Lenovo's brand new "Lenovo Tech World" event kicked off in Beijing today with some good news for would-be Moto makers in China - Moto Maker, Motorola's customization tool for the Moto X is opening up shop.
Customers in China will have access to all the same options current Moto Maker users enjoy - front and back color, accents, materials, and optional laser etching.
For now, Moto Maker is limited to the Moto X, but Lenovorola is offering promotional prices until June 2nd on the X, G, and the Nexus 6's cousin the Moto X Pro.
The Moto X will be available for RMB2,699 (with customized versions starting at RMB2,799), the Moto G from RMB999, and the X Pro from RMB3,999.
Motorola hasn't exactly been hitting it out of the park with cameras as of late. The 2014 Moto X offered a minor improvement over the 2013 model, but it's still put to shame by other flagships. At least the camera app is in the Play Store so it can be updated with new features, just like it is today.
Motorola has a mixed record when it comes to device updates. The first-gen Moto X made the jump from Jelly Bean to KitKat quite smoothly, but Lollipop has proven to be more of a challenge. Motorola recently announced the 2013 Moto X would go straight to Android 5.1, but when? Soon, according to Motorola's David Schuster.
The Moto X line is a great destination for Nexus lovers who tire of feeling like beta testers for Google, but the transition does come at the expense of timely updates (not that all Nexus devices are speedy). Fortunately Motorola remains committed to getting its devices up to date, and it looks like Android 5.1 may soon come to both iterations of the Moto X.
Motorola has posted release notes detailing what users can expect from the 5.1 update.
The 2nd generation Moto X is one of the best smartphones running stock Android. Motorola usually wants $500 for a 16GB off-contract model, but today it's throwing you a bone. For the next 24 hours, that starting price is dropping to $350. Not only that, you can bump up to 32GB for free, and 64GB will set you back just $25.
This sale only applies to Motorola's website. Fortunately, that means you can still customize until your heart's content. Make the phone whatever colors you want. Just remember to bump the memory before you place the order, as you wouldn't want to walk out of this with a 16GB model.
If you're carrying a first generation Moto X, E, or G LTE, then you've likely noticed a distinct lack of Lollipop running on your device. The main reason for that is, well, because Motorola has been testing the 5.0.2 update in several markets over the past several weeks, but it still hasn't released it publicly. According to Motorola's David Schuster, they've also been testing 5.1 on the aforementioned devices in tandem with 5.0.2, and now the company has decided to skip 5.0 altogether and bump those devices directly to 5.1. A similar announcement was made back in mid-March regarding the DROID Turbo, so it's really not much of a surprise to see the same strategy used here.
"A selfie stick is not just an accessory," the man says with shades of Jony Ive, "it's an extension of who you are." So true, isn't it? Except it's not true. Not a word of it. This is April Fools, and Motorola is having a little fun with the promo video below for a handcrafted selfie stick. Not funny? Okay, Motorola is also offering $140 off an unlocked Moto X to make up for it.
Motorola has really been pumping up the customization option for the newer model of the Moto X, and the exotic wood and leather backs are probably the most interesting part. Today the Moto Maker website in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Mexico has added an option for red Horween leather on the back panel, just in case you want to match up with the soles of your designer shoes.
The upgrade is the same $25 charge (in the US) as the other leather and wood options, and engraving is still available. You can also add a 32GB or 64GB storage option for $50 or $100, respectively.
Motorola's President and COO, Rick Osterloh, hosted a Twitter chat yesterday under the hashtag #AskRickO in which he answered a few questions regarding the company's expansion, release plans, device updates, and showed his current phone and watch setups.
The most interesting bit of information came in reply to Sumer Broota, who asked him whether Motorola had any plans to release a tablet this year. Rick said no and pointed toward Lenovo's line of Yoga tablets as an alternative.