Moto X 2015 is the third generation of Moto X. And Motorola brought 3 models for the public: Moto X Pure edition (for USA), Moto X Style (for other regions except USA), and Moto X Play.
As explained in this post, Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style are twin brothers heading to different regions (US or international markets). Moto X Play is a scaled-down version Moto X Style.
Now, the question is what are the improvements and new features in Moto X 2015 vs Moto X 2014.
This post will try to answer the question of Moto X 2015 vs Moto X 2014 to help you decide whether you should upgrade to Moto X 2015 (Moto X 3rd gen) if you own a Moto X or Moto X 2014 (Moto X 2nd gen).
#1. micro SD card support
Motorola finally changed mind on the stance on SD card support.
Moto X 2015 supports micro SD card up to 128GB. You can instantly expand additional 128GB storage at around $60 for your Moto X 2015.
Although, SD card is not often used, a lot of smartphone owners still prefer some “backup” options. You may need it one day.
Some Android vendors are going the opposite (and surely wrong) direction. For example, Samsung removed the micro SD card support in Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge+. The weaker-than-expected sales of Galaxy S6 and Note 5 already make it clear that Samsung is wrong.
Some expert may argue:
- micro SD card is seldom used. Samsung was misled by such experts. The survey may be legitimate. But the issue is that most owners think they may use it some day. Just like airbags in your car, you probably never use it. But if car manufacture removes it, will you still buy the car? Samsung now probably knows the answer.
- Performance of micro SD card is too bad. Most of owners use the micro SD card to store media files. Any class 4 (the cheapest one) is sufficient for playing FHD videos. Most users actually now use Class 10 and better micro SD card, which is more than sufficient for recording 4K videos.
Anyway, Motorola now gives you the choice. If you don’t use it, it will never hurt you Moto X 2015.
#2. improved camera
Camera in smartphones are important because less and less people carry point-and-shoot cameras nowadays.
Moto X and Moto X 2014 were criticized heavily for its mediocre camera.
In Moto X 2015, you will see a big update for the camera, both rear camera and front camera.
The rear camera is bumped to 21MP (vs 13MP in Moto X 2014) with phase detect auto-focus (PDAF). This will surely make the auto focus faster. The camera was also improved from f/2.25 aperture in Moto X 2014 to f/2.0 in Moto X 2015.
There are a few other noticeable improvements for the rear camera, e.g., smooth motion (60fps) video capture (on Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style, not available on Moto X Play), video HDR, burst mode and night mode.
The improvement in front camera is even more significant.
The front camera is updated from 2MP in Moto X 2nd gen to 5MP. The new front camera also boost wide-angle lens, f/2.0 aperture and night mode. You can even use screen as flash for your selfies.
#3. 5.7″ 1440p Quad HD screen for Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style
Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style become bigger and crisper.
The 5.7″ QHD screen is simply gorgeous. Of course, the 520ppi is surely an overkill for our eyes. It is better for an eagle than for a human.
But overall, you will find it is more comfortable to look at. It is also good if you want to edit photos or videos on your Moto X 2015.
If you feel 5.7″ is too big. The 5.5″ FHD (1080p) Moto X Play is an option. But be warned, the IPS panel in Moto X Play is obviously inferior to that in Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style. At least, you can feel the weaker brightness/contrast range compared to Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style.
#4. faster CPU and more RAM
Moto X Play has a CPU in a lower tier: 64bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, which is often found in upper middle-range smartphones in 2015. The CPU is surely not as powerful as Snapdragon 808. But it is sufficient for most daily tasks. Most flagship smartphones are actually overpowered. The lag you can feel in some flagship phones is often due to the poor customization of Android vendors.
Anyway, if you are a heavy game player whose smartphone is always very hot, Moto X Play may disappoint you. For the majority, you will not feel the lag thanks to the near-stock Android in Moto X 2015.
Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style get 3GB RAM. Moto X Play gets 2GB, same as Moot X 2014.
Again, for most users, you will not feel the difference.
#5. Moto X Pure edition works on all networks
Motorola finally says NO to bloatware and stupid customization from carriers, at least in Moto X Pure edition.
This is really a big deal.
You will get a pure Moto X from Motorola. Period.
Moto X Pure edition will work on almost all networks, even when you travel globally.
Of course, Moto X Pure edition is officially available in US only. If you are living in other regions, you have to get Moto X Style, which may give different experience depending on carrier and region.
If you do not mind the local warranty, you can get the Moto X Pure edition from Amazon (US) and some American retailers. Please note, Motorola does not offer international warranty.
What’s you thought on new features and improvements in Moto X 2015? What do you think about Moto X 2015 vs Moto X 2014?
Please share your thoughts on Moto X 2015 (Moto X Style, Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Play) vs Moto X 2014 in the comment box below.
Moto X 2015 user manuals can be found in this page.