Motorola has dropped new details for its forthcoming edge high-end phone. While the top-end edge+ is already available from Verizon, the edge will be available unlocked in the US for $700 this summer. Motorola has also decided to bump up the memory from what was previously announced. Instead of the US version having less RAM than the global version, the US version will now have the same 6 GB of RAM, plus an upgraded 256 GB of storage. The edge has the same 6.7-inch "Endless Edge" display as the edge+. The edge is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor and supports 5G in all sub-6 GHz frequency bands used for US 5G networks. It has a 64 megapixel main camera, 16 megapixel wide/macro camera, 8 megapixel 2x telephoto camera, and a 25 megapixel front camera. It can record in 4K using either the main or wide-angle camera. It also has a 4,500 mAh battery and 18W fast charging.
Qualcomm's newest and best 6-series Snapdragon chip for phones is the Snapdragon 690, which has 5G as well as high-end performance previously found only on the company's pricier 7- and 8-series chips. The 690, intended for mid-range phones, supports sub-6 5G, but not mmWave 5G. It includes several firsts for the 6 series, including support for 4K HDR video capture, 120 Hz display refresh, dual Wi-Fi antennas, and Qualcomm's Hexagon Tensor Accelerator for on-device AI. Compared to the Snapdragon 875 — the previous top-end chip in the 6 series — the 690 has 20% better CPU performance, 60% faster graphics rendering, and 70% better AI performance. The Snapdragon 690 also supports up cameras up to 192 megapixel, Quick Charge 4+, and Wi-Fi 6. The 690 is made using an 8nm manufacturing process. Phones based on the Snapdragon 690 are expected to ship in 2020. Nokia, LG, Motorola, and TCL announced plans to use the chip in their phones.
Motorola is refreshing its entry-level lineup with a new Moto e for 2020 and a new model at the low end of its (mid-range) g series. The Moto e (2020) and Moto g fast will both be available unlocked and with Boost, and the Moto e will be available with several other US carriers as well.
- Moto e (2020): This year's Moto e delivers several major upgrades over last year's e6. It has a larger display (6.2-inch vs. 5.5-inch) thanks to a modern notch design. It also has a larger battery: 3,550 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh, and it steps up to a 600-series Snapdragon processor (the 632) compared to last year's 400-series chip. It also offers 32 GB of storage — double last year's amount — and adds both a depth camera and a fingerprint reader. Keeping things affordable, its front camera is 5 megapixel, it has 2 GB of RAM, and it uses a micro-USB charging connector. It does, however, have water-repellent coating, 3.5mm headset jack, and a memory card slot. It will be available unlocked for $150, and later sold by Verizon Prepaid, T-Mobile, Metro, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile. There are two variants with different network support: The version for Verizon supports fewer LTE bands, but, oddly, full support for AT&T's LTE network is only found on Verizon's version.
- Moto g fast: The $200 Moto g fast is a more-affordable cousin to the recently-announced Moto g power (2020) and Moto g stylus. Like those models, it has a 6.4-inch display with a corner hole punch design, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, water resistance, a fingerprint reader, and triple rear cameras (including wide and macro). Making it more affordable is the HD+ display resolution, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and an 8 megapixel selfie camera. It has the same 4,000 mAh battery as the Moto g stylus and the same 16 megapixel main camera as the Moto g power. Other features include USB-C, fast charging, 3.5mm audio jack, and a memory card slot. So far, Boost is the only US carrier that has announced plans to carry the Moto g fast.
Verizon is offering a $200 discount on the brand-new Motorola edge+ flagship phone through June 3rd. Customers must purchase he phone online and will receive the discount in monthly credits over 24 months, but there are no other conditions.
Motorola is rolling out a major software update for its new Razr phone. The update brings Android 10, as well as new features for the unique large outer display. The outer display now lets you access favorite contacts, and reply to messages with a full on-screen keyboard or Smart Reply. The outer display now also displays music controls for popular music apps, and turn-by-turn navigation from Google Maps. They've also added new modes to the camera when the phone is closed, such as Group Selfie, Portrait Mode, Spot Color, and others.
The Motorola edge+ is the company's first truly top-end phone in several years. It will be exclusive to Verizon in the US and go on sale May 14th. It's being introduced alongside the slightly more affordable — but still very high-end — "edge" model, which will be available in the US unlocked this summer. Both phones have the same 6.7-inch OLED "Endless Edge" display that curves a full 90º around the sides. An Edge Gaming feature adds virtual shoulder buttons to the curved display edge for games. The full-HD display also supports 90 Hz refresh and HDR10+. Both phones also have 5G, a water-repellent design, 3.5mm headset jack, NFC, and stereo speakers with Waze tuning that Motorola claims are the loudest of any smartphone.
- The edge+ for Verizon supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, has 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 5,000 mAh battery. It also has 256 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, 18W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. It has a 108 megapixel main camera, a 16 megapixel combo wide and macro camera, an 8 megapixel 3x telephoto camera, and a 25 megapixel front camera. It can record 6K video, slow-motion (120 fps) video at full-HD resolution, and has a portrait mode in video . It will be available from Verizon in Smoky Sangria and Thunder Gray, starting May 14th, for $999.
- The edge is powered by a Snapdragon 765 chip with integrated support for all US sub-6 GHz 5G networks. It has 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, a memory card slot, 4,500 mAh battery, and 18W fast charging. It has a 64 megapixel main camera, a 16 megapixel combo wide and macro camera, an 8 megapixel 2x telephoto camera, and a 25 megapixel front camera. It can record in 4K using either the main or wide-angle camera. It will be available unlocked this summer in Midnight Magenta and Solar Black. Pricing to be announced.
Motorola has unveiled two new g-series phones for 2020: the Moto g Stylus and Moto g Power. The two phones are very similar, except the g Stylus has a built-in stylus pen and higher-end main camera, while the g Power has a larger battery. Both phones have a 6.4-inch full-HD+ display with a "hole punch" in the corner for the 16-megapixel selfie camera. Both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip paired with 4 GB of RAM and running Android 10. Both have a water-repellent design, stereo speakers, dual-band Wi-Fi, fingerprint reader, memory card slot, USB-C, 10W fast charging, 3.5mm headphone jack, and FM radio. Both have excellent support for all US 4G networks — including bands 13, 14, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41, 66, and 71 — with LTE Cat. 13 speeds. Motorola also has a new feature that limits interruptions while gaming. The few differences between the phones are:
- Moto g Stylus: Has a built-in stylus pen designed to help you edit photos, jot down notes, sketch artwork, copy and paste text, and mark up screenshots. Removing the stylus while the phone is idle will automatically start the new Moto Note app, which lets you take quick notes without unlocking the phone. It has a 4,000 mAh battery and 128 GB of storage. The main camera has a 48-megapixel sensor and f/1.7 aperture, with laser auto-focus. It also has a 2-megapixel macro camera and 16-megapixel "action" camera that takes ultra-wide video in landscape orientation while holding the phone vertically. The Moto g Stylus will be available unlocked "this spring" for $300, and subsequently at Verizon, Metro, and Republic.
- Moto g Power: Has an extra-large 5,000 mAh battery that Motorola claims can power the phone for three days. It also has three rear cameras, but the main camera is 16 megapixel (f/1.7) and the wide-angle camera is 8-megapixel with standard orientation. Like the g Stylus, it has a 2-megapixel macro camera that can focus on objects just 2cm from the lens. It has 64 GB of storage. The Moto g Power will be available unlocked "this spring" for $250, and subsequently at Verizon, Xfinity Mobile, US Cellular, Consumer Cellular, and Republic.
Verizon has pegged February 6th as the new launch date for the Motorola razr. Pre-orders open up at 12:01am ET on January 26th. The $1,500 phone is available exclusively from Verizon in the US. Verizon is offering special deals for new customers who switch to Verizon and pre-oder a razr: a $200 prepaid MasterCard, plus up to $500 when customers trade in an existing phone and sign up for a specific Unlimited plan. Existing Verizon customers upgrading to the razr can save up to $300 with a phone trade-in. Verizon is also offering the razr for $62.49 a month for 24 months. The razr was originally slated to ship January 9th, but was delayed. The 2020 razr resembles the original RAZR V3 launched in 2004, with its thin metal clamshell form factor. The new model features a 6.2" flexible, folding OLED main display and runs Android.
Motorola has a new One series phone it will be selling unlocked in the US. The Motorola One Hyper has an all-screen design with a pop-up selfie camera. Its main camera is 64 megapixel, while the selfie camera is 32 megapixel. It also has an 8-megapixel wide-angle (118º) camera on the back. The display is a 6.5-inch LCD with full HD resolution. The One Hyper is powered by a Snapdragon 675 chip and 4 GB of RAM. It has 128 GB of storage and supports memory cards up to 1 TB. The large 4,000 mAh battery charges quickly with the included 18W fast charger, and the phone supports 45W chargers. The fingerprint reader on the back is surrounded by a customizable circular notification light. It ships with Android 10. It has basic support for AT&T and T-Mobile networks in bands 2, 4, 5, 12, and 66. The One Hyper is available starting today from motorola.com for $400 in Deep Sea Blue. A Dark Amber color will available at a later date. Read on for more details, hands-on photos, and first impressions.
Motorola President Sergio Buniac took the stage at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit today to announce that Motorola will deliver a phone in early 2020 powered by the Snapdragon 765 chip, as well as one powered by "Qualcomm's flagship platform", presumably the Snapdragon 865 chipset. Buniac also announced that one of the phones will support data speed in excess of 5 Gbps. Qualcomm revealed in a presentation today that the 765 will support data speeds up to 3.7 Gbps, so this seems to refer to the 865.
Motorola today unveiled its new razr phone for 2020. In line with a long-running stream of teases and leaks, plus today's FCC approval, the phone matches the design of the original RAZR V3, but with an inner surface that is one continuous 6.2" HD touchscreen that bends at the hinge, like Samsung's Galaxy Fold. The new razr will be exclusive to Verizon in the US and cost $1500. Like the original RAZR V3, it has a "chin" that sticks out from the bottom half, and side keys located in the top half. The top half also contains a large outer display and a 16-megapixel camera. The 2.7" outer display is a touchscreen that lets users respond to notifications, take selfies, play music, use Google Assistant, and more. The flexible OLED main display has curved top and bottom edges, with a notch in the top. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chip. It has 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, 2,510 mAh battery, NFC, and dual-band Wi-Fi. It has a 5-megapixel selfie camera, although the main camera can also be used to take selfies using the outer display. To keep the phone thin, the phone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack or memory card slot. It also relies on an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card. It does have a USB-C port centered on the bottom that supports fast charging. USB-C razr earbuds are included, which are "professionally tuned" by Denon. Verizon is accepting pre-orders starting December 26th, with full availability on January 9th, 2020.
The unannounced new Motorola RAZR with a foldable display has been revealed in public documents for its FCC approval. Photos in the documents match previous leaks, including a very tall, narrow screen that folds in half, inside a body very much like the original RAZR, including a "chin" at the bottom. The outside sports a camera and large outer display in the top half. The chin section houses an oval button and/or fingerprint reader on the front, and a USB-C connector on the bottom. The draft user manual submitted to the FCC mentions Verizon, that the phone has an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card, and a fingerprint security option. The back includes "razr" branding. Photos of the internal components confirm that the RAZR is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset. A battery rated 1185 mAh is also shown, although the phone may have two batteries, one in each half. The approval in question is not for the US version, as it supports neither LTE band 12 nor hearing-aid compatibility. But Motorola usually offers multiple versions of each model for different parts of the world, so a separate US version seems likely.
Motorola is bringing its One Action phone to the US this month in an unlocked version for $350. This otherwise typical mid-range Android phone has a wide-angle (117º) camera on the back that's oriented to shoot landscape video when the phone is held vertically. The phone also has a standard 12 megapixel camera, a depth camera for portrait effects, and a 12 megapixel selfie camera. The 6.3-inch LCD screen has full HD resolution and a small hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera. The One Action has a Samsung Exynos processor, 4 GB of RAM, memory card slot, NFC, fingerprint reader, and 3.5mm audio jack. Pre-orders start today and the phone will be available from Motorola, Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo by October 31st.
Cricket is offering a choice of eight different phones for free to new customers through the end of the month, and two models after that. Until October 1st, the free choices include several mid-range models such as the Moto g7 Supra, LG Stylo 5, and Nokia 3.1 Plus. Also free are the Samsung Galaxy J2 Pure, LG Harmony 2, LG Fortune 2, Moto e5 Cruise, and Nokia 3.1 C. After Oct. 1st, the Moto e5 Cruise will continue to be free until Nov. 21. The Samsung J2 Pure will be free again Oct. 11 - Nov. 21.
Qualcomm today revealed an accelerated timeline for bringing integrated 5G to its Snapdragon chips for mid-range phones. An unnamed 7xx-series Snapdragon chip that fully integrates a 5G modem is already sampling to customers such as LG, Motorola, and Nokia / HMD Global (among others), with the chip launching commercially before the end of 2019, and phones using the chip available "soon thereafter". The chip fully supports all mmWave and sub-6 GHz frequency bands for 5G worldwide, as well as both NSA and SA networks, both TDD and FDD modes, and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, which allows 5G and 4G to share existing frequency bands). The company also plans to bring 5G to its 6xx-series Snapdragon chips, with devices using those those chips expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2020.
Motorola today announced the Motorola One Zoom, a mid-range phone with four rear cameras plus a 25-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000 mAh battery, 6.4" full-HD OLED display with small notch, satin glass back, and a light-up "M" logo that doubles as a notification light. The four rear cameras include a 48-megapixel main camera with 12-megapixel output, OIS, and f/1.7 aperture; 16-megapixel wide (117º) camera, 8-megapixel 3x zoom camera with OIS, and a depth camera for portrait effects. The One Zoom also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, memory card slot, 18W fast charging, NFC, 3.5mm headset jack, in-display fingerprint reader, ultrasonic gesture sensors, water resistance, and a USB-C connector with USB 3.1. It comes in three unique colors: Electric Grey, Cosmic Purple, and Brushed Bronze. An unlocked version for the US is available starting today for $450, exclusively on motorola.com. Instant discounts may bring the price as low as $380 for some customers. It supports US LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 41, and 66.
Motorola has updated the software for its Moto Mod accessory that adds 5G to existing Moto Z-series phones, improving functionality for all phones, and adding compatibility with the Z2 Force for Verizon. The update improves both 5G download speeds, and enables two-way charging between the phone and the Mod when the battery is low in either. The update is available now for the Z2 Force and Z3. The update comes pre-installed on the Moto Z4. The Z2 Force was launched in August 2017 and carried by Verizon until October 2018.
Motorola today announced the Moto e6, a $150 Android phone with a 13-megapixel main camera and portrait mode, in a new design that drops the iconic Motorola look in favor of something more like an iPhone. Motorola calls the design "unibody", although the battery is removable. Compared to the e5, the display and battery are smaller, at 5.5 inches and 3,000 mAh, respectively. The display offers HD+ resolution. The processor has been updated to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, which Motorola claims is 50% faster than last year's 425 chip. The improved camera has f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, auto HDR, an LED flash, manual mode, and RAW output. It can also record full-HD video and support both time-lapse and hyper-lapse. The selfie camera is 5 megapixel with f/2.0 aperture. The phone also has a micro-USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, memory card slot, and dual-band Wi-Fi. The Moto e6 is available today from Verizon, and will also be carried by T-Mobile, Metro, Boost, US Cellular, Consumer Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile.
Mobile service provider Visible is removing the 5 Mbps data speed cap that it launched with. Visible offers unlimited service on Verizon's network for $40/month. New and existing customers will get the un-capped, faster data speeds for as long as they remain customers; the company may re-impose speed limits at a later date for customers signing up after that date. Visible is also offering $20 referral bonuses, and $20 off the first month of service for new customers. The company has no physical locations, offering activation, support, and all customer interactions via its app. Visible is compatible with most iPhones as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9(+), Google Pixel 3 (XL), and the Visible R2. The company is adding support soon for the Pixel 3a (XL) and Moto g7 Power.
The only successful modular phone system to date, Motorola's z series is still going strong. The new Moto z4 brings updated specs and design while maintaining compatibility with existing Moto Mods. Highlights of the z4 include top-end cameras front and back, a screen that covers more of the front, a larger battery, and the return of the 3.5mm audio jack. The thin design has a metal frame and frosted glass back. What's it like in person? We checked it out.
The Moto z4 brings updated specs and design to the z series while maintaining compatibility with existing Moto Mod snap-on accessories. Motorola announced the Moto z4 today, which will come in an unlocked version for $500 with broad support for all US LTE networks, and a Verizon-specific version with special pricing for new lines of service. The phone has a single "48 megapixel" camera sensor on the rear that uses pixel binning to produce high-quality 12-megapixel images. The main camera has an f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization, and laser focusing. The front camera is 25 megapixels, with optional pixel binning for high-quality 6.2-megapixel selfies. The camera app includes a new Night Vision mode, portrait mode, motion photos, Google Lens, RAW mode, and auto HDR. The z4 has a 3.5mm audio jack, last seen in the z series on the z2 Play. The phone is housed in a metal frame with a frosted glass back. The 6.4-inch OLED display sports full-HD resolution. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 4 GB of RAM. It has 128 GB of internal storage, expandable via a memory card slot. Its 3,600 mAh battery can be charged quickly with the included 15W charger. The fingerprint reader is built into the display and the phone has NFC as well as USB-C 3.1. The unlocked version goes on sale June 6th at Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Amazon for $500 in a bundle that includes the 360º camera Moto Mod. Verizon will offer the Moto z4 on June 13th for just $240 with a new activation (new customer or new line on a family plan). The z4 is compatible with the 5G Moto Mod that adds a 5G radio, and new Verizon customers can get both the z4 and the 5G Moto Mod for $440. Existing Verizon customers can get the z4 for $500, before a $100 discount when they choose a device payment plan. For a limited time, Verizon is offering 5G service at no additional charge for Moto z4 (for customers on Above Unlimited and Beyond Unlimited plans.) The phone will be offered in Flash Gray initially, with a Frost White color to follow "later this summer".
The Motorola Moto Z4 has gone on sale at Amazon.com, even though it has yet to be announced by Motorola. Like previous Z-series phones, it's a higher-end phone that supports snap-on Mods with added functionality, such as a 360º camera, 5G radio, extra battery, speaker, and gaming controls. The Moto Z4 has an all-screen design with a small notch and in-display fingerprint reader. The specs listed on Amazon show it having a 6.4-inch OLED display, 3,600 mAh battery, 48 megapixel main camera, 25 megapixel selfie camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and a memory card slot. Amazon is selling it unlocked for $500 with a free 360º camera Mod accessory.
Verizon has announced a new list of 20 cities where it will offer 5G coverage in 2019. They are Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC. The company has already launched mobile 5G service in Chicago and Minneapolis. The company continues to promise 5G in "more than 30" US cities by the end of the year, leaving at least nine cities yet to be announced. Verizon offers 5G phone service with a Moto z3 + 5G Moto Mod. Its first phone with integrated 5G will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which became available for pre-order today, and hits stores on May 16th.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 has a unique triple-camera module that normally faces rearward. but is motorized so it can can slide up from the metal frame and spin around to face forward, for selfie mode. Samsung announced the phone today and plans to launch it by the end of May. The camera design allows the 6.7-inch, full-HD, AMOLED display to cover the whole front without a notch. The camera module includes a 48-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel wide camera, and 3D depth camera. The 3D depth camera enables live focus (portrait effect) for video. The large 3,700 mAh battery can charge quickly with 25W charging. The fingerprint reader is built into the display. It comes with a generous 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, although it does not support memory cards. The A80 will be available in black, gold/pink and white/blue. Specific pricing and launch countries were not announced.
Google's automated voice assistant features for handling calls on a person's behalf are now rolling out to more phones beyond Google's own Pixel phones. The two features are Duplex and Call Screening. Duplex will make an entire interactive call on a user's behalf, making a reservation with a restaurant or business when requested via Google Assistant. This is rolling out to nearly all Android phones, as well as the iOS version of Google Assistant app. It's available in 43 US states. Call Screening is an alternative to directly answering an incoming call. With it, callers are prompted to explain who they are and why they're calling. The answer is transcribed and displayed in real time on the phone's screen, so you can decide to pick up if it's someone you want to talk to. Call Screening is rolling out now to Motorola g7 and One phones as a software update.
Verizon launched the first part of its commercial, mobile 5G network today in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. Consumers can experience 5G service with the Motorola Moto z3 when used with the 5G Moto Mod accessory, which also goes on sale to the general public today. Verizon says early customers in Chicago and Minneapolis should expect typical download speeds of 450 Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds. Verizon had originally announced April 11 as the launch date, but moved the launch up to today in order to beat Korea's SK Telecom to claim the "first commercial 5G network in the world that works with a 5G smartphone". SK Telecom just today announced its plans to launch commercial 5G on April 5th with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Verizon has announced plans to carry the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 ThinQ phones, both of which have 5G fully integrated, but it appears SK Telecom will be the first to offer a phone with integrated 5G. Verizon's 5G service costs an extra $10/month. The company has announced plans to expand its 5G network to over 30 US cities this year. Verizon's 5G network launching today relies on the 28 GHz frequency band, which is considered mmWave. Such high frequencies have limited range and do not penetrate well indoors. Sprint plans to launch its 5G network — using much lower frequencies — starting next month, offering the LG V50 ThinQ. AT&T claims it launched its mmWave 5G network last year, but has yet to make compatible devices available to the general public. AT&T has promised to offer a 5G phone in the first half of 2019.
Verizon's first standards-compliant mobile 5G network will launch in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11th. 5G service will cost an extra $10/month. The country's first 5G smartphone solution will be the 5G Moto Mod for the Moto z3, which customers can pre-order starting tomorrow, March 14th. For a limited time, the 5G Moto Mod is available for just $50, after which it will sell for $350. The $10/month 5G data plan offers truly unlimited 5G data and requires an existing "Unlimited" service plan. The first three months of 5G service are free. The 5G Moto Mod is only compatible with the Moto z3, and Verizon will only sell it to customers they can confirm have a Moto z3. Verizon has also announced plans to carry the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 ThinQ phones, both of which have 5G fully integrated. Verizon's initial 5G NR network relies on the 28 GHz frequency band, which is considered mmWave. Such high frequencies have limited range and do not penetrate well indoors. The initial Chicago coverage will include West Loop, South Loop, Gold Coast, River North, Old Town, Union Station, Willis Tower, Art Institute, Millennium Park, Chicago Theatre, and near the Verizon Store on the Magnificent Mile. The Minneapolis coverage will include Downtown West, Downtown East, areas of Elliot Park, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis Central Library, Mill City Museum, Target Center, The Commons, and U.S. Bank Stadium. 5G offers lower latency (delay) and faster data speeds overall. Verizon's 5G phones are only compatible with the new 5G NR network launching in April, and not the company's existing 5G Home network, which uses an incompatible, non-standard technology.
Google is removing the relatively insecure Voice Match security option from existing Android phones. Previously, older Pixel and Moto phones offered the option to secure a phone with voiceprint and fully unlock it by saying "OK Google". But the method wasn't very secure; it could be fooled by a recording of the owner's voice. When users update to the newest version of the Google app, this option will be replaced by a new, limited Google Assistant interface on the lock screen. Its options include accessing certain email results, calendar events, contacts, reminders, and shopping lists. But other Assistant features like playing music will be unavailable without fully unlocking the phone via a different method.
Motorola VP of Global Product Dan Dery confirmed this week that the company is working on folding phones and has "no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market". In an interview with Engadget, Dery also confirmed that the company is working on devices that fold inward, protecting the display, as well as potential dual-hinge devices.
Moto's new g-series phones bring up-to-date features, upgraded specs, and clean Google software to three models ranging from $200 to $300. This year's series moves to a notched-screen design, steps up to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, and supports USB-C across the board. They will all launch with Android 9 (Pie). All three will eventually come to US carriers, most by this spring.
- Moto g7 play: The most affordable at $199, it has a 5.7" HD display, 3,000 mAh battery, fast charging, fingerprint reader, 13 megapixel camera, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, memory card slot, 3.5mm headset jack, and FM radio. It will be available from Boost, Virgin, US Cellular, Ting, and Republic, as well as unlocked from most major retailers.
- Moto g7 power: The main feature is its huge 5,000 mAh battery, which Motorola claims will last for three days. It builds on the specs of the g7 play, stepping up to a larger 6.2" display, 3 GB of RAM, and a higher-quality 12-megapixel camera. It will be available for $249 from Verizon, T-Mobile, Metro, Cricket, Xfinity Mobile, Republic, Ting, and Consumer Cellular, as well as unlocked from most major retailers.
- Moto g7: Higher-end but with a normal-size (3,000 mAh) battery, this flagship of the g series has a curved glass back, full-HD 6.2" display with a smaller notch, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, 4K video capture, and dual cameras for portrait effects. It also has a more advanced camera app, with new features like automatic group smile capture, hi-res digital zoom using multiple frames, hyperlapse video, and RAW output. The camera also integrates with YouTube Live and Google Lens. It will be available unlocked from most major retailers for $299 this spring, followed by launches with Google Fi, Republic Wireless, and Ting.
Unicode 12, the annual release for 2019, includes a wide variety of new standard emoji. Many focus on accessibility, including wheelchair, motorized wheelchair, person in wheelchair, probing cane, person with probing cane, deaf person, guide dog, service dog, ear with hearing aid, and mechanical limbs. Other new emoji include yawning face, pinching hand, ice cube, yo-yo, axe, drop of blood, adhesive bandage, stethoscope, ringed planet, chair, straight razor, safety vest, parachute, diving mask, kite, hindu temple, sari, and ballet shoes. New animals include skunk, otter, sloth, flamingo, and orangutan. New food emoji include butter, onion, garlic, waffle, falafel, oyster, and juice box. Emoji of people holding hands has also been expanded with greater diversity. Annual emoji releases typically reach phones when major new OSes are released in early fall.
A Brazilian Motorola web site accidentally posted photos and details of the unannounced Moto G7 series of phones. There will be four versions of the G7. All of them have a headphone jack, fingerprint reader, memory card slot, and Android 9 (Pie). The standard Moto G7 model will have a 6.24" full-HD+ display with a small "drop-style" notch, and dual rear cameras. Inside is a Snapdragon 632 processor paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage, and 3,000 mAh battery. The Moto G7 Plus model is very similar but has a Snapdragon 636 processor and higher-resolution cameras (16 megapixel main / 12 megapixel selfie). A slightly lower-end Moto G7 Power has a huge 5,000 mAh battery, but has a lower-res (720p) HD screen with a larger notch, less internal storage, a single rear camera, and 3 GB RAM. The cheaper-still Moto G7 Play is similar to the G7 Power but with a smaller 5.7-inch display, 2 GB RAM, and a 3,000 mAh battery. An event is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Brazil where the G7 series is expected to be formally announced.
Motorola will soon revive the RAZR brand for a pricey folding-screen phone for Verizon, the Wall Street Journal reports today. The phone is in testing but could launch as soon as February. The phone would cost roughly $1,500 and be exclusive to Verizon Wireless. Samsung has said it also plans to introduce a phone this year with a screen that bends, allowing the phone to fold in half. Motorola Mobility is owned by Lenovo. The original RAZR was a thin metal flip phone introduced in 2004. Motorola revived the RAZR brand in 2011 for a line of Droid phones that were also exclusive to Verizon. The new "foldable" RAZR has yet to be announced and no other details are available.
Motorola and Verizon Wireless say they've successfully completed a 5G NR data transmission test between the Moto Z3 paired with a 5G Moto Mod and Verizon's network. Motorola announced the Moto Z3 for Verizon in August along with a Moto Mod capable of adding 5G to the Z3. While the Z3 went on sale over the summer, Motorola and Verizon said the 5G Moto Mod wouldn't arrive until 2019. The test demonstrates that the Mod does indeed bring 5G service to what Motorola and Verizon marketed as the "first 5G upgradeable phone." The companies performed this test in Providence, R.I., using Verizon's 28 GHz spectrum. The 5G Moto Mod relies on Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem with QTM052 mmWave antennas. The companies used the publicly available Motorola Moto Z3. Motorola says the Moto Z3 will be the "first smartphone with access to Verizon’s 5G network" when that network launches. Verizon is expected to launch mobile 5G service during the early months of 2019. It launched fixed 5G in October. Verizon competitors AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all clamoring to be first to offer mobile 5G. AT&T recently revealed its first mobile 5G product, the Netgear Nighthawk hotspot. Sprint says it is working with LG to bring a 5G-capable phone to market.
Best Buy recently added the Motorola One to its web site. The phone, available for pre-order, costs $400 and will begin to ship November 9. Motorola had not previously announced plans to sell the phone in the U.S. The Motorola One runs the Android One platform, which means it will recent regular security updates from Motorola. It ships with Android 8.1 Oreo, but will receive Android 9 Pie soon. The phone doesn't have bloatware and ships only with essential apps from Google. The Motorola One has a 5.9-inch HD+ screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It packs dual 13-megapixel cameras on the back and an 8-megapixel camera on front. Photo modes include portrait, cinemagraph, time-lapse, 4K video capture and Google Lens. Google says the 3,000mAh battery supports TurboPower charging. The Motorola One is based on a Snapdragon 625 processor with eight cores at 2 GHz. The phone has 64 GB of internal storage and supports microSD memory cards up to 256 GB. The Motorola One is sold unlocked with support for AT&T and T-Mobile.
Motorola Solutions today announced the Talkabout T800 walkie talkies and accompanying mobile application. The concept is to let outdoor adventurers keep in touch — and, more importantly, share precise location data — when cellular networks are not available. In order to use the T800s effectively, owners need to install the Talkabout mobile app on their iPhone or Android device and then connect their phone to the T800 via Bluetooth. The Talkabout app then uses the T800 as a modem for sending messages and location info over the radio. Users can send current locations, designate meeting spots, and alert others when leaving specific areas. The message function handles single and group messaging, and messages can be sent silently for safety purposes. The location features do require some planning, as users will need to download the maps ahead of time through the Talkabout app. Maps can be saved in various formats and shared with others easily. Moreover, the app can be used to control hardware features of the T800, such as selecting channels, setting tones, adjusting weather alerts, and so on. Motorola Solutions claims the walkies have plenty of power. A push-to-talk power boost option can be turned on to extend the radios' range by increasing transmitter output while also conserving battery life. Motorola says this creates reliable two-way radio comms with a range of 35 miles and data/messaging range up to 20 miles, based on terrain and conditions. The radios themselves are rugged and rated IPX4 for protection against splashing and rain. The T800s include access to seven NOAA weather channels and four VHF channels in order to get constant, up-to-date weather reports. Motorola included an emergency alert feature that sounds a siren or spoken/incidental sounds to seek assistance or warn of danger. These are controlled by the Talkabout app. Last, the T800s include an LED flashlight for night-time use. The walkie talkies ship with rechargeable batteries, USB-based chargers, and an assortment of clips and stickers. The Talkabout T800 come in a pair for $110 and are available to ship today.
Epic Games today made its popular Fortnite game available without an invitation. The app has been available in beta since August, though an invite was required for access. Epic Games has dropped the need for an invitation and most anyone can download the game. Fortnite is not available in the Google Play Store. Instead, people interested in the game will need to go to Epic's web site to download an installer. The installer then puts the game on the phone. The game started as an exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy Note9 and was later discovered to have a major security flaw in the installer (since patched). Fortnite is best played on high-end devices that have Android 8 Oreo installed. Some compatible phones include the Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, and S9 series; all Google Pixel phones; the LG G5, G6, G7, V20, and V30; the Asus ROG Phone and 5Z; the Essential Phone; the Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, Honor 10, and Honor Play; the OnePlus 5, 5T, and 6; the HTC 10, U Ultra, U11+, U12+; the Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ2, and XZ3 series; as well as a handful of others from Xiaomi, ZTE, Nokia, and Lenovo.
Motorola has made the Moto E5 available in the U.S. Best Buy is selling the phone with Simple Mobile service for $99.99. The Moto E5 features a 5.7-inch 720p screen and it is powered by a Snapdragon 425 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The phone accepts microSD memory cards up to 256 GB. The E5 ships with Android 8 Oreo and Moto Display for smart notifications and Moto Actions for shortcuts. The main camera has an 8-megapixel sensor at f/2.0 with autofocus, an LED flash, HDR, slow-motion, and full HD video capture. The front camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and selfie light. Other specs include a 4,000mAh battery with a 10W rapid charger included in the box. For connectivity, it has an FM radio, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and LTE. Neither Motorola nor Best Buy indicated if the E5 will be sold unlocked or with service from a different carrier.
AT&T today said it has launched what it calls 5G Evolution in 99 new markets, bringing the total of pre-5G markets to 239. AT&T is on track to reach its goal of 400 markets by the end of the year, and nationwide coverage during the first half of 2019. The company says its 5G Evolution technology — which is not 5G NR — can deliver theoretical speeds up to 400 Mbps to properly equipped phones. AT&T expects to launch true 5G mobile service in a dozen markets by the end of the year, with another seven joining the list in early 2019. Further, AT&T has expanded its LTE-LAA footprint to parts of 20 markets and expects to reach 24 by December. LTE-LAA can push speeds to a theoretical max of 1 Gbps. A handful of phones sold by AT&T are LTE-LAA capable, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S8+, S9+, Note8, Note9, and S8 Active, as well as the LG V30 and V35, the Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition, and the Netgear Nighthawk Mobile Router. AT&T's first real 5G NR mobile device will be a mobile hotspot.
Owners of the Motorola Moto Z series phones won't get the keyboard Mod they were promised earlier this year. The Livermorium Slider Keyboard Moto Mod, an attachment that would have given the Moto Z family a physical QWERTY keyboard for typing, has been cancelled. The Indiegogo campaign was fully funded, but the company behind the keyboard cited several reasons for scrapping the Mod including engineering challenges, low volume of Moto Z phones in the market, and, more importantly, the inability to scale production affordably. The company says those who backed the campaign will receive a full refund via PayPal.