back to article Lenovorola TRIPLE-ola: New Moto G, Moto X and 360 wristputer UNZIPPED

Motorola hopes its Lazarus-like comeback*, backed by Lenovo’s wealth, continues with a new and much larger version of the Moto G smartphone, a new flagship X, its new 360 smartwatch, and the UK launch of its customisation service, Moto Maker. Moto G update The Moto G was well made and excellent value, and sparked Moto’s …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phone Manufacturers are such @#$%ing sheep.

    We want small phones.


    1. mike_ackee

      Completely agree - I want/need a phone than sits happily in a trouser pocket. In my opinion anything much over 4 inches screen size does not qualify. I've tried my daughter's Moto G and my wife's Moto X and I just can't get on with them as they're too big (unless you have a bag to put them in).

    2. monkeyfish

      I wholeheartedly agree! I was about to post a new and much larger version of the Moto G smartphone *sigh*, yet another gigantic phone that I don't want to put in my pocket.

      If I want a bigger screen, I'll use a tablet. If I want a even bigger screen, I'll use a desktop computer. If I want something portable, I'd like it to be small (think 8310).

      What I actually want is a small phone with a decent enough camera, a reasonably good audio output, an SD card or space for ~20GB of music, and a screen just big enough to read a few emails when necessary. Everything else turns out to be fluff. If there were an otherwise dumb phone with these feature I'd happily snap it up.

      1. PurplePerson

        You've pretty much just described my Xperia Ray (which I will be loathe to give up). It's small with a 3.2 inch screen, but a 854x480 resolution so pin sharp. It's tough as nails and gorgeous as well... like Michelle Rodriguez. Decent 8 megapixel camera and SD slot. The only problems are that it is single core with 512MB RAM and the amount of built-in storage is pathetic. My perfect phone would just be a new Xperia Ray with updated internals. I wouldn't even want them to change the styling, I still think it's the best looking phone ever made (that I have seen).

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Define small, Bahboh.

      Both the Sony Z1 Compact and Z3 Compact share the same footprint (146.5 x 72 x 7.3 mm), but the former has a 4.3" screen and the latter a 4.6" screen, due to smaller bezels. They have the same Snapdragon SoCs as most other high-end Android phones.

      I have an older Android phone that has a screen roughly the same size as that on an IPhone, 4"... I get on with it well, but my close-up eyesight is fairly acute and my fingers aren't too sausage-like. It seems that most Android apps are designed for slightly larger screens, so your experience of Android on c. 4" screens might be less than ideal.

      1. Blane Bramble

        @Dave 126

        +1 vote for the Sony Z1 Compact - it's not the smallest phone on the market, but it's the smallest full-featured phone I'm aware of.

    4. Marcus Aurelius

      I bought a Moto G LTE because it was not a monster phone but good value for the price. I have a Samsung Note and a Tablet anytime size matters (I'm probably going to combine the Note and Tablet into a single device).

      What really matters so far as I'm concerned is battery life. Most phones seem to be trying to get very thin. Personally I would be happy with double the thickness if I could get a battery that got me through a working week without trying.

  2. Chris D Rogers

    Moto X Expensive!

    I paid about £150 for my present Moto X in February - the developer model, so am a little surprised that in the UK a budget phone is expected to retail at more than £400.

    Although useless with anything Android, my current Moto X represented value for money, even though memory is an issue. However, Apple prices seem a little crass shall I say, even if it's the vendors who will pick up most of the tab.

    Will purchase another again if I can get the revised model at the same price I paid for my US Verizone model, anything above that seems a tad expensive.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Moto X Expensive!

      Are you mixing up the X and G? The X is expensive, but I thought it was their flagship model, with the G as the £150 budget model.

      1. dotdavid

        Re: Moto X Expensive!

        Just guessing but the OP might also have had to sign up for a contract to get the phone for £150. The phone would probably be free up-front on a similar contract in Europe.

      2. Tapeador

        Re: Moto X Expensive!

        Yeah I think he's mixing up the G and the X - having "memory issues" with 2 gigs of RAM in the X is a bit unlikely unless he's managed to port a Windows or OSX virtual machine onto it or something...

  3. GregC

    Was interested in the 360

    but at £200 it's just that bit too much. At £150-170 I could have just about justified it as a toy (which, let's face it, is what it is) but not 200 for what it does. Oh well, on to the next shiny thing...

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Was interested in the 360

      Surely you just have to wait 6 months, and then it'll be in your price range. It's not Apple kit, so the price will drop post-Christmas.

      1. GregC

        Re: Was interested in the 360

        Fair point - depends what else new and shiny comes along in between I guess.

        Not that I'm a sucker for gadgets or anything, obviously....

    2. Piro

      Re: Was interested in the 360

      Yeah, £200 for a toy watch is silly. We're not talking Swiss made precision that will last on batteries forever, or have kinetic or light-absorbing charging, we're talking a bit of kit made in China.

      1. dotdavid

        Re: Was interested in the 360

        "We're not talking Swiss made precision that will last on batteries forever, or have kinetic or light-absorbing charging, we're talking a bit of kit made in China."

        But it's not really the same kind of device as a precision Swiss watch. Fine, they both tell the time, but the smartwatch is more of a notifications display and easy way to perform voice activated searches, and the watch is also partly a fashion accessory, so despite being similar prices they're very different things.

        Also not sure how relevant the precision timekeeping part is anyway if the smartwatch can use NTP, and thus a remote atomic clock. And battery-wise as most people with smartphones charge them every day I doubt adding a watch to the pile of things to charge each night is going to change much.

        Whether or not a smartwatch is worth £200 is of course up to you, but I think calling it a toy is a little unfair.

  4. A Known Coward

    Motorola website says new G is 4G (LTE)?

    They also say that it accepts an SD card, which the original didn't. Although that was added in the later 4G model.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Motorola website says new G is 4G (LTE)?

      Must have been a mistake because they don't seem to say that anymore on your link.

  5. hammarbtyp

    Beware feature creep

    Pity to see feature creep on the Moto g. The display on mine has never felt to small and the price point was about right. Although the price rise is relatively small, it just pushes it out of the cheap camera for kids range

    I suppose the strategy is now for that market to go to the Moto e, but it does feel like there is now a gap in the range.

    As for the moto x, the customization thing is just a gimmick which really no mainstream manufacturer should really be pushing. Leave that to the 3rd party add on manufacturers

  6. dogged

    > is compatible with smartphones running at least Android 4.3

    Yeah, that's the killer. Cross-platform or no sale.

  7. Piro

    OMAP? I thought TI was out of the SoC game, and that was the excuse Google gave for not upgrading the Galaxy Nexus to KitKat...

  8. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Back to obscurity

    The googly Motos had a single selling point for me - you could maintain them for ages after that with Cyanogen (besides their own software updates).

    Cyanogen is hit and miss (9 was excellent 10-10.1 so so, 10.2 unmitigated disaster, 11 excellent again). However, when it hits - f.e. with 11 (4.4 kitkat) on my Sony Xperia Arc, it provides your phone with years of life after the manufacturer has stopped supporting it.

    This was the norm with Googly Moto - they are all on Cyanogen. The norm with Lenovo is the opposite - no support. So the moment they switch to the next model you can kiss your updated goodbye and congratulate yourself with another paperweight.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The moto 360 is the most promising looking smart watch I've seen yet. It looks well designed, well built; the only smart watch I've seen that doesn't make you look like you still live with your mum in her basement.

    But I still can't see what the USP is for these things - why you generally can't just look at your phone or do without. Given how many models Samsung is churning out, they seems to similarly have little idea either. I'm less worried about the short battery life - most of us are used to the daily charge.

    So who will be the audience for smart watches? I know the dangers of sweeping generalisations, but here goes anyway: Younger folk either seem to wear cheap Casios or no watch at all; folk of my 'middle youth' age tend to already have a nice watch or two and the presence of kids/mortgage/car finance/adult life means we probably won't buy more. And real oldsters often wear a watch with sentimental value they've owned for a large part of their life until fading sight or health prompts a hand down to a younger family member.

    It'll be interesting to see what Apple come up with, if indeed they do. My guess (and I certainly don't have any 'sources close to the matter'), is that Apple's iWatch will be a very well specified fitness aid, like the Nike fuel band, designed purely for use by gym fans and skinny baristas up and down the land. No more than that.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Good comment, points well made, reasoning shown.

      A smartwatch would mitigate the 'dig phone out of pocket when it rings only to see that it is another PPI cold-call' shuffle. Socially, it is possible that smartphones might encourage more people to leave their phones in their pockets or bags when in company, and not have them sat on a table.

  10. tonkei

    moto no no

    One of the biggest things motorola had going for it, was the pocket friendly proces of the moto devices. Well, they've just pushed these items out of reach of those how needed them most.

    So, nice phones, shame about the costs.

    1. Piro

      Re: moto no no

      They completely messed these up. 5.2" and 5" and higher cost?

      Don't they get what made them such great products in the first place? Moto G was cheap and a decent size. Moto X was also a perfect size.

      Tiny batteries, too. These devices make me glaze over.

      Honestly, the only phone that catches my eye now is the Xperia Z3 Compact. Same dimensions x and y, little thinner than the Z1 Compact, but with a 4.6" screen instead of 4.3".

    2. dotdavid

      Re: moto no no

      I had honestly expected Motorola to refresh the G with a better camera and SD slot, plus 4G and leave the screen alone as it was quite impressive enough already. Very surprised they swapped the 4G for a bigger screen, I honestly haven't heard of anyone complaining the existing G is too small.

  11. Alan Denman

    Who is going to mark their X, designer style ?

    So you get to design your own smartphone.

    Well as we know, the Le Crunch fact is that thinking makes life go tits up if you do and tits up if you don't.

    No thinking buyers then.

  12. silver darling

    i ♥ motorola defy+

    i miss you, my smart smart phone, with your petite 3.7" screen and relaxed removable battery. you were tough where it counted, fitted in easily and enjoyed camping ... there will never be another one like you ...

  13. Colin Ritchie

    4G Moto G is the sweet spot.

    I have the 4G 4.5" screen Moto G it is the best of both worlds and expandable with up to 32 Gb SD cards.

    Love it and it fits in my pocket, only £110 on O2 payg and switching to Giff Gaff to save on the bill. The bigger one has 3G only and doesn't fit my jeans.

    No improvement.

  14. Hipsterina

    What I want

    is a small, slim, last-several-days-battery, trouserpocket-without-bulges phone,

    and a tablet-like, decent-screen device, with real keyboard-on-demand,

    and a large-screen (real / virtual / projected / unrollable-from-rice-paper-thin, blemish-and-smear-free, stuff-in-your-pocket polymer film - not too picky, any such variant will do)

    with a proper, human-finger-sized, tactile-clicky enough keyboard,

    with good-graphics for photo / video editing and gaming,

    and enough compute power for all the above,

    and high-speed, low-cost network connectivity,

    and defeat-all snoopy-spying seedy-government-and-seedy-commerce-agency encryption,

    for, say, 100 dollars / pounds / Euros.

    A few years, then maybe.

    Meanwhile, I have to make do with expensive, underpowered, overpriced iShit, And-shit, Win-shit (not even any Lin-shit available, so leave that out).

    Thankfully, although I've had a geeky life for, hmmm, 40-plus years, mainframe manufacturer to micro hobbyist, Sinclair-to-Sun-to-Cray, Wordpress to Drupal (bypassing kiddy-fads of Facebook, Twitter, Snapcrap, tomorrow's 'App'), emacs-to-APL, Lisp-to-Smalltalk to Assembler (Z80, 360/370/XA (IPL sequences and channel programs along the way), Sparc... BBCX-circa-1971(!)), Slackware-to-Suse-to-Debian/Ubuntu, via UTS, MVS/VM, TSO/CMS, crap web-and-domain-hosting (and some less crap), AWS/EC2...

    ... there are things other than today's early-evolution compustuff to ponder.  The meaning of life, Buddha to (Douglas) Adams via Aristotle and Descartes.  Bach to Beethoven to Beetles to Abba.  Glenn Gould.  Dickens to  Murakami.  Hesse (Herman), Tolkien, Marquez.  Bertand Russell.  Sartre.  100 others. 1,000 to discover.  Turner.  Caravaggio. Van Gogh.

    And, with such choice and so few years to explore, the crappy limitedness of current computing can safely be left to provide amusement and distraction as it struggles out of its primeval swamp days that we are privileged or, at least, amused, to observe.  Let's just not take it too seriously if we have broader horizons, as many of us do.

    It would be good, though trivial in the scheme of things, if, when AI passes human intelligence it finds a place for us to still enjoy ourselves.  Maybe in an Iain M. Banksian future we can coexist.

    Until then, if a few folks want to 'High Five' and 'Whoop, whoop!' every September in shiny-glass shops, it is no different, in essence, from woad-painted ancestors or Wicker Man allegories.  If others want to celebrate 'daisy-cutter' isobaric bomb barbarities, 'water-boarding', beheading, in ways that would do medieval witchfinder ancestors proud, such has always been the way of the followers.

    But the wonder of humanity is that it has produced forward thinkers.  And practical do-ers.  From cave-men to Christ.  Anonymous Mr. Smiths and Mrs Joneses from down the road.  The Jobses, jobs-worths, Gateses, the Kate Mosses and Moss Brosses, they, we, have their, our, little roles to play as transient incarnations of the universe's molecules briefly align to make us, a dinosaur, a distant supernova, a tadpole, a virus, a piece of chalk or a piece of piss.

    Until our time is gone, when we are not doing significant things, why not squander jus a few of our precious moments on iStuff, Moto-thises, Sam-thats, Goog-the-others.

    And raise a glass to humanity and other sentient beings: God bless us, every one.

    And let us remember that we are not defined by this season's anything-but-smart 'phones.

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