Google is making two big jumps today, expanding its Android One program to the U.S. and also releasing the first non-Nexus or Pixel device on its self-operated Project Fi phone service. Both firsts come from a single device, the new Moto X4, which in this case gets the special naming convention of the "Android One Moto X4."
The designation is an important one, though, because the Android One Moto X4 has a different software setup than the standard Moto X4 announced back at IFA 2017. Motorola's generally loved customizations are gone, replaced by Google's slick an consistent Android One platform we've seen on many low-end devices and most recently in the nicer Xiaomi Mi A1. That means you get a Google-sanctioned, Pixel-like software experience with perks like guaranteed security updates — and Google says it will get Android Oreo before the end of the year.
The Android One Moto X4, priced at $399, will be a great addition to the lineup on Project Fi that has spent the last year only offering high-priced Google Pixels after the low-cost Nexus 5X dropped off of its store. With the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL rumored at high prices once again, it's necessary that Google offers a lower-priced phone for its network — particularly for those looking to start multi-line plans.
At the same time, this level of mid-range phone is far more likely to do well in the U.S. when compared to the much cheaper Android One devices offered elsewhere in the world. The Moto X4 has very capable specs, solid hardware, a good screen and a dual camera setup that looks intriguing for the price. People won't necessarily be buying it as something they settled for, instead seeing it as a really good value — especially when paired with the often-inexpensive Project Fi service.
You'll be able to pre-order an Android One Moto X4 on Project Fi starting today, in either black or blue, and to sweeten the deal Google is also offering a new trade-in program for Nexus users that could save them up to $165 — plus an additional $50 in service credits if you buy before October 5. As always, zero-interest financing for 24 months is also available, pegging the Android One Moto X4 at $16.63 per month.
For those who aren't interested in switching to Project Fi, Motorola has subsequently confirmed that a U.S. unlocked model of the Moto X4, with Motorola's software, will be made available at some point this year.