We’re smack-dab in the middle of a heated smartphone release cycle which means consumers have some really great new devices to choose from. If you are in the market for a new device, the next few weeks will provide you with a number of excellent models to consider. Two such handsets are the Huawei Nexus 6P and the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition.

The Nexus 6P is the newer of the pair, however there’s only a couple of weeks separating them. In other words, we might as well consider them both brand new. Let’s take a look at what makes up these two and see how they stack up against each other. To do so we’ll start with a head-to-head chart from our friends over at Graphiq.

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As you likely know, hardware isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to picking out a smartphone. Software plays an important role in helping decide which model might be best for you. To that end, the Nexus 6P comes out ahead because it runs the absolute latest in Android.

Dubbed 6.0 Marshmallow, the newest release brings about a number of new features and native support for others. Google Now On Tap, for example, provides contextual answers and information to users without any effort. Other goodies found in Android 6.0 include support for USB Type C charging and fingerprint verification.

Perhaps one of the best features is the new way in which Android will hibernate apps and services to prolong battery life. As we all know, whether it’s fast charging or wireless, batteries could always use some help.

App permissions get smarter and more intuitive with Android 6.0, too. Customers will find that they have more control over which permissions are granted on an app; developers win with a better user experience that doesn’t ask for all of these requirements ahead of launching the app.

Either phone is going to give you a stock, or near stock software experience that is clear of any bloated carrier-backed apps. The Nexus will likely win in the long run with what expect to be more timely software updates, however Motorola has proven to be quite supportive of its older models, too. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with either one.


Although the Nexus 6P comes in four color options for 2015 (Frost, Aluminum, Graphite, Gold), the advantage still belongs to Motorola. Thanks to its Moto Maker tool, the Moto X Pure Edition can be designed with more than 1,000 color, accents, and and even back cover finishes. If you are looking for a phone that is uniquely you, you won’t beat Motorola.

Storage capacity

The Moto X Pure Edition is offered in three storage options: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. As for the Nexus 6P, it comes with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities. Depending on your needs, and how much you rely on cloud backups and storage, this could be a moot point. But, if you’re looking for the most available, the Moto X Pure Edition still edges Huawei if only because of the microSD expansion card slot (up to 128GB). Were that not the case, the Nexus 6P comes away the clear winner.


If you are the kind of person who looks strictly at specifications, the Motorola camera bests the one found in Huawei’s phone. But, until you see actual photos and consider your own needs, the jury is still out. We’re very curious to see how the 1.55 micron sensor looks, especially for low light conditions. As for not having optical image stabilization, that’s a bold move on Google’s part.

Around front, the tides turn as Huawei packs an 8-megapixel sensor while Motorola’s includes a 5-megapixel shooter. Again, unless you use the front-facing camera much or have more serious needs, this may not matter much.


Huawei runs away with this one, at least on paper. The 3450mAh battery is considerably higher than the Motorola’s 3000mAh unit. Both offer fast charging and neither of them are designed for wireless charging.


You can pick up the Moto X Pure Edition from Motorola.com and pair it with any major service provider. This is essentially the same thing you’ll find in the Nexus line as Google sells it through its own store.


Perhaps one of the most important aspects in purchasing a smartphone, the overall cost often determines if a phone is “too rich for our blood”. Moreover, it’s price that helps us determine whether a certain feature is worth spending the cash or if we’re actually content with a little less.

The Moto X Pure Edition starts at $400 for the 16GB model with 32GB coming in at $450 and the 64GB option at $500. If you opt for a premium finish case (leather or wood), then look to add another $25 to the cost. The Nexus 6P starts at $500 for the 32GB version while the 64GB and 128GB flavors commanding $550 and $600, respectively.

Other important aspects

Indeed, each phone has a few details that help to separate them from the rest of the pack. The Huawei Nexus 6P, for instance, is constructed of an all metal unibody, the first in the Nexus line. Motorola, on the other hand, has made its Moto X Pure Edition splash resistant and ever so slightly “waterproof”.

The Nexus 6P comes with a fingerprint reader on the rear, which is used for security and authentication. Depending on what you plan to do with your smartphone, this could be a make-or-break factor.

Something else worth noting, the Nexus 6P comes with a USB Type C charger. Why is that important? Well, we venture to guess you’ll need to get some new cords and chargers for the house and car if you plan to juice up throughout the day. This means some added cost to the bottom line. The Moto X Pure Edition still uses the micro USB port for charging and works with every single one of those cables we’ve collected over the years.


Which phone is right for you? We can’t answer that for you. You’ll have to weigh what’s important to you decide if it’s worth the extra money to go with the Nexus 6P. And, really, it’s not as if you have to settle for a Moto X Pure Edition. We simply love that phone and will gladly recommend it to anyone and everyone. We have become increasingly fond of Huawei over the years and really look forward to seeing more from the hardware maker.

The Nexus line is one of our favorites in all of smartphones and we’re super pleased to Huawei partnering with Google for 2015. It might be the first time you’re really hearing of Huawei’s name, but you’re not going to end up with some generic experience. These guys are very good at what they do.

Note: Portions of this post’s content is also used in other head-to-head comparisons.
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  1. It merits mention that USB type C can also charge on standard microusb cables, so you don’t “need” to update all of your current cables. They just won’t charge as fast as a USB-C cable would.

    • Are you sure about this? A micro USB cord fits into the USB-C opening? I Was curious and read that it doesn’t, a while back.

      • You’re correct. I was confusing USB-C and USB 3.0, which the Samsung Galaxy Note series has used for the past few generations. You can use MicroUSB on a USB 3.0 charging port. I don’t know about USB-C.

        Sorry for the incorrect post.

        • This is still slightly off. The Note 3 was the only one to use USB 3.0 and the proprietary port that it had at the time. They ended up going back to MicroUSB V2.0 on the Note 4 and Note 5. It kind of sucks for Note 3 owners because the odd port that was originally intended to be the standard port of Micro USB 3 was scrapped when USB C came out.


          Essentially, you are confusing connectors with USB types. USB C connectors can be used for either USB 2.0 or 3.0, there is no difference. USB 3.0 gains its speed advantages primarily through the port itself (female) and the associated firmware and processor/board support.

          • Yeah, that micro USB 3.0 on the Note 3 and S5 is used by various other devices though. It wasn’t proprietary. I’ve seen it on external hard drives and the like. I have the Note 3 and I was bummed that they took a step back to 2.0, but I soon understood why, like you said, USB C

          • Ya proprietary was the wrong word. What I meant was that it wasn’t really ubiquitous. Today, for example, you would be hard pressed to find it. Even most USB3 portable hard drives use a full sized port for backwards compatibility.

            With that said, they didn’t have to take a step back. I don’t understand why they aren’t launching USB3 devices with a type C connector. Maybe it has to go through some sort of certification still. These things always seem to take a crazy amount of time.

    • Common misconception. The term USB Type C refers only to the connector. The Nexus 6P, although using a Type C connector is still USB 2.

        • Also, the quick charging is actually driven by the processor. I do find it odd that this is rarely acknowledged in marketing. The feature basically everyone is using but Samsung is Quallcom quick charge 2.0. Samsung, with their exynos line, has their own way of doing it but it isn’t as quick (close though).

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