Is the Moto X the phone the Nexus 5 should've been?

A few friends and I all ordered the Nexus 5 as soon as it was available. Since ordering, one of us has cancelled the order (Me), another put his up for sale (while there's still demand) and the last 2 are less excited about it but keeping the phone (they're both upgrading from the Galaxy Nexus).

We talked about why our perception of the phone changed and the conclusion we came to was that (after reading reviews) the Nexus 5 fails to improve on the Nexus 4 in ways that it needed to:

  • The Nexus 5 is blazingly fast, but the Nexus 4 wasn't slow or showing it's age yet.
  • The Nexus 5 has a beautiful screen, but a properly calibrated Nexus 4 screen also looks great and the jump from 320 to 445 PPI isn't as noticeable as the jump from 233 to 315 PPI between the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus (diminishing returns)

The Nexus 5 fails to improve significantly on the Nexus 4's biggest pain points:

  • The camera is still sub-par
  • The battery life is still sub-par
  • The phone is still pretty big

The Moto X on the other hand basically took all the positives of the Nexus 4 and shoved it into a smaller body with a better camera and better battery life. They took a great phone and addressed it's weaknesses. The Moto X will definitely benchmark worse than the Nexus 5, but in day to day use, the Moto X will likely give a significantly better near stock Android experience than the Nexus 5 because it seems like more thought was put into the design of the phone (Obviously the Moto X isn't actually a stock phone and will also receive updates significantly slower than a Nexus device).

The Moto X seems like it's setting the standard of what future Nexus devices should be like better than the Nexus 5 does. Hopefully, Google will give Motorola a chance to build next year's Nexus and we'll get a Nexus that focuses on the user experience rather than trying to win the spec race.


None of us have bought the Moto X, we all thought it was too expensive (I have a Galaxy S3 running CM and the friend that's selling the N5 has an N4), but we all agreed that it's probably the right direction for Android to be heading in.