Moto X Sold Through Google Play Won’t Be Google Edition, Will Keep Custom Features

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I can’t remember being this excited about an Android device in a long time and while I know many of you will look at me and say “David, what about the One or S 4?” Well, it’s the size and hardware of the Moto X that really has my interest and there’s a bit of good (or bad) news for those of you looking to buy the device in the future.

While the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 each have their own “Google Edition,” Motorola’s new flagship device will keep its Moto specific features. That’s according to Leo Laporte from “This Week in Tech,” who mentioned a conversation with Motorola evangelist Guy Kawasaki.

According to Laporte, Kawasaki confirmed that the Google Play version would not be “Google Play edition” device ala the stock Android version of the HTC One and Galaxy S 4 now on sale through Google. Instead, the Moto X will be the very same device sold through its subsidized carrier partners when it launches in the very near future. That means all the Motorola customizations will remain intact. Features like touch-less control, Active Display and the Quick Capture camera feature will be available through the model sold directly through Google. In my opinion, that’s a good thing because the device still runs a near stock version of Android anyway.

So, let’s assume for a moment that the version(s) sold through Google Play is T-Mobile compatible on both AWS HSPA+ and LTE, will the lack of a “Google Play edition” affect your buying decision? I’m guessing that price might, but in my eyes this won’t make much of a difference. Perhaps the real question is how the lack of a GPe device will affect the timetable in which Motorola (and Google for that matter) deliver Android updates to the X. That’s the real question.

Phandroid via This Week in Tech

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  • ceegii63

    yeah i think i can live with that since a Google Play Edition might loose the OK GOOGLE NOW feature

    oh and price it maybe $300 and were good Google/Moto

    • psychoace

      I would even take $400-450 right now. $650 is just crazy even if it’s built in America. That shouldn’t add $250 per unit

      • ceegii63

        1 Moto X + 1 Nexus 7(2nd) = worth all the $650 spent

  • Andy Richardson

    Needs T-Mo’s Wi Fi calling.

  • Michael Montanez

    now if it can be priced like a Nexus, we have a winner here

  • PaisanNYC

    Leo Laporte’s show is “This Week In Tech”, not what you posted…

  • Makes sense. The phone has no value without its special features, and those rely on their software. Without that it’s just a dual-core phone that can’t quite compete with the Nexus 4.

    • Iucidium

      Have you seen the benchmarks?

      • Yes. They don’t in any way justify me spending $300 more than a Nexus 4 without any of the phone’s special features.

  • mikey

    Google doesnt postpone phone updates….once the nexus receives an update, the base android software is already available, sometimes even before. The only reason nexus phones get updates so much sooner is because phone manufacturers take their time adding their extras, then carriers extend our wait times even more by adding their junk into it.

  • Jimmy

    Leo Laporte also mentioned that the phone itself is very similar to a Google Play Edition already, and there’s only a couple non-standard apps tacked on, so a GPe version is likely not necessary. If I didn’t already have a Nexus 4, I’d be first in line for a Moto X.

  • It’s going to boil down to price for me. Part of the Nexus allure was getting off contract away from those $600+ phones.

    However, if they can get it under $450 shipped (the forced 2 day shipping is BS…), It would be acceptable to me. And I’d bite if I didn’t already have the N4. But that’ll give me hope for the next Moto X.

    • David Lebron

      I just read somewhere it’ll be $630 – so will the G2 32GB…G2 > X

      • I’m not entirely sold on the G2. I’d have to see both in hand honestly. I’ve been swayed to the Note, but if I can get a compact 4.7″ screen… I can be swayed back.

        Not to mention all the X’s voice stuff. I would like to live with it for a month to see how well it works for me.

        • Eugene

          There’s actually an app in the play store that works pretty well and does the same thing with the voice. You can leave your screen locked. However, the problem is that it’s going to hog your battery. But you could try it out and see if you like it. I think it’s pretty cool.

        • Hogging the battery kinda defeats the purpose =)

        • Eugene

          Yeah, I know. Well, I have the 7,000 mah battery for my S3 so I could probably try it out. You could probably still see some of the possible uses. Or if you use it all. Like before getting my S3 I thought I was going to use S-Voice all of the time and I realized I don’t have a use for it. (I think if it even worked well I still wouldn’t use it)

    • Brian T.

      I’m sure it’ll be $600+, sadly… Pretty telling contract price: it’ll be $199 on a 2-year contract for the other carriers, much like other $600+ phones are right now.

      • There’s a rumor that it’s actually wholesaling for less than the iPhone by a bit. Just hanging on to it, heh. The N4 also retails at T-Mobile for $5/600….

        • Eugene

          It’s actually 412. I just checked it. Still more than Google but not 600.

        • fsured

          Does Google subsidize the price any? If the N4 has better hardware then we need to ask why is so much cheaper. I’d really hate to think OEMs are charging the extra $200 just to run their custom skins over Android.

        • Eugene

          I’m pretty sure they’re subsidized.

        • AppleWaffles

          That’s if the Nexus actually had better hardware.

        • Turb0wned

          The carriers are paying $350 for them….

        • Eugene

          I’m sure they’re getting them for even less than that. But I was just saying how much it would cost for a consumer to buy from tmo.

  • nerdlust

    Im loving my note2 but im curious about this device. I want some hands on time with it.

    • Laststop311

      i have the note 2 as well. this phone is a downgrade compared to the note 2 and especially a downgrade from the note 3. You’d have to be crazy to pay 600-650 for a mid spec phone when you can get a note 3 for around that price and its snapdragon 800 will blow this phone away.

      • nerdlust

        I must agree that the note2 is amazing. I love the screen size and spen . The performance is excellent. the mighty S4 and htc one and iphone5 couldnt make me switch so I highly doubt this will but I still want to put it thru the paces and see how it fairs.

  • Don Kim

    With specs that fall a little short ot Nexus 4 and not having stock android…
    I’ll pass.

    • Paddy_Tanninger_Caddy_Manager

      But LTE!

    • AppleWaffles

      Actually it’s faster than the Nexus 4.

      • Don Kim

        It’s not significant enough for an upgrade

        • AppleWaffles

          But this isn’t targetted for people upgrading from the Nexus 4.

        • Don Kim

          That’s the problem about the disappointing specs of this phone.
          If you’re releasing a brand new flagship device for your company on a $199.99 2-yr pact price, and not target other users already using high-end spec phones, how can you stay competitive in the market?

        • AppleWaffles

          This phone is competitive with everything high end in the market sans the S800 chipset. This phone outperforms the S4, is built better than the One, while offering useful, light additions on top of a stock Android experience. The 199.99 price tag sucks, but it might be worth it to some to not have to go through rooting/modding their phone and compromising their warranty, like me with my S4 running a GPe ROM, to get a nice Android experience that isn’t tainted with Touchpiss and Senseless.

  • caseybea

    “This isn’t the droid we’re looking for. Move along.”

  • Brian T.

    I also think this is the first time I’ve been excited about an Android device in quite a while. (Finally some new features that don’t scream gimmick!)

    I also hope they’re able to push updates in a timely manner. Tens of millions of iPhones (going all the way back to the iPhone 4!) will be able to download the pretty great iOS 7 almost immediately after Apple releases it, and it won’t look so good if Google releases a cool Key Lime Pie and this guy doesn’t get it relatively soon after its release…

  • my name

    not stock = pass … i have learned my lessons…i will not repeat past mistakes and expect new results thank you very much… nexus for or nothing.

    • ChristianMcC

      That’s the thing I can thank the G2x for as well. Nexus or nothing for the hardcore fans. Roms and rooting just never get you to the same place.

  • JT

    The Moto X needs to come out in a 32gb version. The 16gb is only 11gb after the OS. That and the rumored price needs to be less.

  • me

    Stock android means you can tether with out a plan (something that on principle I refuse to pay for for the 3 times a year I need it). Will the moto-ized version still allow that?

    • keltypack

      T-Mobile includes 500 MB per month of tethering with their basic plan.

      Before these current new plans, I could tether using my Nexus, but after 200 MB they blocked my data and asked that I pay for tethering.

      I’m not sure how other carriers work, but stock Android won’t necessarily give you that feature.

  • patelj27b

    near stock is still crap. Still means it would be 6 months or more after a new Android version gets released that it MIGHT be available on this device.

    • Spanky

      Google Play editions are considered near stock. Android 4.3 was rolled out to both phones a week after it was announced.

    • Eugene

      Someone clearly doesn’t do his/her research before posting.

  • D Velasquez

    i will be getting this device or a gsm version of the droid ultra although im more inclined towards te voice features of the moto x.

    • Laststop311

      Why would you bother with the moto x? The galaxy s4, HTC one, LG g2, Galaxy note 3, Nexus 5 are all considerably better phones. Moto X’s extra features are basically all gimmicks. Hell even the nokia 1020 would be a better choice.

      • Noel

        I will say your comment is true to a point…but those features u call gimmicks actually work well and are the future direction of mobile computing. Mostly now that there is a crack down on hand held devices while driving…perfecting the features of Moto X are the way to go. I think to some extent that is the direction Google may be heading with KLP or at least incorporate some of the touch-less controls…that is why they will sell the Moto X at the play store unaltered.

  • vinnyjr

    I want this device to be able to use on T-Mobile. The only way I will buy this phone if I can get it with 32gb of internal memory. The 16gb version has only 11gb of memory left after the OS. That is just not enough for me. I just don’t understand the manufacturers, they stick 16gb as a standard for int memory when it just sucks and ruins a potential great phone. I want 32gb as a norm with sd-card support, without sd-card support 64gb should be the norm. Apple sells their iPhones the right way, all versions to all Carriers all at the same time.

    • Laststop311

      agree emphatically, 8 and 16gb internal memories need to die a flaming death. Maybe include 16gb on the lowest tier of phones only, the cheapest crappiest of each manufacturers line. 8GB needs to totally not exist anymore. Any mid or high end phone should be 32GB standard 64GB for an extra 50 and hopefully soon we start seeing 128GB with samsung 128Gb dies stacked with 8 layers on the top of the line flagships.

    • steveb944

      You’re asking for too much when we the mass consumers have accepted their current methods. The manufacturers rather be cheap and save a few bucks rather than give us more.

  • Ry

    booo…deal breaker, when is Nexus 5 coming out?

    • dtam

      that’s what I’m waiting for to replace my htc one s

  • Xanderalmighty

    Make it 300-400$ and maybe I’ll give up my gs4

  • steveb944

    Aw man, if it’s not GPe that may hinder update timetables but then again the current GPe devices are updated by the manufacturer anyway so it wouldn’t matter.

    This brings up another question, how will Googlerola do on updates? Gotta wait and see.

    If the price is right I’ll bite, if not I’ll wait for the rumored cheaper version.

    • Eugene

      The GPe GS4 and HTC One actually got their 4.3 update not long after it was released. I was impressed.

      • Spanky

        My GS4 GPe received the 4.3 update a week after it was announced. From what I’ve read, both GPe phones received the update at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised that there’s a clause in the contract that requires the update to be rolled out within a certain timeframe.

  • keltypack

    Some of the carrier software really does add to the phone experience. I am not sure that skins such as Touchwiz or Sense add much, but those should be (un)installable as an option separate from the OS. The camera apps are often designed for the specific camera, so they are welcome. The user should have the option to use the standard Android camera or the custom version by the device manufacturer. I am not against some of the enhancements, but I want a CHOICE.

    Unwanted crApps added by the carrier are a big negative and have very little value. The T-Mobile account manager is a nice app, but I should have the option of installing it or not. Telenav was a terrible app on Sprint because it was really there to increase my monthly fee. I was fine with Google Maps/Navigate. I want options and not allowing me to delete something is a major problem (stock Android has this problem with Google apps to a lesser extent).

    Crappware on Windows never bothered me too much because I could always uninstall the programs or remove the Windows feature. I want Android to have a similar capability. If that were the case, I wouldn’t care so much about all the crApps they put on the phone.

    Delays in updates due to carrier customizations is what bothers me. I had three different HTC phones and was burned by the lack of support. It seemed that they were so interested in selling new hardware that they ignored their existing customers. Well, I am now their FORMER customer. I moved to a Nexus and have enjoyed timely upgrades since. If Motorola can give timely upgrades (within a month), I would seriously consider them. If they hold to their past performance, I think I will ignore them. At the present, it is wait and see.

  • m1

    not waterproof? fail.

  • vinnyjr

    16gb of int storage is pathetic. Keep it.