8Mp camera – on paper at least. Both have HDR modes and can shoot at up to 1080p video, though.

Both front facing cameras can take Full HD video, too, but the Moto X is able to offer more pixels for still photography at 2Mp against the Nexus 5's 1.3Mp.

Things are on a similar level in the connectivity category with each smartphone offering dual-band Wi-Fi with the latest 11.ac standard, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS, NFC and support for 4G LTE mobile networks. The main difference is that the Nexus 5 also includes wireless charging.

Software is an area in which the Nexus 5 and Moto X only differ slightly. The Nexus 5 has Google's vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat which has an exclusive launcher with Google Now is one swipe away from the main homescreen and other features include a full-screen mode for apps and artwork.

Meanwhile, the Moto X has Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (upgradable to KitKat) with a few tricks of its own. Active display feeds information onto the screen in a discrete way while Quick capture means you can launch the camera by twisting your wrist twice.

Beyond the handful of exclusive features, the Nexus 5 and Moto X both offer a pure Android experience.

Follow Udara Madusanka and @netudara on Twitter.

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