There are tons of options in the value phone category right now, making it difficult to choose just one device. With today’s versus, is it going to be Motorola’s new flagship, or the successor to the budget no-compromise device that started it all?

We’re going to be taking a look at these two bad boys in eight categories: build, specs and performance, hardware, screen, camera, battery, software and value. This will be how we approach all versus moving forward.

Battery

Build

The OnePlus 2 certainly feels more premium than the Moto X. It has a heft to it that the Moto X lacks. The Moto X really hasn’t changed much from last year’s, so it’s still got that curved back and dimple, but it lays pretty flat on a table. The X doesn’t feel bad, but it feels significantly less premium, and where the OnePlus 2 has heft, the Moto X has what I would call bulk. I don’t know if it’s the leather back we chose for it, but it feels like it could do with dropping a few pounds. Plus, with all the sensors on the front, it looks so busy especially on a white front panel. Winner: OnePlus 2

Specs & Performance

The OnePlus 2 famously sports the Snapdragon 810, and the performance shows it. You know me, I’m not a benchmark guy. If it can handle what we throw at it in the real world, we’re golden. The OnePlus 2 certainly hits that mark. While I did experience some lag as in my previous tests, nothing stood out to me as particularly egregious. The Snapdragon 808 in the Moto X Pure is a workhorse.

It’s closer to tried and true than the 810, which is why many devices are going with the more value minded option. The X Pure comes in at just under the Nexus 6 on Antutu Benchmark. I haven’t had any problems with day to day use. Between the two, I experienced less lag on the Moto X, and turning on GPU rendering backs up that anecdotal data. But! Despite actually scoring lower than the Moto X, the OnePlus 2 just feels much snappier, on everything from web pages to pulling up my Twitter feed. Winner: OnePlus 2

Hardware

Both devices have their fair share of bells and whistles. I really appreciate the OnePlus 2’s profile switch on the left side of the device, and the off screen drawing gestures are certainly convenient. But, when it comes to bells and whistles, I think it’s tough to top Moto’s excellent gestures. Everything from waving over the device for Active Display, to turning on the flashlight with a chop, to finally reliably opening the camera with a twist, it all works perfectly. With the average fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 2, and no Marshmallow support for it, I’d rather have the gestures and helpful tweaks that Moto packed into the X Pure. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Display

While the OnePlus 2’s display is no slouch, it’s hard not to be impressed by the panel in the Moto X. Sure, it has diminishing returns, but the higher resolution and density of the display comes through in information density, which I’m huge on. That’s to say nothing of the fact that they packed a Quad HD display into a $400 device with excellent battery life and few compromises. Even though I tend to prefer a cooler balance,the color reproduction of photos was truer on the Moto X. The OnePlus 2 also feels like it has sharpening turned up higher, which you might remember I’m not a fan of. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Camera

Well, the OnePlus 2’s camera did great in our test shots, but it’s not lauded as one of the best on the market. The Moto X Pure, on the other hand, has its work cut out for it. Moto hasn’t been on its game in terms of cameras, so it’s delightful to see that the camera on the X Pure is finally great. Again, it’s not the industry leader, but it’s a very strong offering and much better than anything they’ve put out to date. Both support 4K, slow mo video, and a host of other features through their respective apps.

At first I thought Moto’s new camera app put it at a strong disadvantage, but after getting used to it, I quite like the ability to tap anywhere to trigger the shutter. The comparison shots are pretty close; almost too close to call. Each sensor has its own strong suits. The OnePlus 2 had a much easier time finding focus thanks to the laser autofocus on the back, but the Moto X’s shots were much more natural and less noisy. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Battery

While the Moto X is short 300mAh compared to the OnePlus 2, it still had a much easier time making it through days in standby and occasional usage. The X hasn’t been plugged in for well over two days, but it should make it to tonight. Granted, this is with less than 2 hours screen on time, but it’s impressive. The OnePlus 2 is on the other end of that spectrum. More often than not, I’m concerned about when I’m going to need to plug it in again, and the fact that it’s USB-C just exacerbates that issue.

Either way, the uptime on the OnePlus 2 was just not nearly as good as the Moto X. I have a sneaking suspicion this has something to do with the 810 under the hood, but I can’t confirm. At the end of the day, the device with more juice wins, and at the end of every day, the Moto X is the device with more juice. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Software

Both devices have thankfully light takes on Android, but Moto has a lighter touch. Motorola isn’t running a total fork of Android like OxygenOS is. The changes Moto makes to devices these days are largely relegated to apps you can grab from the Play Store and uninstall if you don’t want to use them. This means faster updates across the board. While there isn’t anything terribly wrong with OxygenOS, it still means it’s further from stock. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Bang

I don’t like to talk about price in a vacuum, so we’re going to call this bang for your buck. The OnePlus 2 comes in at $389 for the 64GB 4GB RAM model, which is the only one currently in stock now that invites are no longer required for purchase. The Moto X comes in at $499 for a 64GB storage model, and you do get expandable storage.

Comparing these two, it seems like OnePlus has the edge, but I’m not convinced that’s true. While it’s a huge boon that the device is finally available without an invite, the Moto X has never needed one and comes with the added bonus of being able to make it your own with Moto Maker. For this category, I ask myself which device I would be more likely to buy based on the price, and how long it would last me. Based on the offerings on each end, this one has got to go to the Moto X Pure. Despite the higher price tag, the customization options and excellent across the board performance make me feel more comfortable that this device could ride out a year or two with me as my daily driver. Winner: Moto X Pure Edition

Winner

Alright, let’s tally up the score.

  • Build – OnePlus 2
  • Specs & Performance – OnePlus 2
  • Hardware – Moto X Pure
  • Screen – Moto X Pure
  • Camera – Moto X Pure
  • Battery – Moto X Pure
  • Software – Moto X Pure
  • Bang – Moto X Pure

Aside from the build and performance, it’s a clean sweep for the Moto X Pure. This a great device, and the more time I spend with the OnePlus 2, the less I like it. The Moto X Pure has grown on me really quickly and the last device I used before it was a Note 5, so that’s saying something.

Motorola - Moto X Pure Edition OnePlus - OnePlus 2
Display Size 5.7-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel display (515 ppi) 5.5-inch, 1080 x 1920 pixel display (401 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 1080
Resolution Y 2560 1920
Display Type TFT LCD LCD In-cell
Operating System Android 5.1.1 (at launch) OxygenOS based on Android 5.1
Processor 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 1.8GHz Octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
RAM 3GB 4GB for 64GB ver./3GB for 16GB ver.
Storage
  • 16GB
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
  • 16GB
  • 64GB
External Storage Yes No
External Storage Specs
  • microSD up to 128GB
Main Camera (Back) 21MP 13MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 5MP 5MP
Networks
  • 4G LTE (B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 25, 28, 40, 41)
  • UMTS GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • UMTS/HSPA+: 800, 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100
  • U.S. GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • U.S. WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
  • U.S. FDD-LTE Bands: 1/2/4/5/7/8/12/17
  • EU/India GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • EU/India WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/5/8
  • EU/India FDD-LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1 LE Bluetooth 4.1
Battery 3000mAh 3300mAh
NFC Yes No
Connectivity
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • microUSB
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • USB Type-C
GPS
  • GPS
  • Digital compass
  • GLONASS
  • Internal GPS
Height 153.9 mm (6.06 inches) 151.8 mm (5.98 inches)
Width 76.2 mm (3.00 inches) 74.9 mm (2.95 inches)
Depth 11.06 mm (0.44 inches) 9.85 mm (0.39 inches)
Weight 179 g (6.31 oz) 175 g (6.17 oz)
Colors Black, White base colors, 18 options of back shells Sandstone Black
Supported Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MIDI, MP3, PCM/WAVE, FLAC, OGG/Vorbis MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA (v9 and v10), AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, WAV, OGG
Supported Video Formats H.263, H.264 AVC, MPEG-4 SP, VP8 HEVC (H.265), H.264, MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, MPEG-2, MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVI, MKV, ASF
In The Box N/A
  • Wall Adapter
  • Charging Cable