Can Motorola’s latest flagship handset topple this year’s supersized iPhone? We’ve compared the features and specs of the iPhone 6s Plus and Moto X Style (or Moto X Pure Edition in the US) to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
The Moto X Style/Pure is slightly smaller than Apple’s offering. The Moto is, however, 52 percent thicker (though its rounded back skews that figure a bit, as its edges are much thinner than that).
Be prepared to put up with an extra 10 percent in weight if you opt for the iPhone 6s Plus. Though it is a bigger phone, so its size to weight ratio is similar.
You get a much broader choice of backs with the Motorola phone, thanks to the well-established Moto Maker program.
The aluminum on the unibody iPhone wraps around to its sides, while the Moto X’s metal frame is separated from whichever backing you choose.
Rose gold is new to the iPhone range this year. On the Motorola side, you get a total of 126 different color combinations (once you take into account the backing color and accent) thanks to Moto Maker’s customizations.
The Moto X Style fits more screen into a smaller face thanks to its thin bezels and frame.
Based on pixel density, the Moto X Style has a 30 percent sharper screen.
Unusually, Motorola shuns AMOLED for its latest handset, possibly to keep the price down.
3D Touch display
Apple’s pressure-sensitive display (which adds a new layer of depth in input, opening the door to a variety of shortcuts) is one of the big selling points of the 2015 iPhones. As of yet, other manufacturers have nothing to match it.
Apple’s iPhones have had Touch ID since 2013, but similar technology has yet to make it to a Motorola phone – even though it’s supported by Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
No mammoth 128 GB option for the Motorola handset, but the iPhone 6s Plus lacks the 32 GB middle ground that many users will find appealing.
It doesn’t look like Apple is ever going to change its mind on microSD cards, but the Moto X Style does support expandable storage.
Both have well-matched processors under the hood and you can expect high-end performance from both flagships.
The two new iPhones got a RAM bump to 2 GB this year though the Motorola handset pips them with 3 GB.
The Motorola device wins in terms of pure megapixels, but it’s not the only factor to consider. You can check out our 6s review sample shots, and we’ll also have a Moto X review up before long.
What were we saying about other factors influencing image quality? The iPhone 6s Plus offers Optical Image Stabilization to make getting a steady, sharp shot easier.
Camera aperture (rear)
The Motorola handset benefits from a slightly larger aperture (allowing more light into the lens and enabling faster shutter speeds).
The iPhone has a slightly smaller battery, though it also has a slightly smaller screen to power.
It’s neck-and-neck here with two NFC payment options, Apple Pay vs. Android Pay(the latter is US-only at the time of writing).
Evidently neither Apple nor Motorola think wireless charging is a must-have.
Fast charging (wired)
Motorola has had fast charging as a feature on its phones since 2014, and the company says the Moto X Style is the quickest yet at reaching full power once you’ve plugged it in.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is “coming soon” to the Moto X Style, Motorola says. The phone ships with a near-stock version of Android 5.1.1 out of the box, with a few extra Motorola touches and apps.
The iPhone, of course, runs iOS 9.
Both handsets are available now.
Starting price (full retail)
No contest here – unlocked and SIM-free, the iPhone is almost double the price of the Moto X. Buyers of Motorola’s flagship miss out on the iPhone’s fully premium build quality, and some customers will prefer Apple’s ecosystem and tight hardware/software integration … but on a pure specs for price level, this is a big win for the Moto X.