Google CEO hints about upcoming Motorola phone features

Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page just wrapped up his opening comments during the company’s Q4 2013 earnings call taking place right now. While noting that “managing our supply better” is a priority (see Nexus 4 supply constraints), Page also hinted at some possible upcoming Motorola smartphone features. Page said Motorola is working on the following two areas: better batteries and impact-resistant designs.

I am excited about the business. In today’s multi screen world, the opportunities are endless.  Think about your device.  Battery life is a huge issue.  You shouldn’t have to worry about constantly recharging your phone.  When you drop your phone, it shouldn’t go splat.  Everything should be a ton faster and easier.  There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences.

Page also said Motorola’s new CEO, Dennis Woodside, has a built a “world-class team” that is currently exploring these new opportunities: Read more

Motorola Droid RAZR HD and RAZR Maxx HD hit Verizon Oct. 18

Motorola made things official today for two new Droid RAZR’s hitting the United States. Following the introduction of the Droid RAZR M, Verizon announced today that it would get the Droid RAZR HD and RAZR Maxx HD starting Oct. 18. The 4.7-inch devices were unveiled in September at Motorola’s New York City launch event and landed in Canada yesterday, but today we get confirmation on pricing and availability for the U.S. market.

In case you forgot: both devices pack a 4.7-inch HD display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, NFC, and 4G LTE. The Razr Maxx HD is identical to the Razr HD—apart from a bigger battery and double the internal storage (32GB). Both will ship with Android 4.0, but a Jelly Bean update is expected in the future. We have all the details in our coverage of the launch event.

As far as pricing goes…the HD will cost you $200 on a two-year contract, while the Maxx HD is $100 more.

The DROID RAZR HD will be available for $199.99 and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD will be $299.99, both with a new two-year contract. The DROID RAZR HD will be available in either Black or White and have 16 GB internal storage. The DROID RAZR MAXX HD will be available in Black and have 32 GB internal storage. The new smartphones will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online on Oct. 18. Read more

Analyst: iPhone ‘under pressure’ at Verizon as Droid RAZR MAXX takes top spot during the quarter

William Blair analyst Anil Doradla (via Barron’s) wrote in his notes today that the iPhone is still the best-selling smartphone across the United States, but it is coming “under pressure, particularly at Verizon” due to the carrier’s aggressive marketing of 4G-capable devices. Citing his checks of sales for the current quarter as of June, Doradla claimed the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX outsold the iPhone on Verizon:

Since Apple’s iPhone launch in North America, we believe this was the first quarter where the iPhone was not the best‐selling smartphone at a North American mobile operator (where it was available). While Apple continued to maintain its top position at AT&T and Sprint, Motorola’s Droid RAZR MAXX was the best‐ selling smartphone at Verizon. Our checks also indicate that at this stage consumers are not pausing in front of the iPhone launch as it is not influencing their purchasing decisions (but we expect it to start impacting over the next couple of months).

While the RAZR MAXX took the top spot, Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus grabbed third position behind the iPhone, according to Doradla. He backed his “outperform” rating on Apple by saying he is “not worried” given the next generation iPhone, which is likely due in October, is expected to include 4G LTE capabilities:
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Verizon’s leaked roadmap shows Galaxy S3, HTC’s Note competitor, and new Motorola devices

While many of the devices on the list have rumored or leaked release dates already, BGR claimed to have Verizon’s summer/fall roadmap that details flagship smartphones being launched later this year.

According to the report, Verizon Wireless will offer Samsung’s highly anticipated and much rumored Galaxy S3, which the company confirmed yesterday will pack its new 1.4GHz Exynos 4 quad-core processor. The report does not give a release date, but it speculated a summer release based on the roadmap.

Also apparently on the roadmap are multiple Motorola RAZR devices and a new 5-inch HTC device that appears to be a Galaxy Note competitor…

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4.6-inch HD Droid RAZR Fighter pictured

Engadget shows us something it pulled from Chinese language forums:

What you see on the right is called the Droid RAZR “Fighter,” and it has a 4.6-inch 720P display much like HTC’s 4.7-inch One and the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus.

You will note that it does not have physical capacitive buttons, instead opting for the ICS-y soft buttons. That allows Motorola to push the screen further toward the edges, which is something we complained about in our review.

The smaller bezel and lack of physical buttons allows Motorola to break out a much bigger screen without increasing the footprint…much.

Other probabilities: LTE on board, lots more graphics power, and Ice Cream Sandwich.

Hopefully the Google buyout of Motorola cuts through the blur, but as with all Verizon phones, you will expect that Verizon will have its way with ICS.

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Motorola teases MOTOACTV update coming March 7

Motorola announced in a blog post today its all-in-one fitness band is about to get a new update. Motorola said it would detail more as the launch date of the update comes closer, but it did reveal that the MOTOACTV would gain support for up to 40 new activities, including: yoga, Pilates, dancing and martial arts. Motorola will also roll out an online hub —where users can track fitness progress—at the time of the update. The MOTOACTV band will push the fitness information over Wi-Fi, so you can then setup competitions among friends.

Just as a refresher: Motorola announced the MOTOACTV at an event in October along with the Droid RAZR. The MOTOACTV can track your every move, play music through an FM radio, and can even store up to 4,000 songs. The 8GB version retails for $210 and the 16GB version retails for $300. Stay tuned, as Motorola said there is more to come.

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Droid 4 makes appearance on Verizon website

The answer to the question of “what would happen if you slapped a keyboard on the back of a Droid Razor” just showed up for a brief moment on Verizon’s DroidDoes website.  The Droid 4 “only” has a 4-inch screen compared to the RAZR’s 4.3″ but pretty much everything else lines up the same.  Perhaps more importantly, yes, that is a 5 row keyboard (4 rows is for suckers) and of course the speedy LTE comes along too. DOES below. Read more

iFixit tears down the Galaxy Nexus

The folks over at iFixit have torn-down the Galaxy Nexus, per usual, exposing what’s underneath. While they didn’t find anything we didn’t already know in terms of hardware, the team found that it’s fairly easy to get into the device — unlike the Droid RAZR – requiring only a few screws and a guitar pick. For replacing the 1750mAh battery users shouldn’t have any problem. The iFixit team does worn however that the screen is fairly hard to replace. They’re still working to identify a few power amplifiers and motion processing units , but we’ll let you know when iFixit finds them.

Don’t forget, we’re still waiting on the launch of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States. The Ice Cream Sandwich device has been available in the U.K. for a little over two weeks now, and has seen positive reviews. It shouldn’t be too long until we see Verizon’s LTE in the mix. iFixit gave the device a 6/10 on the repairability scale:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Battery replacement is incredibly simple thanks to the removable rear panel.

  • Minimal adhesive makes removal of the motherboard and other components a snap.

  • Headphone jack and speaker assembly are not soldered to the motherboard, so replacement is easy.

  • The only soldered components are the volume switch and vibrator motor.

  • Removing the rear case to access the motherboard and other internals requires a lotof careful prying and guitar-picking.

  • The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame. So don’t crack the glass unless you’re good with a heat gun, or you’re fond of replacing the glass, display, and frame together ($$$).

Results: If you could have any available Android for free, what would it be?


Last week (ending today), Amazon had a pretty incredible Penny Pincher sale where it offered just about every Android and otherwise phone (except Apple’s iPhone) for a penny with a two year plan.  That’s what we call a game-changing, evening of the field.  Sure, carriers and the plans matter, but if every phone is free, you can get a pretty good idea which are the most sought after phones in the “price not being an option” category.

From our Amazon Affiliate account we can see just how many of each phone our readers picked up, thereby getting a pretty good sample of what are the hot phones out there.  Here are some stats:

  • - >90% of phones were Android (not surprising from a Google site)
  • - Motorola Droid RAZR and Sprint’s Galaxy SII were the big winners (well done readers!)
  • - Verizon was the dominant carrier with the top selling (RAZR), and 3 of the top 5 phones.
  • - Samsung Galaxy SII was 3 of the top 6 and the number one seller overall across all carriers
  • - We’re aren’t sure why*, but 9 of you bought Motorola Bionic’s giving Motorola the second place prize (*We love the RAZR and aren’t sure why one would pick a Bionic over a RAZR).
  • - HTC was #3 with the Rezound having an impressive showing  and the Thunderbolt getting picked up 5 times (again, not sure why you’d pick a Thunderbolt over a Rezound at the same price). HTC on AT&T was a poor showing with none of the new Amaze 4Gs showing up.  In fact, with the Titan, HTC sold more Windows phones on AT&T than it did Android.  The EVO wasn’t as popular as you’d expect on Sprint with the Galaxy S II selling a whopping 9 times as many units on the carrier
    .

Overall, no huge surprises, especially at the top, though we’re somewhat surprised that Sprint’s Galaxy SII beat both of AT&T’s combined.  Toward the bottom, we started seeing some unlocked Nokias (5 C6′s) Windows Phones (3 HTC Titans, 3 Samsung Focus Ss) and a few BlackBerry Bolds.

The big question is: How will the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon upset the line?  Whatever the outcome, Verizon is already the clear winner with the RAZR and Rezound (and Bionic) already topping many granted  holiday wish lists.

Fuller results below: Read more

Flagship phones from three big US carriers go free at Amazon this week

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From 9to5Toys.com:

Amazon has some truly remarkable phones for free with a plan in its current penny pincher sale.

For the first time ever, AmazonWireless is offering ALL AT&T, Sprint and Verizon phones for a penny. The promotion is live now and runs through 11:59 PM on Cyber Monday (Nov 28th) and only applies to new activations (with a two-year contract).

Additionally, AmazonWireless’ $100 Hotspot Holidays deal can be quite a savings incentive. If you activate the hotspot feature on your new phone at the time of purchase, you will receive a $100 Amazon.com credit. Not a bad way to make some extra spending money for apps…or holiday gifts.

Standouts on each carrier include:

Droid RAZR, Bionic, Incredible 2, X2 and others on Verizon: FREE

Samsung Galaxy SII, Skyrocket and Amaze 4G, Atrix 2 and others on AT&T: FREE

Samsung Galaxy SII Epic Touch, Nexus S, EVO 3D and others on Sprint: FREE

Review: Motorola Droid RAZR – The best Android device…yet


Motorola Ad

I’ve been enamored with the Droid RAZR since the unveiling event last month.  It is everything about the “anti-iPhone” Droid message multiplied by 100.  From the excellent commercials to the handsome styling to the robot-y motif.  Where Samsung and to a lesser extent HTC make efforts to assimilate to the smartphone (read: iPhone) norms, Motorola’s Droids try to differentiate.

On hardware alone, this is probably my favorite Android device so far.  It is incredibly thin but also much more sturdy than the typical Galaxy handset.  Somehow, however, it manages to be just as light.  Compared to HTC’s latest offerings (including the monstrous Beats Rezound that I am also testing now – see pictures) and frankly Motorola’s previous Droid Bionic, Droid X, this thing is in a totally different class.


Droid Bionic (right) is thicker at its thinnest point than the RAZR at its thickest

And about that Bionic.  Pity the people who bought that device in the previous months knowing that Amazon sells the Droid RAZR for $111 on launch with $100 gift card for tethering.  Effectively, that is the best Android phone you can have for $11… Read more

Amazon gives $100 back on Hotspot phones and $50 on Hotspots for that new Kindle Fire ($11 Droid RAZR?)

Starting at Midnight PT tonight, Amazon will give every new purchaser of a new Hotspot device some Amazon Credit – hopefully enticing them to pick up a Kindle Fire.

With a hotspot-ready smartphone, you can access the Internet on your Kindle Fire or other Wi-Fi devices anywhere.

Beginning at midnight PST tonight and for a limited time, customers who buy hotspot enabled smartphone will receive a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card. Also, those that purchase a mobile hotspot device will receive a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card (Note: for new lines of service and upgrade customers. Hotspot feature for smartphones must be activated at time of purchase to qualify.)

This promotion extends to some of the most desired phones out there, including the new Motorola Razr releasing tomorrow, Samsung Epic Touch 4G Android Phone (Sprint) , Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Android Phone (AT&T)  and even the HTC DROID INCREDIBLE 2 Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) , which is available for only $0.01!

Additionally, we’ve heard that Amazon is having a special on the RAZR Launch for $111.11.  If the above deal works on that, you are looking at $11 for one of the sickest phones on the market when bought with a tethering plan.

Tune into Amazon in a few hours.

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