Jim Wicks is the Latest Exec to Leave Motorola

That guy, right there, is Jim Wicks. You may not know him by name, but you certainly will know him by his work. This was the man at Motorola responsible for leading the company’s design, which means the RAZR and Moto 360 were all created under his watch (Ooh, pun!). He also led the charge through a number of DROID devices and more than likely, the Moto X line. Jim Wicks was a big deal at Motorola and in the consumer electronics industry.

I say “was” because he’s out at Motorola. Wicks was one of the last remaining big names at Moto(rola) since the company was sold by Google to Lenovo. In fact, I don’t know who is left any longer. Ashton Kutcher, I guess? Either way, losing Wicks, like Rich Osterloh who went back to Google to head up a new hardware team, is a tough one for Moto.  (more…)

Tale of Two Launches: OnePlus 3 the Good, Moto Z the Terrible

Last Thursday, I started a 6-day vacation to Victoria, BC that was booked months in advance, partly because the trip involved being on hand to cheer on a family member during her Iron Man, but also because no one launches phones in June and it was thought to be a safe bet to be away. Silly Kellen. Moto(rola) and Lenovo announced the Moto Z and Moto Z Force on Thursday, while OnePlus took some time yesterday to unwrap the OnePlus 3. Yes, my trip managed to not only overlap two major phone announcements, but WWDC was packed in there too, for good measure.

Since I was away for most of the fun and Tim took on all tasks, I was able to watch from a distance and form some opinions on how these two phone launches went. I’ll just say this – there are two blueprints here for launching a phone and only one of them is even close to being right, while the other is about as bad as it gets.  (more…)

Video: Hands-on and Overview of Moto Mods

Announced alongside the new smartphones from Moto and Lenovo, the Moto Mods are an attempt to bring modularity to the forefront of consumer smartphones. Featuring everything from a projector module, to Style Shells and JBL external speakers, Moto showcased an impressive number of Moto Mods that customers will be able to purchase with their Moto Z and Moto Z Force devices.  (more…)

Video: Moto Z Force DROID Edition Hands-On

For those more interested in the DROID series of phones, don’t fret, Moto and Verizon did not forget about you. This morning, two new DROIDs were announced, the Moto Z DROID Edition and the Moto Z Force DROID Edition. Is this one of the more confusing naming strategies ever? Yes, it most certainly is.

We took the Moto Z Force DROID Edition for a spin in the hands-on video below, since there is technically not much difference between the Moto Z and Moto Z Force versus their DROID counterparts. To clarify this situation for anyone curious, the Force DROID Edition features the same 21MP rear-facing camera, larger 3,500mAh battery, and ShatterShield display technology as the standard Moto Z Force. The only real difference is the DROID branding and CDMA radios. (more…)

Video: Moto Z First Look and Hands-on

During Lenovo Tech World, we were able to go hands-on with all of the new products announced this morning. First, let’s go over the Moto Z, which is the standard flagship of the new lineup from Moto and Lenovo. You should already know the complete list of specs, but if you don’t, here’s a recap. The Moto Z features a 5.5″ QHD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2,600mAh battery, USB Type-C fingerprint reader, and Android 6.0.1.

You will immediately notice that the phone is extremely thin. Measuring in at just 5.2mm, it’s one of the slimmest phones I have ever held in my hands. While it did make holding the device rather odd, I will say that the thinness was extremely attractive. While a bit bigger of a battery probably would have served users a bit better, there’s no denying that this is an intriguing smartphone.  (more…)

Unlocked Moto Z Will be GSM Only

When the Moto Z is relieved of its Verizon exclusivity later this fall and arrives as an unlocked phone, it won’t have the connectivity of last year’s Moto X Pure Edition. According to Motorola, when asked if the Moto Z would be unlocked and work on all carriers, like last year’s Pure Edition, they responded to us by saying that the unlocked Moto Z will be “available on GSM networks starting September.”  (more…)

Poll: Buying the Moto Z or Moto Z Force?

Well, it’s time to vote or at least share your early reaction to the Moto Z, Moto Z Force, DROID Edition versions, and whether or not you plan to buy one when they arrive this summer and fall.

You’ve seen the announcement, checked out the specs, figured out how the Moto Mods work, now know that neither has a headphone jack, and probably punched a wall over the fact that Verizon gets a lengthy exclusive on both initially and the Force for the long haul. I think it’s safe to say that you have enough information to weigh in on some level.

Are you buying the Moto Z or Moto Z Force?

Buying the Moto Z or Moto Z Force?

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