Motorola

Motorola

Funding needed for third-party Moto Mod with multi-LED notification lights

While Motorola already has a number of its own Moto Mods modular accessories for its Moto Z family of smartphones, many third-party developers are also creating their own add-on products, via the use of the official Moto Mods Development Kit (MDK). A newly posted project on the Indiegogo crowd-funding site has an interesting Moto Mod product called Edge that’s designed to give Moto Z owners a new way to get notifications on their phones.

See also:

Moto partners with Indiegogo for Moto Mods development

November 3, 2016

The Edge Moto Mod, created by a company called Imagine Tech from Poland, will include a built in multi-LED system that will be placed all along the sides of the add-on. Using a special app, users can customize the lights in the Edge’s case to show different colors for notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and more. There are four different light patterns to choose from as well. The mod can also be set up to show alerts if a phone needs recharging, along with other functions.

The notification lights can get even more specific, as users can set up one color to get notifications from family, another for friends and yet another for business contacts. Imagine Tech is actually offering two different versions of its Edge Moto Mod. One is the Edge Force, which contains a 2000mAh battery to help extend the power use of the Moto Z phones. The other is the Edge Air, which adds wireless charging capabilities to the Moto Z phones.

The Indiegogo campaign launched earlier this week and so far it has raised, as of this writing, $3,667 of the $15,000 goal, with about a month to go. You can join in by paying $55 to get either the Edge Force or Edge Air Moto Mod. Imagine Tech claims it will begin shipping its Moto Mod to Indiegogo backers sometime in July.

Motorola will almost certainly reveal some new first-party Moto Mods in a few weeks as part of its press event at the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Check it out on Indiegogo

Moto Z Play: Android update tracker (Update: Nougat OTA arriving in India)

Update, February 7: The Moto Z Play Android Nougat update is now rolling out in India. The update brings improvements like Doze on the Go, direct reply for notifications and multi-window support as well as many others. Look out for the update arriving OTA in the coming days and discover all of the additions that it has to offer at the Motorola Mobility support page.

Thanks for the tip, Abhilash Singh!

Welcome to the Moto Z Play and Moto Z Play Droid (the Verizon-exclusive version) Android update tracker page. This page covers Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z Play with a quick reference table for each and a log with links to further details. It will be regularly updated with the latest Moto Z Play and Play Droid update information but we won’t be covering general security patches in this list.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest updates.

Moto Z Play and Moto Z Play Droid Android Nougat update

Lenovo has rolled out the Moto Z Play Nougat update in Europe and India but it’s yet to hit the US. The company has, however, confirmed that it will land in the States in March for both the unlocked and Verizon versions.

Lenovo also recently launched a Nougat beta program for select users in its feedback network to assist with the Z Play’s software development before launch; this is still ongoing.

Moto Z Play / Moto Z Play Droid updates Android 6.0.1Android 7.0 Android 7.11
VerizonYesExpected: March, 2017TBA
US unlocked YesIn betaTBA

Compatibility

The Moto Z Play Droid is exclusive to Verizon and, as such, is incompatible with other networks. The US unlocked Moto Z Play is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile but is not available for purchase through the carriers themselves. Both the Moto Z and Moto Z Play Droid are incompatible with Sprint as well as some other smaller networks.

For full carrier compatibility, check the official list.

Moto Z Play: Android update tracker (Update: Nougat OTA arriving in India)

Verizon Moto Z Play Droid update (XT1650-01):

  • January 18, 2017: Lenovo says the Nougat update will arrive to the Moto Z Play Droid in March.
  • December 29, 2016: Default notification volume level increased to match the volume level used in the original software release, you can increase or lower the notifications volume in Settings.

US unlocked Moto Z Play update (XT1635):

  • January 24, 2017: Lenovo seeks beta testers for the Nougat preview build.
  • January 18, 2017: Lenovo says Nougat update will arrive to the unlocked Moto Z Play in March.

International Moto Z Play update (XT1650-03):

  • February 6, 2017: Android Nougat starts rolling out to the Moto Z Play in India.
  • January 27, 2017: European Moto Z Play units begin receiving Nougat rollout OTA.

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or Tip Us!

Moto Mods ideas from third-party developers may turn into real products

Motorola continues to promote its Moto Mods modular accessories for its Moto Z family of smartphones, which add speakers, batteries, cameras and other functions via a magnetized back cover. It also wants to see more third-party developers come up with Moto Mods of their own. In January, the company held an event in India to help boost interest in making new accessories to those creators, and it held a similar event in San Francisco.

See also:

Moto Z and Moto Z Force Cases

September 20, 2016

In a blog post and video, Motorola highlighted some of the more interesting ideas and prototypes that came out of the San Francisco event, such as a battery back cover that used solar power to charge up. The creators stated such a product could be fully charged in about 10 hours.

Another idea was called Simple Syrup, and was made for people with diabetes. The Moto Mod could be designed to track a user’s blood sugar readings. Yet another idea, called ModCoholic, was designed to be a breathalyzer that could detect a user’s alcohol level. Motorola will hold yet another Moto Mod developer event in China sometime in mid-March.

Motorola’s parent company Lenovo has already announced plans to help bring the best third-party Moto Mods ideas to market, via a $1 million fund from Lenovo Capital. The winning teams from all of these development events will be invited to Motorola’s headquarters in Chicago later this year to present their ideas to company representatives.  Lenovo Capital could select some of those teams to receive money from that $1 million fund to help them create and sell their Moto Mods.

Meanwhile, Motorola is likely to reveal a few of their own new Moto Mods in a few weeks as part of the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. One of them could be a 3D augmented reality camera add-on that will use Google’s Tango technology.

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

Now that an increasing amount of smartphone manufacturers are selling their phones at cheaper price points, it’s much easier for consumers to afford an off-contract device rather than purchasing one with a two-year contract. At least in the United States, the way smartphones are priced has changed dramatically, and that’s a good thing.

So, what are the best smartphones out there for those who’d like to forgo the standard contract and buy unlocked? We’re here to take you through the best unlocked Android smartphones for under $250, under $500 and over $500. As always, if you have anything you’d like to suggest, be sure to speak up in the comment section at the bottom of the post.

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch. It’s also worth noting that this article is written for a U.S.-centric point of view, though (since they are unlocked) pretty much all of these devices are available outside of the U.S., at least in some capacity.


Best phones under $250

Honor 6X

See more Honor 6X photos

If you’re looking for a phone under $250, you should definitely check out the Honor 6X. With its big 5.5-inch 1080p display, long-lasting battery, metal construction, dual-SIM support and super fast fingerprint sensor, the 6X gives many other budget phones a run for their money.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this device is its rear-facing dual camera setup, which features 12 and 2MP sensors. While every dual-camera setup utilizes the secondary camera differently, the 6X uses the 2MP sensor to capture depth information that can be taken advantage of when using the camera’s wide aperture mode.

This phone isn’t perfect, though. It doesn’t come with USB Type-C support, EMUI is a little unpolished, and the device’s bottom-firing speaker isn’t the greatest. If you can get past those few caveats, though, the Honor 6X might be well worth your money.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 403ppi
  • Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 655 processor
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 12 and 2MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,340mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2mm, 162g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more Moto G4 Plus photos

Instead of announcing just one Moto G variant this year, Lenovo brought us three different devices – the Moto G4 Plus, Moto G4 and Moto G4 Play.

The highest-end of the bunch is the Moto G4 Plus, and it brings a handful of notable improvements to the Moto G range. It has a big 1080p display, capable processor, expandable storage, and even a fingerprint sensor this time around. While we had a slight problem with the volume/power buttons and the camera in low light, we can honestly say this is one of the best budget offerings in 2016.

Right now you can buy it in the U.S. for $249.99 through Amazon or Motorola.com.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 2/3/4GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm, 155g

Read more

Buy now from Motorola

Moto G4 Play

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more Moto G4 Play photos

Lenovo’s Moto G4 Play enters the market with a low price tag, solid specifications and a familiar design language we’ve all grown to love.

It sports a 5.0-inch HD display, solid Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera that’s great for snapping the occasional photo. Plus, you get a removable 2800mAh battery, which is a feature many manufacturers have been leaving out of their phones lately.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 294ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 144.4 x 72 x 9.9mm, 137g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best phones under $500

OnePlus 3T

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more OnePlus 3T photos

We weren’t expecting OnePlus to release another new flagship in 2016, but it happened. If you were a fan of the OnePlus 3, you’ll certainly love the OnePlus 3T.

With its powerful Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 6GB of RAM, the 3T absolutely flies through web browsing, gaming and most other everyday tasks. It also has a bigger battery this time around (3,400mAh to be exact), which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. In addition, the 3T now sports 16MP rear and front-facing camera sensors, a dual-SIM card slot, plenty of on-board storage, and a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor on the front.

Basically the OnePlus 3T is a better OnePlus 3, and we’re certainly not complaining. You can buy it from OnePlus’ website in Gunmetal and Soft Gold color options.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 16MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

ZTE Axon 7

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more ZTE Axon 7 photos

ZTE’s Axon Pro from 2015 was a good phone, but it fell short in a few key areas. It came to market with only one storage option, no expandable memory, and the dual camera setup on the back of the device felt a bit gimmicky. Not only does the company’s latest flagship fix all of those problems, it brings much more to the table.

It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon processor, plenty of RAM, multiple storage options, and yes, expandable memory up to 256GB. It also sports some killer front-facing speakers, all-day battery life, a great camera, and a sleek, attractive design. While certain parts of the software could use a little more polish, the ZTE Axon 7 goes toe-to-toe with the best in the Android market. It’s also inexpensive at only $400, making this an even more attractive option for folks looking to score a solid flagship device.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 20MP front camera, 8MP rear camera
  • Non-removable 3250mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm, 175g

Read more

Buy at Amazon

Best phones above $500

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more Google Pixel and Pixel XL photos

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features and some of the best smartphone cameras in existence.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, if you buy the Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM, great 12MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from Amazon
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from Amazon

Huawei Mate 9

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more Huawei Mate 9 photos

Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.

With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it. If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 20 and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, 190g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

HTC 10

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2017)

See more HTC 10 photos

HTC needed a saving grace this year, and the 10 just may be it. The Taiwanese company finally designed a phone that’s different enough from its predecessor yet still sports a familiar design language. With an all-metal chassis, front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a new-and-improved speaker setup, the HTC 10 easily made its way to our best Android phones list.

Under the hood, the 10 comes with some killer specs. A 5.2-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM are in line with most other flagships this year, and it also comes with expandable storage up to 200GB and a 3000mAh battery that will have no problems lasting an entire day on a single charge. HTC also improved the camera this time around, which was a big flaw in last year’s One M9 flagship.

All in all, the HTC 10 is an awesome device. Great specs and a solid build quality are what you’ll get here… what more could you ask for?

Specs

  • 5.2-inch Super LCD5 display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 565ppi
  • 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm, 161g

Read more

Buy now from HTC

There you have it – our picks of the best unlocked Android phones you can buy right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

Check out our related best lists:

Unlocked Moto Z Nougat update begins US rollout

Motorola is keeping its earlier promise to roll out the Android Nougat update for the unlocked Moto Z to its US owners in February. Thanks to a tip from one of our readers (and multiple online reports from other users), it looks like the unlocked Moto Z’s Android Nougat update is starting now!

See also:

Moto Z and Moto Z Force Cases

September 20, 2016

It’s been a longer wait than anticipated for the people who bought the unlocked Moto Z back in September. The Verizon versions of both the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid, which were released in July, were able to snag their Nougat updates in mid-November.

In addition to Nougat, this update for the unlocked Moto Z also adds support for Google’s Daydream VR platform, which means you can use the company’s Daydream View headset to check out a bunch of virtual reality apps and games on the phone. The headset is currently available for just $49 at the Google Store, a $30 discount from its normal $79 price tag. That discount is scheduled to end on February 25.

One odd thing about this update that’s being reported is that Google’s Android security patches are from way back in November. Hopefully Motorola will roll out the more recent security updates for the unlocked Moto Z very soon.

That leaves the budget-priced Moto Z Play, both in its unlocked and Verizon versions, without its own Nougat update. A few weeks ago, a Motorola spokesperson stated that the OTA roll out for those phones will begin sometime in March.

Keep in mind that this rollout has just started, so it may take a while for your Moto Z to receive this update. If you do own the unlocked Moto Z, have you been able to download the Android Nougat update? If so what are your initial impressions? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Thanks for the tip, Cooper Dahle!

Motorola Moto G5 could be sold in the UK sometime in mid-March

0

Rumors of Motorola launching an new mid-range phone, the Moto G5, began popping up a few weeks ago. Today, a new report claims the phone could go on sale, at least in the UK, sometime in mid-March.

See also:

Hey Moto, how does it take 9 months to roll out Android Nougat?

1 day ago

The rumors come from the Twitter account of gadget leaker Roland Quandt, who claims to have received a leaked sales list from an unnamed retailer:

The specs listed on the leaked retailer page show the lower end model with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, in gold and gray colors. Previously rumored specs for the Moto G5 claimed that a version would also be released with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Both would have a 5-inch 1080p resolution. the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front facing camera, a fingerprint reader, and a 2800mAh battery. The phone is also supposed to have Android 7.0 Nougat installed. No prices for the phone were shown in the sales list.

Motorola is also rumored to be working on another model, the Moto G5 Plus, with some higher-end hardware specs. One, and most likely both, of these phones could be officially announced in a few weeks as part of Motorola’s announcements at the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. We will be there to get first-hand news on what the company will reveal, along with hopefully some hands-on impressions.

What do you think about the prospects of Motorola launching one or two new mid-range phones in a few weeks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Hey Moto, how does it take 9 months to roll out Android Nougat?

We all have a love/hate relationship with updates. We want them fast, but when they arrive broken, we’re mad. We want them polished, but when they take too long, we’re sad. We can all agree there’s a sweet spot where we’re OK with an update taking a while as long as it arrives stable, functional and within a reasonable amount of time. So it’s no wonder folks are flaming up about Moto Germany’s recent tweet delaying the Nougat update for the Moto X family until May 2017: nine whole months after Android 7.0 first appeared.

See also:

OEMs need to stop promising updates they can’t deliver

1 week ago

Now, it has to be acknowledged that the Moto X family is no longer Moto’s flagship line – that crown passed to the Moto Z family a while back. But Moto Germany also tweeted to admit the Moto Z Play update would also be delayed until March (two days after saying it was ready). Some other parts of Europe are already getting the update but Verizon’s Moto Z Play update is also delayed until March. Even the Moto G4 update has been delayed until February in Germany.

The reason these delays are so obnoxious is that Motorola has one of the most stock-like manufacturer skins of all, and the Moto X Pure Edition is so close to stock Nougat it’s not funny. And yet, Motorola, under Lenovo’s ownership, now seems incapable of rolling out Nougat in anything even resembling a timely manner. Even for the Moto X Pure Edition, which is still waiting.

According to some appearances on GFXBench, when the Moto X Style – or Pure Edition in the U.S. – does finally get the update, it might be to Android 7.1.1 which was released on December 5, 2016. But in the Moto Z Play delay comments, Moto Germany confirmed that device will updated to Android 7.0, not to 7.1.1. If the Moto X family follows suit, it will be nine months to get to 7.0 (or five months to get to 7.1.1). Taking anywhere near this long to essentially roll out stock with a few Moto apps and tweaks on top is nothing short of appalling.

Comments on Moto Germany’s announcement tweet are unsurprisingly hostile, especially in response to the company’s continued claims that Moto wants to “provide the best software for our users. Unfortunately that takes some extra time”. Sure, that may be the case, but practically every other other manufacturer has already rolled out Nougat updates with much heavier skins than Moto’s.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Motorola beat even Nexus devices to the most recent Android update. So if the second generation Moto G was capable of beating the Nexus 5 to Android Lollipop two years ago, how can Moto Germany possibly need nine months to achieve the same thing? The only answer seems to be that, short of some mass developer exodus, Motorola no longer prioritizes Android updates like they once did.

Even with the Marshmallow update, the Moto X Style got Marshmallow just five weeks after the update rolled out to Nexus devices and the Moto X Pure Edition was the first U.S. device to get the update less than a month later. This all happened a full year after Lenovo acquired Motorola, so what’s changed in the last year?

See also:

Lenovo misjudged what it would take to revive the Moto brand

2 weeks ago

Android Nougat does seem to have presented a lot of issues for OEMs trying to get the update out, with multiple delays, sudden rollout halts and bugs aplenty. But can it really be that radically different than previous Android releases? Maybe, but if that was the case it shouldn’t be too much to expect an OEM to throw additional resources at the problem. Again, plenty of manufacturers have managed just fine.

Moto’s restructuring under Lenovo, the issues Lenovo has had with the brand and Chinese New Year all may have a part to play, we just don’t know. It may take a while to get to the bottom of this bizarre situation, but rest assured, the more voices that are raised in objection to poor customer service like this, the greater the chance OEMs will do things differently next time. So even if you’re not waiting on the German update, go hit that comments section and let Moto know this is not OK.

What’s the longest you’ve had to wait for an update? Do you consider update performance when buying a new phone?

This Moto Z Mod adds wireless charging and looks just like a case

A new Moto Z mod is in development that would give the handset an IR Blaster and wireless charging capabilities in a slim profile. The Ultimate Moto Z Mod is being designed for Motorola’s Transform the Smartphone challenge, which asks independent creators to produce a Moto Z mod prototype for the chance to have it sold nationwide by Verizon.

The Ultimate Moto Z Mod is barely thicker than a regular Moto shell case, at just over 3mm, and is being funded on IndieGoGo in accordance with the competition rules. Currently, it needs to be plugged into the phone to work, but it will connect to the device pins in the final version. Further, the IR Blaster function, which means the phone can be used as a remote control for compatible electronics products, is still in progress. Check out how it looks so far in the video below.

You can fund the project on IndieGoGo now to receive the wireless charging shell for $35 and the wireless charging and IR Blaster combined shell for $45, when they are released later this year (estimated November).

All things considered, this looks very promising: it’s is the cheapest of all the Moto Mod products on sale right now and it’s also the thinnest, excluding the regular shell case, which doesn’t house any extra functionality.

See also:

Moto Z Play Nougat preview could be on its way soon

6 days ago

Ultimately, the option to buy a slim, wireless charging case for $35 is something which I’m sure even none Moto Z owners would find appealing. I certainly do.

Deal: Save $400 off a Moto Z with Hasselblad True Zoom Camera

The Moto Z family of phones from Motorola have fully embraced the modular design concept with their support for Moto Mods, and the company has certainly done a much better job of supporting them then we saw from LG with the G5. Interested in the Moto Z but looking for a good deal? Today, you can get an unlocked Moto Z combined with one of the more expensive Moto Mods, the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera, for just $599.99 at B&H Photo.

See also:

Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snap

July 27, 2016

That price is $400 off that bundle’s normal cost of $999.99. That basically means you are getting the $299.99 Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Moto Mod for free while still getting the $699.99 Moto Z itself for $100 off. All in all, that’s a terrific deal.

Here’s a quick recap on both the Moto Z and the camera mod. The 5.5-inch unlocked Moto Z has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, along with a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera and a 2600mAh battery. The version of the phone in this bundle has 64GB of onboard storage, and it has Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, with the promise that the update to Android Nougat is coming sometime in February.

The unlocked phone included in this bundle can be used on GSM networks run by T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, but it cannot be used on Sprint’s network. Verizon does sell its own version of this phone, under the name of the Moto Z Droid, that can only be used on its network.

As with all the Moto Mods, the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera connects magnetically to the back of the Moto Z. Its main feature is the 10x optical zoom lens, which will make taking photos from a distance much easier. Most of the rest of this Moto Mod’s hardware is not quite as impressive. It only has a 12MP sensor, and it supports filming video at up to 1080p.  However the big jump for the optical zoom may make this worth getting, especially since, as we pointed out before, this bundle essentially makes this Moto Mod free with the purchase of the Moto Z.

Hopefully, we will get to hear more about the next wave of Moto Mods from Motorola in time for the MWC 2017 trade show in late February. In the meantime, you can get the unlocked Moto Z and the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera from B&H Photo at the discounted price from now until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 29.

Get it at B&H Photo

Moto Z Play Nougat preview could be on its way soon

Lenovo could soon roll out an early build of Android Nougat to the Moto Z Play. The news arrives via Android Police, who received word that people involved in the Moto Z “Feedback Network” are being asked if they would like to take part in the trial program.

Lenovo is reportedly aiming to move “quickly” with regards to the update process and has already confirmed a March rollout for the final software (details on which you can read at the link below.) Those that wish to take part must have a good standing in the Moto Owners Forum also, but it’s unclear whether those who own the Verizon branded Moto Z Play Droid will have access to the same testing phase.

Meanwhile, it was recently confirmed that the higher spec’d Moto Z would receive Android Nougat in February.

See also:

Nougat update for unlocked Moto Z due in February, Moto Z Play in March

7 days ago

Owners of the unlocked Moto Z devices have been left disappointed by Lenovo’s recent rollout schedule, as the Verizon Moto Z variants, the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid, were upgraded to Android Nougat last November. Lenovo’s going to have to make sure it sticks to the announced timeline if it wants to avoid any further backlash.