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Motorola

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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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Motorola's design chief leaves after 12 years at company

Jim Wicks, head of design at Motorola Mobility for the past twelve years (that's serious dedication in the tech biz), has left the company according to Crain's Chicago Business. Wicks' official title - Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience Design - makes it seem clear he likely had substantial roles in approving things like Moto Maker, an initiative that provided Motorola customers an unprecedented level of control over the personalization of the physical look and feel of their smartphones.

According to Crain's, Wicks will be replaced by a long-time Motorola designer who also ran Lenovo's MBG (Mobile Business Group) Design Studio, Ruben Castano.

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This history of Motorola video is a must-watch

Whether you're a phone junkie or just a history buff, a recent video by game reviews YouTube channel Lazy Game Reviews is, in my humble opinion, must-watch material. LGR takes us through the history of Motorola from its progenitors in 1921 up to its eventual split and acquisition by Google, then Lenovo. But the winding road from car radios to smartphones is filled with stories of Motorola's great successes (and a few failures more recently) over the past 90-plus years, and I came away with some new tidbits of knowledge in the process.

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Motorola Confirms Moto 360 Gen. 1 Will Not Receive Android Wear 2.0 Update

While you may have seen reports via Motorola's Twitter account that the Moto 360 Gen. 1 would not be receiving Wear 2.0, we decided to follow up with Motorola's official PR this morning on this news and received direct confirmation: the Moto 360 Gen. 1 won't get Wear 2.0.

The Moto 360 was heavily hyped leading up to its launch nearly two years ago, and understandably so: a [semi-]circular display made it stand out from pretty much any smartwatch that had been released previously. While LG's G Watch R was, in my opinion, a better take on the circular watch, the Moto 360 still stood out with its small bezels and minimalistic, lugless style.

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Moto Mod Pricing Leaks In Verizon App, Including An Obscene $299 For The Insta-Share Projector

Verizon has the early exclusive on Motorola/Lenovo's new Moto Z phones, and that means it will also be the first to sell the Moto Mod accessories. Lenovo neglected to announce pricing at the event, but now Verizon's mobile app has spilled the beans... the very expensive beans. That projector attachment will cost a whopping $300.

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Motorola Probably Still Has A Moto Z Play In the Works, Along With Pro Camera Mod and Waterproof Adventure Mod

Motorola announced the Moto Z yesterday with fewer Moto Mod accessories than were previously rumored. There's even an entire phone from previous leaks that didn't make an appearance. According to HelloMotoHK, those are still happening, and there are new-ish images. The phone is code named Vertex, and the remaining Mods were still called Amps when these images were produced.

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Motorola: Moto X Is Not Dead, Moto Z Provides A "Different Experience"

When I was at Lenovo's Tech World event yesterday, during a press briefing someone asked what Moto Z meant for Moto X. I heard the answer, but I wasn't entirely clear on exactly what was said and hadn't recorded it (my mistake), so I reached out to Motorola via email last night to ask them to comment on the whole X to Z transition. It turns out that there isn't a transition, so much as just a new member of the family: Moto Z is not replacing Moto X, at least not at this time. Motorola's statement follows.

Moto X is alive and well.

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