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

While the new Moto X may be less expensive and have compelling features, there are also several reasons to consider the high-powered Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
(Image: Samsung)
Last week I posted eight reasons to buy the Moto X Pure Edition instead of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and after seriously considering the Note 5 this past weekend I think it's only fair to offer the opposing viewpoint.

Readers know I like to try out phones from all operating systems and with the new iPhones likely coming in September, I'm putting my Apple iPhone 6 Plus up for sale on Swappa this week.

While it is likely I will buy the next big iPhone, I have to admit that I may have a hard time avoiding the T-Mobile store on Friday to pick up a Galaxy Note 5. I may even try out the new JUMP! On Demand option since there are so many good options coming up this year.

Here are my top nine reasons to consider the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 5 over the Moto X Pure Edition.

  1. Proven camera: Motorola has yet to release a device with an awesome camera, while Samsung's Galaxy S6 camera is one of the best available today. The Note 5 has the same camera as the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge with some additional software enhancements.
  2. S Pen: You should really only buy a Note if you expect to use the S Pen, but if you do then there is plenty to like with the new features. You can even pull out the S Pen and write on the screen with the display still turned off.
  3. Fast wireless charging: Samsung not only includes wireless charging, but the Note 5 has some new fast wireless charging technology that speeds up charging by a reported 30 percent.
  4. 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM: The Moto X Pure Edition has 3GB of RAM, but Samsung has 1GB more and is using the fastest modules currently available.
  5. Display: Both devices have the same resolution, but Samsung's Super AMOLED screen sets the bar for vibrancy. The Moto X Pure Edition uses a TFT LCD display.
  6. Carrier enhancements: Most every official carrier-supported device I have tested has better cellular performance than unlocked devices. The Note 5 supports T-Mobile WiFi Calling, VoLTE, and other services that add value to my daily usage.
  7. Fingerprint scanner: The fingerprint scanner on the new Samsung Galaxy models is fantastic and I saw something like 99 percent reliability. This added level of security and ease of unlock is appealing to me.
  8. Samsung Pay: Android Pay will be coming with Android Marshmallow, but Samsung Pay will also let you use your Samsung device to pay where only your magnetic stripe credit card works today.
  9. Gorgeous design: This last reason is highly subjective, but I absolutely love what Samsung has done with these new Galaxy phones with the metal edges, glass back, and glass front. The sapphire black looks like a very dark blue and feels great in the hand. The new Moto X Pure Edition also looks to have a refined design and the leather back option is appealing too.

While I earlier lamented the loss of microSD and a removable battery, readers reminded me you can easily use a USB OTG (on the go) thumb drive to expand storage and make easy transfers. I also just read the first battery test results for the Note 5 that show it meets, and slightly exceeds, that of the Note 4. If that's the case, then my concern over the 3,000 mAh battery may be unfounded.

The Moto X Pure Edition will not be sold through carriers so you will have to purchase directly through Motorola. This is good for removing carrier bloatware, but it also means you can't touch and feel it before buying one. In-store presence is still a major benefit in the US and this strategy may hurt Moto X sales.

The bottom line is that both of these look to be excellent devices, with a slightly different focus. Look at your needs and then make a decision based on what works best for you. Maybe I'll just have to try both to share my experiences with you.

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