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Motorola Phones Will Have Unadulterated Android, Not Bloat

Motorola design chief Jim Wicks recently told PC Magazine that the first wave of products released after Google's acquisition of the company last May will follow a "better is better" philosophy rather than the current "bigger is better" trend. The comment arrives after Google execs previously said that the latest line of Razr smartphones released last fall were built without their input, thus lacking the "wow" factor despite their positive reviews.

According to Wicks, that "wow" quote was missing a lot of context. "It comes off as kind of weird to anyone who hears it for the first time, but there have been follow-up discussions and there's no issues with that at all," he said. "We've been spending the past eight months on this next generation of phones, and we've all seen positive feedback and collaboration around things."

With Motorola now under Google's wing, both parties are working together to produce products with a pure Android experience. That means using a stock, unaltered version of Android that will receive updates when Google releases them. That also means possibly no bloatware on Motorola's end of the smartphone chain because, as Wicks points out, customers want to define their smartphone experience themselves. Of course wireless carriers like Verizon disagree.

"Consumers love what the Android OS can do for them, and they want to have the most recent releases faster," Wicks said. "From a software and UI perspective, our strategy is to embrace Android and to make it the best expression of Android and Google in the market. It will be the unadulterated version of Android, and I feel really good about our embracing Android and being the best Android experience."

As for the form factor size, Wicks says there's a certain sweet spot that the two companies are trying to nail down: not too small (iPhone 4S) and not too large (Samsung Galaxy Mega). "There are some people that like a big display, but there's also a lot of people that want something that's just about right," he added. "I think 'just right' is important, and we're designing so we don't disappoint those people."

Motorola wants to move away from the specs war and create devices that focus on customers. Devices should have the narrowest of bezels so that owners see nothing but screen. They should also be highly scratch resistant and drop resistant so that customers aren't locked down to a beaten-up, battered smartphone for years.

Wicks said the company is also shifting away from focusing on carrier exclusives like the DROIDs and Razrs for Verizon and the Atrix line for AT&T. Instead, Motorola will primarily manufacture fewer devices that will be offered on multiple carriers similar to what Samsung is doing with the Galaxy S line. But Wicks said that Motorola will still continue to build new DROID and Razr phones.

"The business is going well for us and for [Verizon]," Wicks said. "We're continuing to do design work on Razr and what that could look like in the future."

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  • ikefu
    Stock Android, Front facing stereo speakers, as close to bezel-less as possible, a low f-stop camera and the battery life of the Razr Maxx and I think they'll have a winner
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    I'll be honest, I prefer the UI on my LG Optimus G than the vanilla android UI on my nexus 7 (or other nexus devices). LG put so many more settings at my fingertip, just one action away, rather than two or more in most cases.

    I've never used a Motorola android device--have they had problems with bloatware?
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    Want to focus on the customer? Make phones with user swappable batteries. Many people, myself included, chose the Bionic over the nearly identical specced original Razr because of one thing...we could change out the battery when needed. Of course this didn't sit well with Verizon, but Verizon is not your ultimate customer.
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    user replacable battery and expandable memory... these are the two most important factors to alot of consumers but since google now owns em i doubt they will do expandable memoory instead wanting you to use cloud storage
    Reply
  • spentshells
    Motorola already has some of the nicest phones going but yes there is always carrier applied bloatware
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    user replacable battery and expandable memory... these are the two most important factors to alot of consumers but since google now owns em i doubt they will do expandable memoory instead wanting you to use cloud storage
    Reply
  • samwelaye
    not too small (iphone 4S) and not too large (galaxy mega)... WTF. There are literally no other screen sizes out there, those are the smallest and largest phones on the market. Of course your new phone will be somewhere in that range. for fuck sake, they can say anything they want and it counts as information
    Reply
  • cRACKmONKEY421
    The carrier is poisonous to the consumer's interests. And manufacturers usually love planned obsolescence. It will be nice if Google can stick to their claimed focus. I'm always glad to see a phone without the bloatware, carrier added limitations or hardware-out-dating updates. Verizon would still have us hardly able to play MP3s and all using their own app store if it were completely up to them.
    Reply
  • sundragon
    10679009 said:
    Want to focus on the customer? Make phones with user swappable batteries. Many people, myself included, chose the Bionic over the nearly identical specced original Razr because of one thing...we could change out the battery when needed. Of course this didn't sit well with Verizon, but Verizon is not your ultimate customer.

    10679045 said:
    user replacable battery and expandable memory... these are the two most important factors to alot of consumers but since google now owns em i doubt they will do expandable memoory instead wanting you to use cloud storage

    Don't most Android phones come with user swappable batteries? Most of my friend's Android based phones (Galaxy and Droid Bionic) have user swappable batteries.

    Reply
  • burmese_dude
    I hate bloatware. My S3 comes with Verizon navigation system which I will never use but I can't take that out either. Thanks Verizon!
    Reply