Should I wait for Nexus 6 (Nexus X) or buy the Moto X now?
Motorola has announced a new flagship handset in the Moto X. It was previously an affordable well-specced smartphone, much like Google's Nexus. This time it's shot up to £430, more of a flagship offering on the spec sheet, but still offering an experience very close to pure Android.
With the Nexus typically being great value for money for these sorts of specs is it worth waiting for the Nexus 6 or is the Moto X the one to snap up?
At the moment the Nexus 6, or Nexus X, is just rumour. Of course it's coming, but exactly when or with what specifications can't be said for sure. A recent leaked document shows a phone entering India called Shamu, which the new Nexus has also been mentioned as. The specs of this handset beat the Moto X hands down.
One of the main selling points of the Nexus and the Moto X were the prices. Last year's Nexus 5 was £300 but offered some high-end innards for the money. The last Moto X was also affordable at £300 with good mid-range specs.
This year the Moto X is £430 and comes with better components like a 13-megapixel camera, 5.2-inch 1080p screen and Snapdragon 801 processor. The leaked Nexus suggests it too will be going for higher end specs, suggesting the price may also tip over the £400 mark. Where the Nexus is different is that it sounds like a cutting edge phone with an even more impressive spec sheet.
All that said, the leaked handset thought to be a Nexus, was priced at 34,982 rupees which is about £350.
The Moto X has grown with a 5.2-inch AMOLED screen that crams in even more pixels with its 1920 x 1080 display totalling 423ppi.
But before you rush out to throw cash at that, bear in mind the new Nexus is reportedly going the way of the Koreans and throwing in a 2K display. The Nexus 5 had a 4.95-inch display so even if this year does jump up to 5.2-inch like the Moto X, that's still a 1440 x 2560 resolution meaning 565ppi.
Motorola has opted to go for the Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5GHz. This does deliver Adreno 330 graphics at 578MHz, and allows for 4K video capture, but isn't as fast or power efficient as the latest Snapdragon 805, which has another trick up its sleeve - it's 64-bit.
You guessed it, the new Nexus is, reportedly, coming with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor with Adreno 420 graphics. There are also rumours of 4GB of RAM, but they can't be backed up so we're not relying on that for now. But moving to 64-bit hardware allows for 64-bit software to follow. The Moto X isn't future-proofed in that regard, but the new Nexus almost certainly will, as it's on the roadmap for the next version of Android - Android L.
One of the bugbears with the Nexus 5 was its battery life, managing a day if you're lucky.
Motorola has upgraded the Moto X battery slightly to 2,300mAh from last year's 2,200mAh. But with the screen increase this probably equates to roughly the same life. Add in that more efficient Snapdragon 801 though and you might be looking at longer life than last year's. It also has a fast charge which delivers 8 hours from a 15-minute charge, claims Motorola.
The Nexus 6, or Nexus X, will have to pack a decent battery to power a 2K screen. But, offset with the super efficient Snapdragon 805 and the power-saving Android L update, it may improve. Android L, when tested on the same phone as Android KitKat, delivered a whopping 36 per cent more life on a charge.
The Nexus is always going to win on the software front as it will have the latest Android L operating system in its purest form. This means it will run most smoothly and efficiently. It also means owning this phone will entitle users to the latest Android updates as they roll out.
While Motorola does offer a very clean Android OS in the Moto X you do get some nice extras. The ability to change the "OK Google" command to any phrase you want is a nice touch. And Motorola does say Android L is coming to the handset when it arrives.
Motorola's track record with Android updates has been very good. It has delivered Moto updates before other manufacturers so you can be sure that behind the Nexus, the Moto X will be one of the first devices to get the next version of Android.
But then there's the 64-bit question. Many are speculating that 64-bit is the next big move for Android, with a number of recent devices (from entry-level to flagship) launching with hardware that supports 64-bit, which the Moto X doesn't.
It sounds like this could be a level playing field with both featuring a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel front-facing selfie snapper.
Adding OIS to the main camera could sway people towards the Nexus. If it also gets on the selfie bandwagon and makes the front-facing camera wide angle that could help too.
Motorola is pretty unique in its build offerings, allowing people to build their own phones from its Maker selection. There are also basic model options like a bamboo wooden back cover or a leather rear – both of which are very attractive.
Google isn't famed for offering customisation on its Nexus handsets because they're all about being basic and clean. So we wouldn't expect much more than a black and maybe a white option for the Nexus 6.
While the new Nexus 6, or Nexus X, hasn't launched yet we can surmise from the rumoured specs that it might be a Moto X beater. That said if you want customisation the Moto X might be for you.
If the Nexus 6 rumours are wrong and the specs match the Moto X then, presumably, the price should be less – in which case you'll want the Nexus. So, either way, it might be advisable to wait and see what Google announces around October when the Nexus 6 is expected.