back to article Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

The traditional flagship Android smartphone concept, as offered for instance by Samsung, may be feeling a little wobblier today after Motorola shelled it fore and aft with its new, actual-value X handsets. Apple is currently hoovering up 92 per cent of the profits to be made in the smartphone business, by some counts, and what …

  1. phil dude
    Thumb Up


    I have the Moto-E 2nd Gen , 4G and I really like it. With the exception of the camera which is lousy (or perhaps I was spolit by N8 and N9 ?), the cruft free Android works well.

    I think Motorola have done a good job, since I now *know* with the cheaper model that my 128GB SDXC card will plug straight in - so many applications will automatically get transferred.

    The one reason I might upgrade , apart from the camera, is that having a mass-produced model (the Moto-E is a bit nique), there will be some proper accessories - and the quick charge is really great, I have seen it used!!.

    Does anyone know if the USA version will work properly in the UK/Europe?

    My Moto-E 2nd gen 4G LTE was a brick on my last trip there...


    1. tonkei

      Re: upgrade...

      it's not you, the Moto E's camera is bad. Otherwise how would they be able to make an improvement for the next version :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm already a fan

    I have a Moto G 4G and it has been fine.

    I'd like the bigger battery and the waterproofing, please, but either would be a useful improvement on an already good phone.

    The relative lack of cruft is definitely a plus.

  3. GregC


    Very interesting, on the face of it. My questions would be:

    What version of Android?

    Update frequency?

    With the MMS vulnerability announced yesterday, I would need reassurances that the firmware is bang up to date, and will be kept that way for at least 18-24 months.

    Give me the right answers on those two and one of these could easily be my next phone.

    1. Tom Graham

      Re: Interesting..

      Android version is 5.1

      Update frequency - probably never, going on the last one - it never got upgraded from 4.4 to 5.

      1. EnglishRob

        Re: Interesting..

        The original Moto G 3G was a bit rubbish for updates, Motorola held back updates due to Android fixes being made available but the 1st Gen Moto G 4G did get Lollipop, I passed my old Moto G 4G on to my 13 year old daughter who previously had a Galaxy S3 Mini and she loves the Moto G. I'm thinking I'll probably get another Moto G for my 15 year old daughter too to replace her Galaxy S3 Mini (and it means I can save a bit by dropping them both down to SIM only contracts :-D).

        I've since upgraded to the Huawei Ascend G7 which isn't a bad phone for the money, but if I'd waited I'd have probably gone for the cheaper Moto X. I guess it's one of those things, you can wait and wait and something better is always round the corner :-)


        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Interesting..

          Aawwww craps I would have bitten off their hands for the X Play about 3 weeks ago I got a new grey import HTC M8..

          48hrs battery life is a killer feature in my book.

      2. Andy Nugent

        Re: Interesting..

        was that a SIM free device or is the network not releasing the update? I thought the whole point of Motorola effectively releasing stock Android devices was that they could release updates without huge amounts of effort on their part.

      3. faragher

        Re: Interesting..

        I have the first gen Moto X, and it has been updated to 5.1 from 4.x and my understanding is that the 2nd gen was likewise updated

    2. MrWibble

      Re: Interesting..

      Historically, Motorola have been one of the best at keeping it all up to date, So I'd be pretty confident of it getting updates.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting..

      With the MMS vulnerability announced yesterday, I would need reassurances that the firmware is bang up to date, and will be kept that way for at least 18-24 months.

      OK, El Reg journo's, here's a job for you: a table tracking mobile phones and how well they have been tracking Android updates. The above question is of genuine importance, but there is at present no data yet to compare brands as well as models in this respect (possibly because bad results may yield less ad income - that kept Microsoft wel above board for years too).

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Interesting..

        "OK, El Reg journo's, here's a job for you: a table tracking mobile phones and how well they have been tracking Android updates"

        We're polling manufacturers this week on their response timings to the Stagefright bugs (there are 7 CVE-listed bugs) and the devices that will be updated – and hope to have something to compare that to, as you suggest.


    4. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: Interesting..

      I bought a Moto X 2014 around November last year, and it's had a couple of updates since then. It's now on 5.1, and I think the most recent update (which added some extra gestures - "chop" to turn on the torch) was within the last month or so. Can't remember exactly when, but I see from the info screen that the kernel version is dated May 8th 2015.

      So, at least two major updates since launch. The release notes I can find from the site for 5.0 and 5.1

      So, I'd be fairly confident that they will roll out updates.

  4. x 7

    is there any sign of Lenovo branding, or is it all still just Motorola?

  5. getHandle

    Too soon!

    My Moto G 2nd gen is still going strong. Will definitely keep an eye on the brand though.

  6. MattPi


    Jeez, Andrew, sanitize your music playlist before posting pictures. :)

  7. Trainee grumpy old ****

    Moto G 1st Gen

    Have had it for about 18 months now. After a string of flagship phones with one exception (Orange San Fransisco), don't see why I should go back to paying a bomb for a phone. Quite tempted by the new versions, but my current phone is still going strong so it's nice to know I have good options when it starts to flag.

  8. gizmo23

    I've got an original Moto G, I like it, but a new phone would be nice, the camera could be better.

    Oh noes! They're all over 5" screen!

    Does anyone make a phone that's less than 5" that isn't a crippled version of their "flagship"?

    1. AIBailey

      I think your only option there would be something like the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (or even the Z1 if you can pick one up for a bargain). 2.5GHz quad core (2.2 on the Z1), 2GB RAM, waterproof.

    2. howieb2001

      Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

        If you're tight fisted like me you can get the Z1 compact which is still pretty good. They are currently around £180. One piece of advice; buy and fit a glass screen protector over the existing plastic layer, then you don't risk screen scratching. If you don't like plastic backs get the Z3.

        I have mine running on Lollipop with no problems at all, and the waterproofing works.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Z3 Compact here as well. Awesome phone and I suspect that I did received the patch already.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blackberry still make great phones

      but they may not have as many apps. Not sure about that and I, personally, don't care about a lot of apps. I think my next phone will be a Passport.

  9. Cosmo

    Moto X Play

    That Moto X Play could be the sweet spot for me. My Nexus 4 is starting to die (more like Lollipop is killing it off) so it's time for something new. I already have the Moto E 1st Gen as a cheapo backup phone and I am a fan of Motorola's no-frills approach to both the design of the phone and leaving Android relatively untouched

    1. Thecowking

      Re: Moto X Play

      You and me both.

      It's the SD card and the nice big battery that's tempting me, possibly, to not go from the 4 to whatever Google release this year.

      That said, if it's a revamp of the Nexus 5, I might be swayed again.

      My problem is that the Nexus 4 is still such a good phone that I keep putting off upgrading, because it's still more than good enough.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is Motorola Still spying on Users?

    Does anybody know whether Motorola is still spying on users?

    Not enough posts to put in a hyperlink.

    Google "Beneath the waves Motorola is listening"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Not enough posts to put in a hyperlink."

      You could just type the hyperlink as text, you know, and we could cut&paste it ourselves, should we wish to.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: "Not enough posts to put in a hyperlink."

        No need for copy&paste, at least in Firefox. Highlight any text that's a de facto hyperlink, right click and you can open it in a new tab or window.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is Motorola Still spying on Users?

      Presumably, the OP means this:

  11. Sirius Lee

    I don't see £200 as 'aggressively priced'. With a phone, I get a small tablet that has a small screen, limited operating system, slow CPU, no keyboard and some cheap cell phone electronics. For less money I can get a faster CPU, more memory, a fully functional OS, a big screen,... Only in the land of unsustainable margins is £200 an aggressive price. It may be bad new for Samsung but it's great news for everyone else if market saturation saturation means the consumer is going to get better value for money.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. dotdavid

    Model names

    Motorola aren't the worst company with these but why are there two Moto X's? There are plenty of other letters in the alphabet to differentiate your handsets.

    I don't really like different revisions of handsets with the same name either, it makes it very hard to compare retailers' prices. Maybe that's the point.

  14. Colin Ritchie

    When my Moto G 4G wears out I will by a new one.

    I may have to wait some time for my upgrade.

  15. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I might have made a mistake. Bought a Lumia 735 last month. It's a nice phone, and I like Win Phone. But Andrew O's preview of Windows mobile 10 didn't make very happy reading. Mine has 1GB of RAM, so will upgrade, if I don't avoid it like the plague.

    Was tempted by the Moto G, but it was the year old model, and you know with Android that you have to get them when they're as up-to-date as possible, as you'll never see an upgrade. You'll be lucky if you even get the odd patch...

    But these do look tasty, and resistant is an excellent idea for a phone.

    1. Mystic Megabyte


      I bought a Moto G 1st gen last year and it updated to Android 5.02 a few months ago.

  16. kmac499

    And for Christmas I want

    A Le-Moto G mini please,

    4" screen and thicken up the body a bit to take the same mAh of battery.

    I don't need a large hi-res juice gulping screen, because I wear my phone on my hip and or shirt pocket..

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: And for Christmas I want

      "4" screen and thicken up the body a bit to take the same mAh of battery.

      I don't need a large hi-res juice gulping screen, because I wear my phone on my hip and or shirt pocket.."

      I feel your pain. I have the original Moto G with the flip (which saves you having to hit the power button to turn on/off screen). I bought it as my Nexus was getting hiccups and I was off on a cycling holiday. Absolutely perfect for jeans, shirt pocket or anywhere.

      Yet I do still like the thinner bigger Nexus which fits better in an inside jacket pocket and you want to read something at leisure but don't want to pack a tablet.

      I sometimes juggle the SIMs between them but its a real faff. I would really buy in to a soft SIM which would allow you to register each handset individually onto your number. You know, just like I do with the SIP lines I use on both.

      Am I alone in this?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame about the intercept..

    On specs, I would definitely be tempted to get one of these. It doesn't engage in a stupid quest for flimsiness at the expense of battery capacity, and it comes without the preloaded crud that other Android phone manufacturers seem to insist on (which is why they have so much trouble tracking Android upgrades - keeping it close to native is smart). On top of that, it may electronically still be a Motorola, and they have been able to coax a decent signal out of the airwaves since the StarTac.

    The issue is that the "Beneath the waves" discovery already mentioned as well as the whole Carrier IQ affair has made me very wary of Motorola specifically, and the whole platform in general (not to mention the main business of Google). I may just find a dumb phone instead for calls..

    1. Tridac

      Re: Shame about the intercept..

      I don't use smart phones at all, due to security and privacy concerns mainly. If I need mobile computing, I use a netbook with or withouit gprs, or if serious computing, a desktop. A mobile is just for making calls or texts, not the meaning of life. If I miss a call and it's important, they can call me back.

      As for companies, remember Google are a *data* gathering and sales company, while Microsoft are still pretty much a tech company. A fundamental difference and I know who I would trust more to protect privacy....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kudos to Motorola

    This one is a really big contender for my next Phone. I'm just going to wait a bit longer to see what Google comes up with for the next iteration for their Nexus phones, but this one looks like a winner.

  19. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Now if they'd just...

    make one with a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. Also it must have a replaceable battery and normal micro-SIM, and an SD card slot. And it'd be good if the cellular modem feature ("tethering") worked over Bluetooth. Come on, Lenovo, cater to my idiosyncratic desires!

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