If you like the look of Motorola’s leather backs on the Moto X but wanted a more unique color, you might be interested in the brand new red leather back that’s recently been added to MotoMaker for the Moto X 2014 edition. The new shade joins a few other colors and the football leather that was announced a few weeks ago.
Like the other leather options, opting for a leather back adds $25 to the base price of the Moto X. Still, $425 for a leather Moto X, sans contract, doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all.
Come comment on this article: Motorola adds red leather backing to the Moto X 2014
While the latter part of 2014 saw the release of a number of stunning devices that are still very much worthy of purchasing even now, the reality is that many of these devices have become overshadowed by upcoming 2015 flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9. In order to steal back some of the spotlight, many times OEMs will employ a few different strategies to make their “no longer brand new but still relevant” flagships stand out such as introducing aggressive price cuts or new color configurations. That’s exactly what Motorola is doing.
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Motorola has already employed the former strategy through various sales and promos over the last few months, and now they’re going the latter route by introducing red leather to the Moto Maker. The new red leather option joining existing choices including various wood, leather, and plastic backs. As with other leather backs (and straps, in the case of the Moto 360), Motorola is teaming up with Horween for the new red leather back panel. Upgrading to red leather costs the same $25 charge as other leather/wood options.
Not sure if the Moto X (2014) is right for you? Be sure to check out our full review.
Announced and made available on February 25, the new Moto E is one of the cheapest off-contract smartphones you’ll find. But, does cheap mean low quality or shoddy craftsmanship? Hardly. Not only is this one of the least expensive models you can buy without a service plan, it happens to be one of the better choices for various user needs.
The second generation Moto E is definitely an evolutionary take on its predecessor and doesn’t stray far in overall design and approach. Looking very much like a late edition Motorola it would be easy for an average person to confuse this one with last year’s edition – or the different Moto G and Moto X models.
Pick the Moto E up and you’ll notice it has a nice, soft finish that doesn’t grab oils, dirt, or fingerprints. Available in black or white, the phone feels like it can take a bit of moderate abuse. Throw your phone in a pocket or purse without much thought? No worries, the Moto E is forgiving.
Along the outer edge of the phone you’ll find a textured grip in either of the default colors. Not only does this give you some extra bite when in hand, it can also be used to accent your design. You can purchase additional color options that add a hint of color or pizzazz to the phone. No, it’s not on the same level of the Moto Maker stuff for the Moto X, or even the replacement battery covers on the Moto G, but it’s nice to know you’re not stuck with what you bought.
Popping the edge ring on and off proves no challenge; interestingly, the volume and power buttons are included as part of the grip. It’s quite something how a little strip of blue or pink might change the overall aesthetics.
As is the case with other Motorola smartphones of late, the Moto E features a nearly stock Android software experience. As of this review the Moto E ships with Android 5.0.2 which is just about the absolute latest in releases. For what it’s worth, Android 5.1 was announced and began deployment right around the same time as the phone’s debut.
Motorola has opted to include a handful of its own apps and services; present here are Migrate, Assist, and Moto Display. You’ll also find minor tweaks to the user experience such as flicking your wrist to open the camera. In short, none of these really duplicates anything found in the Android OS and each can be user-defined or left alone.
Does all of this mean that the device moves along without snags or stutters? No, we did find the occasional burp or minor pauses in response. Nothing crazy, though, and there were no force closing problems. Unless you have spent a lot of time with more powerful phones or are doing head-to-head comparisons, you may not even see the difference.
Slightly larger than its predecessor, the second-gen Moto E features a 4.5-inch display. It doesn’t sound like much and doesn’t feel all that different in hand, but it’s nice to see more screen for the money. On the other hand, it provides the same overall resolution (960×540) which means less pixels per inch. Does this matter to you? We venture to say it shouldn’t – especially because of its price.
Motorola has opted for Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection atop of the display. Additionally, there’s a water resistant coating to help guard against life’s little spills. It’s not a true waterproof finish but it’s all you’ll need in the event you’re caught out in the rain.
We did find that the screen is not quite as bright as we might have hoped. We do like to dial down brightness to preserve battery; however, the higher settings are still a little darker than we’d hoped. Dealbreaker? Hardly.
Motorola has doubled down on internal capacity for the Moto E 2015. Customers now get 8GB to work with and there’s also microSD expansion. It’s worth noting, however, that you are limited to 32GB cards for an all-in total of maximum of 40GB. But, thanks to the ever-growing list of cloud storage options and online backup services, this capacity isn’t quite the dealbreaker it would have been two years ago.
One area where less expensive smartphones tend to pull up short is in the camera. Indeed, the first-generation Moto E suffered from a less-than-desirable experience that had somewhat justified its lower price point.
Thankfully, Motorola has moved the needle for this year’s model by integrating auto-focus and an Auto-HDR mode. Between the two of these we found the camera was able to capture images quickly and fairly accurately. There’s nothing worse (ok, there are plenty of things worse) than whipping out the camera to snap a few pictures and the phone not locking on to the subject. The Moto E 2015 was much quicker and more precise than we expected.
Video recording gets a boost this time around, jumping from 480p to 720p. It’s the low end of HD, sure, but we’ll take it. Sadly, there’s still no flash to be found so you’ll want to ensure you have good lighting.
Also new in this generation, there’s a front-facing VGA camera. Absent altogether in the previous model, it’s just enough to say it exists. If you’re looking for something HD for video chat you’ll not find it here.
Coming in with 2390mAh capacity, the battery is a 20% increase over last year’s power supply. What does that mean to you, the user? How about more than one day of juice and a downright incredible standby time?
We were blown away by the way the Moto E sipped at its battery over the span of a few days. In our mixed usage we found that the battery was able to give us all-day life plus more. Light users, we imagine, could get 2-3 days or more from this one. Things could get even better if you’re using the 3G model or don’t spend much time utilizing high speed data.
We are extremely impressed with the Moto E. Considering the $150 price point we would have been happy with a slightly larger screen over last year’s model. Or, perhaps just adding in 4G LTE support. Fortunately for us, we get both of these as well as the latest release of Android. Throw in the better camera details and battery it’s all bonus.
At $120, the 3G variant is still plenty of smartphone for someone making the leap from feature phone. Both are attractive enough in price to consider one of these as a backup or replacement for a lost or damaged model.
It’s going to be hard to recommend any other brand over Motorola at this price range. Sure, Blu, Huawei, and a few others are treading into that space and offer compelling devices, but we’ve got to give the nod to Motorola. There’s more than enough here to merit the money and the brand is one we’ve been all too pleased to learn to trust again.
The Motorola Bands and Grip Shells are a nice touch that help users get a more personalized design. You’ll spend a few bucks to do so, yes, but you’re still walking away with a semi-personalized, low-cost smartphone with leading edge Android. Oh, and it’s also unlocked and waiting for your micro-SIM card.
If this is indicative of what a post-Google and Lenovo-owned Motorola is going to do then we’re on board.
When the Moto 360 first hit the scene, its reception was… mixed. That round display was eye-catching, but it couldn’t make up for the smartwatch’s all-too-short battery life and undercooked software. Times have changed, though. Motorola trotted out updates that addressed the 360’s early problems, and the Lollipop upgrade gave Android Wear a new lease on life through custom watch faces and a few other useful tweaks. But does that mean it deserves a second chance, especially now that rivals like LG’s G Watch R are vying for your wrist?
I’ll tackle the big question up-front: battery life wasn’t an issue. I could wear the Moto 360 throughout a typical day and still have a significant charge left when I was ready to go to bed. That was no mean feat for me, since I usually have to deal with a steady stream of Hangouts messages and work email. Having said this, I was very, very thankful for the 360’s wireless charging dock. Smartwatches needing clip-on cradles or cables are often a hassle, but Motorola’s wristwear was so easy to top up that I hardly even thought about it.
I’m also a fan of the design, for the most part. I never completely forgot about the black strip at the bottom of the display that creates a “flat tire” look, but it also wasn’t distracting (at least not on my all-black model). The leather strap makes the 360 extra comfortable, and the circular design is subtle enough that I didn’t feel conspicuously geeky most of the time. However, there’s no question that it could stand to be smaller. That 46mm-diameter case is enormous, at least on my moderately sized adult male arm. That’s true of a lot of smartwatches (the ASUS ZenWatch is particularly huge), but there’s something to be said for the discreetness of a smaller device like the 38mm Apple Watch.
The software is a tougher call, even if it’s mostly a positive experience. Android Wear is supremely handy for the basic information I like to see over the course of a day, like weather or sports scores. And in a chilly Ottawa winter, it was more than a little helpful to respond to Hangouts messages or check in to Swarm without reaching for my phone and freezing my hands in the process. The Lollipop update also added quite a few features and overall polish that were missing the first time around. It was nice to have a wide choice of watch faces, for example, and I could tune out most alerts if I set the 360 to only give me priority notifications. I didn’t have to use that last mode very often, but I was happy to know I could avoid information overload when necessary.
However, it’s all too apparent that Android Wear still needs more time in the oven. For one thing, its approach to apps is backward — unless I was launching something I had recently used, I had to go to the very bottom of a long menu just to start browsing the app list.
The interface isn’t that great at surfacing the information I need at the time I need it, for that matter. Spotify’s Android Wear card always showed up on cue, but Sonos’ controls appeared inconsistently even when there was music playing. And the watch frequently defaulted to showing apps that weren’t really relevant to the situation at hand; no, I don’t need to check out my fitness goals in the middle of the workday. Google may be right that watches are primarily about receiving passive streams of information, but that doesn’t excuse doing a poor job when I want to be more active.
Even with those quirks in mind, it’s pretty clear the Moto 360 has turned a corner in half a year’s time. It’s no longer the underdeveloped novelty that it was on launch, and it’s now my pick of the current Android Wear crop. True, it doesn’t have the G Watch R’s true circular display, the ZenWatch’s custom software or the Sony Smartwatch 3’s GPS, but I’d say of the three, it strikes the best balance between looks, functionality and price. About the only thing holding back the 360 is the software, but it’s already apparent from the Lollipop update that Google is determined to quickly improve Android Wear. If you’re happy with the current feature set, the 360 is a great buy — and I’m glad I can say that given its rough start.
Tease they must. Those device manufacturers certainly have a way to poke the bear when it comes to a good tease. Samsung does a decent job with images and videos prior to a device announcement. HTC isn’t very good at it yet. Motorola, they tend to get us all talking. Mainly because their teases can […]
The post Something with Red Leather headed our way from Motorola appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Motorola has taken to social media to tease the arrival of a new product in a Red Leather variant. The company is simply asking which your favorite red leather accessory is. The company then says that they have something in the works for us fans.
Knowing that the company has no devices in the pipeline until the Fall at least, it’s safe to assume that this is a new color variant of an existing device. We’ve seen Motorola launch a unique football leather version of the Moto X, so this could be something similar.
The Moto X is already available in leather variants, but the red option isn’t available. So this inclusion will certainly spice up the Moto X lineup which is barely getting any attention with newer and more powerful smartphones reaching the markets.
What do you think Motorola is trying to tease here? Sound off below.
Source: @Motorola – Twitter
Come comment on this article: Motorola could have Red Leather version of the Moto X in the works
If you own a Moto G (2014) and reside in the UK, you may want to listen up, as Motorola has just started pushing out the much-anticipated Android 5.0 Lollipop update to all unlocked variants of the handset located in your region.
All the changes you’d expect to find in Lollipop are bundled into this upgrade, including support for multiple accounts, improved notifications, a smoother multitasking experience and the recently-announced Material Design guidelines.
As is customary with all manufacturer updates, the upgrade is being distributed in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device, you can search for the update manually. To do so simply follow the four steps below:
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll to the bottom and tap on “About Device”
- Hit “System Updates”
- Tap on “Check for update”
If you own a Moto G and you’re situated in the United Kingdom, why not drop us a line in the comments section below letting us know when you receive the update?
Come comment on this article: Moto G (2014) now receiving Lollipop update in the UK
A root method has finally been released for Motorola’s Droid Turbo, with a small catch. The program costs $20 per phone you plan on rooting, which is pretty rare to see with root methods on Android devices.
The root tool was developed by maiko1 on XDA and allows you to flash any system image to your Droid Turbo, included pre-rooted system images. It won’t disable write protection, but if all you’re looking for is a simple root method to use some of your favorite root apps, this should do the trick.
Whenever you start dealing with rooting devices, you run the risk of doing some permanent damage that won’t be covered by the manufacturer warranty. If you’re still interested, hit the links below to get started.
Come comment on this article: Root method for the Droid Turbo released for $20
Amidst all of the excitement about the springtime releases of flagship smartphones, Motorola has revealed that the next generation of their top-tier Motorola Moto X device should be coming out in late summer, probably August or September. This timeline was revealed by Motorola President Rick Osterloh in a response on Twitter to a question about the time-frame for release of the next Moto X. Osterloh indicated Motorola tries to “stay on a roughly annual cycle” for product releases.
The next Moto X is expected to come equipped with a Snapdragon 810 processor. True to previous efforts to distinguish their devices on more than just hardware, the next Moto X is expected to be “smarter than any other smartphone.” During the most recent round of #AskRickO questions on Twitter, Osterloh also revealed that Motorola does not have any current plans to do a smaller screen on their next device, although he seemed to get the message that there are users out there looking for a quality device in the sub 5-inch range.
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) March 25, 2015
Come comment on this article: 3rd generation Motorola Moto X in the works for late summer release
Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh took to Twitter to answer questions from Moto fans and revealed a few hints about the Lenovo-owned company’s plans for this year.
Starting with Lenovo, the executive said Motorola employees already feel at home in the Lenovo fold, and that the Chinese company gave them a “very warm welcome.” Motorola has been officially integrated into Lenovo on October 30, following a $2.9 billion purchase from Google; since then, representatives of both companies said that Motorola enjoys extended autonomy and that it would remain Lenovo’s main brand in the Western markets.
While Motorola has established a strong foothold in several big markets from around the world (Brazil, India, and China included), the company will continue to expand in 2015, with Central and Easter Europe singled out by Osterloh as targets. Moreover, Brazil is said to be a priority for the expansion of the Moto Maker program.
Asked if Motorola plans to release new tablets in the close future, Osterloh said there are no such plans and pointed towards tablet offerings from Lenovo, including the Yoga line. Motorola’s last tablet was released in 2011. That contradicts the statements of Lenovo boss Yang Yuanqing, who said in October that Motorola-branded tablets are in the pipeline.
There are no plans either for a Motorola flagship that is smaller than five inches. Motorola will probably keep the display of the Moto X (2015) to at least 5.2-inch, though an even larger screen is also a strong possibility.
Osterloh said Motorola will stick to its roughly annual release cycle for the next Moto X, meaning a release in early fall is likely.
“Contextual awareness, Moto Maker options and “premium value”” are Motorola’s main points of focus for its upcoming devices. Osterloh hinted that Moto Maker might be enhanced with more materials, joining the wood and leather “natural” options currently available.
Overall, the company hopes to “expand consumer choices (price points and options), expand our country reach and introduce cool new innovations.”
Osterloh also revealed that Lollipop for the Moto X (2013) is in early testing, that Motorola would love Android Wear to work with iOS (no plans though), and that an LTE variant of the Moto G (2014) is coming “pretty soon.”
More on Rick Osterloh’s Twitter feed.