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January 3, 2017

The next Moto 2017: What’s the story so far?

by John_A

Motorola has changed hands more times than a used car in recent years, skipping over to Google and then to Lenovo where it currently resides.

With future phones carrying the Moto branding – and a shake-up on 2016 introducing the Moto Z family, we’re left wondering exactly what the next Moto handset might be. 

We’ve been keeping track of the rumours surrounding the next Moto phone, which might be the X, or might be something else.

Next Moto G, Moto X, Moto Z or something else?

There’s some confusion as to what the next Moto handset might be. The Moto G was updated in mid-2016, the Moto Z was launched in summer (although it didn’t escape the US until November 2016). 

Meanwhile the Moto X dropped off the radar. It’s still available from Motorola, but hasn’t been updated since 2015, leading many to believe that the next launch will be the reintroduction of the Moto X. 

However, with the Moto G creeping up in spec and expanding into three different handsets and the Moto Z offering two different models, at different prices, is there space for the Moto X to slide into the middle? 

Although many are calling this the Moto X, TechDroider is reporting that it isn’t the Moto X, but it does have the codename Cedric.


The next Motorola 2017: Design

Fortunately, we know a lot more about the design of the next Moto phone because it unceremoniously leaked in a couple of murky hands-on photos.

The handset doesn’t appear to have the Moto Z’s contact pins, so we can assume that it won’t support Moto Mods. The photos appear to show a device with a metal build, but there’s no telling what the rear panel is made from and it could easily be plastic in a metal frame.

Expanding on the design leaks, Android Authority teamed up with @onleaks to produce renders of the handset, revealing what looks like some leading edge chamfer and a nice curve to the back.

It’s been suggested that it will come in silver and gold colours and the dimensions given in this latest rendering are 150 x 73.8 x 8.4mm.

The next Moto 2017: Display

When this device first appeared it was suggested that it would have a 5.5-inch display. Lenovo has previously said that it wouldn’t make devices smaller than 5.5-inch. 

However, it’s suggested that it’s actually 5.2-inches and there’s no word on the resolution. We’re guessing that it’s going to be 1920 x 1080 pixels, so full HD. 

The next Moto 2017: Hardware and specs

There’s less information about the hardware specs for this Moto handset. There’s been no talk about the chipset that it might run on, although it’s been suggested that it will offer a microSD card slot, which is great for storage expansion. 

There’s a fingerprint scanner on the front which seems to be less like the odd square version that was on the Moto G4 Plus, and more like the iterations we’ve seen from Samsung or HTC. We’re assuming it’s not a button, just a touch pad.

There’s a 3.5mm headphone socket – so it doesn’t lose it like the Moto Z, but also the suggestion that this handset uses Micro-USB, rather than the newer, neater, USB Type-C, which would be an odd decision. We’re expecting most handsets to shift to USB Type-C in 2017.


The next Moto 2017: Camera

Around the back, this Moto handset used the same sort of design as the Moto Z for the camera, with a large round bump, housing both the lens and the flash module. 

The Moto G4 rocked a range of camera options – 8MP, 13MP, 16MP – so it’s difficult to predict exactly what this model might get equipped with. If it lifts the Moto Z camera, that’s 13 megapixels. 

There appear to be two apertures on the front however, flanking the ear speaker, so there’s a chance this this model will also offer a front-facing flash for the selfie camera. 

The next Moto: Conclusions

At the moment there’s a lot we don’t know about the forthcoming Moto handset. We’re not sure about the name or the timescale of when it might appear. The leaks are a little light for a CES 2017 launch, so we suspect this will be a MWC 2017 handset. 

But from the design is does very much appear this is a mid-range design. It doesn’t have the gloss of the Moto Z and it doesn’t quite do justice to the Moto X models of the past either, so the positioning is still unknown. 

Time will reveal all and we suspect there will be a lot more leaking before launch day.

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