2 days ago

Should I upgrade from the Moto X 2014 to the Moto X Pure Edition?


There's still nothing out there like a Moto X, so if you're going to upgrade it makes sense to want to keep it in the family.

Motorola's software is remarkable in its simultaneous uniqueness and familiarity. No other major Android OEM keeps the UI as close to the Nexus experience as the Moto X line, and at the same time no other Android OEM has a feature set as functional and seamless as the Moto line of features. What was once dismissed as a series of gimmicks that could probably be reproduced in software when the first Moto X was announced has become an unparalleled experience, and Moto X users who love these features find it hard to switch to another Android phone as a result.

This makes answering the yearly upgrade question a little simpler than with other Android phones, because if you're a Moto X fan looking to upgrade there's a good chance the first place you're going to look is to another Moto X. With that in mind, lets take a look at whether the Moto X Pure Edition is enough of an upgrade to justify leaving the Moto X 2014 behind.

Should I upgrade from the Moto X 2014 to the Moto X Pure Edition?

Comparing the physical hardware

If you've looked at the Moto X 2014 and thought "I really wish this was substantially larger," you're in for a treat. If not, there's some bad news ahead. The Moto X Pure Edition is substantially larger than the Moto X 2014. The basic shape is the same, almost as though Motorola stretched a Moto X 2014 out. The big rear dimple has been replaced with the small dimple from the original Moto X, but it still exists as a natural place for your finger to rest as you hold the phone with one hand. There's no doubt about it, though, this is a big phone.

The added girth made room for all kinds of new tech. Motorola has upgraded to a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM and bumped the display up to a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 resolution IPS TFT LCD panel, so on top of being plenty fast everything looks great. Powering that new hardware is a 3,000mAh battery, which can be turbocharged just like the Moto X 2014 through the microUSB port. Compared to the Snapdragon 801, 2GB of RAM, and 1080p display on the Moto X 2014, the new Pure Edition is quite the upgrade, and not just on paper.

If you're concerned about Motorola switching to LCD over the AMOLED display, stop. Motorola's new display looks amazing and delivers Moto Display without issue. It's one of the better displays on any smartphone today, in both color reproduction and clarity. These new displays are second only to the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S6 displays, so you're absolutely getting a great experience here.

There's basically nothing new to learn about the software

Just about every smartphone manufacturer out there creates some kind of visual distinction in the software as it grows from one major release to another, and with that update usually comes some new features to check out. Motorola has taken a different approach, opting instead to constantly update their software and constantly add new features to their products. This means your Moto X 2014 not only has a lot of cool new things it didn't have when you first bought it, but if you decide to upgrade to the new Pure Edition you'll find a nearly identical software and feature setup as the phone you just left.

Moto Display, Moto Gestures, Moto Camera, Moto Voice, and all of the other Moto features have continued to grow and improve through the Google Play Store, so there's nothing really to learn on this new phone. Like the Moto X 2014, you can expect the Moto X Pure Edition to grow and improve as you use it through feature adds to these experiences. This is separate from the visual and functional changes to Android itself, which you can expect eventually when the phone is updated to Android 6.0, but the core Motorola features will be there for you to enjoy on the new phone just as they were on the old phone.

You'll no longer have a potato camera!

There's no two ways about it, the camera on the Moto X 2014 is just not very good. Motorola tried to improve the experience through software updates, but the phone constantly struggles to capture a great photo. If you're looking for a reason to upgrade to the new Moto X, the camera is a huge reason, as photo quality is something you'll almost never have to worry about on the Moto X Pure Edition.

Motorola packed a 21MP sensor in the back of the new Moto X, and has worked hard to make sure the software is good enough to help you take great photos. It's not the best camera in a smartphone today, but it's easily in the top 10 and will be for quite a while. The Moto Camera app still lets you quickly grab the shot, and the only environment this camera truly struggles is in low light photography.

Moto X Pure Edition camera vs OnePlus 2

Moto X Pure Edition camera vs LG G4

Moto X Pure Edition camera vs Samsung Galaxy S6

Should you upgrade?

Motorola has thoroughly upgraded the hardware, taken special care to keep the software just the way you like it, and like before you can build one with your own personal flair on Moto Maker. If you decide to do so, you'll notice the Moto X Pure Edition starts at $399, which is $100 less than the Moto X 2014 started out with.

The only real downside to upgrading to the Moto X Pure edition from the Moto X 2014 is the size of the phone, which doesn't matter to everyone. If you had trouble adjusting to the size of the Moto X 2014, or if you thought the Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 were too big, you may want to touch one of these before making a purchase. Otherwise, you should absolutely make the upgrade. Especially if you've got an abandoned AT&T or Verizon Moto X 2014.

From $399 at Amazon

From $399 at Motorola

Moto X Style (Pure Edition)

Motorola Best Buy Amazon

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3 days ago

In 2015 I'm excited about a BlackBerry again


I, like many others, cut my smartphone teeth in the world of Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. In my case it was mostly the latter, and I can, happily, say that I carried one of the Waterloo company's phones in my arsenal up until just over 2 years ago.

But, now, in 2015, my personal excitement for BlackBerry has returned all thanks to the Priv. I won't lie, I really don't like the name. But the phone looks fantastic. Mostly due to Android.

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3 days ago

OtterBox Defender Case for Moto G 2015


Designed to mitigate damage like a boss, the OtterBox Defender Case for Moto G 2015 steps up the protection unlike any other.

The OtterBox Defender isn't a case that most users would instantly opt for due to its rather bulky form. Those who can appreciate its incredible protection and additional grip, though, will enjoy everything the Defender has to offer. Featuring 2 durable layers, an integrated screen protector, and a matching belt holster to boot, this rugged combo is the real deal.

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3 days ago

Texture app review: The Netflix of magazines


The Next Issue magazine app recently revamped and rebranded itself as Texture. Though I'm not as nostalgic for the feel of paper and ink as the new name would like me to be, I was curious to see how print was adapting to digital standards lately. For those unfamiliar, Texture is basically billing itself as the Netflix of magazines. You pay a monthly subscription fee and get unlimited access to a wide range of publications. New issues come trickling in as they're published and are downloaded to your device for offline reading. You can go diving into archives and have an effectively unlimited amount of high-quality content to read.

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3 days ago

Delays and abandonment threaten Motorola's comeback tale

Motorola's Rick Osterloh

A good many of Motorola's more recent phones — the Moto E and carrier versions of the 2014 Moto X — won't get Android 6.0 Marshmallow, erasing months of goodwill from its loyal fans.

If there ever was a Cinderella story of the mobile industry, Motorola would be it. OK, maybe it hasn't quite slipped into the glass slipper, dispatched with the evil step-family and married the prince just yet. But it has — with the beloved Moto X, uber-popular Moto G and ridiculously budget-friendly Moto E — found itself back at the ball, at least. And while Motorola has had its share of dance partners, having been shuffled from Google to Lenovo, the story at least appeared to be playing out in the proper direction.

But the past week or so finds Motorola flirting dangerously near midnight.

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4 days ago

Don't trade features for familiarity with the Ultra Watch Face on Android Wear


Sometimes what you want from a watch face is familiarity. There are plenty of faces that offer new and innovative ways to tell the time on Android Wear devices. What can be more difficult is finding a watch face that looks like a watch face, without losing out on the features of a Smartwatch. The Ultra Watch Face takes a swing at blending familiarity with new features.

Check it out.

The Ultra Watch Face is an analog face with plenty of features. By default you get a black background with white lettering. There is both a digital, and an analog display for the time. You also get the full date with month, day of the week, and day of the month. On the right side of your Smartwatch screen you'll see the weather in Celsius. On the left of your screen is a battery icon for both your smartwatch and your smartphone.

There are plenty of options to fiddle with as well. Changing the background color will change the color of the hands on the analog face, or the battery indicator icons. You can also adjust your weather settings like the provider, unit of measurement, and how often it updates to your smartwatch. To access the rest of the options you'll need to pony up $1.99 for the premium version.

The Premium options include a variety of features. You can set 4 shortcuts to the bottom of your screen, allowing you to easily access the apps you use most often. There are also options to use animations, enable more infomation in ambient mode, and adjust the way that peek cards look when they pop up. Like many other watch faces, Ultra Watch Face puts all of your options on an app on your Smartphone.

The Ultra Watch Face is a great face that blends familiarity and features. It's available right now for free on The Google Play Store or you can get access to all those awesome features for $1.99. If you've been looking for a dash of technological nostalgia with your smartwatch features then the Ultra Watch Face is not to be missed.

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4 days ago

Android Central 256: Nexus 2015 Special Edition!


Audio-only stream below

This podcast is a BIG one! So full of awesomeness, we can hardly believe it. Consider yourselves warned!

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4 days ago

These are the first things you need to know about the Samsung Gear S2

Samsung Gear S2

So the Samsung Gear S2 is finally available, and we're starting to get some quality time with Samsung's Tizen-powered smartwatch. We came away from our hands-on in Berlin a month ago pleasantly surprised by the look and feel of the watch itself, as as well as by the initial performance of the alternative operating system.

There's a lot to learn here. A lot of new things to get used to.

But we've already figured out a few things that you'll definitely need to know as you head into your time with the Gear S2.

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4 days ago

Amazon Echo picks up new Garageio skill and a dash of political humor


Amazon is pushing through with more updates to improve the capabilities its speaker with smarts, the Echo. In its latest round of additions, Amazon has given the Echo's digital assistant, Alexa, a new skill, along with some new topical jokes about the presidential race.

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4 days ago

Nova Launcher can now shrink overly large icons with latest update


Nova Launcher, the popular Android home screen launcher from developer TeslaCoil Software, has received an update to version 4.10. Among other things, it now allows users to set up the launcher so that can automatically shrink larger-than-normal icons.

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4 days ago

Samsung Gear S2 unboxing, because things in boxes must be unboxed


OK, folks. The new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch is available here and there — though we're told in-store numbers are pretty tight at the moment. But we snagged one at our local best buy, and that means it's time to see what's in the box. (Because otherwise we'd have absolutely no idea what's in the box!)

So here you go. Our official Samsung Gear S2 unboxing.

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4 days ago

A quick look at the Samsung Fast Charge Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Samsung Fast Charge Qi Wireless Charging Pad

This is how fast all wireless charging should be, but unfortunately right now your choices are limited.

Building on the announcement of built-in wireless charging on the Galaxy S6, Samsung did us one better with the inclusion of so-called "Fast Charge" wireless charging on the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+. Problem was there actually weren't any wireless chargers out there that actually output enough power to take advantage of it — that is, until Samsung started selling its own Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad.

It looks, feels and acts much like the last version announced just a handful of months ago with the Galaxy S6, but has the additional power to juice up your Note 5 or S6 edge+ even quicker — here's our quick take on the accessory.

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4 days ago

5 reasons to pick the Samsung Galaxy S6 over the LG Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X, GS6

Having trouble choosing between the GS6 and LG's new pocket-friendly Nexus? Here's the case in favor of Samsung.

With the fall flurry of new smartphone launches already well underway, many of us will be weighing up the many high-end Android phones coming to market in the weeks ahead. Samsung's Galaxy S6 is undoubtedly the highest-profile Android phone of the year, but the newly-announced LG Nexus 5X — a successor to the highly popular Nexus 5 will surely be tempting Android enthusiasts away from more traditional flagships in the coming weeks.

A smartphone purchase is a uniquely personal decision, so we're going to look at this question from both sides. First up, here's the argument in favor of Samsung. Head past the break for five reasons to pick the Samsung Galaxy S6 over that cheaper, stock Android-running LG Nexus.

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4 days ago

Motorola commits to Marshmallow updates for select phones, will retire Moto Assist and Migrate


Motorola has posted an update which describes the company's plan of attack for the upcoming Marshmallow update. While providing a list of smartphones which it plans to provide the update for, Motorola has also announced that it will be retiring some of its own apps. First, the list of phones that the company is looking to update include:

  • 2015 Moto X Pure Edition (3rd gen)
  • 2015 Moto X Style (3rd gen)
  • 2015 Moto X Play
  • 2015 Moto G (3rd gen)
  • 2014 Moto X Pure Edition in the US (2nd gen)
  • 2014 Moto X in Latin America, Europe and Asia2 (2nd gen)
  • 2014 Moto G and Moto G with 4G LTE2 (2nd gen)
  • DROID Turbo
  • 2014 Moto MAXX
  • 2014 Moto Turbo
  • Nexus 6

Of course, this list could change, and Motorola has not provided any type of timeline for when the rollout may begin. Motorola has looked at its included applications, and made the choice to retire a few of the pre-installed applications in this update. Both Moto Migrate and Moto Assist will be removed from phones with the update. Motorola has decided to retire them after looking at other options that are already available, both from the Play Store and through Android itself. Motorola states it will continue to provide information in the coming weeks about timelines for the updates.

Source: Motorola

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4 days ago

Google's Alphabet restructure takes place at close of business on October 2


Back in August, Google announced that some changes were going to be taking place, and a new parent company, Alphabet, was being formed. Those changes are finally going to take place at end of business on October 2, as Google's Investor Relations blog has been updated with a statement from the company about the changes.

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