Archive for Motorola

Foldable Phones Fail At Durability…. Again

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 19, 2020 by itnerd

Motorola and Samsung both have foldable phones. The former has the new Razr and the latter has the Galaxy Z Flip. And they share one thing in common. They both suck when it comes to durability. Which is unsurprising as the Samsung Galaxy Fold failed in epic fashion when it came to durability.

Let’s start with the Galaxy Z Flip teardown which was published by iFixit today. In this teardown, iFixit among other things, tests the dust resistance of the phone. Something that Samsung said when they announce the phone was a non-issue because “nylon fibers crafted by micro-height-cutting technology to repel dirt and dust” were used in the phone. But when iFixit tested that, they found the following:

The “sweeper technology” brushes performed hilariously poorly in our dust test. Though the test wasn’t exactly demonstrative of real-world use, the amount of dust trapped in the brushes (very little) wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring.

On top of that, the screen unsurprisingly did not perform all that well either being easy to scratch. In short, this was their conclusion:

Unless you’re an Instagram influencer living in a pristine apartment who needs the newest hotness, this phone is probably not for you. It’s more of a novelty luxury item. And maybe that’s okay? All new technology has to start somewhere—let’s hope this one either matures quickly or perishes swiftly.

Ouch.

Now onto the Motorola Razr. Back in the day you were living like a boss if you had the original version of this phone. And clearly Motorola is trying to channel that with the new version of this phone. iFixit did a teardown on one. And here’s what they said:

Motorola’s nostalgia-stoking Razr officially wins the award for most complicated phone-based contraption we’ve ever taken apart. We’re impressed with the numerous feats of engineering that Moto pulled off to resurrect their iconic clamshell.

And:

It won’t win any awards for serviceability, but just bringing this impossible gizmo into existence was such a tall order that we’re not surprised serviceability didn’t make it into v1.0. It’s fun to see how they made it happen (if not so fun to tease it all apart).

So it did better than the Galaxy Z Flip. That was until Jerry Rig Everything got his hands on it and….. See for yourself.

The fact is that these are version 1.0 products. Meaning that you should not go near them. If you must have a foldable phone to impress your friends, save your money and wait for them to mature and become more durable so that you can actually use them like you would use a non foldable phone. Assuming that they do mature and become more durable because I believe that this is a fad that will pass. Which is why I am not jumping on this bandwagon.

#Fail: Motorola Won’t Roll Out Monthly Security Patches For Android Phones

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 26, 2016 by itnerd

If you are planning to purchase the Moto Z or a Moto G4 smartphone, be prepared to not see security updates rolling out to your phone every month — and in a timely fashionArs Technica pointed this out when they reviewed those phones and it turned into a PR disaster for Motorola. Here’s how they explain this fiasco: 

Motorola understands that keeping phones up to date with Android security patches is important to our customers. We strive to push security patches as quickly as possible. However, because of the amount of testing and approvals that are necessary to deploy them, it’s difficult to do this on a monthly basis for all our devices. It is often most efficient for us to bundle security updates in a scheduled Maintenance Release (MR) or OS upgrade. As we previously stated, Moto Z Droid Edition will receive Android Security Bulletins. Moto G4 will also receive them.

#Fail.

If you have an Android smartphone, the lack of monthly updates opens up a huge security hole. Google gets this and is apparently pushing partners who use the Android OS to get patches out quickly. The fact that Motorola is taking this stance is a huge incentive to not buy their phones. Motorola can and should do better. If they cannot, then Google needs to step in and do what Motorola should be doing by default.

The Moto G Plus Is Now Available At Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 23, 2016 by itnerd

The Moto G Plus is officially available at Telus as of yesterday. Offering fantastic value and stand-out performance, the Moto G Plus is sure to impress both first-time Android owners and power-users alike.

Key Moto G Plus features include:

Great pictures make all the difference: Everyone deserves great photos. That’s why the Moto G Plus has the most advanced 16 MP camera in its class, including auto-focus technology that works quickly so you’ll never miss a photo opp.

Power through the day: Moto G Plus is designed to last a full day and then some thanks to its 3000 mAh battery. Live your life without worrying about stopping to recharge.

Life moves fast. Move faster: Moto G Plus is built to keep up. With an octa-core processor, you’ll have more than enough power to multi-task with all of your favorite apps without slowing down.

Telus customers can save big by taking advantage of the Telus Trade-in program. In just a few clicks, customers can check the value of their current or older devices, and bring their previously used device to save up to $250 off the latest smartphones, tablets and accessories. Although, the Moto G Plus already offers great value at $50 on a two-year term or $410 outright.

 

Three additions to the Telus Smartphone Line-up Now Available

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 23, 2015 by itnerd

Telus has not one, not two, but three fantastic additions to their smartphone lineup: The Samsung GALAXY Note5,Samsung GALAXY S6 edge+ and Moto X Play are available now. Let’s take a closer look at each one to see what makes them so special.

Samsung continues to redefine the phablet market with the Note5 adding a few new notable features:

  • A design worth noting– the Note5 is crafted out of premium metal and glass and ergonomically designed for friendly one-handed use
  • Consume and create– a fantastic 5.7” screen combined with improved S Pen functionality makes for unparalleled productivity and entertainment experiences
  • Broadcast live– one of the first Android devices to offer YouTube Livestreaming

The Note5 is now available at Telus starting at $380 on a 2-year term or $860 outright.

Launching alongside the Note5 is the Samsung S6 edge+, a phablet-sized S6 with some new features worth paying attention to, including:

  • Sizzling sound– the S6 edge+ not only brings a stunning 5.7” Quad HD screen, but also delivers ultra-high quality audio that will enhance every entertainment experience
  • All charged up– the S6 edge+ represents the first wave of devices to bring enhanced, fast wired and wireless charging to the phablet category
  • A bigger sense of excitement– immerse yourself in the best entertainment and multimedia experience with a big dual edge display

Telus customers can get their hands on the S6 edge+ starting at $480 on a 2-year term or $960 outright.

Motorola also has something fresh to offer with the Moto X Play. Motorola’s latest flagship is creating buzz with its incredible price point, high-end specifications and unique features:

  • Capture it– the X Play’s 21 MP rear-facing camera is ready to capture anything you throw in front of it
  • High performer – the 5.5’ HD Display, 3GB RAM and 1.7GHz octa-core processor can keep up with your everyday multi-tasking
  • All day performance–  up to two-day battery life keeps the Moto X Play ready when you need it

Starting at $50 on a 2-year term or $420 outright, the Moto X Play is the perfect option for back to school shoppers. As an added bonus, only Telus customers will receive the Moto X Play Turbo Charger inside the box!

Have a perfectly good device, but just can’t help yourself? With so many new options to choose from, customers looking to upgrade their devices can take advantage of T-UP. For $11/month not only does this great option enable customers to upgrade their handsets every year, it also provides peace of mind with Telus Device Care, so losing or breaking your phone doesn’t always have to lead to failing grade.

Want more? A new back to school smartphone isn’t complete without the latest accoutrements. Customers looking to protect and personalize their device can find the latest accessories at Telus, too.

The Moto G Lands At Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 1, 2015 by itnerd

Telus sent me an e-mail on Friday to let me know that the 2015 Moto G is now part of their lineup of smartphones. Balancing price and performance, the Moto G is the perfect option for price-conscious customers who aren’t willing to compromise on performance and user experience. Here’s why the Moto G is big news:

  • Water resistant: IPX7-rated protection keeps your phone safe from accidental drops in up to 3 feet of water—for up to 30 minutes!
  • Snappy performance:  A 5” HD display and Quad Core processor can keep with your everyday multitasking.

The Moto G is now available to Telus customers starting at $0 on a 2-year term or $230 outright, a great option for first-time smartphone buyers. I’ve requested one for review and when I get it, expect a review to be posted quickly thereafter.

The New Look Moto 360 Arrives At Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 27, 2015 by itnerd

Telus reached out to me late today to announce that the new look Moto 360 is now being carried by the carrier. As of today they will be introducing both the black and champagne variations of the Moto 360’s metal band. To make this launch even more exciting for customers Telus is offering a $30 discount on all of the Moto 360 variations for a limited time. This promotion will be available today at select stores and through the Telus website.

Review: Motorola Moto X Bamboo (Second Generation)

Posted in Products with tags , on February 4, 2015 by itnerd

A flagship smartphone with a bamboo back? Motorola has one in the form of the second generation Moto X that was supplied to me by Telus.

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Rather than just be the fastest, coolest phone out there, Moto has tried to make this phone more upscale. Everyone I showed the phone to was impressed by it, so they succeeded on that front. Though I have to admit that I am not entirely confident that it can withstand scratches and scrapes. It would be a shame to cover it up with a plastic or rubber shell because the back is quite lovely. But having said that, bamboo is used in floors so maybe it will stand up to the rigors of daily use. The front panel glass seems to float right to the device’s edges and is protected only by a thin strip of plastic on the sides and corners. The metal that the phone uses feels classy. A MicroUSB port is on the bottom. A rocker switch for volume is on the right along with the power button. The top has the headphone jack and the slot for the SIM card. The screen is bright, clear, and readable in any lighting condition.

Here’s what you get under the hood:

  • 5.2″ AMOLED screen at 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • Quad-core 2.5 GHz processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 2MP front camera
  • Android 4.4 KitKat (Android Lollipop 5.0.1 is available)
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • LTE
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • NFC

Like other Moto phones, it comes with stock Android without any customizations or fancy skins. I for one love that. I tested it with the latest and greatest which is Android Lollipop and found the OS to be the most interactive versions of Android I have ever seen. It also has a ton of useful additions that normally you’d need to download third party apps to have the functionality that Lollipop offers. As far as I am concerned, this is a must download. If you want to see the differences, click here for a detailed list. One thing I really liked was the Moto Display which uses the infrared sensors to detect when your hand is hovering over the phone, and triggers a display of notifications and actions. This worked really well for me. Other additions from Moto include:

  • Motorola Protect which acts like Apple’s Find My iPhone. You can remotely locate the phone, lock the screen, change passwords and more.
  • Motorola Assist which is like Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature. It silences your phone either when you’re sleeping (after you set that up of course) or when you’re in a meeting. The latter it figures out by itself if you use Google Calendar. There’s also a handy auto-reply feature.

The phone felt really quick and is easily right up there with the top smartphones out there. In terms of LTE speed, I averaged 17.15 Mbps downstream and 12.95 Mbps upstream on the Telus network. The phone only comes with 16GB of storage and it isn’t expandable. That’s a shame as it I suspect that you’ll find yourself challenged for storage space rather quickly. My advice to Motorola is to include a MicroSD card slot like they did with The IT Nerd award winning Moto G LTE, or have multiple memory sizes available like Apple does.

The camera is a 13MP camera that does 1080p video and it does a great job of taking photos and videos. Before we see what this camera can do, let me talk about the user interface. Swipe from the right of the screen and you can browse the pictures you’ve taken. Zooming in and out is a one finger operation. Place you finger in the middle of the screen and swipe up and you zoom in. Swipe down and you zoom out. It has the ability to automatically turn on HDR automatically which may be handy for those who want to make sure that they get the perfect shot. Now, let’s look that the still photo that I took at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Click the photo to see it in full size:

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The picture is very good given the lighting conditions that were present on the day I took it. Now the video which is done at 1080p. Set it to full screen and 1080p:

The video is very good and so is the sound quality. You’re not going to have any complaints about using it.

Battery life is a strength of this phone. You’ll easily get a day and a half out of the phone without a problem. Telus offers up the second generation Moto X Bamboo for $100 on a two year plan as well as for $600 outright. One plus is that it is no more expensive than the non-bamboo version, that’s a great deal. Other than the lack of storage space, the Moto X Bamboo is everything that you want in a top end smartphone including a very classy look. And the fact that you can get Android Lollipop for it right now is a great selling point. Check it out if you are in the market for a flagship smartphone.

The IT Nerd Award For The Best Entry Level Smartphone Goes To: Motorola Moto G LTE

Posted in Products with tags , on December 9, 2014 by itnerd

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Not everyone needs a iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S5. Some of us simply need a basic smartphone that does everything we need it to do at a low price point. Now, it used to be if you were looking for something at the low end of the market, you’d have to live without a feature or two. However that isn’t the case Motorola Moto G LTE. Just look at this feature set:

  • Android OS 4.4 KitKat
  • 1.2Ghz quad-core processor which makes this phone feel quick.
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4.5-inch display (1280 x 720 resolution) which is very impressive.
  • 5MP camera with a 1.3MP front-facing camera which does a great job of taking stills and 720p video.
  • 8GB of internal storage
  • Micro SD Slot for more storage
  • LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth

None of that sounds entry level does it? It also for the most part did not perform like an entry level smartphone. For example, it was insanely fast on Rogers LTE network which is the last thing that I expected from an entry level smartphone. However the price both on contract ($0 at Rogers) or outright ($224.99 at Rogers) sure says entry level smartphone. That makes the Moto G LTE the perfect smartphone for someone who wants to get their child their first smartphone, or someone who needs a low cost smartphone. It’s also a deserving winner of the award for the best entry level smartphone.

Review: Motorola Moto 360

Posted in Products with tags on December 1, 2014 by itnerd

Smart watches are an emerging piece of tech. Right now as far as I am concerned, the best smart watch out there for Android fans is the Motorola Moto 360 which was served up to me by Telus. I like the Moto 360 for a number of reasons. First it actually looks very good:

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It is elegant and though it’s a bit big for my tastes, it fits on my wrist. The metal case and the leather strap that is clearly a quality one helps with that. But what really makes the Moto 360 work is the 1.65-inch display that protrudes ever so slightly from its round shell. It runs almost completely edge to edge, encircled by only the smallest of bezels. The display has terrific viewing angles, and is easily viewable outdoors. If you do look closely, you’ll see that some images can look a bit jagged, but I seriously doubt that anyone would complain. Another reason why I like the Moto 360 is that it is waterproof and dustproof to the level of the IP67 standard. For someone like me who does sports outdoors, that’s very welcome.

The Moto 360 works  with all Android smartphones that run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and up. iOS and anyone else is out of luck, not that this is a shock. But broad compatibility is a good thing as it scoops up a significant amount of the Android community. In terms of how you can use the Moto 360, your emails, texts, calls, tweets, weather information and the like pops up the screen. In many cases, there’s also an easy way to respond without ever taking your phone out of your pocket. You can also perform basic Google searches, set reminders, take notes, and get quick directions to the nearest Starbucks. Google Now even works. Though I do feel like a bit of a dork talking into my watch. You also get a heart rate monitor and a pedometer inside the Moto 360. But when I compared it to the heart rate monitor that I use while exercising and a pedometer that I had lying around, neither seemed accurate. I’m not sure why as similar experiments with other devices have not shown a wide variance of any sort. Strange. Having said that, every function worked perfectly and was easy to use. One feature that I really liked was the array of faces that are available. You can really customize the Moto 360 any way you want to suit your needs or feelings.

Battery life matched what Motorola says which is that you’ll get a day out of the batter. That’s very good as anything less would make it useless. When it’s time to charge, you can charge it using a cool black wireless dock that the Moto 360 slots into sideways. The only thing that I would say on that front is heavy usage is likely to result in you getting less than a day of usage.

The Moto 360 is $279.99 at Telus. For now, as long as you have an Android phone, this is the best smart watch out there. I wonder if I feel the same way when the Apple Watch eventually ships? We’ll have to wait and see.

Moto 360, Moto X (Bamboo) And Sony Xperia Z3 Hit Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

I just got an e-mail to let me know that Telus now has the The Moto 360, Moto X (Bamboo), and Sony Xperia Z3 as part of their lineup.

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As the first round-faced smartwatch to reach the market, the Moto 360 is one great looking wearable. Aside from its charming appearance, it also acts as the perfect companion device to the Moto X and syncs with any other smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher.

Here a just a few ways the Moto 360 enhances your active and fashion-forward lifestyle:

  • Android Wear:Google’s first wearable OS has been designed to deliver the information you need when you need it most. Get weather, news, appointments, tasks and more at a glance.
  • Voice Commands: Just saying ‘Ok Google’ to your Moto 360 will allow you to dictate message responses, check the weather or even run web searches.
  • Fitness Tracking:Reach your healthy lifestyle goals with daily summaries of your step count and heart rate.
  • Music Controls:‘Ok Google play some music’ is a quick voice command to listen to your phones music library. Play, pause and skip tracks right from your wrist.
  • Interchangeable Bands: Being able to change the Moto 360’s watch band allows users to match their own sense of style.
  • Smart Notifications:Any notification received and dismissed on your Moto 360 will also be dismissed from your smart phone, giving users a seamlessly integrated experience.

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Staying on the trend of stylish well-connected devices, the Moto X which comes in a beautiful bamboo finish, breaks the mold on what some might expect from today’s smartphone designs. Its genuine wood finish gives the device a sense of refinement without compromising performance.

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Last but certainly not least, the Sony Xperia Z3, is another eye-catching smartphone. The Z3 goes beyond its sleek appearance by being one of the first devices to be fully water-proof. Under-water photography anyone? Or maybe you would prefer some Playstation by the pool. With the ‘Remote Play’ feature you can stream your favorite PS4 games wherever, whenever.

The Moto 360 is available at Telus for $280. For more information on Moto X and Moto 360 plans and pricing, please visit telus.com/MotoX or telus.com/Moto360.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is available at Telus for $180 on a two year plan or $680 outright. More details can be found on telus.com.

I’ve put in a request to get these devices to review so stay tuned.