Black Friday is over, but there are still a ton of great deals waiting for bargain hunters on the web. Amazon has a particularly good sale for anyone who wants a great Motorola phone on the cheap. The international GSM version of the second-gen Moto G (that's the 2014 model) is now $99.99 on Amazon's US site, an impressive $80 off the retail price. It's an excellent deal for someone who needs a solid device without the high price (or, notably, the LTE radio) of more robust models.
Note that this is the global GSM model, not the US GSM version, so while it will work in most countries around the world, it will have poor reception on T-Mobile in the States.
The original Moto G started getting its official update to Android 5.1 in July. But those were unlocked units and we all know how operators like to test, re-test, delay, and re-delay OTA updates, so odds were that you would have to wait for months before getting it on your device if it wasn't unlocked.
Well, the odds and the stars have aligned in your favor if you're on the Verizon XT1028 version of the Moto G because Lollipop 5.1 is finally coming to you. The rollout started a few days ago so you may have already seen the notification, otherwise you should head into your phone's settings and manually check.
The hybrid cellular-WiFi carrier Republic Wireless is launching a new budget device this month, and it's a good one. The 3rd generation Moto G will be available for purchase from Republic on October 27th in both 8GB and 16GB versions. The pricing isn't as competitive as past Republic Wireless phones have been, but the Moto G is a crazy-good deal already.
Yesterday, we published an article asking an open question: what is up with T-Mobile band 12 support being removed from some unlocked smartphones?
Today, T-Mobile contacted us to speak about said article. Unfortunately, T-Mobile was unwilling to provide any official on-record responses to our questions. But after a short discussion, I can provide you some information I have learned on background (journalist speak for "cannot be directly quoted or attributed to anyone"). First:
On T-Mobile, any device on its network with band 12 LTE data support must also support T-Mobile Voice over LTE services and E911.
The E911 part isn't particularly important in terms of the certification requirement - all phones sold in America are technically E911 compliant, because by law they have to be.
If you're the happy owner of a 2015 Moto E, a pretty solid phone, you may also be a T-Mobile subscriber. You may have also bought the phone relying on the fact that it had a key forward-looking feature for the network - support for LTE on band 12. T-Mobile is the only national network here in America currently utilizing band 12 LTE (regional operator US Cellular being the next largest), and support for that band is key in congested metro regions, where its low 700MHz frequency provides superior building penetration and increased capacity for the network.
Well, in the latest update to the Moto E (Android 5.1) way back when, Motorola removed support for band 12 LTE from the device completely - and they're pointing the finger at T-Mobile.
Google and the various major Android device vendors and carriers are scrambling to patch the recently-discovered Stagefright exploit, a weakness in Android's multimedia processing that can allow remote access via a simple MMS message. Google has already begun patching Nexus devices, and Samsung is working its way through its extensive product range starting with flagships. Yesterday Motorola released its plans to update its phones.
So which devices will get the fix? Basically everything Motorola has made since 2013, including carrier variants and DROID models for Verizon in the US. Here's the full list:
Moto X Style (patched from launch)
Moto X Play (patched from launch)
Moto X (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto X Pro
Moto G (1st Gen, 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen)
Moto G with 4G LTE (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto E (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto E with 4G LTE (2nd Gen)
Some third-gen Moto G phones (released late last month) have been patched from launch, but others will need an over-the-air update.
As we know, most smartphone commercials are, at best, OK. Many are less than OK, and some are just downright awful(see also: HTC-RDJ). Apple manages to score a hit every once in a while, but even their ads can come off as corny and contrived (or just boastful) sometimes.
Perhaps the greatest unicorn of all in smartphone advertising is a legitimately chuckle-worthy commercial. They're rare beasts, and even if that chuckle is from a completely WTF place (see: G Flex, ad sadly taken down), a laugh is a positive reaction. Usually. Anyway, Motorola made this new commercial for the Moto G and we all thought it was pretty funny.
Motorola's press event is underway, but various portions of the company have already revealed the star of the show: the new Moto G. The 2015 version of Moto's mid-range device is a mix of old and new, keeping some of the more affordable portions of the phone intact while upgrading some of the most important elements. Specifically, the 2015 Moto G offers optional extra RAM and storage and improves its predecessor's lackluster camera to a 13-megapixel model.
Here's the breakdown: the phone keeps the 5-inch 720p screen from the 2014 version, but upgrades the internals with a Snapdragon 410 processor from Qualcomm and a 13MP rear camera (5MP on the front), the same camera as the Nexus 6, plus a color-balancing flash.