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Nexus 5 vs. Moto X – Price, Feature and Spec Comparison

When it comes to Google phones, these two are among the best. The Moto X is the flagship smartphone of Motorola Mobility. It used to be owned by Google from 2012, but Lenovo recently acquired the company. The Nexus 5, co-developed by Google and LG is one of the best smartphones available on the market today offering high-end performance for a very good price. We want to find out which one is the best based on what they have to offer.

Moto X

Codenamed “X Phone”, the Moto X was designed for mainstream users, lending them the ability to custom-order the device in different color variations. The Moto X was praised by users for its hardware, performance, unique user experience and battery life. Its camera was criticized however, for having bad image quality and lack of some basic features.


The Moto X has a simple design, with a soft touch finish. Thanks to the slim bezel around its edges the screen feels bigger and fills up almost all of the front side of the device. If you buy it in white make sure you also get a case for it. Thanks to the woven texture on it’s back cover it will capture every bit of dirt it comes into contact with, even the grease from your hands.  If you want to order it in different color and personalize it with custom engravings, you can use the Moto Maker service on the manufacturer’s website.

Display & Camera

The Moto X comes equipped with a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display @ 720p resolution and 316ppi. Thanks to its OLED technology it offers grate image quality and contrast levels. It also includes a 10.5 megapixel main and a 2.1 megapixel front camera. The camera app was custom built by Motorola which, although offers intuitive interface and features geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama and HDR, lacks optical image stabilization.

Hardware & Software

The Moto X packs a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor using a Snapdragon S4 Pro system chip. It makes use of 2 GB of system RAM and comes with 16/32 GB internal storage depending on the model. Sadly, it has no microSD support so the internal storage can’t be expanded. On the connectivity side the Moto X comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC and USB support.

Motorola changed very little on the Android 4.4.2 OS that comes with the device but the new features that were included make all the difference. One of these features is the voice control system. Using an on-board language processor, the device can be configured to recognize the user’s voice and respond to the phrase “OK Google Now” that will allow access to all of the Google Now’s and Motorola’s own voice commands. The phone is capable of listening to this phrase even when the screen is turned off. Another very useful feature is called Active Notification. This will wake the phone up, displaying any new notification on a special black&with lock screen. Thanks to the AMOLED display, the black color is rendered by switching off the responsible pixels and as a result conserve power.


The Moto X includes a 2200mAh non-removable battery that should last more than a day, depending on usage. Thanks to the Super AMOLED display’s energy efficient design the Moto X is capable of achieving great battery life even with active usage.

Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 is a hugely popular device on the smartphone market. It has everything going for it, big screen, good specs and a very good price. Lets see how it stands up against the Moto X.


Made out of a polycarbonate shell, the Nexus 5 looks similar to the Nexus 7. Like the Moto X it comes with a soft touch finish but with a flat back cover. It can’t, by any extent be called elegant but it feels solid and you don’t have to worry about it getting scratched too much.

Display & Camera

The Nexus 5 comes with a 4.95-inch IPS LCD display capable of 1080p resolution and 445 ppi pixel density. It sports an 8MP main camera which because of its buggy camera app could not deliver its full potential. The Android 4.4.2 update fixed many bugs including the camera app’s and as the 4.4.3 update is already rolling out, the Nexus 5 should become more stable than ever. The main camera’s features include touch focus, face detection, photo sphere, HDR, dual recording and it’s capable of capturing 1080p videos. It also comes with a 1.3 MP secondary camera.

Hardware & Software

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, 2.26Ghz quad-core Krait 400 processor and 2GB of RAM are more than enough for today’s apps and games to run lag free on the Nexus 5. Depending on the model, the Nexus 5 ships with 16 or 32GB of internal storage, with no microSD support. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, micro USB, GPS, GLONASS and LTE.

The Nexus 5 initially ran on Android 4.4 but Google made sure it receives all the new updates it has to offer to keep it compatible on the market. The new Android 4.4.3 update is currently rolling out for all Nexus models so you don’t have to worry about it getting outdated any time soon.


The Nexus 5 uses a 2300mAh battery which should be enough to power your device for a day but some users are complaining that the battery drains in just a few hours. The Nexus 5’s battery life is expected to get better with the new Android 4.4.3 update, which should bring better optimization to the OS making it less of a power hog.


The only factor we haven’t talked about is the price. You can pick up a Nexus 5 for around $500, maybe even less depending on store discounts. The Moto X is a bit cheaper, costing around $450 carrier free. Taking all the facts into consideration the choice between the two may come down to what you are after. If you want a bigger screen then go with the Nexus 5. If you want good battery life then go with the Moto X. The list could go on… The Nexus 5 may have the better hardware but the Moto X brings so much more to the table, with its unique features and intuitive design. No matter which one you end up with you can’t really go wrong on either of them. If we would have to pick however, we’d go with the Moto X simply because it offers a better value factor.



About Steve Freeman

Tech enthusiast and RPG gamer, I've been surrounded by technology and PC hardware my entire life. I'm fascinated by anything mobile, and when I'm not tinkering with some newly released gadget, I love to immerse myself in the epic tales of Role Playing Games.

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  1. The Moto is sub $400 without at contract on Motorola’s website or via the carriers not $600. No discussion of the X8 platform running on the Moto X?

  2. Sounds like a biased review to me. Where’s he getting his pricing from?? The nexus 5 starts out at $349 on the google play stores website. The Moto X is similarly priced on Moto Maker. When it first came out the Moto X was a $600 phone when sold on the carriers, the Nexus 5 is at $449 on T-Mobile and Sprint. Not sure why anyone would buy either of these phones on contract and pay the extra money. You can buy the 32 gig Nexus 5 off contract for the price they are charging for the 16 gig on contract. Stupid..

    • Your exactly right. I bought my Nexus 5 32G, for 399 from Google play (last November). They need to do their research and get the facts right.

    • the nexus won;t otherwise work for Sprint

      • Wrong… Worked for me.

        • xxx4 is clearly wrong, this phone can be activated on any of the CDMA cellular bands. The North American version with slightly fewer bands, and the EU version being much more capable. Until the next Android update hits, Sprint Spark bands won’t work meaning you have a crippled phone until Sprint / Google figure the bugs out.

          That being said, I bought my phone through T-Mobile and spread the cost of the device over a period of months. This was a soft credit check and still came as a surprise to me. Basically opened a short term loan for this device interest free. Still and win win for me coming from iPhone 5 on Verizon.

      • Google has it on their own site with a big yellow Sprint logo. So, Google and Sprint would beg to differ.

    • An article written yesterday about a phone (Nexus 5) that is almost a year old is strange. Even stranger, as you pointed out, is that they article states it being $500. Google has it for $349, T-Mobile – $399, Best Buy – $449, Sprint – $400. Even eBay doesn’t have them listed that high. But, being that it is unlocked at $349 from Google (with the Hotspot being free), there is almost no need to compare it with anything else.

  3. Completely disagree with this, nexus 5 is a much better phone !

    • I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to disagree.

      • The nexus 5’s processor is the latest and fastest out yet! Every phone I’ve did a speed performance test with the nexus has beaten them all! I agree nexus had some week factors but the speed? It is unbeatable

        • True, the nexus 5 is fast, but that doesn’t make it a better phone.

          • That would be a matter of opinion, but I’d say most people would say the faster phone is better, more future proof and such. And the N5 has a better screen, pretty much the only thing anyone would prefer a motox over a nexus 5 for is the software enhancements, and the voice control, and if you look at the plethora of open source development for the 5 that pretty much makes this point mute… Oh and I agree with everyone, horrible article that’s 8 months late and full of bs… Click bait?

  4. Its like you woke up from your 6 month slumber and decided to write on something that is much better written by others, 6 months ago. Please .. its time to go back into slumber!

  5. Nexus 5 for $500? Where are you seing this? There are two models, one for $349 and one for $399. Terribly misleading article at several points. Sheer clickbait.

  6. Nexus 5 for $500?? Google store offers it for 350$. What the hell?

  7. ‘Taking all facts into consideration’ I don’t think so.. Bullshit article. .

  8. It does sound like 8 months ago. The Moto X was a mid-tier phone at a top tier price — back then. It was over-hyped like you would not believe. Whereas, the Nexus 5 is a top tier phone at an unbelievably low price. The paid shills who come onto the internet forums tried to make you believe the Moto X was as good as the Nexus 5, and worth over $600..

    FINALLY, when Motorola lowered the price to $350, the Motox was a decent value phone. Even at the same price, Nexus 5 is better.

  9. Why are we subjected to this barrage of comparisons? What is the point of comparing two devices which are aimed at totally separate markets? Why are they always inaccurate or plain mendacious? Just saying…

  10. Now a days http://nexus6google.com/ Google Nexus 6 is also in rumors which will called as the upcoming beast and will competition to all Smartphones..

  11. It is rumor that Nexus 6 might come with IP 67 certified water and dust proof features and google also planning to come with android silver as seen on http://newnexus6.com/

  12. Anthony Johnson

    That’s your
    choice you could pick Moto X but I would never go for it. The reason behind it
    is I give more importance to hardware features. Most of the latest flagship devices
    under different Smartphones brands are working on same Android 4.4 KitKat version.
    But they differ on hardware aspects. The main feature that I like the most in Nexus
    5 is inbuilt qi enabled that means could be easily charged by placing it on wireless charging pad . I could say that it is the best phone I have ever had till date.

  13. Looks like there very necessary review every site has to do!

    Anyway nexus 5 is a beautiful device only if its battery could last a few hours more. I’ve been using phones with imited smartness earlier and been used to the long battery life.

    Too irritating to look for a charger every now and then.

  14. Fernando Garcia

    “Thanks to its OLED technology it offers grate image quality and contrast levels” Too bad spell check doesn’t work because grate is a word same as GREAT.

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