Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Moto X Style (Pure Edition)

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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (left) and Motorola Moto X Pure Edition

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Back in 2013, the Galaxy Note 3 and Moto X were fighting in completely different weight (erm, size) classes. But after two years' worth of evolution, the Moto X has grown into a phablet that rivals the Note perhaps more than any other device. Let's see how Motorola's latest compares to the Galaxy Note 5.

Size

Height and width are almost identical, though the Galaxy Note 5 does come out 32 percent thinner.

Weight

The Note is also about 5 percent lighter than the Moto X Style/Pure.

Build (frame)

Both handsets have aluminum frames running around their edges.

Build (back)

The glass Note 5 has a higher-end build than the entry-level Moto X Pure, which has a silicone back. You will, however, have the option of paying more to get a Moto X with a natural backing.

Colors

Right now US carriers are only selling the Galaxy Note 5 in black and white options, but the gold (pictured in this comparison) and silver models will supposedly arrive ... uh, somewhere, sometime.

Like older Moto X flagships, you'll have the option of getting a made-to-order Moto X Style/Pure with any of 126 color combinations, once you factor in all the back and trim options.

Display size

No differences here, as both devices have 5.7-inch displays.

For some perspective on how much Motorola has blown up the Moto X in the last two generations, this new model's screen is 47 percent bigger than the 4.7-incher found on the 2013 original.

Display resolution

Both handsets also have ultra-sharp Quad HD resolution.

Display type

It could have been a cost-cutting move for Motorola to switch to TFT this year, instead of the AMOLED panels we saw in the first two generations of the Moto X.

Stylus

The latest Galaxy Note has an improved stylus, with a harder tip that makes for more natural-feeling writing.

Fingerprint sensor

The new Note has the same touch-based fingerprint sensor found on the Galaxy S6.

Storage

The entry-level Note 5 doubles the internal storage that the base Moto X gives you.

MicroSD

The Moto X does, however, have a microSD card slot – something Samsung axed from its 2015 flagships.

Processor

We haven't yet put the new Moto X through the paces, but we can vouch for the Note 5 and its silky-smooth, seamless performance.

RAM

The Note has an extra GB of RAM on the Moto X.

Battery

Here's yet another category the two have in common ... but just remember that the same battery capacity probably doesn't translate to the same battery life.

Wireless charging

Motorola didn't put any wireless charging capabilities in the Moto X Style/Pure.

If you use a regular wireless charging pad, then the Note 5 will have regular wireless charging speeds (which are usually pretty slow). But if you buy a special US$70 Samsung-made charger, the company says the phone will juice up from empty to full in around two hours.

Fast charging (wired)

The Moto X does, however, have wired quick-charging tech, courtesy of Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0.

Camera megapixels

The Moto X's rear camera has the higher resolution, but that alone doesn't mean you'll see a boost in overall camera quality. The Note 5 joins the Galaxy S6 (and their two curved-screen siblings) in having the best smartphone cameras we've seen so far in 2015, so it'll be hard to beat.

Camera aperture (rear)

The Note's rear shooter has the slightly wider aperture.

Samsung Pay

The Moto X will support Android Pay when Google's service launches (as should the Note), but Samsung's upcoming mobile payments service one-ups it by working with regular credit card machines. If all works as advertised, retailers won't need to install any special NFC equipment for it to work.

Software

Both phones run Android Lollipop, though Samsung's phone has the company's TouchWiz UI on top (that's where all the fun stylus-based features come from), while the Moto X runs more or less stock Android.

Release

There's no official release date for the Moto X Style/Pure just yet, other than "September."

Starting price (full retail)

There are still plenty of unknowns about the Moto X Pure. How will its camera quality compare to the Note's? What does battery life look like? Is its performance as buttery-smooth as you'll find on Samsung's phablet?

If you can live with those uncertainties, along with no Samsung Pay, wireless charging or fingerprint sensor (not to mention the S Pen), then the entry-level Moto X Style/Pure Edition looks like one hell of a value. It could save you $300 or so over the entry-level Note 5 (that asterisk is there because the Note's full retail pricing varies a bit from carrier to carrier).

For more, you can check out Gizmag's full review of the Galaxy Note 5.

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