Motorola got folks pretty excited when it started soak testing Android Lollipop for the pure edition of this year's Moto X, signaling that the update would soon arrive. It did. But not everyone bought the Moto X this way. Many Americans don't even know this is an option, instead walking into the carrier store and pointing out the phone they want to the person in the red shirt. What about them?
It's getting to be the time of year that retailers pull out all the stops and try to make some cash. Amazon in particular needs to make up some ground after that Fire Phone fiasco. Well, you can reap the rewards now with some solid deals on phones from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. These are on-contract sales, but you can't get too upset about a $1 phone.
Motorola took the premium materials one step further this year with the option to buy a Moto X clad in premium Horween leather, then someone at Verizon thought it would be cool to slap some football leather on it. The result, as you can see below is kind of ugly. Maybe it looks nicer in real life?
— Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) November 7, 2014
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, November 5th, 2014
Verizon Wireless corporate headquarters
"I can't believe those jerks at Motorola. A week, a freakin' week after we debut the most powerful, spec-heavy phone in the country as a Verizon exclusive, they go and scrape our magnificent paint off the case and sell it themselves!"
"The Moto Maxx is only being sold in Latin America, sir.
Verizon's ongoing DROID program means that most of the phones sold under the label will never appear on other US carriers. When the DROID Turbo was announced last week as one of the most high-end phones to come this year, more than a few of our commenters said that they'd prefer it to the Nexus 6 (also made by Motorola) due to its smaller size, if only a non-locked GSM version was available.
Ah, Developer Editions, what would we do without you? Probably suck it up and buy the retail versions, since anyone who's actually in the market for a Developer Edition phone on Verizon doesn't have a choice of GSM carriers with unlocked phones. If you've been drooling over the Galaxy Note 4's high-end hardware but lamenting Verizon's locked bootloader policy, Samsung is ready to sell you an unlockable phone. That will be $699.99, please.
Today is a good day if you like big, powerful phones, and if you want (or need) to use them on Verizon. The Galaxy Note 4 and the Xperia Z3v, the current flagships of Samsung and Sony, have both launched on Big Red. You can pick up a Galaxy Note 4 for $299.99 with a new contract or a whopping $699.99 without one. The Xperia Z3v is slightly cheaper at $199.99 and $599.99.
Android has come a long way over the years, and there's less incentive to install a custom ROM than there used to be. Nevertheless, the desire is still there. CyanogenMod remains the most established and well-known option around, so it's no small thing when a new device gets supported. Two devices that have recently made the list include the Verizon Galaxy S5 (kltevzw) and the GSM version of the HTC One Mini 2 (memul).
The Nexus 6 looks to be Google's most widely-released phone ever, at least in the context of United States carriers. While the company has taken an "unlocked first" approach to carrier partnerships since the ill-fated Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it has offered at least some of the traditional phone sales on the Nexus 5. For the new Motorola Nexus 6, every major American carrier will have a phone option, though whether that means there's one phone that will work with all or there will be multiple versions, we can't say at the moment.