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Moto Z


[Update: Full rollout on February 14] Android 7.0 Nougat starting rollout on unlocked Moto Z

Under Google's leadership, Motorola was perhaps the best manufacturer when it came to Android updates - besides Google, of course. They often released Android updates for unlocked devices at the same time as, or shortly after, Nexus devices. Unfortunately updates don't seem to be much of a priority anymore, with Lenovo now at the helm.

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[Deal Alert] Get a free Moto Z Droid or half price Moto Z Droid Force (after Verizon credits) at Best Buy

Motorola took a leap with the Moto Z this year by focusing on the modular accessories known as Mods. That meant a few design sacrifices had to be made, including a small-ish battery on the Moto Z and a non-ergonomic flat back panel. I don't think these phones stand up to the competition at full price, but at half price or free, it's hard to complain. That's the deal at Best Buy right now for the Verizon-branded versions.

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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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Android 7.0 Nougat kernel source released for Moto Z and Moto Z Droid

Last year, Motorola skipped on updating the Moto X line of devices, in favor of introducing the Moto Z. The device's main selling point was 'Moto Mods,' modules the user can hotswap to add functionality. Unfortunately, the expensive cost of both the device and the Moto Mods, as well as the lack of a headphone jack and short battery life, led it to fall below expectations.

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[Update: Deal is back] Deal Alert: Unlocked Moto Z is only $499 on Amazon ($200 off)

The Moto Z is Motorola's flagship this year, and the company's first attempt at a phone with modular add-ons. Unfortunately, the phone didn't get great reviews (including from us). The small internal battery, lack of a headphone jack, and the expensive Moto Mods all hurt the phone's success. However, the Moto Z's performance, software experience, and thinness are hard to beat. Now Amazon is selling the phone (for the next 11 hours at the time of writing) for $499, a whopping $200 off the normal unlocked price.

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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 may release a Tango Mod for the Moto Z

The first 'phone' (I use that term loosely) with Project Tango was the Lenovo Phab2 Pro. I recommend reading our review if you haven't already, but essentially Tango is the only appealing aspect of the device. It's bulky, not very fast, and expensive.

Motorola's CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing said at a press event today, "We're likely to have a Tango module to basically enable the Z to have Tango functionality." This followed a discussion about how Motorola can bring niche products into the mainstream, and while the Moto Z isn't a wildly popular device, an optional Moto Mod for Tango makes a lot of sense.

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Motorola partners with Indiegogo to foster development of new Moto Mods

I don't want to say Moto Mods are a universally bad idea, but most of the Mods that have been released so far are mediocre at best, and the prices are crazy. It's been a while since Motorola released a new Mod, but there could be more ideas floating around soon. The company has partnered with crowdfunding site Indiegogo to get developers interested in making Moto Mods.

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[Deal Alert] Motorola offers $150 off the Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, and Moto Z Force Droid with promo code

The new Moto Z line is divisive. It's probably the best example in a limited field of new "modular" phones, consisting of only the Z variants and LG's G5... and LG already dropped the modular design for its more recent V20. But if you've been eying either the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid (or the Moto Z Force Droid with a bigger battery) or the unlocked Moto Z, the sticker shock of the phones and the Moto Mod add-ons may have been a disincentive. Now Motorola is giving a generous $150 off all of them on its web store.

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