Comparing the Moto X Style and the iPhone 6

Every phone gets compared to the iPhone, and for good reason, so we're going to do that with the Moto X Style. Motorola's making the comparison, so why not? These two phones are about as different as they could be while still being smartphones, so let's get right to it.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Moto X StyleiPhone 6
Display5.7-inch TFT LCD (2560x1440, 520 ppi)4.7-inch IPS LCD (1334x750, 326 ppi)
OSAndroid 5.1.1 LollipopiOS 8.4
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 808 6x1.8GHz
Adreno 418 GPU
Apple A8 64-bit 2x1.4Ghz
Storage16, 32 or 64GB, microSD card up to 128GB16GB, 64GB, 128GB (non-expandable)
Rear camera21MP f/2.0, phase detect auto-focus, dual color correlated temperature flash
4K video at 30fps, slow motion video, HDR video
8MP ƒ/2.2, focus pixels, True Tone flash
1080p video at 60fps, slow motion at 120fps
Front camera5MP f/2.0, wide-angle lens, night mode, flash1.2MP, ƒ/2.2, 720p video, auto HDR
Battery3000 mAh (non-removable), Turbo Charging1810 mAh (non-removable)
Connectivity802.11ac + MIMO Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, GPS802.11ac + MIMO Wifi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, GPS
SpeakersFront-facing stereo speakers with SmartboostMono bottom-facing speaker
Dimensions153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
138.1mm x 67.0mm x 6.9mm
Water resistanceWater repellent nano-coatingnone
ColorsBlack lens, dark gray frame and accents, black back
White lens, silver frame and accents, bamboo back
Moto Maker support with 17 different backs and 7 different accents available
white, space gray, gold

If that specs table above didn't give it away, the iPhone 6 and the Moto X Style are very different phones. While it might be fairer to compare the iPhone 6 Plus to the Moto X Style (although even the mammoth iPhone 6 Plus still has a smaller display), we're going to compare instead to the standard iPhone 6. There are a few reasons for that. The smaller iPhone 6 is more popular than its larger Plus brother, it's cheaper and thus closer to the Moto X Style's $399 price point, and it's a comparison that Motorola pointedly made more than once during their announcement of the their new flagship phone.

iPhone 6 vs. Moto X Style: front view

Right off the bat the differences start making themselves obvious. Up front the Moto X Style is dominated by a huge 5.7-inch quad-HD TFT LCD display with nearly four times the resolution of the iPhone 6's 4.7-inch Retina display. And where the iPhone's glass display cover flows smoothly down to the metal body with a narrow plastic joint, the Moto X Style's flat front panel is wrapped in a plastic bumper. The differences get even broader from there: the Moto has a pair of front-facing speakers while the iPhone's single loudspeaker fires out the bottom. The iPhone has a home button slash fingerprint sensor, Motorola eschews such physical controls.

And that's just the front — where Apple opts for a single continuous piece of machined aluminum, Motorola goes for a segmented and undulating metal ring around a back panel. That back panel is where things can get really interesting, with Motorola offering a wide range of back panels when you order your phone — there's standards like a grippy silicone black or white, or you can go crazy with something like lime green or red. And if you want to go fancy instead, there are multiple leather and wood options as well. Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive might think such choice is bad design (and you can make some truly hideous combinations if you really want), there's something to be said for choice too.

Motorola and Apple are taking differing approaches on photography as well. The iPhone 6 has an 8MP sensor that still takes quite good images, but they're staring down the barrel of many high-powered competitors, with Motorola joining the fray big time with a whopping 21MP sensor. Of course, we'll have to spend some proper time outside of controlled conditions with the Moto X Style to judge if the camera takes as good of photos as Motorola says it does, but we're hopeful that they've taken years of mediocre cameras and turned out something impressive instead.

It's hard to find approaches as different as these two. Motorola is throwing everything up to and including the kitchen sink against the wall with the Moto X Style in hopes of catching some momentum, offering a phone that's huge and packed with the latest in technology. Apple's iPhone 6, though admittedly rapidly approaching the end of its first year and inevitable replacement, is still a dominating force in the smartphone market, and takes a less-is-more approach with numbers in technology.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.