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Moto X or Nexus 5?

moto x vs nexus 5

The question of the holiday season, wouldn’t you say? Or for many, the question that needs an answer by tomorrow morning. With Motorola hosting a $150-off deal on Cyber Monday (December 2) for MotoMaker and Developer Edition orders of the Moto X (our review), a number of you have asked us to put together some sort of comparison between it and the Nexus 5 (our review). This might be hard to believe, but for a limited time tomorrow, these two phones will be the same price.

We’re looking at somewhat similar, yet also very different approaches to an Android phone, even though they are technically made by the same company. One focuses on convenience, the other on power and cleanliness. One wants you to design it and make it your own, the other remains subtle even in two color schemes, with the focus on the operating system. One is trying to be as developer friendly as it can, the other is the ultimate device for a tinkerer. Both offer incredible values. Both are updated faster than any other Android phone.

So, which is it – Moto X or Nexus 5? 

Specs

On paper, it’s tough to argue against the impressive set of specs found on the Nexus 5, especially when compared to the Moto X. As you may recall during the launch of the Moto X, Motorola had to do some pretty serious damage control over the idea that “specs aren’t everything,” since their 2013 flagship isn’t exactly topping anyone’s charts with its 720p display, 10MP camera, and dual-core processor. Of course, after using it for months we now know that they were right, and that all of the optimizations they made through their X8 Mobile Computing platform have made the Moto X far from inferior to other phones.

moto x vs nexus 5 specs

But if you strictly want to look at how these two phones compare side-by-side with their respective set of specs, the Nexus 5 is the clear winner. Thanks to its 5-inch full HD 1080p display, top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 processor, 8MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), wireless charging, and easily unlockable bootloader, it’s tough for any phone to compete, especially with its asking price of $349.

Design and Feel

If you are looking for the best feeling device on the planet for 2013, it is without a doubt the Moto X. From it’s pillowy backside to the way it perfectly rests in your hand, or its ease of use when using a single hand, the design (even though it is plastic) of the Moto X should be award winning. Motorola carefully crafted a phone that still has a big enough display (4.7-inch), yet feels like the size of a phone made years ago. There are minimal bezels, a bit of added thickness to fit all of its hardware and add comfort, and subtle details like its back dimple that make you never want to put it down.

Oh, and did I mention MotoMaker? At no extra cost, Motorola will let you customize a Moto X from its front or back colors to the accent around the camera lens. You can also tweak some internals, but the winner here is the hand-crafting of the exterior appearance, something no other smartphone OEM has been able to do to date.

moto x vs nexus 5

That’s not to say that the Nexus 5 feels terrible. In fact, the Nexus 5 comes close to feeling as good as the Moto X, even with its added size. Google kept the finishes extra soft, gave you two color options, and threw in design details like high-end ceramic buttons that stand out while using. It also feels somewhat pillowy when held, however, the ultimately flat back isn’t quite as comfortable as what Motorola has produced with the Moto X. There are also fairly noticeable seams and edges on the Nexus 5 where the the display reaches edges and where the backplate meets the side panels. We aren’t talking uncomfortably sharp, just something you’ll notice when comparing it to a Moto X.

In the end, in terms of design, you’ll have to choose whether or not a custom phone outweighs an extra bit of screen real estate. Both phones feel great in hand, my personal preference in this category is the Moto X though, if that wasn’t already obvious.

Software Experience

Now that we have former Google execs running Motorola, it’s with no surprise that their vision of Android runs parallel with Google’s. Stock Android is indeed king on either the Moto X or Nexus 5. With the Nexus 5 though, you are getting the latest version of Android, updates before anyone else (for the most part, right Nexus 4 owners?), and a true vision of what the Android team thinks of its mobile operating system. To add some extra spice to the Nexus 5, Google tossed in a new Google Experience Launcher (GEL) that is an exclusive. GEL is like a 2013’d stock Android launcher that brings Google Now to the front of the line with an always-listening “OK, Google” command. It also feels so much more polished and new school with transparent items and animations, a new (and old) way to add widgets, and a bigger overall appearance. The Phone app is much smarter than that of the Moto X, as well.

The rest is pretty much just stock Android 4.4. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that with the Moto X now running Android 4.4 as well, there is little that the Nexus 5 can do from a software perspective to stand out.

moto x vs nexus 5

With the Moto X, you are also getting stock Android, but Motorola has thrown in a handful of add-ons that some would argue (“some” meaning us) have made this the best phone of 2013. Every time I pick up my phone or take it out of my pocket, the screen partially turns on with a clock and notifications (also called “Active Display“). No buttons need to be pressed for this to happen. Active Display might be the single greatest smartphone software feature to be introduced in the last three years. But that’s not all that Motorola tossed in.

If I want to take a picture in an instant, I can do so using a wrist-twisting gesture that once again, does not require the press of a button. And last, I can talk to my Moto X even with its screen off and have it perform all sorts of actions (called “Touchless Control“). The Nexus 5 has to be unlocked and sitting on your home screen in order to be able to perform something similar. The Nexus 5 also requires you to tap the wake/unlock button on your phone, then swipe a camera icon or edge of the display to get into the camera for photo taking. You tell me which is quicker.

Our review discusses these three Moto X features in detail, but for me, these might be the ultimate separators between the two phones, especially now that Motorola has shown it can update this phone as quickly as Google can with some of its own Nexus devices. If I had written this post two weeks ago, before Motorola shocked the world with its Kit Kat update, this section may have come off much different.

Cameras

Neither the Moto X or Nexus 5 are going to win any photo competitions any time soon. I think it’s safe to say that the quality of photos taken with either are below that of the Galaxy S4, LG G2, Note 3, and new iPhone. I’d imagine you already know that though, and are fine with a decent camera if you are deciding between these two. That’s not to say that either is a terrible camera (well, the Nexus 5 tries to be at times), it just means that they take decent pictures.  To see sample photos taken with each, be sure to hit up this Moto X post and our Nexus 5 review. You tell me which you think wins that battle.

Instead of focusing on quality of photos, I’ve got some other reasons why I would pick one camera over the other. Generally speaking, I like smartphone cameras that are simple to operate and stay out of my way, that are updated often to improve picture quality, and can be launched in a matter of seconds. For those reasons alone, the Moto X camera is my choice between these two flagship phones.

moto x  vs nexus 5

The Nexus 5 – with its 8MP sensor and Optical Image stabilization – sounds like it should be a top tier smartphone camera, however, with its inability to focus, slow loading times, and dead-looking photos, Google has an immense amount of work to do to get this camera right. Again, my review tells you what I think of the Nexus 5’s camera. Spoiler alert – I hate it (in its current state).

The Moto X on the other hand, isn’t perfect yet manages to be good enough in a lot of ways. As was previously mentioned in the software section, the flick of a wrist launches the phone for instant picture taking. The UI has been minimized on it so dramatically, that you are left with only a few settings and really only one focus: to take pictures in a hurry. It’s shutter speed is fairly fast, has no trouble focusing, takes decent low-light shots, and works good enough out of the box without having to adjust a thing. Well, there aren’t any options to adjust, so it better work.

Motorola has started to prove that they want to take smartphone cameras seriously by pulling the camera app out of the Moto X and making it available for updates on Google Play. With this move, they can fine-tune the experience as regularly as is needed. With the first update to the camera, they made such major improvements that the outlook for Motorola and cameras can only be a positive one. Google has kept its camera app as a part of stock Android, so updates to it can currently only come through over-the-air operating system updates. They are apparently working on one that will fix the camera on the Nexus 5, we just have no idea when that’ll be. By the time they get around to it, Motorola may have issued another enhancer or two for the Moto X.

The Nexus 5 camera certainly has potential, a timeline for fulfilling that potential is currently MIA. And that has been the story of Nexus cameras for years.

Network

Are you are a Verizon customer? If yes, you have two choices. Buy the Moto X, since it’s available on every major carrier in the country, or leave Verizon, find yourself a plan on T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint, and then think about the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 does not work on Verizon’s network whatsoever, for reasons we can only guess.

If you are on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint already, then the good news is that get to try and weigh all that we have just walked through and decide which is the phone for you. The Nexus 5 is sold unlocked, so it can much more easily be moved from one carrier to another, while the Moto X if purchased directly from carriers is essentially SIM-locked to those carriers. If you are in good standing with AT&T, they should unlock your Moto X to work with T-Mobile’s network, but that takes a bit of work. There is also a GSM Developer Edition of the Moto X that should be SIM-unlocked giving you a bit more flexibility.

nexus 5 vs moto x

For the most part, you are looking at trade-offs with either phone here. No Verizon for the Nexus 5, but the Nexus 5 is also much more flexible should you be interested in changing carriers often. The Moto X is available everywhere, it just isn’t as flexible when it comes to carrier jumping.

Price

As mentioned previously, the Moto X is going to be $349 or $399 on December 2 in a massive Cyber Monday sale through Motorola’s online shop – that includes both MotoMaker orders and the Developer Editions. After December 2, the phone will more than likely go back up to its $499 and $549 price points. The Nexus 5 is $349 and $399 every single day of the week should you buy it through Google Play. It won’t go up in price, unless you buy it directly from a carrier.

As much as I love the Moto X, the price of the Nexus 5 is simply too amazing to pass up, unless of course you are buying one of these two phones on December 2. At $349 for the Moto X, with the software enhancements that Motorola has done along with free customizations through MotoMaker, it may be the best Cyber Monday deal we have seen in years. You’ll be leaving behind a 1080p display and the potential that is an OIS camera, however, the rest of the package may outweigh those two highlights from the Nexus 5.

Final Thoughts

Woof.

You guys probably know that I’m a Moto X fan, like, a really big Moto X fan. I’m also now a massive Nexus 5 fan outside of its camera. Both phones perform amazingly well, they run the newest version of Android (Kit Kat) before everyone else, and provide us with the preferred stock Android experience. Motorola has added some amazing features that make it stand out from all smartphones (Active Display, Touchless Control, etc.), while the Nexus 5 is pretty bare bones outside of the Google Experience Launcher (which can be sideloaded on your Moto X if you really need it). But the Nexus 5 has a far superior display, while the Moto X gives you one-handed operability, a better overall feel, and the option to customize it at no extra charge. The camera experience on the Moto X is also leading the way at this stage in their lives.

So what do you do on Cyber Monday? Talk about a tough decision. At $349 for the Moto X, it just seems like too good of a deal to pass up on. But then again, the Nexus 5 has everything you could ask for in a 2013 smartphone, yet manages to fall in at the same price every day of the week. If you had been holding out on a Moto X purchase, then I think you know what you need to do tomorrow. If you are still trying to decide between the Nexus 5 and Moto X after reading all of that, I’m not sure anything else I can say will help. At some point, you need to pull the trigger, not ask someone else to do the dirty work for you.

For those with credit card in hand, the Moto X Cyber Monday deal kicks off tomorrow (December 2) at 6AM Pacific, 9AM Eastern.

  • Lee McLaurin

    The other option, for a little more money, is the Droid Maxx. You get the same experience as the Moto X with a better battery, bigger screen, wireless charging and a phone that’s built like a tank.. No Moto maker though.

  • Captain_Doug

    Moto x for one reason. Size. The Moto X really is the ideal size. I agree that larger screen size is better for most things but with a phone, you can just hold it closer so it all depends on what feels right in your hand. Others may have a different preference for what feels good but the Moto X is ideal for me.

  • etche

    And how does battery life compare between both phones?

    • https://plus.google.com/110773438514346746273/ tjhrulz

      This. With all the people complaining about the Nexus 5 battery life being unpredictable this was the section of this article I was looking for.

  • Spencer Walker

    Nexus 5 for me only thing I like better about the moto x is the always listening feature that I wouldn’t even use that much

    • Lee McLaurin

      I thought the same thing. I use it all the time and Moto Assist.

      • Spencer Walker

        Both are great phones I think of the moto x like its the Verizon nexus since its already got kit Kat I ended getting the 5 cause if the price and bigger display

  • Knlegend1

    Just had a random thought. What if the moto x really is a nexus device that Google is testing the waters with. I find it interesting that these are the two hot phones currently despite the price. I love my HTC One but I would love the Moto X even more.

  • trd105

    Is there any way that Motorola lowers their 0% interest deal for getting this phone or do you think it will stay at $549?

    • Larizard

      i was sad when i found out that i couldn’t use their new financing option towards this deal… :(

      • Gadgets

        Where did you find this out?

        • Larizard

          Moto site says it’s only for purchases of $549 or more:

          http://www.motorola.com/us/motorola-finance-pdp.html

          • Gadgets

            Digging a bit deeper, it might be that 549 number applies to the 18 month plan only.

            No Interest if paid in full within 6 or 12 months. Interest will be charged to your account (at the variable Purchase APR) from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within the promotional period or if you make a late payment. Minimum monthly payments are required for this plan during the promotional period. Motorola Credit Accounts are offered by Comenity Capital Bank who determines qualifications for credit and promotion eligibility. Minimum Interest Charge is $2.00 per credit plan. The variable Purchase APR is 28.99%, based on the Prime Rate. Required minimum purchase of $549 for the 18 month credit plan. If you do not want this plan call: 1-855-334-3613 (TDD/TTY 1-888-819-1918).

  • meijin3

    Considering getting the Developer Edition Moto X tomorrow. I heard the back was slippery though. Could anyone elaborate? I was looking forward to getting a really premium feeling device but it looks like they aren’t showing the same love to the Developer units.

    • trd105

      I was in the verizon store this past weekend looking at the moto X. They had both the woven black and a motomaker green color displayed. The Woven one (the developer edition is woven white) was a little slipperier (is that a word?) than the motomaker one.

      • meijin3

        Thanks for the reply. Is it a big deal? I don’t want it to feel cheap and Samsung-y.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Nexus 5

  • adrenalinerush12

    I am a long time iPhone user and I am totally getting bored with Apple. I owned the Moto X for a week before the 5S came out just to see if I liked it and I traded it for the 5S. (LOVED the X, just couldn’t resist the Apple effect.) I regret the decision and now can’t make up my mind on what to do. 2 options: Sell this 5S and snag the Moto X again tomorrow and make a profit, or hold on to the 5S until the next big thing comes out (Moto X2, S5, etc.) and probably still be able to sell the 5S for a lot. I’m afraid the X won’t hold its value long enough for me to break even next go around.

  • Arnoldo Lazaro Rivera

    Hoping their are some sweet deals on the LG G2 or Note 3… or else… just SWAPPA

  • Brian Menius

    I really started to get my credit card out on standby for tomorrow morning to pick up an X so I could see what it’s all about. There are two reasons I cannot board that failboat, though. Going down to a 5″ screen on the Nexus 5 from my Note II was difficult enough; I can’t lose another 0.3″ of real estate. Also, neither phone would do me any good when my wife discovers such antics and ends me.

    Maybe next year’s flagship phone, Moto… maybe next year’s.

    • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

      Agree, I feel like the X is a little too small in this day and age

      • Kofi Williams

        4.7 inch screen is small?

        • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

          I know it sounds crazy, but compared with the 5″ devices it feels noticbly lacking to me. Maybe it’s because it’s around the size of my GNex, and therefore doesn’t “feel” like an “upgrade.”

          • Kofi Williams

            Likely. The on-screen buttons take away room. I also have an N5 and the Moto X looks small compared to it but it’s still much bigger than the Iphone. I’d say if you have a tablet for videos and mobile gaming then it doesn’t matter that the Moto X is smaller but if you’re into visual media on your phone then a bigger better display makes sense.

          • John Garlits

            I switched from Gnex to Moto X, and believe me it’s a huge upgrade. Battery, smoother performance, screen quality (my Gnex started getting ugly lines in it),and the actually useful extras from Motorola. It’s not a huge screen, but one-hand operation is super easy. Depends on what you want or need. It’s more a phone than phablet, and I have an N7, so I do the tablet functions like gaming on that mostly.

  • jkapper1

    This is still a tough decision for me. I think the nexus will have better resale, as it supports sprint spark, and can be moved to any carrier less verison. Not to mention the faster processor is more future proof for updates . Two years from now i think the nexus 5 will offer the better experience and can be resold for more .

  • Rodeojones000

    I’m not leaving Verizon (coverage too good in my area). Had I not snagged a G2 last month for $49, while also getting 6GB of data for the 2GB cost, I’d jump all over the Moto X. My wife has one and it’s a fantastic device. I prefer my G2 for the developer following (leaps and bounds more than the Moto X and this is very important to me), but the Moto X is surely no slouch.

  • Adrelion

    Definitely want to pick up a new phone and would love the Moto X, but with work and it being limited supply. Chances of me picking one up is slim. Think I’ll just wait for the next Moto X on Verizon.

  • heyheythere

    I ordered the white Moto X for 1 penny on Amazon to replace my battle-worn Galaxy Nexus. It comes Tuesday. I can’t wait.

  • sc0rch3d

    I have been back n forth over the debate. The latest LiquidSmooth ROM incorporates a kanged version of Active Display that I use on my S3 and I could not believe how AWESOME this feature is. However, I can’t find anywhere that the Moto X bootloader is unlockable on ATT unless you buy the Dev Edition. I have little faith that Moto will produce the best ROM for the phone and therefore I would want to be able to flash whatever phone I buy next. I know the N5 is close in size to the S3/S4 but the Moto size/shape is so much better thought out. I like the S3 screen, so the PPI on either phone is not that big of a deal.

    Decisions, decisions….and thank God for the problem of too many.

  • Jeremy Gross

    i was haveing trouble upgrading my phone to moto x, so i went with free droid razr hd holiday sale on verizon. great phone, same screen, better external hardware and micro sd, ill loose the bells and wissles but i would prob get over them

  • delrayser

    So how limited do we think these “limited quantities” are? Anyone want to place bets on when Moto runs out of their $349 doorbusters and jacks up the price?

  • clobberedchina

    Is there any indication that the Moto X will continue to receive Android system updates or was this recent upgrade to 4.4 a one time thing?

    • AngryBadger

      Isn’t there some sort of 2-year “commitment” to upgrades from motorola? I can’t cite the source but I remember reading an article about that is why the Bionic got left behind quietly. I’d imagine at least one more update past 4.4 or fully patched 4.4 and left behind after that. of course this is all my speculation since I can’t bring up any sources.

  • hyperbeatser

    sorry my dear GS3 you have been a great phone for the past 1.5 years, Moto X will be taking your place (Verizon) for the foreseeable future

    • wsmather

      Same situation, but concerned lest I am unable to mod the Moto X, unless I get the developer edition.

  • 3M4NU31

    Hey, what’s the name of that clock widget used on the N5?

    • EnterTheNexus

      Elegante for UCCW…

      • 3M4NU31

        Cool thanks!

  • EnterTheNexus

    All Verizon 4G LTE phones are factory unlocked, btw.

    • AngryBadger

      you referring to the SIM right?

      • Paul Hansen

        yes. They work on VZW, ATT, TMO without any additional effort. LTE included.

        • Jeremy Gross

          droid razr hd? i thought u have to play with the radios?

          • Paul Hansen

            Who brought up the RAZR HD?

          • Jeremy Gross

            u said all work with other carriers

          • Paul Hansen

            I didn’t say all. Nexus did. Regardless, he is accurate if you’re talking about all 2013 and later devices. It’s part of thier block C agreement. As the RAZR HD is not a “current” device, this would not apply. He should have been more clear.

        • clobberedchina

          I am not the smartest kid in class; I just do not understand this.
          The Verison version works just fine on AT&T?

          • clobberedchina

            A little research. Don’t take this as gospel, folks. I am just trying to figure it out.
            “looks like the VZ version is missing the 2, 5, 7 and 17 bands for LTE.”
            http://androidforums.com/motorola-moto-x/774514-will-verizon-motox-work-tmobile-att.html

            “Currently, AT&T operates its network on 4 different bands, if you’re looking at the 3G / 4G frequencies. AT&T’s 3G uses the 850 and 1900MHz bands (aka bands 5 and 2, respectively), while its 4G LTE service uses bands 4 and 17.”
            http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11/04/psa-yes-the-nexus-5-is-fully-compatible-with-atts-lte-and-hspa-networks/

          • clobberedchina

            Sorry for going on and on about this. I will shut up now. I am completely lost.

          • Paul Hansen

            “A little research” – ATT uses primarily band 4 LTE (supports more users @ higher frequencies but less range – Read: populous regions. Read: where people actually live). They use band 17 in areas where they need further range but less users. Read: no one lives there.

            GSM support (HSPA+): ATT Uses 850 and 1900 MHz – VZ Moto X Supports both.

            So in conclusion, after you’ve done your research, you’d discover that if you live in the areas that 95% of our population lives ATT uses band 4 and you’re good for LTE coverage. If you’re in those areas that aren’t covered by LTE, your HSPA+ coverage is likely just as fast because you’re almost alone on that network anyway…

            Sorry for ripping you but I’m irritable and people that imply I haven’t done my research piss me off. If you didn’t mean it that way then disregard my hostility. :)

          • Paul Hansen

            In most metro areas ATT uses band 4 LTE which is what the moto x supports. TMO uses band 4 exclusively. VZW uses 13 and 4. The units are SIM unlocked out of the box so all you have to do is drop in the SIM from TMO or ATT and you’ll be fine.

    • billy

      if you want to maximize carrier flexibility, and you prefer motomaker over dev edition, it sounds like the model to buy is the t-mo version.

      based on what i read on XDA, the t-mo variant is essentially the same device as the dev edition (has all of the T-Mo and AT&T bands), whereas the AT&T version lacks one of t-mo’s main HSPA bands. the same forums also suggest that the t-mo variant is SIM unlocked out of the box.

      at this point this is all second hand, though i’ll be putting this to the test in the next couple of weeks on my wife’s moto x (i’ve got the n5). we have been using the t-mo $30 plan for the last 3 weeks to test our coverage (which is pretty good in our area), and now we’re going to give straight talk (AT&T) a spin to see if there is any difference. worst case, at least as far as i know, we *might* have to spend $8 to get her phone SIM unlocked.

  • Bradley Albert Nemitz

    Where did the 9AM Eastern time come from? I haven’t seen an official announcement anywhere.

  • Janssen W

    I was in the same boat for awhile and could decide between the Moto X and the Nexus 5. After spending time with both phones, I decided that the wireless charging capabilities on the Nexus 5 as well as the beautiful IPS HD 1080p @ 445ppi screen were exactly what I needed.
    What finally pushed me over the edge (carrier-wise), was the fact that Verizon was never going to support the Nexus 5. BigRed doesn’t deserve my business, so I jumped ship to T-mobile. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the speed of service in my area.

  • renGek

    Just glad that we have reached the point of many really good android phones to choose from where no one phone is clearly better than the other.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Indeed.

      Except for Android updates.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    Also LG G2 is unlockable and can be considered a nexus to me… i’m running cm 10.1 nightly just like my GNex!

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    “Are you are a Verizon customer? If yes, you have two choices.” @Kellex

    If you’re on verizon u only have Moto X as an option, not the Nexus 5?

    • ToddAwesome

      your options are Moto X or leave Verizon. two options.

      • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

        oh lmao i thought he meant phone choices

  • AbbyZFresh

    Easy, Moto X. The perfect Android everyman phone.

    Nexus 5 is primarily for tech tinkerers and developers.

  • Hothfox

    I’m really hoping most people will be on their way to work at this time so I can grab one. I can be a couple minutes late to my 9 AM EST meeting for this <.< I sold my Nexus 5 because AT&T just doesn't have the coverage in all the areas I need it to, so sadly, I am going to have to stick with Verizon. I desperately need something to replace my Galaxy Nexus now.

    • Larizard

      I’m with you. How did you sell your N5? Swappa? I have one coming this week, but I plan to get a Moto X tomorrow.

      • Hothfox

        I sold it on eBay. I would have put it on Swappa, but there were a lot of Nexus 5 listings, and Swappa probably gets less page views than eBay. I figured eBay would move it quicker. Sold it in 2 hours!

  • jnt

    I’m sorry – I’ll give you the *occasional* slow focus and slow load times on the Nexus 5 camera (and I have 3 young kids). But the Moto X is by no means a speedster in either category either. In general, I’ve found the N5 to be far superior in color reproduction and picture quality than the Moto X – especially in low light – with minimal noise. My short take on both cameras is this – Moto X is easier to use, Nexus 5 is much better in photo quality. And don’t forget video quality – the N5 , IMO, is superior there as well, with much louder sound reproduction and color reproduction again, with the OIS really helping. I’m not saying the N5 is the best camera out, but it gets some unnecessary hate for sure and overall I’ve found the overall camera experience much nicer on the N5 than the X.

    • Relaxasaurus
      • jnt

        Have you used it yet? I haven’t kept up with the thread, but read through the whole thing a couple of weeks ago and kept seeing mixed opinions on if it helped or not, so I didn’t mess with it.

        • Relaxasaurus

          Nah but it looks promising. My biggest gripes are the colors (which seem to be tweaked) and the shutter speed (which has yet to be satisfactory). Still waiting on an official update from Google!

  • Jeremy

    On Verizon with a note 3 and grabbing a moto x tomorrow. Note 3 is cool but big phone got old quick.

    • Derail Doax

      Seriously? I’m very much convinced the Note 3 is the best phone I’ve ever used and I’ve owned a lot. There’s nothing about this jumbo phone that leaves me wanting more.

    • Mitchman

      Wow. I don’t know where I’ll go after the Note 3 – I love this device. Switching to the Moto X would just be unacceptable.

    • Jeremy Case

      While I do love the Note 3 I feel it has a lot of really useless features. Wanting to get back to a more stock Android experience. The size is nice but after a while it gets cumbersome.

      • bd1212

        These are my exact feelings after owning a Note 3 for a few days before I sold it.

  • mcdonsco

    Is this for all editions of the moto x (the $150 off)??? Just wondering, if it’s dev, mymoto ones or just black/white, all?

    Also, does moto x have wireless charging?

    • AngryBadger

      No, the moto x does not have wireless charging. The droid maxx does though.

  • tu3218

    Just got a brand new S4 two weeks ago. Do I pull the trigger on this deal and sell my S4 on craiglist/ebay? Probably could break even here, as it shouldn’t be too difficult to sell my S4. I really worry going from 1080p screen to 720p.

    • mosbysjedi

      I would keep the S4, if I had one I wouldn’t be thinking about this deal

      • tu3218

        Why you say that? Don’t get me wrong I love the S4. The screen is extremely sharp and I get through the day easily on the battery. Part of the problem is my addiction in always wanting a new phone. Active notifications is just so enticing.

    • Derail Doax

      The idea of swapping from a GS4 to a Nexus 5 is about a change of features. Great camera vs OK camera, Snapdragon 600 vs 800, expandable storage vs fixed, TouchWiz vs Google Experience. If it were me I’d swap for a Nexus. But that’s because I value the On Screen Multitasking button and being they’re both the same screen size I’d go Nexus 5. If you were comparing Note 3 vs Nexus 5 then I’d say Note 3.

      • tu3218

        Yeah I wish I could get the Nexus 5, but unfortunately I’m stuck with the evil Verizon. I do still have unlimited data so I can’t even use my upgrade. I know the S4 is a overall better phone but the MotoX just offers unique features that seem more useful than the S4’s unique features. But I guess you can’t take away the screen and camera of the S4 that are stand out features.

  • Jordan

    What’s the line up for 2014 phones on Verizon? Anything worth waiting for? I was really hoping for the Nexus 5 but I guess I can give up that fantasy now…

    • Mitchman

      There won’t be anything new until May/June on Verizon. :(

  • Kevin Hill

    If you’re on Verizon, the answer is simple enough. Wait for the Moto X2 comes out with better, future proof specs. The reason they haven’t released one yet is they don’t want to have another Droid Razor (then HD, then Maxx, then Maxx HD) fiasco on their (motorola’s) hands.

    • guest

      Dumb

  • JDMendiola

    proud owner of both the n5 and moto x . its hard to chose one over the other. they both have their pros and cons . love them both equally

  • Turb0wned

    Easy choice. Moto X. And yes I owned both until I sold my N5.

    • Jordan

      Why?

      • AbbyZFresh

        Because Nexus 5 has no real useful features for the average user to utilize.

        Plus the N5 is too big.

        • Relaxasaurus

          On the Nexus 5 I am amazed how quickly I can switch between big apps like Facebook, to Chrome, to a game, to Maps, etc… I’m guessing the Moto X is no slouch in that department but I’m also willing to bet it’s not as smooth.

          I am completely jealous of Moto X’s form factor though. On the subway I have to use two hands to play some games and it’s a major PITA.

          • bonix

            it is just as smooth. I have never had noticeable slowdown when switching apps.

  • jack nunez

    great review

  • Firelight

    I had an Ultra for about 4 days (new phone – old job – sigh) and absolutely loved it for everything but its size. Coming from the GNex I can say that the Moto X is the way to go. I’m plopping down my $399 tomorrow.

    My only nibble in this whole Google/Motorola family tree is that Motorola doesn’t accept Google Wallet for payments. Sure I can use my own credit card – it just seems they’re not fully – what’s the Dilberty word I’m looking for – synchopatical.

    • Tirionfive

      They Do! with the 4.4 update, the Tap and Pay works like a charm. I am currently on a rooted Moto X VZW. KIT KAT FTW!

      • Firelight

        I meant on Moto’s website…

    • Paul Hansen

      Tap to pay/wallet etc work fine on the 4.4 update. This includes big red (VZW). No hackery necessary.

  • Derail Doax

    MOTO G!

  • triangle8

    Easy answer for me. If you want the best experience today, but not necessarily future proof, it’s the Moto X. But if you want the phone that won’t be obsolete in another year, two or three, I think you have to go with the nexus.

    • JDMendiola

      ENTER. ? :]

  • KingSpeedy

    Pillowy backside?

    • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

      All the better to take a nap on.

  • XvierX

    I can’t seem to part ways with my unlimited data on Verizon so I’ll be ordering a Moto X tomorrow morning. I have already owned one but ended up returning it in anticipation of the arrival of moto maker on big red. It was an excellent phone.

  • mosbysjedi

    I’m currently on Verizon with a Galaxy Nexus weighing my options on whether to get the Moto X or not, I really would like to get a new phone but I’m too indecisive on if it’s worth the money

    • Robert Willis

      I’m in the same boat. At this point I think I’m going to stick with the GNex and wait for the 2014 phones to come out. Moto X 2???

      • mosbysjedi

        Assuming a Galaxy S 5 will be out within the next 4-6 months, I was just going to wait on that, but this deal might be too good to pass up with not having to give up unlimited data

        • Robert Willis

          The deal is very tempting don’t get me wrong especially considering being able to keep unlimited data. I’ll sleep on it tonight.

          • mosbysjedi

            I decided not to buy it, will wait for the new gen of phones to come out and just ride my Nexus to it’s slow laggy death

          • Dean Milord

            Remember that since Moto Maker is down that the deal will be extented to Weds and next Mon. So Why not use Moto finance and and grab this phone on the low fot whatever service you want. I happily left Verizon and switched to T-Mobile. I have a minimal decline in service and am saving over $150 a month, thats including the finance fee for the devices.

          • mosbysjedi

            Just saw that it’s been extended to Wednesday, this could change my views now that I have a couple of extra days to decide

    • thefullritz

      Totally worth it. Couldn’t believe how tired my gnex was. Battery life is twice I was getting with the gnex

      • mosbysjedi

        I have 4 batteries (1 stock and 3 free from Sprint) it would be nice not having to carry extra batteries to get through the day

        • JZ

          I’m in the same boat as you! 1 stock and 2 free from Sprint. God this deal is good…

        • Andrew Dahl

          I’d so go with the Moto X. I’m absolutely loving this phone! :-)

      • heyheythere

        So it lasts TWO whole hours??

      • Andrew Dahl

        Sounds better than my gnex. ;-) I’m easily getting four times the battery life out of my Moto X.

        (24 hours of moderate usage, longest run so far was 38 hours)

    • soccerburn55

      I had the Gnex and got the Moto X during the keep unlimited extravaganza and I will say that I have no regretted it at all. This is coming from the OG Droid and the Gnex with the all the ROMs that I love. I loved flashing ROMs but with how good the Moto X is, I haven’t even felt the need to flash a ROM on this phone. Well not totally true, I did love Paranoid Android and its Halo feature.

      • jaredgreenwald

        This. Got a Moto X @ Amazon for a penny and did the add-a-line deal to keep unlimited. I had been holding out for a phone with some specs more in line with the N5, but at the end of the day, the Moto X just has a great feel to it. Definitely refreshing from the tiredness of the Gnex. I’ve kept up with the latest versions of Android with ROMs over the past few years and with KitKat on the Moto X it seems like lightyears ahead. Not to mention the added 1G of RAM probably helps.

    • renGek

      I just got my N5. next week I can dump my GN and Verizon and save about $30-$50/month with tmo prepaid. I have both phones on side by side and set to the same brightness. The N5 is so much brighter and sharper text. The really big difference is just opening chrome. The GN is so ridiculously slow now even after a couple of factory resets. I guess Gn just hasn’t been able to keep up with newer more demanding software. But the best part is giving Verizon the finger.

      • Relaxasaurus

        Haha amen brother. This was me in a nutshell exactly one month ago. So glad to be free of Verizon, throttled “unlimited” grandfathered plan and all.

      • 4g63mark

        I have the Droid Mini on side by side with the G2. Motorola Droid Mini wins. Can’t see a difference in resolution

    • ynksbsbll2

      I bought a Nexus 5 a while back, tested T-Mobile and AT&T (decided to go with Straight Talk on AT&T) and am currently waiting for a new SIM card so I can finally port my Verizon number and dump them for good.

      • 4g63mark

        I’ve officially used every service offered. Verizon wins without competition in my area. Glad your happy with what ya got though. Plus nobody will think less of you when you come back to big red.

        • ynksbsbll2

          AT&T has been surprisingly good in my area. A single bar of LTE pulls about 15mbps down, whereas 3 or 4 bars of Verizon LTE gets maybe 4-6mbps. Even HSPA on AT&T beats out Verizon most of the time. But again, that’s just where I live, so it works great.

    • xzero425x

      I know that feel, having 3 batteries to last the day, then got the g2. wowwwww. what a difference, i goto bed some days and still have 50% battery, its insane. never had to charge it once before sleeping

    • Dylan

      I’ve settled on the fact that I want to stay on Verizon and keep my grandfathered unlimited plan for now. I was going to wait till 2014 to see what was coming, but I’m getting plenty sick and tired of my GNex. Plus, when Motorola announced that unlocking dev phones would no longer void your warranty I felt less inclined to wait.

      It basically left me with two choices…Moto X and Droid Maxx. I REALLY wanted the larger battery of the Maxx, and wireless charging would have been nice (if it’s compatible with the N7 wireless charger). I could care less about the larger screen size, and kind of prefer my phone on the smaller side.

      The $270 difference (includes NY sales tax) is a steep premium for a battery and wireless charging. I like toys. I could get a Chromebook for that.

      If the Maxx was also to go on sale, then it might be a more difficult decision. If you end up not liking it you could probably turn around and sell it for a good price and get back most of your money.

      • Galen

        Unless Verizon has raised the price of the Maxx, it should be 499 off contract. The 32GB Moto X will be 399. Taxes aside, this difference is much closer to a hundred dollars, not 270. Hope this helps with your decision.

        • Dylan

          I was speaking to the developer edition…$649.99. Yes, you could go for the cheaper version if you’re content with a locked bootloader you could go with the $499.99 version.

      • zurginator

        I just REALLY wish you could customize a Developer Edition…

        • Dylan

          Nothing a cheep case and some spray paint won’t fix…or at least slighly improve. At least with that you can change your mind when you relize that maybe the crimson body with yellow accents what you really wanted after all. lol

    • C-Law

      So worth it for a moto x!

    • lasj

      I went from the Nexus to the X … it’s a great phone. You can’t unlock the bootloader, but I’ve found that I really don’t need to tinker with it. Battery last for hours and it’s already at 4.4. You can’t go wrong.

    • morgan boyle

      just waiting for my wood version!

    • Tyler

      I got a Moto X a couple weeks ago when the motomaker came to verizon and can honestly say its completely worth it. There are only 3 things i dont like about my moto x being headphone placement, how long it takes to charge(2hrs off, 3hr on roughly) and how it rotates on a table. Other than that it is significantly better in every category. Display is brighter and whiter, buttery smooth with the only hiccup being with active display and 4.4 not working the best when unlocking but that can be fixed through a play store update. It has 4.4, camera is great compared to the gnex, i get 4g in areas where i would either struggle or would go to 3g, the way it feels is great, its smaller than the gnex yet same screen size. Battery life is SO much better, it got the point where I was carrying my charger around with me to prevent it from dying after an hour or so of screen time, but now I don’t need to. I get about 3hrs of screen time and 16-18 of standby time during a usual day. The speaker is about 2 or 3 times louder than the gnex one and louder than my friends HTC One (although not as good sounding from a quality standpoint). If you plan on staying on verizon this is the phone to get and I can’t recommend it enough.

    • Dean Milord

      I had the GNex on Verizon too. So over the bulky battery and high priced service. Get the Moto X and leave Verizon for T-Mobile (or some other pre-paid service). I left and grabbed the G2 and I love everything!! I still might grab a Moto X next Mon and finance it for $349 and just keep both devices!!!

    • John Garlits

      I can totally recommend the Moto X. Came from just where you did. I got the Republic Wireless version, and the battery performance is good enough I don’t worry as much about saving music on device to save battery. I can just stream and do just fine, so I’m actually good with just the 16 GB storage.

      • mosbysjedi

        I bought one during the Wednesday promo codes, I like it, got 17 hours the other day and had 30% left on my phone, way better than a Galaxy Nexus with 1 regular and 2 extended batteries

        • John Garlits

          Shocking, isn’t it?

  • thefullritz

    Bought the moto x two weeks ago for $50 on Verizon. Thinking of buying one for my wife tomorrow for xmas even though she has 10 months before her up grade.

  • Robert Willis

    Screw it. I’m keeping my Verizon GNex until next year’s Moto X comes out. I’ll deal.

    • Isaiah Machiz

      dont do it. the gnex is an awful, awful device. I got an sgs3 and it blew my mind. I’ve got an s4 and im debating jumping ship to the motox

      • Robert Willis

        Yeah I know but I have a routine that works for me right now. For others it may make more sense for which I say, go for it! A coworker of mine has the Moto X dev edition so I’ve played with it a lot recently. I just think this is the beginning of a turn around for Motorola. I want to wait to see what they do in 2014 before I commit.

        • Paul Hansen

          I’ll just buy that too :P…

  • mcdonsco

    Easy answer for those on Verizon…if it weren’t for Verizon I’d go with the n5 as I’ve never owned a nexus phone and would like to even though I’m a huge moto fan (and was through the last few years that everyone hated moto, except me…funny how everyone likes them now).

  • mcdonsco

    Same company? Since when are lg and moto the same company?

    • Nate Bousfield

      LG makes the Nexus 5, but it’s really controlled by Google.

      • mcdonsco

        I know that, but its still lg and moto…not just Google.

        • William Kister

          Google does own Motorola Mobile now.

          • mcdonsco

            I know that as well and it still does not mean Motorola and lg are the same company.

        • renGek

          Lg was just the contractor doing the work as specified by the customer, google. Google is making the big decisions in both cases.

  • F_it

    Might as well buy both.

  • Andrew

    I have both and because the Nexus 5 is 349 everyday I would go with Moto X on Monday if I had to pick one. They are both awesome phones and I’m happy I have em.

    • Alex

      That’s a good point. I ordered a Nexus 5 from the ebay special but I can always cancel if I get the deal tomorrow.

    • jnt

      just curious what about the X would make you pick it for the same price?

      • Paul Hansen

        The X fits better in hand and since 99% of apps can’t use the other 2 cores in the CPU all they do is drain battery while they idle along. Everyday performance is about the same on the nexus (I own both). The screen is slightly larger but the resolution is almost indistinguishable without peering at it from inches away. Again, everyday performance. The edge goes to Moto in the software tweaks and since the update schedule seems to be a non-issue for this phone (I can wait a few weeks for updates… lol. keep up the speed moto!) I use my X as my daily driver.

        • jnt

          Thanks for the explanation!

        • LionStone

          That is not accurate in my experience at all, “the other 2 cores in the CPU all they do is drain battery while they idle along.” My DNA and N5 get excellent idle and standby time.