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Motorola

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Moto Mods: Thoughts and first impressions

If you ask Motorola, Mods are the story with Moto Z. If you ask most smartphone enthusiasts? The Mods are decidedly not the story - they're just accessories. Well, which is it? Are Motorola's modular pieces central to the authoritative and complete Z experience, or are they forgettable add-ons? I've had a few days to play with them, and while I am not "reviewing" any of them here, I am going to share some thoughts on them.

First, we have the not-really-Mods: the style shells.

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Moto sent out two woodgrain shells and one that I would describe as a black nylon fabric weave.

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Moto G4 and G4 Plus review: Still the best budget phone you can buy

Motorola has had a strange couple of years. It was making some interesting, though mediocre phones, then it was acquired by Google. Then, it started making great phones. Before we could truly enjoy the new Motorola, the company was sold off to Chinese mega-firm Lenovo. We all worried what this would mean for Motorola, and now we're seeing the first products from the new-new Moto—the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus.

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Moto Z and Z Force hands-on and first impressions

Motorola under the stewardship of Lenovo is doing something very different this year. The Moto X brand may not be gone, but it's certainly not the company's focus right now. Instead, we have the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. They're thin and they have Moto Mods—snap-on modules like projectors and speakers that make the phones much less thin. The Z is coming to Verizon first as a Droid phone (that's what I have to review), but the device I'm looking at now is very similar to what Motorola will release unlocked later this year.

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Motorola announces the larger 2016 Moto E, coming to the UK in September for £99 [Update: Probably no US launch]

Motorola has already announced updates to its 2016 flagship (Moto Z) and mid-range (Moto G) devices, and now the entry-level is getting some attention too. The 2016 update to the Moto E is now official with a larger 5-inch display and an approximate release date of early September in the UK.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished 2nd gen Moto 360 (42mm men's and women's) on sale for $159.99 via eBay [Update: 46mm too]

It's been a while since the last big Android Wear release, so spending hundreds of dollars on a watch that's reaching the end of its life cycle isn't the best idea. But hey, that's what sales are for. There's a particularly good one right now on the 2nd gen Moto 360. Just $159.99 gets you either the men's or women's version of the watch.

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[Deal Alert] Moto G4 16GB $124.99 and 32GB $154.99 with Amazon offers and ads for Prime members ($75 off)

The Moto G4 is about to launch in the US on July 12 for prices starting $199.99. However, you can get it much cheaper today if you are an Amazon Prime member and you don't mind seeing ads on your lockscreen. How much cheaper? How about $75 less? Yes, that covers 75% of the cost of a yearly Prime membership and puts the Moto G4 at a ridiculously cheap price.

This is possible thanks to Amazon's newly announced Prime Exclusive Phones venture, which basically subsidizes the price of new unlocked phones by putting Amazon apps and ads on your lockscreen. It's the Kindle Fire approach applied to non-Amazon devices.

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Amazon is now selling unlocked phones at a discount in exchange for giving you bloatware and ads

I can't say I saw this coming: Amazon is getting into the unlocked smartphone business in a big way starting today. By selling you phones for a lower price... in exchange for bloatware and lockscreen ads. Yep, seriously.

Amazon announced today that the BLU R1 HD and the Moto G4 (not the Plus, though) are the first Amazon Prime Exclusive smartphones in the US. Both phones are $50 off their standard retail prices, making the BLU R1 HD just $49.99 and Moto G4 just $149.99 (the 32GB is $179.99). Amazon is even offering an additional $25 off the Moto G4 with offers and ads today as part of a special launch promo, bringing it down to $124.99 for Prime members.

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Best Buy and B&H Photo are both offering $50 gift cards with the 2016 Moto G and G Plus

The early reactions to Motorola's new generation of hardware have been tepid at best. Even so, if you're one of the people looking forward to the recently-announced US launch for the 2016 version of the Moto G and the new G Plus, Motorola is hoping to sweeten the pot on the already budget-priced phones. Both Best Buy and B&H Photos are offering free $50 gift cards to their respective stores for early buyers.

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The Moto G4 family is coming to the US on July 12, starting at $199.99

Motorola announced the new fourth-gen Moto G family of devices back in May, but the phones have thus far only come out in Brazil and India. US consumers will get their chance to pick up the new Moto G in just a few weeks. Motorola will begin selling the devices on July 12th with prices starting at $199.99.

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[Update: Best Buy and Amazon too] [Deal Alert] Moto X Pure discounted to $319.99 (64GB) and $239.99 (16GB) at B&H today, plus free microSD cards with purchase

Motorola is headed into the summer with the Moto Z at the top of the roster, but the 2015 flagship Moto X Pure is still available too. In fact, you might prefer this phone to the new modular devices Motorola is pushing. With that in mind, B&H is looking to get some Moto X Pure stock off its hands with sizable discounts and some free microSD cards.

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