Moto X vs. Nexus 4 Specs, Price: Why You Should Buy The Nexus 4 Over The …

July 27, 2017

Credit: Tyler Wimberly via Google +

The Moto X was officially unveiled at the August 1 press event, we learned that the Motorola flagship would cost $199 with a two-year contract and that it would be released July 23. The release date for the “Google Play” edition running stock Android OS and the wooden edition of the Moto X are still unknown. Our reaction to the official information about the Moto X has been disappointment. We didn’t expect the Moto X to be a high-end phone; we expected it to be a mid-range phone with interesting features at a low price. Instead, we got a mediocre phone priced the same as a top-tier flagship.

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Credit: Google

Earlier, we had heard rumors that the Moto X would be even cheaper than the Nexus 4 without a contract, we were thinking $200-300 no contract. That would have made the Moto X an excellent and affordable device that could easily have become a popular craze. It could have even made all the talk about the Moto X as an iPhone challenger plausible. With the official unveiling we learned that the Moto X without a contract would cost between $500-600 (Motorola has not released the no-contract price). This is not the price point we were expecting nor are we willing to pay it.

Consider the fact that the Moto X when compared with the Nexus 4, is largely eclipsed by the latter device in almost every aspect. The Moto X official specs are a 4.7-inch 720 P AMOLED screen, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, also called the X8 by Motorola. The X8 has been called an octa-core processor, but that name is somewhat misleading. The X8 itself has a dual core processor, a quad-core graphics processing unit, a single-core contextual computing processor and a single-core natural language processor [2+4+1+1].

The final specs list of the Moto X as reported by Droid-Life:

§  4.7″ HD 720p display

§  1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor

§  Moto X8 Computing System

§  Adreno 320 GPU

§  2GB of RAM

§  10MP back-facing camera

§  2MP front-facing camera

§  16GB and 32GB storage options

§  Android 4.2.2

§  Bluetooth 4.0

§  2,200mAh battery

§  NFC

§  Weight – 130 grams

Credit: Tyler Wimberly via Google +

When compared side-by-side with the Nexus 4, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose the Moto X. The  Moto X is $199 for the 16GB with a contract and $249 with the 32GB and a contract. Without a contract the Moto X is expected to be between $500-600 with the Google Play version costing $575 or above easily. Compare this with a no-contact Nexus 4 which you can get for $299 for a 8GB and $349 for a 16GB. The Nexus 4 is far cheaper without a contract than the Moto X will be. The Nexus 4 also runs stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.  

Shockingly the Moto X, which most expected would come with stock Android  will not run the latest stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, rather it will come with Android 4.2. Instead consumers who want a stock Android expierence will need to wait for the “Google Play” version of the Moto X to come out. It boggles the mind that Motorola which now calls itself a Google company does not even have the latest version of Android OS. Rumor has it that there was very little communication between Motorola and Google over Android OS. While it may be good that Google gave the Motorola team design freedom, the lack of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is disquieting because it raises concerns about how much support Google intends to give the device. Also, Motorola may be misleading consumers. The Moto X is said to have a minamlistic Motorola skin but is mostly stock, in which case there is no justification for releaseing a more expensive “Google Play” version.

When it comes to Moto X specs compared against Nexus 4 specs, the only place where the Moto X may marginally rival the Nexus 4 is the screen, the Nexus 4 has been condemned for its relatively disappoint screen, a 4.7-inch HD IPS+ 1280×768 screen 320 ppi against the same sized 4.7-inch HD AMOLED 1280×720 316ppi screen on the Moto X. We don’t consider the difference between them to be drastic enough to warrant choosing the Moto X over the Nexus 4. When it comes to processor, both devices have the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor but the Nexus 4 is a 1.5GHz quad-core compared to the 1.7GHz dual-core of the Moto X. As we said earlier, the X8 mobile computing unit isn’t a true octa-core processor.

The storage difference between the two devices together with the LTE connectivity of the Moto X are the two biggest marked differences between the two devices. The contract Moto X can be gotten with more internal storage 16/32GB vs. 8/16GB of the Nexus 4, which gives the Moto X an advantage since the Nexus 4 does not come with the option of expandable memory. The lack of LTE is perhaps the biggest disadvantage faced by the Nexus 4 compared to the Moto X:

 Nathan Olivarez-Giles over at Wired: “Thoughtfully designed hardware displays a quality of finish that can compete with the best rival smart-phones. Big 4.7-inch screen is crisp, detailed and beautiful. Quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM give it power to spare. NFC and wireless charging show Google pushing new platforms forward. Bargain pricing for an unlocked beast of a phone, with the latest Android, directly from Google, with no delays from carriers or hardware makers. No LTE connectivity means the Nexus 4 is confined to slower, older mobile networks. No micro SD card slot or expandable storage of any sort.The rear speaker isn’t very loud and doesn’t sound very good.”

The Moto X boasts of a 24 hour battery life based off “usage time,” presumably mixed talk and browsing compared to the 15.3 hours of talk time the Nexus 4 offers. Despite whatever energy saving innovation Motorola promises, it’s hard to see a 2200mAh battery having that much of an advantage over a 2100mAH battery. Finally, when it comes to camera the Moto X is ostensibly better compared to the 8 MP rear and 1.5 MP front camera of the Nexus 4. The camera is a 10MP sensor, with “Clear Pixel” technology that allows it to collect more light according to Motorola. So overall when it comes to Moto X advantages it is increased memory, LTE and a somewhat better camera. Of these, it is only the LTE that warrants an increase in price compared to the Nexus 4. Despite that, there is no justification for having the unlocked Moto X priced at such an absurdly high range compared to the Nexus 4.

Credit: YouTube LG G2 leak

Again these are the promised innovations of the Moto X, overall the whole thing feels slightly gimmicky to us. We don’t care about color customization (only with ATT!) or wooden Moto X’s (what if it gets wet/overheats?) or personalizaiton options. While things like active notifications, always-on voice commands attuned to your own voice and auto-adjusting sensors that adapt to your surroundings are useful and interesting technology, the Moto X was billed as a type of stock Android phone that would revolutionize the market by setting an incredibly affordable price for a mid-range Android phone, similar to the HTC First.

That’s not what the Moto X is and when we look at the difference in price combined with the mostly similar specs we can’t justify the increased cost of a no-contract Moto X. A phone like the Moto X is not the type of device you want to be locked into a two-year contract for. You get a two-year contract for flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or iPhone 5. You can get the Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB/32GB for $199/$249 with a two-year contract, the same price as the 16GB/32GB Moto X. The same goes for the 16GB HTC also at $199. By the time your two-year contract runs out the Moto X will have heavily outdated specs compared to the upcoming flagships and it is very likely that the Nexus 5 based off the LG G2 is coming. The Nexus 5 is likely to be among the fastest Android phones ever if the LG G2 benchmark tests are anything to go by.

Thus we can’t in our right mind recommend the Moto X, consumers would be well advised to buy the Nexus 4 if they need a phone right away, or wait a few months for the Nexus 5. Either way, don’t get the Moto X.

Are you pleased with the Moto X price, specs or would you rather get the Nexus 4 or Nexus 5?

Moto X Event Live Stream: Initial Reactions Largely Negative, Did Motorola Flop The Reveal? [VIDEO]

Moto X: Final Specs, Features, Price Rumors Before Today’s Motorola X Launch Event [REPORT]

Moto X Release Date: Rumors Motorola X May Be On Sale Same Day As August 1st Event [REPORT]

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