Tag Archives: Motorola

Android

Motorola “Moto G” Trademark Revealed. It’s Anyone’s Guess As To What It Could Be.

 

Moto G Trademark Name

Recent discoveries of what appears to be a trademark filed by Motorola for the name “Moto G” have provoked bloggers to be up in a roar as to what the perplexing device could be. The name Moto G should come as no surprise to us as it’s been floating around the blogosphere for quite some time. And though the description of the device is, as expected, extremely broad, the device could easily be a smartphone, smart watch or some other high-end accessory. The speculation can honestly go on and on. And though we know something from Motorola is definitely in the works, we’ll just have to be patient like we always are in this industry to see what’s produced.

If you think you may know what the device is, feel free to offer up your suggestions below in the comments. And as always, as new news trickles down the pipeline you’ll be the first to know about it.

source: Phandroid

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Android

Motorola DROID Ultra quick review: A Moto X in a bigger body

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Motorola’s concentration is on the Moto X, but they haven’t left Verizon Wireless and the DROID line behind. In fact, Motorola signed an exclusive deal with Verizon making them the sole manufacturer of DROID phones going forward. For the last two years, Motorola’s emphasis was on the DROID RAZRs, but this year the “RAZR” name was dropped even though the overall look reminds us of past RAZRs. In the past, Motorola’s flagship was almost always a DROID, but this year, the DROID line is taking a backseat to the Moto X. Other than a few models, Verizon was used to pretty much being the only U.S. carrier to offer phones made by Motorola. That isn’t the case this year since the Moto X is available on all the major carriers, including Verizon. For the first time the DROIDs are actually a variant of another flagship. The DROID mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX are all essentially a Moto X in terms of pure specs. Yes, there are differences, but are they compelling enough to buy the DROID Ultra (or any other DROID) over the Moto X? Hit the break to find out.

Note: This is a quick review of the DROID Ultra. I am going to refer to my Moto X review for the majority of things since the phones are identical in terms of software and the majority of the hardware.

Design

I was a big fan of last year’s DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD, but not so much with this year’s DROID line. I know a lot of people weren’t fans of the soft-touch Kevlar, but I loved it. It distinguished itself from other phones and it felt great in the hand. Motorola hasn’t dropped the Kevlar coating, but the Ultra has a shiny glossy feel, which isn’t Motorola-like to me. On the other hand, the DROID MAXX does have a softer touch. I’m not sure why they didn’t go with the same design on the Ultra, but my guess is they wanted more differentiation to get consumers to cough up an extra $100.

If you look close enough you can see a honeycomb pattern on the back, but it’s very subtle. You also won’t find the hershey bar (pyramid) style design found on the Moto X. The thickest point is where the camera is and then it tapers as you get down to the bottom. The DROID Ultra comes in at 7.2mm thick, which is pretty thin, but the overall boxy and industrial design isn’t all that comfortable in the hand. Motorola was able to get away with it in previous year’s since the display was much smaller. The DROID Ultra (and MAXX) has a 5.0-inch display, which is 0.3-inches larger than last year’s DROID RAZR HD (and MAXX). Both the DROID DNA and the Galaxy S 4 sport 5-inch displays and are more comfortable in the hand.

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As far as buttons and ports go, you will find the power button on the right side towards the top and the volume rocker just below it, which also doubles as a nano SIM tray. At the top is the microphone jack and at the bottom is the microUSB port. The left side has no buttons or ports. One big change is the phone has hard navigation keys rather than on-screen buttons like last year’s DROID RAZR line and this year’s Moto X. This is a strange decision, but it does provide more screen real estate.

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It’s been a long time since I wasn’t impressed with a Motorola phone in terms of design, but I have to say I’m not impressed with the DROID Ultra. It’s a 5-inch phone that feels like a 5.5-inch phone and it’s too glossy and plasticy.

Hardware

The DROID Ultra has a 5.0-inch 720p AMOLED display (294 ppi), the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System (more on this below), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 10MP Clear Pixel rear camera (f/2.4), 2MP front-facing camera, 2,130mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR, LTE (700/AWS), HSPA+ 42 Mbps (850/900/1900/2100), CDMA / EVDO (800/1900), and quad-band GSM/EDGE

Performance

Just like the Moto X, the DROID Ultra includes Motorola’s X8 Mobile Computing System, which includes a software-optimized 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro for apps, a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU, a natural language processor, and a contextual computing processor. The natural language processor is dedicated to Touchless Control and the contextual processor is for the Active Display. Hardcores will scream that a dual-core is not good enough, but trust me, the DROID Ultra responds as good as a quad-core phone.

The display is the same as the Moto X, but the pixel density is a little less. It’s not going to blow your mind like the HTC One or the LG G2, but it’s more than adequate for the average consumer.

Battery

Motorola promises 24 hours of life with the 2,130mAh battery, but I would say 24 hours is pushing it. The fact that the battery is smaller than the Moto X’s (2,200mAh) and is pushing a bigger screen (5.0-inches vs 4.7-inches) makes it nearly impossible for it to perform as well. I was able to get about 15+ hours out of it with moderate use.

Software

The DROID Ultra (as well as the MAXX and Mini) have the same software as the Moto X. It’s basically stock Android 4.2.2 with some enhancements such as Touchless Control, Active Notifications, Motorola Assist, Motorola Migrate, and Motorola Connect. The only addition is the Rings Weather & Battery Widget and DROID Zap. DROID Zap allows you to share photos with other DROID owners in real-time. It’s very similar to Samsung’s All Share. The sharing feature was only available on this year’s DROIDs, but a recent update allows photo sharing between all DROID owners on Android 4.0 or higher. I honestly didn’t get a chance to test it since I didn’t have another DROID on hand, but unless others in your family or your friends own a DROID, it’s kind of useless. I know the DROID brand is big, but it’s nowhere as big as Samsung’s Galaxy brand. I can see using something like this (All Share) on a Galaxy phone since chances are good that people you know will own one, but a DROID?

For the other main software features, I’m going to refer to our Moto X guides as well as my hands on videos. Everything works exactly the same, with the only exception being one extra command for Touchless Control: DROID owners can say “Find My Phone” to force it to ring. Just click the links for each category to get more info. For your convenience, I included our hands on videos for each category. I judge software features on if they are useful or just cool and useless. Just like the Moto X, the majority of features on the DROID Ultra are very useful.

Touchless Control

Click here to view the embedded video.

Active Display Notifications

Click here to view the embedded video.

Motorola Assist

Click here to view the embedded video.

Motorola Connect

Click here to view the embedded video.

Motorola Migrate

Click here to view the embedded video.

Camera

You will find the same camera interface on the Moto X, which is very simple. The settings only consist of toggling the flash, auto focus, panorama, HDR, Geo tagging, and Quick Launch (on or off). For focus, your choices are auto or focus on touch. For HDR, it’s either on or off, but they have an auto mode (on by default). There are no other settings such as exposure or white balance. For video, you can set it to slow motion. The settings menu can be accessed by sliding your finger from the left side to the right. Just like the stock Android camera, you can access the gallery by sliding your finger from the right side to the left. Most consumers don’t fool around with the settings, so I can understand why Motorola took out a lot of options, but it would have been nice if they included some features for the more experienced users. Overall the interface might be a little too simplified for some, but most people will love it.

The DROID Ultra camera sports the same Clear Pixel technology found on the Moto X. If you’re not familiar with Clear Pixel technology, it allows for more light and speeds things up a bit. Most other cameras sport a Bayer RGBG filter, which means each 4X4 pixel area of the sensor is covered with red, green (2), and blue light filters. The new DROIDs and Moto X use a RGBC filter, which is similar, but the “C” stands for clear. This means that one of the four pixels receives a full unfiltered amount of light while sacrificing one green pixel. This equates to 50% more light. Obviously this will help in low light conditions, but it will also make the camera a lot faster.

Snapping shots is very easy since you can touch anywhere on the display. Holding your finger down will give you burst shots along with a counter telling you how many you have taken. You can also zoom in or zoom out by sliding your finger up or down on the display. The shutter is really quick and can handle my fast-moving 4-year old with no issues. Plus, you can open the camera in less then a second with Quick Capture: Just flick your wrist two times and the camera app will open. It works great.

The only real problem is the quality of photos suffers the same issues as the Moto X (See the review for images). The good news is that it’s a software issue and Motorola has fixed it. The bad news is who knows when Verizon will release it for the DROIDs? It’s already hit the Moto X on Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular. As usual, Verizon is the last in line, and since the DROIDs play second fiddle, the wait could be even longer than Verizon’s Moto X.

Closing

I was actually surprised that Motorola bothered with the DROIDs this year, and even more surprised that they plan to continue to release them. Now that the Moto X has become the face of Motorola and is available on all major carriers, the DROID seems so amateur. Motorola’s emphasis and concentration is going to be on the Moto X, so you can expect software updates to be pushed in that direction. We have already seen evidence with this latest camera fix update. Unless you feel so strongly that you need a little larger screen or smaller screen (as in the Mini), I can only recommend the Moto X instead of either of the new DROID phones. The DROID MAXX does offer a much bigger battery, but other reviewers aren’t as impressed with it as last year’s model. You just have to ask yourself if you want a fresh home cooked meal or yesterday’s leftovers? Go with the Moto X, you won’t be disappointed.

 

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Android

Motorola DVX Specs and Price Leaked

Moto DVX

If you were up to date with the latest rumors in the smartphone business you would probably know that Motorola is expected to introduce a cheapear version of the Moto X, unofficially dubbed Motorola DVX. Earlier last month a Republic Wireless presentation slide revealed that the device would be officially announced in October, then a […]

Android

Is Motorola Going To Surprise Us With A Droid Tablet?

Droid tablet

While all the attention is pointed to Apple and Samsung, and their latest releases: iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c and the Samsung phablet Galaxy Note 3, Motorola is preparing a surprise under the shape of a tablet. You might wonder what I meant by “ in the shape of a tablet”. Well, they have released […]

Android

Update for Sprint’s Moto X rolling out, AT&T very close

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On Monday, an update for the Motorola Moto X on the T-Mobile network began to roll out on that network. The update included some significant improvements to the camera and some smaller fixes for issues like choppy audio in voice calls, an inability to report location in the Lost Device Finder app, the device reading out text messages when not in Drive mode, and assorted stability improvements. Motorola indicated the update should roll out to other carriers “soon” and for customers on the Sprint network, “soon” is today.

According to source, the build number on Sprint devices is 139.14.1 and the changelog mirrors the improvements that rolled out to T-Mobile devices. If you have a Moto X on Sprint, you can check for the update by going to Settings -> About phone -> System updates.

Meanwhile, Moto X owners on the AT&T network that are part of Motorola’s Feedback Network have been receiving a notification that a “new software release” was available for installation as part of a soak test. No details are available and a schedule was not provided, but it appears AT&T is moving to get their customers the latest update.

source: Droid Life (Sprint), Droid Life (AT&T)

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Android

Motorola issues update to Moto X with eye on camera enhancement

Motorola began issuing a software update to the T-Mobile version of the Moto X which includes notable enhancements to the camera app. According to Motorola’s change log, the improvements include white balance performance, low-light  focus, and faster switching between rear and front camera. The update also brings about tweaks to Touchless Control as well as better voice call quality, and improved migration. Motorola indicates that the software update will be delivered to other versions of the Moto X in the near future.

Motorola

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Android

Install Android 4.3 PACman custom ROM on Motorola Droid Rarzr HD XT925

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean can now be updated on your Motorola Droid Rarzr HD XT925; no I am not talking about an official Android update released by Motorola, so I am referring to a new custom ROM firmware. So, do you want to update your Droid Rarzr HD with the latest features, apps and capabilities […]

Android

Moto X Developer Edition (CDMA) already out of stock

In just the few days since its release Motorola’s new Moto X Developer Edition has already sold through. Priced at $649.99, the Verizon-ready smartphone with an unlockable bootloader seems to be pretty popular.

It’s unclear as to how many of these were made available to start with but, either way, you’ll have to wait for more of these to come back in stock.

The GSM version of the Moto X Developer Edition is expected anytime and should also have a similar price point. With AT&T and T-Mobile support in addition to the 32GB and the unlockable bootloader, we think this one could sell through as well.

Motorola | Motorola

 

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Android

LG G2 Review

Over the last year, we have seen Samsung dominating the Android market with their Galaxy line-up. Just about every other cell phone manufacturer has been sitting back, taking notes, and developing what they think will the “next big thing”. Motorola has since pushed out their flagship, the Moto X, and now we have LG’s flagship, the G2.

LG has done a lot to this device to resemble the key characteristics of a “great phone”. It has a large HD screen, 13MP camera, and a ton of software features that rival those on the Galaxy S4. Actually, in a lot of ways, this phone feels like an S4 with LG branding, not counting the rear-mounted volume/power buttons.

Hardware

LG G2 Buttons

 

We have seen countless types of materials wrapped around phones. Apple and HTC tend to use higher quality aluminum, while Samsung and LG use plastic. Unfortunately that’s the case with the G2, plastic. Not that the phone feels bad in the hand, I just think it could feel better. With that said, the trade off for a plastic body usually means you usually get a removable battery. However, LG has decided to nix the removable battery as well as the expandable storage, oh joy.

When you pick up the phone, plastic or not, it does feel very solid. There is a nice heft to the device and it fits well in my hand. It is by no means a small phone, but it doesn’t quite hit that “Galaxy Note” territory.

Luckily, most of my gripes with the phone end there. LG placed a beautiful display on this phone, It is a 5.2 inch IPS panel with a full HD resolution. In short, it looks really good. The screen colors are most definitely not washed out, and the overall contrast is nice. What’s really interesting about this screen is that it fills up the entire front of the phone. There is almost no bezel.

Probably the most notable feature on the G2 are the buttons, which you can find on the back of the phone. A month ago when I first picked up the device I didn’t really know how I felt about the buttons. After using the phone day-to-day I am still a little unsure. It’s not that I am unsure if I like the buttons, I’m just not sure if they really make a difference. It was relatively easy to get use to the buttons and the positioning does help since the phone is pretty big. But I don’t think rear-mounted buttons are a feature we “need”.

LG G2 Back

While the positioning of the buttons weren’t my favorite, I did enjoy the shortcuts they provided. When you press and hold on the volume up key, you would immediately open up the Quick Memo app. And long-pressing the volume down would launch the camera. As basic of a feature that is, I would really like to see more phones having that ability.

To the power the 5.2” screen, LG has filled the G2 with the best specs possible. The snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Adreno 330 graphics. Pairing all of that together, and you get a phone that wrecks benchmarks and just flies in everyday use. To keep everything going you get a non-removable 3000mAh battery which is perfect. Looking back just 2 years ago, if your Android device even made it a full day of light use, you were lucky. With the G2, I ended a day of heavy use (full brightness, email, web, and video) with 40-50% of battery left.

LG G2 Ports
LG G2 Front
LG G2 Front
LG G2 Buttons
LG G2 Software Buttons

Software

It’s clear that device manufacturers want to have their own custom UIs over Android. LG is no exception, with a very “playful” skin that introduces bouncing animations and vibrant colors. Coming from a stock Android user, it was a nice breath of air using a device that wasn’t 100% holo.

However, the overall skin did begin to clash with some of Android’s design language. There were some major inconsistencies with the UI – different sized icons, alternating fonts, and graphics that seemed to blend into one another.

LG did manage to maintain one of my favorite features of Android 4.X, software buttons – even if their skinned to LG’s liking. The selection of preloaded apps on this phone was rather vast. Quick memo, cell broadcast, FM Radio, LG Backup, Video Editor, File Manager, and Quick Translator to name a few. They all seemed pretty useful depending on my situation and each application was beautifully designed.

LG BackupFile Manager

Of course, there were some applications that seemed more prevalent than others. Quick Memo for example, made multiple appearances throughout the entire device. There were three ways to access LG’s memo application, long pressing the volume up key, tapping the notification icon, or directly opening the application from the app drawer.

It reminds me of S Memo, a lot. But Quick Memo was less confusing and had more features that I actually wanted to use. Notes were organized by date and you could choose to save notes within the app or to the gallery.

 Not only does the G2 offer LG branded apps, there are also a few internal software tweaks to help the device. “Knock On” is one of those tweaks. It’s essentially a new way to turn on the display of the phone. Double tap the display when the screen is off and the phone springs to life. Again its the simple features like this that really attract me to the phone.

Guest Mode was another feature that really made the phone shine. After enabling it in the settings, you can unlock your phone just for a guest. When in guest mode, all your photos, apps, and personal data are hidden and you’re left with a blank device with a few pre-chosen applications. Its great if you have kids or if you just don’t want anyone going through your phone.

G2 Homescreen
Quick Memo
Notebook
Quick Memo Shortcut
Notification Bar

Camera

One of my favorite features on any phone is the camera, it’s become such a vital aspect on a smartphone. For me, it’s replaced a point and shoot and I heavily rely on my phones camera. That being said, a good camera is very important to me.

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The G2 has one of the better cameras on the market. Images look sharp, colorful, and at 13MP you can crop and print if you wanted to. I took a ton of photos with this phone, some durring amazing lighting conditions and some in a parking lot at midnight – either way, the photos looked great.

The camera software was again very reminiscent of the Galaxy S4 – which is a good thing. You have tons of manual controls, different shot modes, and even photosphere made an appearance on this device. The interface was clean and easy to use, although there were a few times that I accidentally tapped a setting and had to scrambled to change it back.

Video quality was also nice, with full HD recording at both 30 and 60 FPS. LG has managed to work in optical image stabilization to smooth out a shaky hand. Clearly reading about the camera quality won’t do it any justice, feel free to check out the sample photos/videos.

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Watch the 1080P video sample here.

Wrap Up

On paper the G2 is just about the “perfect phone”, and in actual use, it’s not far off. The software inconsistencies can be annoying, but they are totally manageable. However, the display is truly top notch, no matter what UI you’re looking at. It’s always nicer to see a removable battery, but the phone does feel very solid and the battery life is spectacular.

Having the buttons located on the back was an interesting feature, though it feels like LG was just looking for any way to make the phone stand out. Once we have cases for the G2 I feel like the bulging buttons on the back are going to become very cumbersome. Overall, the LG G2 is a very solid, well built phone with great battery life and a stellar camera. It has all the pieces to make the phone a hit – it’s just whether LG can properly market the G2 so it actually sells.

 

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Android

Motorola’s Texas plant now shipping 100,000 Moto X phones per week

motorola-logo-a-google-company

Are you wondering if the Moto X buzz is translating into sales? Word is that Motorola’s Texas plant is shipping 100,000 Moto X phones per week. If you’re doing the math, that’s roughly 5 million units annually. It remains to be seen if they can continue on this pace or even if the pace will increase once other carriers adopt the Motomaker customized ordering process.

Don’t forget, the Moto X is only available in the U.S. so these numbers aren’t bad. The plant can produce “tens of millions” of phones per year according to Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, so capacity shouldn’t be an issue.

source: Reuters

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