Eight reasons to buy the Moto X Pure Edition instead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5

There are several great options for Android smartphone buyers this fall, but so far it looks like Motorola offers the most bang for the buck.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET
This time of year is always interesting with the release of a hoard of smartphones that causes me to evaluate every one of them and figure out which is best for me. The competition is stiff this year with pricing being a major differentiator that is good for the consumer.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, see my full review, is a fantastic phone, but I returned it due to poor battery life with the hope that the Note 5 would meets my needs. The Note 5 was just announced and it too looks like a fantastic phone. However, it's going to be tough to justify paying $700+ for a Galaxy Note 5.

We are still waiting for the next Google Nexus announcement before we see all of the Android cards on the table, but at this time the Moto X Pure Edition is at the top of my list. Here are eight reasons to buy the Moto X Pure Edition over the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

  1. Price: The 16GB Moto X Pure Edition is only $399 with the 32GB likely being $449 and 64GB priced at $499. As ZDNet's Kevin Tofel pointed out, the Note 5 32GB model starts at $700. That's $300 more than the Moto X and the storage is capped.
  2. microSD expansion card: While integrated storage seems to perform better for me, the option to expand gives the buyer more control at a much lower cost.
  3. Water resistance: Accidents happen and I think that every modern manufacturer of high end devices should use nanocoating technology to help out consumers. The Moto X Pure Edition is safe for those occasional accidents and that peace of mind is valuable.
  4. Motorola software enhancements: Moto Voice, Moto Assist, Moto Actions, and Moto Display are amazing functions built into the Moto X line. These are not bloatware or utilities that you want to remove, but functional enhancements that take the Moto X to the next level.
  5. Front facing stereo speakers: Speakers on the back or bottom can't match having sound come straight out at you. It's a nice to have, but once you use front facing speakers it's tough to ever give them up.
  6. Moto Maker customization: Plastic, leather, and wood backs are all available for you to choose. The ability to create a fully custom look to your device is awesome and I can't wait to create my new phone.
  7. Universal banding: When you buy the Moto X Pure Edition you can rest at ease knowing it will work on any carrier in the US, and most around the world. You will not get T-Mobile WiFi Calling though.
  8. No carrier bloatware: The Moto X Pure Edition will not be sold through carriers so that means you will get a clean device, free from the bloatware so rampant on Android smartphones today.

There are two things that currently give the Note 5 an advantage; the proven camera performance and S Pen functionality. I personally rarely ever used the S Pen and never integrated it into my life so that is not an advantage for my needs. Motorola has talked up the new camera, but it has yet to show it can get the camera right so we'll reserve judgement there.

There are also other competitors to the Note 5 and Moto X Pure Edition this year, including the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4, OnePlus Two, HTC One M9, and ZTE Axon Pro.