For Moto X 3rd Gen (or Moto X 2015), Motorola announced 3 models: Moto X Pure edition, Moto X Style and Moto X Play, instead of just one model as Moto X and Moto X 2nd Gen (Moto X 2014).
Some Moto X owners and potential Moto X buyers are confused about which Moto X is for them.
This post will try to explain to you the major differences of these 3 models of Moto X 3rd Gen (Moto X 2015) to help you make a better decision.
For user manuals of Moto X Pure edition, Moto X Style and Moto X Play, please check this page.
Moto X Pure edition vs Moto X Style: twin brothers heading to different regions
The most confusing two products are Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style.
The hardware specs for Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style are almost identical.
The differences between Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style include: software and availability.
Both Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style will come with Android Lollipop 5.1.
Moto X Pure edition will be a pure Motorola phone without any bloatware or customization from carriers.
This also implies Moto X Pure edition will work on all carriers, and most other regions when you travel abroad as well.
Moto X Style, however, will be tailored for different regions and carriers. Some LTE bands and some features may be disabled in some regions, and therefore Moto X Style may not work well (mainly 4G and a few carrier specific features) in other regions.
Please note, “pure edition” does NOT mean Moto X Pure edition is running stock Android like Nexus phone. “Pure edition” simply means pure Motorola software, and there is no carrier customization. Of course, Motorola software is very close to stock Android. There are a few Moto apps pre-installed, for example, Motorola Assist, Motorola Alert, Motorola camera, and Motorola Gallery.
If you are currently an owner of Moto X or Moto X 2nd Gen, you will get similar Moto experience.
Officially, Moto X Pure edition is available only in US through Moto Maker, Amazon, Best Buy and a few other retailers. You can consider Moto X Pure edition as US edition of Moto X 2015.
Moto X Style, on the other hand, will available in the world except USA. So, sometimes, it is mentioned as “international edition” of Moto X 3rd Gen (Moto X 2015).
If you live in a region where Motorola does not sell Moto X, it is better to get Moto X Pure edition, instead of Moto X Style. Moto X Pure edition works on almost all networks. Of course, you will not get local warranty for your Moto X if you buy Moto X from other regions. Motorola does NOT offer international warranty.
In short, Moto X Pure edition is only available in USA, and Moto X Style is available elsewhere.
Moto X Pure edition vs Moto X Play: you get more than what you pay for!
Moto X Pure edition (and Moto X Style) starts at an incredible price of $399. This is the best value-for-money flagship smartphone in 2015. Period.
To make Moto X more accessible (affordable), Motorola fills the gap between Moto X Pure edition and Moto G 3rd Gen (Moto G 2015) with Moto X Play.
Although Moto X Play sits between Moto X Pure edition and Moto G 2015, Moto X Play is a strip-down version of Moto X Pure edition, instead of upgraded version of Moto G 2015.
The major differences between Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Play include:
- Price. Moto X Play starts from $299, which is $100 cheaper than the base model of Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style.
- Display. Moto X Play has a 5.5″ FHD (1080p) display. Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style get a 5.7″ 1440p QHD display (2560*1440) screen. IPS panel with Gorilla Glass 3 can be found on all these 3 phones. But the brightness of the screen on Moto X Play is not as impressive as that on Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style.
- CPU. Moto X play uses middle-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU. Moto X Pure edition and Moto X style use more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 808. For daily tasks, you may not feel the difference. But if you a heavy game player, this can be a deal breaker.
- RAM. Moto X Play has 2GB RAM. Moto X Pure edition and Moto X style get 3GB. This probably is not a bug deal unless you run some heavy games.
- Video recording. Moto X play only can only record video up to 1080p at 30 fps. Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style support 2160p at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps (smooth motion).
- WiFi. 802.11 ac is only available on Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style. Moto X Play has a dual-band WiFi, but the connection is limited to 802.11 b/g/n.
- Battery. Moto X Play has a larger battery. The 3630mAh capacity is about 20% more than that in Moto X Pure edition and Moto X style. You can expect significantly longer battery life time on Moto X Play.
- Dual SIM model. Only Moto X Play have dual SIM models in some regions.
Which Moto X 2105 is for you: Moto X Pure edition, Moto X Style or Moto X Play?
Technically, you have only two choices because the availability of Moto Pure edition and Moto X Style are mutually exclusive.
Here are my suggestions:
- If you can get Moto X Pure edition and it is within your budget (around $400), this is probably the best choice. Get Moto X Pure edition if you can.
- If your budget is about $300, Moto X Play gives you the best value for a smartphone in this price range.
- If you budget is around $200, you should get Moto G 3rd Gen (Moot G 2015). It is the best middle-range smartphone you can get in 2015. You can get Moto G 2015 at $179.99.
- If you budget is around $100, you can consider Moto E 2015 (Moto E 2nd Gen). It is the best (arguable) budget phone in 2015. You an get Moto E 2015 at less than $100.
- If you need longer battery life, Moto X Play is a better choice than Moto X Style or Moto X Pure edition. The 3630mAh battery can last about 2 days for most users.
- If you want a phone as fluid as possible, you should NOT consider Moto X Play. The Snapdragon 615 CPU in Moto X Play is a bit under-powered (FYI, in almost all flagship smartphones, CPUs are overpowered.). Please note, although Moto X Play is not as responsive as Moto X Pure edition or Nexus devices, it is still comparable to many flagship Android phones, e.g., Galaxy S6, LG G4 or HTC One M9.
- Not all IPS panels are created equal. Moto X Play display is not as good as that of Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style. The brightness and color accuracy are not comparable to the screen in Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style. For normal day-to-day usage, most users will not notice it. This is just a reminder if you have “professional” eyes.
- If you want a pure Android phone, you should get a Nexus device (Nexus 6, or the coming Nexus 5x, Nexus 6p). Moto X Pure edition is only the “closest” to stock Android, not stock Android.
- If you need record smooth motion videos (60fps) or 4K videos, you should get Moto X Pure edition or Moto X Style. Moto X Play cannot record videos at 60fps due to CPU limitation. Moto X Play can play smooth motion videos. The limitation mentioned is for recording.
- If you want to use two SIMs on the phone. Moto X Play is the only option. Please note, Moto X Play dual SIM model may be not available in some regions. Moto X Pure edition and Moto X Style do not have dual SIM models.
Do you know which Moto X is for you: Moto X Pure edition, Moto X Style or Moto X Play?
Please share your thoughts or questions on Moto X 3rd Gen: Moto X Pure edition, Moto X Style and Moto X Play in the comment box below.
Let’s discuss about it.
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