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Motorola Updates Developer Edition Program: Will Re-instate Warranties and Post Factory Images

moto x

Motorola is trying its best to win you over, “you” being the tinkerer that you are. Having deployed a Developer Edition program for many of their devices recently, there were a couple of items that owners of participating devices requested to see changed; one being a way to keep warranties intact, and another would be to see factory software images to help return phones back to their out-of-the-box state. Motorola is addressing both of these issues starting today.

You see, part of the point of owning a Developer Edition phone is the for its openness and unlockable bootloader. These are a tinkerer’s dream, especially with carrier versions typically being sold completely locked and secured. But in its previous state, the Developer Edition program forced you into requesting an unlock code to unlock the bootloader of your device, but would then void your warranty. As you can imagine, that’s a terrible practice, especially if something completely unrelated to the bootloader being unlocked were to break and you need to make a warranty claim.

So going forward, Motorola will no longer void warranties after requesting an unlock code, but will also reinstate previously voided warranties from Developer Edition phones purchased in 2012 and 2013. Some of that list of devices includes the Moto X (both CDMA and GSM Developer Editions) and the DROID MAXX DE.

To sweeten the deal further, Motorola has also committed to releasing factory software images for their Developer Edition phones. With these images, a user can “restore their device to run with its original factory software.” It’s similar in a way to what Google does with Nexus device factory images. It’s huge.

Pretty big moves, wouldn’t you say?

Via:  Motorola [Factory Images]

  • This new phone is really a Motorola innovations in design and configuration and use many investors for the stronger field

  • Kree Terry

    I think I’m gonna get a divorce and marry Motorola.

  • Justin

    Question for those with more knowledge. What is the difference between getting the DE version and the T-Mobile off contract version? I know there are a couple bands different but can’t you use all T-Mobile/AT&T towers with the T-Mobile version? Plus with the T-Mobile version you can use MotoMaker.

    • Kevin Gallagher


  • Sporttster

    How about a SD card and a way to do HDMI out? That might go a mile to helping bring customers back. I’d be the owner of a Maxx right now if it had had a sd slot and some way to do HDMI out. It has neither….

    • Raven

      Sadly, there will never be another MicroSD slot as long as Google owns them.

    • Jason B

      Miracast or even the Chromecast dongle are the replacements for HDMI out.

  • ChuckDz3

    I went to the moto developer section of their site. Why is that all variants of the Moto X, Tmo, Sprint, At&t all are available to be unlocked but only the developer edition on vzw is allowed to be unlocked? I’d love to be able to unlock the bootloader but I think I actually want a stock Moto X with the Motorola enhancements rather than stock android. Anyone have any ideas?

  • MistaButters

    It’d be really funny if they released unencrypted (but properly signed) factory images that you could flash to non-DE phones.

  • cancerous_it

    I’m waiting for Moto/Google to give me a reason to gift my S4 to my wife. Please drop the price of the dev phone to $399 and I’ll buy immediately buy two.

  • Godzilla

    Motorola is finally fighting back. Very impressive couple weeks for them.

    Now do us all a favor and slap a snapdragon 805 in your next phone just to show us you can.

    • Justin W

      It has begun!

  • duke69111

    Now if they could just lower the price a bit, it would be golden.

  • Natty Bee

    They still don’t seem to care about releasing devices with quality cameras, etc…

  • beng8686

    Now if only they would let the carrier versions be eligible for unlock… Especially if you purchased outright.

    • Godzilla

      carriers are responsible for carrier versions

  • RW-1

    It may become the “Anti-Jhatool” era, but I’m still not sold for the moment.

  • chjapa

    Thats a major selling point in my mind. Their basically letting you experiment with all kinds of crazy ROM’s and still the phones covered. I think I would choose this phone on that alone.

  • arthuruscg

    Sweet, I am thinking the X will be my next phone. If only it had multiple 4g bands.

    • Nick P.

      I’m almost positive that the Verizon version supports bands 13 and 4.

  • kashtrey

    Just one question, does the Asurion Insurance I pay for on my VZW plan cover DEs? Anyone have experience with this?

    On a side note, I wish they allowed you to MotoMake your X. I’d totally get a second X (DE edition) and use the Moto Financing but I don’t like the two tone look.

    • Asurion covers my DE

      • Godzilla

        Asurion sucks

      • kashtrey

        Thanks good to know. I like the peace of mind that comes with the insurance. Now if they only allowed MotoMaker on the DE or offered it not in that two tone color.

  • Well done Googorola!

  • SmokeNMirrors

    Two words: FACTORY IMAGES!

  • EC8CH

    Why are bootloaders encrypted in the first place?

    Good move by Moto here, but these Dev Edition phones are just a cover for an ugly truth.

  • George Fayad
    • DJ SPY


  • anezarati

    Any word on when the DE will get 4.4?

    • Moto x

      It’s already out. I have the de and am running 4.4

      • anezarati

        nice, i didn’t realize that.

      • kixofmyg0t

        EDIT: Wrong DE device NVM. Ignore this.

    • The factory image link has a 4.4 flashable file if you haven’t gotten the OTA

  • Jake

    I’d love it if they allowed developer edition phones to be customized via motomaker. At the very least offer an all-black developer edition on Verizon.

    • Raven

      This. I want the dev edition, but I hate the look of the white back. I have been trying to talk myself into it, but I just haven’t gotten over it yet. I don’t need motomaker, but please just give us an all black dev edition.

  • samosa king

    Yeah. Motorola is becoming just like Google now. THIS IS HOW A COMPANY SHOULD ACT!

    • grumpyfuzz

      Well, Motorola is Google now, so that makes sense… lol

    • If that was the case my Droid 4 would be getting a KitKat upgrade and my bootloader would be unlocked. And my radio.

      • Adrynalyne

        Hello, OMAP 4. Welcome to no updates. 😉

        • OMAP*

          • Adrynalyne

            I blame the keyboard. I swear to god I meant OMAP.

          • You using a soft keyboard?

          • Adrynalyne

            No, just one that has a mind of its own :p

          • Damn, would have proven my point precisely.

  • C-Law

    I love this phone! So happy my warranty is back

  • bradgelina

    Moto have my baby!!!!!!!!!

  • Keith

    Damn… is it a bad thing that I am now toying with the thought of selling my N5 to pick up a Moto X DE?

    • C-Law

      No. I love mine

    • moelsen8

      nope. i just sent my N5 back to google yesterday.. was juuust within the RMA period. i had an X before it and i just like it better.

    • Justin W

      Note 3 here… Doing the exact same thing as you right now….

  • Malcolm Love

    Could they trade out my Maxx for a Dev Maxx? THAT would make me happy.

  • calum wilper

    Awesome! Now can we have official clockworkmod now?

    • JoshGroff

      Is there an official TWRP?

      • calum wilper

        Not that I know of

  • tuname1t

    Really diggin this new Moto… I may return from Nexus land once my n4 outlives its usefulness.

  • Such

    Good job Moto! Thinking about moving over to DE Moto phones on Verizon. Hoping Samsung does the same & releases the stock image for the Verizon DE N3 soon

  • droidrazredge

    I did not know there was a DROID Maxx developer edition too, I thought it was only on the Moto X. Now I’ll have to decide if I want a Moto X developer or Droid Maxx developer. Since you can’t use MotoMaker to customize the developer. The Droid Maxx’s battery now makes it more appealing than the Moto X

    • Big_EZ

      The screen size is also more appealing. Only problem is I can’t find much development for the Maxx.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Most of the X dev stuff works for us too.

    • Dylan

      I’m in the same boat. I like the way the X feels, but I stream and use my gps a lot and really like the idea of not having to charge mid-day. Differences between battery life on my GNex and my g/f’s Razr Maxx is like night and day.

      • KatsumeBlisk

        To be fair, the battery life is night and day even going to an S4. The GNex had abysmal battery life.

  • sc4fpse

    Wow. Look at Motorola out here kicking ass and taking names. It’s like the T-Mobile of the manufacturers.

  • moelsen8

    i’m curious, if i tried yesterday to fastboot oem lock (to relock bootloader) and it didn’t work, and now they’re saying you can do this, what changed? how does my phone know it can relock the bootloader starting today?

    that said this is awesome. i’m glad to have factory images and ability to relock bootloader!

    • Josh B

      They just tell the NSA to flip the switch when they are in there looking at our stuff.

  • Greg Morgan

    Now we just need the Carrier devices unlocked and I think Moto would have us eating out of their hands…

    • trixnkix637

      But that then eliminates the need for Developer Editions does it not?

      • Greg Morgan

        yes, but not everyone can afford $600 for a DE. That’s why I’m saying that’s the last step.

        • ninjawarren

          But the carrier versions actually cost you more than that over the life of your contract.

          • AnotherAndroidKid

            Take the moto x for example. Off contract VZ costs 499. DE is 649 last i checked. Over my contract doesn’t apply.

          • C-Law

            No it’s $549 for DE bbut you get more storage

          • Jonathan Berry

            Nope, DE is now $549 and off-contract 32GB is also $549. Remember the DE is 32GB while the base phone is 16GB. Now, if you’re okay with 16GB, then yes, that one is $50 cheaper.

          • Adrynalyne

            Not really, considering you need a carrier to use them. That is only true if you plan on swapping carriers in that time.

            Obviously that doesn’t apply to carriers who charge less off contract.

          • ninjawarren

            And most carriers WILL charge you less off-contract. Around $20 per month if my research from earlier this year holds up.

          • Adrynalyne

            Verizon doesn’t.

          • Your math does not apply to evil carriers like Verizon. You are not going to get a discount on your plan even if you pay full price for your phone.

        • WickedToby741

          That’s why they just launched their 0% interest device financing. Finance your device over 18 months (for devices over $549) with 0% interest.

          • Greg Morgan

            That’s true, forgot about that.

          • duke69111

            but its still $600 dollars no matter how you finance it.

  • Mike Cox

    my next phone will now be a Moto X dev edition verizon.

  • grumpyfuzz

    Off topic, but the Nexus 10 listing looks a little bit weird on Google Play.

  • Unlock the bootloader and radio on my Droid 4 and we’ll talk.

  • Teng Taing

    i actually was planning on buying the Moto X dev edition when i got home today. SCORE

  • DroidzFX

    Motorola for the MTFW!

  • Aaron

    I guess it’d be too much to ask for, for them to do the same for consumer editions, eh?

    • Pedro

      Fourth, by my count.

      • Aaron


  • Pedro

    The New Motorola just continues to dumbfound me.
    It’s like they even care about us.

    • Ben

      Caring about us is the only way to get people to switch away from Samsung at this point. Hopefully Google is using Motorola to show OEMs how to do things right.

      • michael arazan

        And Verizon dropping Motorola from their network in 3…2…

        But doesn’t Motorola know that unlocked phones will bring in the End of Times, destroy the earth and all living creatures, and worst of all…….. Cause Verizon money which is why they don’t really wanting people with unlocked devices.

  • morgan boyle

    can i get a moto maker Dev edition or what?

    • anezarati

      i wish you could! i dont see why they couldnt make this happen either.

    • NorCalGuy

      This is the one thing holding me back from giving them $550

    • Inquizitor

      Only reason I haven’t gotten it yet.

    • akhnaten

      I understand why you want this. However, the way that the phone manufacturers look at the dev edition is that they are not intended to be everyday use phones. They are intended to sit in labs/engineering desks. To discourage being used as everyday phones, they will not make moto maker available.

  • Pierito

    Is this a big deal? I have no idea what’s going on.

    • mec

      say you unlock your bootloader and your screen gets burn in. or you unlocked your bootloader and your *non-replaceable* battery craps out… previously you were screwed. now you’re not.

      • tomn1ce

        Hello Moto

    • krudl3rx

      say you unlock your bootloader and overclock it until it melts into a pile of goo…

    • chjapa

      Given how easily a phone can be bricked running Bobo’s super special ROM from XDA. Yeah, it’s a big deal.