The Moto X Pure Edition (2015) took me by surprise of how much I like the phone! I had a feeling it was going to be a good phone, but I didn’t know it was THIS good! To sum it up, the Moto X PE is what the Motorola Nexus 6 should have been. There’s not too much to complain about with this phone, so let’s talk about it! Here is my real user review of the Moto X Pure Edition.
The first generation Moto X was a breath of fresh air at the time it was released because Motorola started implementing a new way of developing smartphones. At the time specs wars were in full force and battle still continues today, but Moto wanted to do something different. Instead they focuses a balance of specs and performance. Something that other companies need to figure out in the realm of Android. Props to Apple how traditionally has not had top of the line specs, but their devices (for the most part) ran buttery smooth, their cameras for the longest time was the best in the business, and screens looked really good.
The way Motorola began to change things up was by using stock Android with a few added complimentary features to make the experience pleasant for the user. However, at a time phones were getting bigger, the Moto X 1st gen ended up getting dwarfed, not too mention a poor camera. Don’t get me wrong the Moto X 1st gen was a good little phone, but it was just a step in the right direction. The 2nd generation was not that much better than the 1st and really didn’t make people notice it other than Moto Maker added some fun backs such as wood and leather.
Fast forward to this current generation and we have a HUGE upgrade from past phones. To be honest most of what was missing from previous models was a great camera. Levono had something to prove and they delivered.
As mentioned before, there really isn’t too much to complain about with this phone at all. It really boils down to preferences.
What I Don’t Like – The Moto X PE is a well built phone, looks good, and feels good. But sometimes it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Software features is the problem with the Moto X PE. It’s their choice to run stock Android, but stock Android needs to always be improved on. Moto even does this with a few things they add and I’ll get into that further down in this review.
There are just a few things that need to be added to make the software as close to perfect as it gets.
- More camera features such as time lapse, more modes, and pro settings. The hardware is there, so this is where software is a let down. Don’t get me wrong the camera app gets the job done, but there’s lots of room for improvement.
- The power button – When you hold down the power button the only option is to power off the device. Other devices or custom roms include options – Reboot, Airplane Mode, Sound Controls, Screenshot, and more. This is one of the areas that helps make life easier.
- Recent apps shortcut needs a clear all option.
I am a huge fan of software that makes the user experience simpler and efficient. Whatever cuts out steps to perform a task is what makes this guy a happy camper.
Other than those issues, there really isn’t much else to say about what I would change about this phone. And that’s a GOOD thing!
What I like – EVERYTHING else! Not really, but close. Motorola seriously did a good job this time around. There are so many more positives than negatives. So in no particular order…
The camera – this was the best improvement by far and was the only concern I had about the Moto X Pure Edition. On paper everything looked good, but of course only time would tell if things like the camera would perform as good as it sounded.
The Nexus 6 camera was plain horrid in my honest somewhat professional opinion. I’m no professional photographer, but I am quite picky about my smartphone cameras. The rest of a phone could be perfect, but if the camera sucks I won’t use it. It’s major turn off. Case and point I got rid of the Nexus 6 twice.
The Moto X PE is such a difference between the Moto X 2nd gen and Nexus 6. It’s not as good as Samsung or LG, but it’s knocking on those doors! Photos and video look pretty damn good. Low light looks good, focus does well, and colors are above average. Put it this way, I am not turned off by the quality of the camera results.
The screen – 5.7 inch screens have become my sweet-spot of what I like for screen sizes. 5.5 inches is my minimum and 6 inches is pushing it. The Moto X PE shares the same size as the Note series and Nexus 6P. The size is good, but it’s easy on the eyes as well. It looks really good and shines bright in full sunlight. The screen also dims well in dark environments.
Watching movies, videos, and playing games are fun on this size of a screen, but the colors looks nice too! One of the things I like about bigger screens is that it makes things easier to read. You can hold the device at a comfortable distance from your face. Smaller phones like 1st gen Moto X forced me to hold the phone closer. It’s nice to relax and hold out the phone to look at.
While the screen is large compared to most devices, the whole device is not as big as some phones like the iPhone 6 Plus or Nexus 6P. The Moto X PE is a wee bit shorter than those phones, which makes it easier to hold/grip.
Partnered with the large screen are the front facing speakers.
The speakers – Speakers on all phones need to be on the front. End of discussion. Well…for the sake of blogging I will expound furthermore. Tagged with a nice screen to look at having front facing speakers makes the viewing experience THAT much better. Not only are the speakers in the right place, they sound pretty good as well. A nice little touch too is that the color of the speakers match the accents of the trim. Calls have good volume and clarity.
Fast charging – Quick charging is the standard these days. To be honest, it is a major turn off for me if a phone does not have some sort of fast charging. The Moto X PE supports Qualcom Quick Charging 2.0 and it’s awesome! Very cool to be able to let the phone properly drain down and charge it back up to full in only about an hour to hour and a half.
Battery life – Battery life hasn’t meant a lot to me until this year. The Galaxy S6 suffers from poor battery life and I was happy to discover that the Moto X PE has good battery life. It gets me through the day even after I get off work. I’m not the type to post screenshots of battery life because there are too many factors involved. Each day my phone gets used differently and thus would produce results that are not consistent. Also, your battery life is going to be different than mine because we don’t use the phone the same way.
To give you a frame of reference I use the phone as follows:
- Full brightness with adaptive brightness on
- Hardly use WiFi
- High accuracy location
- Posting to social media
- Taking photos and videos
- Watching videos
- Ok so pretty much everything a smartphone can do. Basically I don’t practice any battery saving methods.
Build quality – Not skipping a beat Motorola continues to offer great custom choices for how you want the phone to look. There are tons of color choices and materials to choose from. I went with what I call an Iron Man theme that is red leather and champaign gold trim. Moto Maker is awesome. Nobody else has these kind of options. The backs are great and the metal trim give a premium design.
This is a phone that you won’t want to use a case with because the build quality is just that good.
Other notable things to mention
- Stock Android. While it needs to have more features it still helps the phone run well without a hitch.
- If you like a phone with a strong vibrate this is your phone. It’s not overbearing, but it is one of the strongest out there.
- No wireless charging. Not a deal breaker for me, but is for some.
- Available to use on all major carriers.
- Can bypass carriers to buy.
- Price is right starting at $399
- Expandable storage. This was an add-on from previous generations and some manufactures are going away from this.
Is the Moto X Pure Edition better than the Nexus 6P?
No. It’s quite a even matchup. Both phones are great and have their pros and cons. What it boils down to is preferences. Do you want a fingerprint sensor, metal casing, the Nexus experience, latest version of Android? If yes, get the Nexus 6P. Do you want personalization, close to the latest version of Android, smaller body, and Moto features? If yes, get the Moto X Pure Edition.
The Moto X Pure Edition is a great phone and it feels wonderful to be able to say that! The last few X devices and Nexus 6 were disappointing. Motorola stepped up this year and brought us two great phones, the Moto G 3rd gen and Moto X Pure Edition. For the price this phone competes with other flagships. It’s not as good as the Note 5, but still a fine device.
Be sure to watch the Moto X Pure Edition videos.
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