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Moto Z Play


Motorola slowly rolling out Android 7.0 to the Moto Z Play

Motorola used to be just as good as, if not better than, Google itself when it came to updates. On more than one occasion, a Motorola device would be updated to the latest Android version before the Nexus rollout was complete. Unfortunately, Motorola under Lenovo's ownership has a more relaxed approach to updates, leaving customers annoyed and upset (and rightly so).

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Android 7.0 Nougat is rolling out to the Verizon Moto Z Play

Verizon used to be a wasteland when it came to Android updates, but things are better these days. Sometimes it's even ahead of the curve. The Nougat update for the Moto Z play isn't exactly ahead of schedule, but today's rollout isn't bad for a non-flagship phone.

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Kernel source for Nougat on the Moto Z Play now available

The Moto Z Play was released by Motorola last year, as a slightly less-expensive alternative to the Moto Z. A combination of a less powerful CPU, a lower-resolution screen, and a massive 3,500mAh battery has earned it a reputation for being an endurance champ. Now Motorola has released the kernel source code for the recent Nougat update.

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Moto Z Play Nougat update in early preview testing

The Verizon variant of the Moto Z, along with other Motorola devices, got its Nougat update in November. The company said it would release Nougat to the unlocked Moto Z in February (that's a good few months after the Verizon variant), and now the Moto Z Play is on course to be updated too, via an early preview of the software in the Motorola Feedback Network.

The Moto Z Play is the lower-specced, slightly cheaper version of the flagship Moto Z. The tip we've received tells us that people in the Feedback Network with a Z Play will be getting the early preview version, and that Motorola are "moving quickly" on this.

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Motorola says the unlocked Moto Z will get Nougat in February, Moto Z Play in March

Motorola customers who opted for the unlocked version of the Moto Z, as opposed to the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid models, are feeling a little miffed. Droid owners have been rocking the latest version of Android for months now, but the GSM unlocked variants (which usually get updates faster) haven't had so much as a whiff of Nougat. We covered the story on Android Police yesterday after receiving multiple complaints from our readers. Motorola's response, delivered via Twitter, was less than encouraging.

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[Update: Motorola responds] The unlocked US Moto Z still hasn't received Android Nougat, two months after Verizon variant was updated

In most cases, buying an unlocked Android phone means faster updates, because (in most cases) it sidesteps the carrier approval process. Motorola's 2016 flagship, the Moto Z, was updated to Android Nougat almost two months ago. In addition to all the lovely features that Nougat brings, the update also added Daydream compatibility. The only problem? The unlocked US variant of the Moto Z still hasn't received the update, only the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid and Z Droid Force.

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[Deal Alert] Get a new Moto Z Play for just $399.99 ($50 off), or save an additional $60 for one in mint condition

Even though I own a Moto Z, I must admit that it isn't exactly the most compelling flagship offering out there. Not only does it lack a headphone jack and have terrible battery life because it's so damn thin, it's priced at an astronomically high $699.99 (though, to be fair, it can be found for sale at a much lower price).

The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. As Ryan found, it corrects most of the Moto Z's shortcomings, while managing to come in at a much lower MSRP of $449.99. Now, with discounts of $50 on new units and $110 on slightly used ones, there's never been a better time to pick a Z Play up.

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Most Wanted: The top mid-range (<$500) smartphones of 2016

The mid-range smartphone segment is a highly competitive one these days, and one that is seeing its price boundaries ever-expanded in the quest to reach the perfect equilibrium of specifications to dollar. 2016 saw the release of what we think are five truly exceptional mid-range devices in the United States: these phones put their money where their mouth is. Devices in this category must be priced at retail under $500, but over $250 (sub-$250 qualifies for our "budget" category). Our picks for "Top Mid-Range Smartphone" are presented below, in no particular order.

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Motorola commits to at least 12 new Moto Mod add-ons per year

Motorola's latest Moto Z flagship phones are modular, designed to accommodate add-on modules that snap to the back of their cases for extra battery life, more complex camera modules, pico projectors, et cetera. Critical and consumer response to the change has been mixed, as it was for LG's modular G5 designs. But in a recent meeting with technology journalists, the Lenovo subsidiary doubled down on the modular approach. Motorola committed to at least 12 new Moto Mod add-on products per year.

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Motorola posts kernel source for the Moto Z Play

The unlocked Moto Z Play (code name Addison) recently hit virtual shelves after the Verizon version appeared a few weeks back, and now there's some kernel source to go with it. Motorola tends to be pretty quick with these releases, but it's been a little slower this year. Oh well, developer types can grab the open source files on Motorola's GitHub page right now.

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