Share this Story

Monday Poll: Motorola Made Nexus or Unlock Bootloaders on Older Phones?

We learned this morning that big changes are about to take place at Motorola over the next year. First, they cut most of their VPs, will cut around 4,000 jobs globally, move out of unprofitable countries, and create fewer phones overall, choosing to focus instead on higher-end models. I think it’s safe to say that most of us are dying for a Motorola Nexus device to be among those select few, but what about the rest of them? Say the RAZR HD comes fully loaded with a locked up bootloader and we never see a Nexus?

Our poll today has to do with this topic. Since changes are in store, many of you are probably wondering if that means a new approach to device security, aka unsigned bootloaders. So we ask, which one is more important to you, a Motorola-made Nexus or for them to unlock bootloaders on the rest of their phones?

Motorola Made Nexus or Unlock Bootloaders on Older Phones?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
  • LilVivi

    As long as there is a nexus device on the market with comparable specs… I’m going to buy it and not bother using a custom rom. (I may still root)

  • Bruno Auguste

    my first android phone was the samsung behold 2 , my next was the galaxy s . when the nexus S came out It was my first experience with a nexus phone and I can say that is the best experience to now. I will never buy a non nexus phone.

  • Moto Nexus HD MAXX please. {{-_-}}

  • smwandrie93

    looks to me all you people who constintly bitch and moan about the locked bootloaders are voting for a moto nexus, even though they would lock that loader too?? wow you guys are cool

  • With the way samsung is being called out for blatantly ripping off their competitors and not even attempting to think for their selves while their products becoming cheaper and shoddier every year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google finally gave them the well deserved boot in the rear… Out goes crapsung in comes Motorola!

  • dbam987

    Glad Motorola + Google are keeping the Xoom up-to-date even if it isn’t really classified as a “Nexus” device. Seeing an official Nexus Motorola Tablet would be very cool.

  • KleenDroid

    I think a Motorola Nexus would be awesome. But I think Motorola would turn things around if they changed their policy on bootloaders across the board.

    If this were the case I don’t think I’d need to look at any other phones.

  • SkewedResults

    Kellex, about half the time I see an embedded poll on this site, my browser seems to have voted for me (Chrome desktop). I hope this isn’t a common problem because I’d hate to have the results skewed.

  • Michael

    I could care less about a Motorola Nexusphone. It doesn’t mater if you are or not a fanboy that despite all the claims of openness there is still a level of control that has been put on the Nexus Devices. NO SD cards. This is purely a strategical move by google to force their cloud computing scheme and make it easier to Data mine ALL your Data. If people can’t see the logic behind their no SD cards on Nexus devices and their move to cloud computing and even take heed of what happened to an Apple user a few weeks ago whose whole digital existence was wiped out because of an over reliance on cloud computing than those that fall for an “Open” Nexus device will really see in the next few years what effect totally entrusting their data to google will have in the future.

    Not having any real option like an sd card so I can control my data and not google means I will stick with phones that don’t have as much an ulterior motive by locking you into Google’s Cloud services to keep and backup your data.

  • Unlocking bootloaders is not new money. Nexus devices are. For that reason, Nexus devices are more important

  • jaybar

    Moto build/radios>>>>>>>>>>>samsung

  • Bionic

    – The droid RAZR maxx form factor
    – 2gb ram
    – 4.7 inch or bigger screen
    – jelly bean out of the box
    – minimum 3000mah battery
    – quad core would be nice as well. But not required.

  • Daniel M. Reynolds

    For sure unlocked bootloaders on older devices. I haven’t seen a MOT yet that was worth the change.

    • Bionic

      Really? You never saw an original droid? And you really think the maxx isn’t worth while?

      • Steve Benson

        The Maxx isn’t worth the tissue I wipe my ass with. Moto, while well build, are the damn ugliest phones in existence.

  • Shortbus25

    I for one can not buy another device for a while and would love for Moto to build a Nexus phone, but would like it more if they would unlock the device I currently have just so I can enjoy this one until a said Nexus Moto device goes public for under $200.00!! I’m just saying I can’t buy a new device every few months and just got my Razr Maxx beginning of this year!! So any Nexus Moto device would have to be better!!!

  • Is it to hard to ask for both?

  • Lloyd Jones


  • majormudafuckinhun

    My next device will either be a Nexus or an iPhone. Yeah I said that!

    • Bionic


    • Steve Benson

      This is a good option. Two pure devices without interference from carriers or manufacturers.

  • Can I vote “both”?

  • Brian Walker

    I would rather see a Motorola Nexus than unlocking bootloaders on older phones. Unlocked is great, but if Motorola hasn’t released Jelly Bean drivers (for instance) that will do you know good in moving towards the future. My Verizon Galaxy Nexus had JB the day after it was annouced, and I haven’t gone back to ICS even for a minute. Now if Moto suddenly got really fast at updating their phones to the next OS, that would be a different story.

  • nightscout13

    A Motorola Nexus would be ideal, since Motorola has been acquired by Google….

  • Droid4LifeDawg

    That’s a no-brainier, a Nexus with Razr Maxx battery life…

  • thedonxr


  • Daniel

    Here’s hoping for a Droid-form factor Nexus device finally

  • boybert

    Moto Nexus with Keyboard, please!!

    • Steve Benson

      Never gonna happen. Keyboards are dying.

  • George264

    I really hope HTC makes the Nexus. I love the One X design, and the camera is great. SCREEN IS AMAZING. Wayyy better than the GSIII In my opinion tho. One X design, with a S4 Pro Dual, the same camera, stock Android. MMMM 😀 Motorola has too many problems. Sure they got the right materials and great radios. But, the camera and screen, ewww. And the design might be good for some, but I hate it. Stock would make it a lot better, but unless they get a better camera team, and get some better displays, never buying another one of those.

  • William_Morris

    Is this some sort of trick question?

  • NorCalGuy

    If its a nexus doesn’t it have to have an unlocked boot loader? So a moto nexus would be unlockable right? The RAZR is cool and still a.major player but a slight revamp to it and calling it the HD is starting to feel reminiscent of the upgrade from dx1 to dx2 or any of the og droid series upgrades, just coming out a little to late.

  • Well since I’ve got a Motorola now, and I don’t know if I’ll even have an Android in the future, I gotta vote with bootloaders even though they aren’t a big consideration now and never will be(the way I see it this is probably the peak for me as far as nerding out on my phone goes, I’m almost halfway through my 20s after all).

    Everyone else can just have a plastic Nexi with subpar cellular modems and ill-fitting factory battery doors for the rest of Android’s life span for all I care as long as I get what I prefer…There I said it 😛

  • Not even a contest. I want unlocked bootloaders on all phones but I’d much rather have a high-end newer phone (off-contract) than one of these outdated ones. I want it so bad, I’ll take the one WITHOUT a keyboard. {{-_-}}

    • 360man

      Talk about misguided priorities.

      • Come on. Why would Moto work with outdated phones when they could just get people to buy their newer ones instead? It’s better for their bottom line. I HOPE they unlock the older phones (having a Droid 3 myself) but I’m just happy I can look forward to unlocked newer phones from the best Android manufacturer around. {{-_-}}

  • caddy197

    Ive had way too many horrible personal expieriences with motorola phones, I will never own another one again. Had 2 Droid 1’s crap out. Had 3 Droid 2’s that failed on me. Went to HTC Incredible and Thunderbolt……loved them. Now have a Samsung S3…..best phone ever!!!

    • Big_EZ

      The Thunderbolt is the reason I’ll never own another HTC phone, complete garbage. The three people I knew with t bolts all had them replaced at least 3x’s before Verizon sent them a new phone, I went though 7. None of my 3 Motorola phones needed to be replaced.

      • George264

        I’ve had a horrible time with Moto, not too bad with HTC, and Samsung, the radios…

  • JRummy16

    Option 3: Unlock all bootloaders + the nexus

  • joejoe5709

    Well… my foreseeable budget tell me that I must love my LTE Nexus until the next upgrade but that’s alright. Hopefully Google bestows as much love on it as it has with the Nexus S. Even then, the unlocked BL will be my friend as she gracefully ages.

    That said, I’m not convinced Verizon will be getting the next Nexus. I think Big Red will be forced to sit the next one out… They need to sit in “time out” and think about what they’ve done. For this coming holiday season, Verizon will put all its efforts into CrApple’s next iPhone. They could care less about the next Nexus.

  • Who cares about old devices. You knew what you were getting yourself into when you bought it.

    • bigdav1178

      Yeah, except for those of us that were lied to with stories of bootloaders being unlocked in the future.

      • George Davis

        Which would be everyone.


    With Google looking to introduce 5 new Nexus devices a month, I’d say Motorola would obviously be one of them, and since Google is taking such drastic steps to turn Motorola around, unlocked bootloaders would probably the new norm going forward. Google already knows how important they are to its customers.

  • Droid -> Droid2 -> Droid X -> GNEX

  • Suralin

    Assuming that a Moto Nexus also means unlocked bootloader, or even unlockable bootloader, then I’ll take the MotoNexus any day of the week. Their phones actually work like phones. Yeah, their software stinks, but I don’t have to worry about tower signals.

  • Knlegend1

    Give me a moto nexus that has nothing to do with a Droid or Razr.

    • UrDoGG

      Best comment all day.

  • AhsanS

    I always though that Moto’s camera quality improved with the RAZR. Am I missing something here?

  • eddieonofre

    unlock bootloaders + updates withing 1-2 months of release , that is all I want

    • Suralin

      Why bother with wanting updates when you could flash them yourself with an unlocked bootloader?

      • eddieonofre

        in order to flash them they updates should be out.

  • would people here still buy a Moto Nex even if it was locked down tighter than fort knox?

    • George Davis

      By definition, it wouldn’t be a Nexus if the bootloader was locked.

  • Tony Allen

    How about both?

  • YourFriend

    I’d actually prefer a non-locked, stock Android device a la the original Droid as opposed to a Nexus. While I would to have a stock device that would be first in line with updates, I just can’t live without microSD expansion, even if there’s more than enough internal memory.

  • lgreg64

    Motorola will be the last to get a Nex. Google does not want to upset Sam,LG,HTC or any other manufacture. the best we can hope for is unlocked.

  • Nathan Corachea

    as long as they dont stick with the whole form factor they used on their phones, like the droid 4 the razr…

  • angermeans

    Where is the neither option. I don’t want anything made by Motorola. They use cheap displays, look awful (everything since the of droid), have no desire to support their devices, the buggiest builds in the android world, and never get updated. I would even sit out a nexus branded device made by Motorola.

    • ocdtrekkie

      LOL! There’s not a factual statement in your post.

    • jak_341

      Great post. Motorola has to be the most over hyped phones in the Android world. You simply can’t beat Samsung now.

  • Nevets

    I can’t see why there is so much desire for a Moto branded Nexus Phone.

    My OG Moto Droid was decent in the day, but all the people I’ve known who have owned Motorola phones since then have had troubles with them (Droid X, Droid X2, Droid Bionic, etc…)

    And they’ve always paled in comparison to the Samsung Offerings. The Razr Maxx is really only competitive to the Samsung S2, Galaxy Nexus, and S3 because of the battery life it offers. In terms of phone smoothness, quality, and dev support Samsung has (to me at least) always been superior.

    All of this is just my opinion of course 😛

    • Big_EZ

      I’ve had a Droid X, Droid Bionic , and now a Droid RAZR Maxx and the minor software issues (which have been fixxed first by the community, then shortly after by Motorola) pale in comparison to HTC and Samsungs hardware issues. Samsung phones are the worst when it comes to signal strength, and HTC’s hardware is cheap and breaks a lot

      • Nevets

        I will agree that the Moto phones do have better radios, but my Galaxy Nexus radio seems to keep up with my moms Razr Maxx quite well.

        The Razr Maxx is one of the only Moto phones that they’ve released recently that I would actually recommend to others.

        The Droid X’s were steaming piles of that Moto managed to get paid for. My sister, my gf, and a coworker all went through 3 Droid X’s / Droid X2’s each for the same problem of randomly rebooting. Even rooting and running the Eclipse ROM on my gf’s phone didn’t prove to be a long term fix since it started rebooting randomly again after a month or so.

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          Aren’t these problems more apparent on carrier branded Android phones in the US? Most devices I hear having so many problems normally don’t have so much on international variants, only on US variants. And the Motorola Nexus will have software by Google by little changes by the carriers, so less chances of software problems.

        • Big_EZ

          My Droid X was great, never had rebooting issues like my t bolt (hardware issue not software)

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Software won’t be an issue at least on GSM Nexus variants as it will be provided by Google and not Motorola. And yeah, I do agree that the specs don’t really match high-end offerings like Samsung/HTC’s, but I’d love to have a Motorola made radio chip inside my phone.
      Though I love SAMOLED displays for their blacks so much, I hope Samsung continues making Nexus devices, though Motorola is also known to use SAMOLEDs, like on the RAZR 😀

  • MichaelFranz

    ICS really revolutionized android. That and the GNEX made android such a bigger player. The UI of ICS is favored so highly over skinned sense, blur, touchwiz, etc. After having my gnex, i would own any other phoen with a unlockable bootloader and just load some AOSP/AOKP/CM version on it. If there is a Motorola nexus device, i think they shoudl release 2, a keyboard slider one since there is still demand for them, and then one without. make them botht he same specs ( just as long as they are awesome. I know they wouldnt be making so many phones, but motor is the only company who has decent sliders

  • Crack Monkey

    Take the Razr MAXX HD as a base and build a Nexus device. 25 hours talk, carbon fiber body with Gorilla Glass on an HD (4.85 inch) screen and improve battery life while on 4G LTE. Maybe add VOLTE (Voice Over LTE) and you have a winner. In fact add a quad core processor with 2GB main memory and an SD Card slot.

    • Big_EZ

      Thats exactly the device I want to replace my Maxx

    • And add a removable sliding keyboard option (Like the Asus Transformer’s keyboard dock is to the tablet) and you’ll have happy nerds all around.

    • Basically this. We obviously want everything and the kitchen sink in it and since today Motorola basically said all they were going to make is high end devices I expect to see a few more ultra premium attempts. However I really don’t think you need to exceed the current RAZR form factor. Many of the people I know (especially girls) don’t like the existing RAZR size already due to it not fitting in smaller hands. Thankfully I don’t have this issue as I have rather large hands. If they could keep the existing form factor and just shave off a bit of the bezel around the edge without increasing the actual size of the phone that’d be great. I wouldn’t want an even larger device though.

    • LilVivi

      Edge to edge screen, 2GB ram, SD Card Slot, same body and a dual core processor (much more efficient)

  • Motorola Nexus for sure, but it must also come with improved display technology.

  • Matt Gondek

    Being a selfish individual, I could care less about those who currently have moto phones and rather that my next phone be a MotoNex

  • Moto Nexus. Being a Nexus, it’s boot loader will be unlocked. And I’ll finally have the much-better Moto radios as opposed to those deaf ones Samsung seems to favor.
    Not to mention possible real-metal phone.

  • Brian Winning Jr.

    Moto Nexus as long as they don’t screw it up by putting capacitive buttons on it

    • Butters619

      Moto was the first to adopt on screen Nav keys besides the G-Nex 0__o

  • I have a RAZR and even though I would absolutely love an unlocked bootloader, I’d rather see Moto crank out the next Nexus…. I’m sure it would be a real beauty

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Since Motorola just announced they will be pulling out of unprofitable markets/reducing their presence here in India, I can safely assume a Motorola Nexus won’t be coming here and I will have to grab one locally without bill/warranty again like my GNex. So I’ll choose second option for the owners of older Motorola devices 😛

  • enerjak

    A motorola nexus is just like my dream of getting with Anne Hathaway. I’d love for it to happen but I doubt it ever would =(

  • zac

    unlocked bootloaders ftw! now if we could get a motorola AOSP device with an unlocked bootloader would be pretty rad! but id its gotta be released on verizon & idk how well that shitll go

  • chris125

    unlocked bootloaders still arent the same as pure google. Look at the devices with unlocked bootloaders and how some still do not have fully working roms. Nexus= right from google= better roms

  • Winterblade

    Can we have a Moto Nexus with physical qwerty??

    • Jarred Sutherland

      As long as I get one without the keyboard.

    • I’d love to see this as an option. Nexus, and a Nexus+keyboard.

    • How about a Nexus with a sliding keyboard attachment? I’d be all for that.

    • ^^^THIS. {{-_-}}

  • gchahinian

    Moto nexus for sure…realistically i’m buying the next nexus in a year anyway (hopefully from Moto), and I’m not gonna unlock my Bionic bootloader just to change a kernel

  • techie1

    The developer community has already moved on from the older locked bootloader phones. Just look at the droid x. Cyanogen finally works after a custom kernel loading method was found, but it doesn’t seem to be the main focus anymore. It appears they care more about CM10 than they do about fixing every CM7 phone. Most users of those phones that care about unlocked bootloaders have already learned their lesson and upgraded to things like the the Galaxy Nexus.

  • I’m not ‘dying’ for a motorola made nexus but it would be nice.

  • RedPandaAlex

    I’m probably never buying a non-Nexus device again, so only one of those matters to me at all.

    • This.

      • Setup for Sparta


        • Eric


        • will bartlett


    • Agreed, I’ll only buy Nexus devices in the future as well. That’s a byproduct of locked bootloaders being the norm, though. If bootloaders weren’t locked, I wouldn’t need to specifically buy a Nexus.

    • Sort of starting to feel the same way. GSM Nexus devices are hard to beat.

      • Tony Allen

        I wish GSM was livable in my home area, I’d be so happy on T-Mobile PrePaid with an Unlocked GNex.

      • MichaelFranz

        Nothing wrong with LTE either, if anythign the GSM will always be first to get updates, but its not like we all dont want this to unlock them anyway so that only means waiting an extra day to flash a rom. I’d rather have an LTE version then a GSM

        • T4rd

          Indeed. I couldn’t live with only ~13GBs of storage either. I have about that much in use on my VZW Gnex just from backups and music right now.

          • Mapekz

            I try to stream when possible in order to capitalize on the LTE speeds. Also, with TitaniumBackup I send my backups to Box.net (I use Dropbox for more important documents) so I can delete them from my sdcard/internal storage to use for other things.

        • noyfb

          unfortunately, those of us accustomed to vzw 4g/lte don’t want the gsm variant because we can’t go back to slower speeds on our phones. Slaves to 4g network.

      • NeveloII

        as much as i love my nexus, the s3 is a awesome as a phone and the features are awesome, if i do indeed go back to a nexus the build quality has to be top notch.

    • Jon Gee

      As much as I hate Verizon’s treatment of the “Nexus” on it’s network. I’ll never own another non Nexus device if I can help it.

    • Abhisshek Das

      only (and for me the main) trade off is they dont support SD Card 🙁 :X

  • MotoRulz

    Is this a trick question? Moto Nexus all the way..

  • ddevito

    Moto Nexus All the Way. No contest. I’d give up my GNex in a heartbeat

    • Morris

      seriously? I stay far away from Motorola phones even if they’re owned by Google now.

      • ddevito

        their build quality and radios are top notch

        • Morris

          I dunno I went through two Android Moto phones and hated both with a passion. The last Moto phone I was happy with was the original dumbphone RaZr

          • ocdtrekkie

            Which did you buy, Morris?

          • Morris

            Droid 2 and i had to buy another Droid 2 later because of insurance issues.

          • ocdtrekkie

            So, you experienced… one Android Moto phone then. 😉 The Droid 2 was a weakish model. Droid 3, Droid Bionic, Droid 4, Droid RAZR, etc. have all been top notch.

          • OreoMan

            Really…..Droid 3…..really?

          • ocdtrekkie

            @d21922df386a2dedf1b08b1fd3068e8e:disqus I *love* my Droid 3. Sure, I’d rather have a D4, but I gave away my Droid Bionic and stuck by my D3.

          • Big_EZ

            The Droid 3 and X2 are comparable phones, and both were lacking when compared to the X, D2, Bionic, and RAZR

          • ocdtrekkie

            @Big_EZ:disqus The Droid 2 was atrocious at least on initial release with it’s 2.2 version of Motoblur. The Droid 2 didn’t have enough of an upgrade from the Droid 1 to really be worth the sacrifice of vanilla Android.

            The Droid 3 shipped with NinjaBlur, which is, of course, far superior, and actually, the Bionic has had some 4G issues. The Droid 3 wins points for having a keyboard (which is why I said, yeah, I would love to have the Droid 4), but it’s still very fast and efficient a long time after I’ve gotten it.

            I’m extremely happy with the D3.

          • boybert

            Yes – Droid 3 is a great phone

          • Tony Allen

            Motorola Android devices, at least the high-end stuff, is superb quality. If my Bionic had an unlockable BL and a 720p AMOLED screen, I’d have not bothered getting my Galaxy Nexus.

          • Did you hate the hardware or the software? I find Motorola build-quality to be pretty high, but the software is just “meh”. An open device would fix that.

          • Morris

            software. Really I’e love a Nexus phone – not that I don’t love my SGS3 – but on Verizon, Nexus doesn’t really translate to Nexus.

          • Jwhap

            My Verizon nexus is running jelly bean and is living up to its nexus name…..not sure what you are talking about..

          • Morris

            yes if you want to root and all then yes. i am rooted but i’ve never really settled on a ROM that I thought was amazing. I’ve had the Droid 2 and the HTC Eris, and Droid Incredible 1 and 2, and now the SGS3.

        • Radios maybe, but definitely not build quality. Been through 6 Droid 2s and 3 Droid Xs in the past 2 years. All from hardware failures of the keyboard or camera.

      • LiterofCola

        You are very much in the minority Sir.

  • Superguy

    How about option C: a Nexus device AND unsigned bootloaders on ALL of their phones.

    Samsung can do it … HTC sort of does it … why is Moto the only one really dragging their heals?

    • Samsung can’t do it on Verizon… *cough* S3 *cough*

      • Superguy

        True, but that’s more of a one off, and the GNex was unlockable as were other Sammy phones.

  • moelsen8

    that’s a crappy way to put it. at this point if they unlocked bootloaders on their older phones, i’m not going to run out and buy a DX.. so the answer as you phrased it is the nexus.. of course.

    do you mean moto nexus or unlocked bootloaders on every phone they make (including older)?

    • That’s how I read it – unlocking old phones is a sign that motorola is changing their policies towards the hacking community. I would rather see a large-scale change than a single decent phone in a sea of locked garbage.

    • You can have mine if you really want it lol

  • Hate moto screens though

    • J Nano

      and the camera

    • New “ColorBoost” screens aren’t bad. The one on the Atrix HD is actually pretty nice.

      • I haven’t seen it in person. I just know Anandtech who’s reviews I really respect for the detail they go into tore them apart pretty good.

    • znewman

      But as we have seen with Nexus products in the past, Google could put out a moto nexus with a Super IPS or Super AMOLED screen made by some other manufacturer. The GNex is a great example as it is a Samsung phone with a Ti processor instead of the Exynos. I know that this was controversial and some/ lots of people would have perfered the latter, but still the possibilities are out there.

      It would be nice to see a Moto Phone with a Samsung, Nvidia or Snapdragon processor and an HTC camera.

      • ocdtrekkie

        I don’t think Moto makes it’s own screens.

        • Mapekz

          The first batches of the Nexus One shipped with Samsung-supplied AMOLED screens, as did the first batches of the Droid Incredible (the N1 equivalent on VZW), until supply ran out and they couldn’t offer them anymore. I’m sure Google would stick with AMOLED screens as every Nexus phone has had them.

  • SirSoloDolo

    Love my Nexus besides the build quality and radio. Love Moto for the build quality and radios. Moto Nexus!