Moto X4 unboxing and hands-on: The enthusiast brand returns! [Video]

It’s been a while now, but a few years back, the Moto X was my favorite line of smartphones. I loved the close-to-stock software, and having the ability to choose whatever colors and materials my phone was made of; it really gave off the feeling of a phone tailor-made for you, and only you.

After a two-year hiatus, Motorola is finally refreshing its enthusiast brand with the Moto X4, that ditches my beloved Moto Maker but brings a clean and familiar software experience and a much more modern design.

With the death of Moto Maker, you’re left with just two options when ordering the Moto X4: Super Black or Sterling Blue. My review unit came in the latter finish, but both choices feature a glass front and back with an aluminum frame, and a reflective glossy coating that, though easily smudged, is quite visually striking.

The back of the phone is curved just enough to make it comfortable to hold, though the absolutely massive and protruding camera dome is already getting in the way of my fingers. Still, the Moto X4 has a refreshingly clean design, and the build quality is outstanding. The Moto X4 is priced pretty reasonably at $400, but I could’ve easily mistaken it for a phone nearly twice as expensive, based on hardware alone.

Up front, the design is familiar, looking nearly identical to every Moto Z device launched since Lenovo acquired Motorola. There’s no fancy 2:1 display, but the bezels aren’t so big as to make the Moto X4 look dated — at least, as long as don’t hold it next to the LG V30, Galaxy Note 8, or Pixel 2 XL. Still, not everyone is sold on tall displays, so for those people this should feel like a perfect middle ground.

Inside, the Moto X4 is powered by a midrange Snapdragon 630 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz, with an Adreno 508 GPU. There’s 3 GB RAM onboard, and if the 32 GB of internal storage isn’t enough to get you by, it can be expanded by up to 2 TB with a microSD card. None of these specs are particularly high-end, but considering how well some of Motorola’s cheaper options perform, that might not matter as much as you’d think.

The Moto X4’s software is close to stock Android (with Nougat 7.1 in tow), but there are a few additional features, including Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Moto Experiences. The hardware has some nice features as well, including IP68 water resistance and a 3.5mm headphone jack (yes, it’s ridiculous that that’s considered a feature these days), but notably missing despite an all-glass build, is wireless charging.

The Moto X4 isn’t the flagship-tier device the Moto X used to be, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the hardware, which far outclasses every other Moto X device we’ve seen. For those that aren’t happy with the upward trend of flagship pricing these days, the Moto X4 could be a great option. Stay tuned for our full review, coming soon!

Motorola Moto X4 Android One review: a Nexus by any other name

Google’s Pixel smartphones, which effectively replaced the Nexus line, have received critical acclaim for their design, performance, and mostly, their cameras. But that acclaim has come at a price: the Pixel phones start at $649 and can cost almost $1,000, depending on configurations.

That’s been a tough pill for many fans of the prior Nexus phones to swallow, as they frequently offered a lot of specs and performance for a lot less money than other smartphones. You could realistically get a great Nexus phone for under $500 without having to give up the traits that make them great: clean software, fast performance, and timely updates.

Enter Motorola’s new Moto X4 Android One smartphone. While not technically a Nexus phone, it shares many of the same qualities that made the Nexus line so loved. Clean build of Android? Check. Promise of fast updates and years of software support? Check. Reasonable cost? Check.

The $399 X4 won’t appeal to everyone. It’s not meant to compete with the Pixel or other premium phone in terms of features or performance, and its biggest limitation is that it’s only available on Google’s own Project Fi network. (Though it comes unlocked and works with other networks, the only way to buy this flavor of X4 is to be a Fi customer.) But if you’ve been holding on to that aging Nexus 5X hoping something would come along and pick up its mantle, the Moto X4 Android One version is it.


http://www.theverge.com/

The Moto X4 Android One version has identical hardware and design to the Moto X4 that will be sold through Motorola in the US and other parts of the world. Unlike Nexus phones, Google did not have any involvement in its design or development; it’s a Motorola phone through and through. This is probably the biggest distinction between the X4 and the Nexus line of phones.

The X4 is a metal-and-glass phone with a 5.2-inch, 1080p IPS LCD display, IP68 water resistance, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. The design, build quality, and overall fit and finish are top notch and a considerable step up from the Nexus 5X’s plasticky finish. The rear glass panel is curved and melds into the metal frame with nary a seam. Plus, the IP68 water resistance means you can get it wet — even submerge it — without worry, which is something that most phones in this price range do not have. The X4 is a phone that feels much nicer than you might expect to get from something that costs less than $400.

Though its Snapdragon 630 processor is not at the same level as Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line 835 chip, it is more than capable of providing a fast and smooth experience on the X4, and everyday tasks are completed without drama. Apps open quickly, I can switch between them swiftly, and nothing in my day-to-day routine ever feels like it’s stressing the X4 out (except for taking photos, which I’ll get to in a bit).


http://www.theverge.com/

On a similar note, the 1080p display is not an ultrawide design, nor does it have as many pixels as screens you might find on higher-end phones. But it’s bright and vibrant with great viewing angles. The pixel density is perfectly fine at this size, and I can’t see any individual pixels, even when I peer closely at the screen.

The battery in the X4 is slightly larger than the one that came in the Nexus 5X, and I’ve had no issue using the phone for a full day without having to charge halfway through. Should you need to hit the charger, the included 15-watt TurboCharger can provide “six hours of use in 15 minutes of charging,” which basically means it will charge the phone quickly.

Other points of hardware interest: the X4 supports Bluetooth 5.0, which doesn’t mean a whole lot now, but will be useful once we have headphones that support it. If you don’t want to use wireless headphones, the X4 also has a 3.5mm headphone jack next to its USB Type-C charging port.


http://www.theverge.com/

The Moto X4 has a dual-camera setup, with a 12-megapixel “normal” camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter next to it. The 12-megapixel camera has an f/2.0 aperture and 1.4-micron dual-focus pixels, while the 8-megapixel wide-angle has a less bright f/2.2 lens and smaller 1.12-micron pixels. The X4 is capable of shooting up to 4K video at 30 frames per second (using the normal camera) and has depth control and selective color modes in its camera app.

Despite its respectable specs and feature list, the camera is where I’ve had issues using the Moto X4. Launching the camera app is a slow and tedious process that caused me to miss more than a handful of shots. Actually taking a picture is equally frustrating, as the shutter rarely snaps when I push the button and there is a lot of time necessary for processing between shots.

The wide-angle camera is so wide that it creates significant distortion in images, bowing and skewing any straight lines that happen to be in your frame. Switching between the standard camera and the wide-angle one also takes longer than it should.

As for the actual picture quality, there’s nothing to get excited about. Images in good light are sharp, have good color rendition, and have a fair amount of detail, but indoors the camera struggles with motion blur and noise. Shots from the wide-angle camera are noticeably worse than the normal camera (as its lower specs would lead you to expect), and I suggest that anyone using the X4 just forget the wide-angle option exists. Like any other phone with a dual-camera setup, the X4 has a portrait mode that will artificially blur backgrounds to mimic a DSLR. It is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not very good and looks rather fake to my eyes.


http://www.theverge.com/

So while the hardware on this X4 is identical to every other X4, it’s the software build that’s different. This is the first Android One-labeled phone available in the US, which means that it has a near-stock version of Android 7.1 Nougat on it. It has only one voice assistant, Google’s (compared to the three that come on the standard Moto X4), and it uses Google’s phone dialer, messaging, and launcher apps.

Wisely, Motorola was able to include its very useful gesture controls (such as karate chop the phone twice to turn on the flashlight and twist it twice to launch the camera) and Moto Display features, which show the time, date, battery life, and any notifications whenever you wave your hand over the phone or pick it up. It does not have the fingerprint gesture options found on other Motorola phones, but I personally prefer the on-screen buttons for home, back, and recent apps, so I did not miss them.

With the Android One designation comes the promise of two years of software updates, and Google says the Moto X4 will be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo before the end of this year. It also says that the X4 will be updated to Android P, whenever that becomes available. You might consider purchasing the X4 Android One based on this software support promise alone, as it is typical for phones in this price range to quickly get abandoned by their manufacturers and never see software updates.


http://www.theverge.com/

If there’s going to be any phone to pick up the Nexus mantle, the Moto X4 is perhaps the best candidate. It’s a straightforward smartphone with straightforward software that doesn’t cost a fortune. With the exception of the camera performance (which, in theory, could be improved with software updates), it does all of the standard smartphone things well, without any gimmicks that get in the way.

Given Google’s commitment to the Pixel brand and its statements that it has “no plans” for future Nexus products, Android One phones are the closest thing we’re likely to get to the Nexus line. And the Moto X4 is the closest thing to a Nexus successor you’ll find.

7.5

Verge Score

http://www.theverge.com/

Good Stuff

  • Great build quality, with water resistance
  • Fast, clean software
  • Promise of software updates for two years

Bad Stuff

  • Slow camera performance
  • Average image quality from camera
  • Only available through Project Fi

Motorola Solutions’ (NYSE:MSI) Buy Rating Reiterated at Jefferies Group LLC

Jefferies Group LLC reiterated their buy rating on shares of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI) in a report published on Friday, October 6th. They currently have a $105.00 price target on the communications equipment provider’s stock.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Motorola Solutions from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $96.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Motorola Solutions from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Cowen and Company restated a market perform rating and issued a $83.00 price objective (up previously from $75.00) on shares of Motorola Solutions in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on shares of Motorola Solutions from $73.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Motorola Solutions from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Motorola Solutions currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $94.08.

Shares of Motorola Solutions (NYSE MSI) opened at 89.09 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $86.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $86.39. Motorola Solutions has a one year low of $71.24 and a one year high of $93.75. The company has a market cap of $14.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.49 and a beta of 0.31.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The communications equipment provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.07. Motorola Solutions had a net margin of 10.38% and a negative return on equity of 93.44%. The firm had revenue of $1.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.03 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Motorola Solutions will post $5.29 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. Motorola Solutions’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 49.60%.

In other news, EVP Bruce W. Brda sold 25,299 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.11, for a total value of $2,254,393.89. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,829 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,123,402.19. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Eduardo F. Conrado sold 6,998 shares of Motorola Solutions stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.13, for a total transaction of $623,731.74. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,858 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,037,333.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Motorola Solutions by 6.6% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 624,195 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $54,143,000 after purchasing an additional 38,642 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its stake in Motorola Solutions by 51.9% during the 2nd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 164,129 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $14,237,000 after purchasing an additional 56,105 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its stake in Motorola Solutions by 11.5% during the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 795,770 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock valued at $69,025,000 after purchasing an additional 82,182 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Motorola Solutions by 51.5% during the 1st quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,797,415 shares of the communications equipment provider’s stock worth $154,973,000 after buying an additional 610,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board bought a new stake in shares of Motorola Solutions during the 2nd quarter worth about $2,325,000. 87.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions, Inc is a provider of communication infrastructure, devices, accessories, software and services. The Company operates through two segments: Products and Services. The Company’s Products segment offers a portfolio of infrastructure, devices, accessories and software. The Products segment has two product lines: Devices and Systems.

Analyst Recommendations for Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI)

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Blackberry 16 GB Play Book Supported Adobe Flash

The newly launched Blackberry 16 GB PlayBook is not like any other BlackBerry that you've seen earlier. PlayBook is an ultra-mobile ultra-thin tablet always prepared to play. With the display of 7 inch dual-core processor, multitasking ability, Adobe Flash support, dual cameras and Wi-Fi, it's the must carry for business and even pleasure. Besides being sleek, it has got light weight outside and multi touch 7 inch display, the PlayBook is completely loaded for the best interactive mobile experience. And the power of dual-core processor along with 1GB of RAM at helm, it delivers digital world at high speed.

The best thing is this is the web without any of the limits – complete HTML 5 and Adobe Flash support makes it very easy for you to navigate Internet in the manner it was meant to be seen. Graphics, Text and video everything coming through beautiful fluidity; whilst incorporated Wi-Fi permits you to enjoy it wherever the wireless network exists. Not just this, you can even enjoy face-to-face video calls using the dual cameras, or shatter great shots. Plus point, micro USB, micro HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity options, you'll have everything you need to connect with your other peripheral devices. And in less than 1 pound, you can take it all over without feeling feeling weighed down.

Talking about the design, BlackBerry PlayBook is possibly the smallest prestigious tablet that has been launched in the year 2011. The measurements are – 5 inches tall, 7.5 inches wide, and 0.4 inch slim thick, the design is very much similar to the Galaxy Tab that was launched in 2010. To RIM's credit, PlayBook is the most influential 7-inch tablet that has been tested, and the weight is really light that comes in under a pound.

The very first thing to be noted about this blackberry tablet is that it has not got any of the buttons in the front. Like the Motorola Xoom, all the navigation on PlayBook's is controlled using onscreen controls. The 7 inch bezel frames provides the on screen resolution of 1,024×600, which is surrounded by a couple of slim stereo speaker grilles. On the top of the screen, you will notice a 3 megapixel camera staring at you, in addition to an ambient light sensor that repeatsly regulates the brightness of the screen. Just flip the tablet pc around, you will be shocked to find another camera and this will be around 5-megapixel enabling you to capture videos at 1080p quality. Blackberry 16GB Playbook price is quite attractive.

Motorola is making a $150 Alexa speaker Moto Mod

Motorola just announced a new Moto Mod for its Moto Z phones: a $150 speaker attachment with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Officially called the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa, the new modular attachment is more or less what you’d get if you took the existing Soundboost 2 speaker mod and built in Alexa. There’s even a giant, glowing blue LED ring on the back, just like you’d get on an actual Echo device.


Now, turning a phone into a mini Echo isn’t really a bad thing, per se, but it is kind of a weird product, seeing as any phone that you’d attach the Mod to would already have Google Assistant available for free. If you simply must have an Amazon Echo, the $149.99 that Moto is charging for the Alexa Smart Speaker Mod could get you both a $99 Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot (or an Echo Plus or an Echo Spot) for the same price.

The only real market I can imagine for this is someone who is so deeply committed to the Alexa ecosystem that they want to have an Echo assistant with cellular data that they can take anywhere, who also has a Moto Z smartphone that they wouldn’t mind some better speakers on.

And hey, if you fit into that (possibly imaginary) demographic? You’ll be able to pick one up sometime in November from the usual batch of major electronic retailers (including Best Buy, Amazon, and of course, Motorola).

Alternatively, Motorola also announced that the Moto X4 — which has Alexa directly integrated into the device — will be available for preorder in the US on October 19th; the phone is set to go on sale on the 26th for $399.99. Motorola will also be selling the X4 in a cheaper “Prime Exclusive” variant, which will include lock screen adds for $70 less.

Mobile App Design Solutions For Small Business – How To Attract and Retain More Of Your Customers!

Many of you already have websites which are (hopefully) integrated with your offline advertising channels (radio, billboard, newspaper, magazines, direct mail), and you probably generate a substantial part of your traffic and leads through this channel.

What if I were to tell you that Google has made a game changing, strategic move that could reduce your online leads, traffic and profits considerably within the next 2 – 5 years if you do NOT pay attention to the implications of that move?

Google spent $12.5Billion last year to acquire Motorola Mobility, and this acquisition was so strategically important that Google spent more than 41% of it’s free cash for the deal. Now, why would Google bet almost half its cash to make this deal? Is this acquisition telling you something about the future of the internet that WILL have a profound impact on your business if you ignore it? Note that, Google almost OWNS the internet today, but was willing to bet nearly half of its cash to get into the mobile app design solutions playing field!

Do you want to bet your businesses’ future against Google’s signal that the world is going mobile?

To understand why, consider these facts:

The Whole World Is Going MOBILE!

  • There are 5.2Billion mobile phones worldwide and growing rapidly
  • There are 1.1billion smart phones worldwide and growing rapidly
  • About 80% of US households have mobile phones
  • In the US, about 25% of mobile web users are mobile ONLY!
  • A whopping 10% of Google’s page views are mobile
  • About 83% of people go online to find a business

Bottom Line: Mobile apps are now replacing web sites. And if you are not thinking about or taking steps TODAY to integrate your existing websites with mobile, you will slowly find yourself out of business!

So What Do You Do?

Fortunately for the small to medium sized business person, there is still time to act, even though the window is fast closing! There are a few, affordable, scalable and functionally powerful; cross platform mobile app solutions on the market for you.

What Features MUST You Look For In Your App?

  • Your App Must Have Cross Platform Capability – Must work on iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows, BlackBerry and if you can afford it, Kindle and Nook!
  • Push Notification – This feature allows you to send unlimited offers/coupons to ALL your customers who have opted to download your app ( at NO additional charge)!
  • And by the way, the open rate on push notifications is 97% within 5 minutes, vs. only 4% for emails and even lower for newsletters!
  • GPS Direction – One tap by your customer; and directions to your business is displayed!
  • Quick Response (QR) Coupons – Can be used to download your apps and also as a ‘frequent buyer” card similar to the paper cards used by coffee shops, etc
  • Tap To Call – One tap, and device calls your business, no more fumbling to find a # and dial
  • Tap To Email – For your newsletter, etc
  • Mobile Ordering Platform – Should integrate with your existing platform (if you already have one)
  • Shopping Cart Feature – Should integrate with your existing platform
  • Mobile Reservation – Should integrate with your existing platform

Finally, WHY Should You Consider Getting An APP?

Your current and/or future customers comprise the majority of the ‘untethered” consumer. Whoever is in their pockets (via smart phone app), will COMMAND their attention, loyalty and $$$ dollars!

  • Their smart phone are within reach 24/7
  • 97% of them will open/read your messages/coupons or offers within 5 minutes, vs. only 4% for email (within 24hrs)
  • It Is A Question Of ROI And Profitability- Your app will help you better integrate and tie together ALL your online and offline marketing channels. and reduce your advertising seepage!
  • Your websites must be integrated and connected to your mobile apps.
  • You will reduce advertising expense seepage, and with the same amount of ad spend, you should expect to get more customers, keep your existing customers coming back more often and buying more often from you.
  • An app allows you to have a one on one intimate communication with your customers
  • Constant Branding – You are right ON your customers’ smart mobile device 24/7!

For more information about how you can take advantage of this mobile app design solution marketing tool for your business contact mike@multimediaadvertising.biz

Motorola Moto X4 Review: Premium style at a mid-range price

Motorola’s classy looking X4 handset hides some neat features at a mid-range price point.

Quick Verdict
Motorola’s X4 punches above its price weight, making it a good option for outright phone buyers who want a premium looking handset.

The Good

  • Clean Android
  • IP68 Water resistance
  • Solid metal body
  • Dual lenses

The Bad

  • Slow camera
  • Huge fingerprint magnet
  • Mid-range processor performance

The Motorola Moto X4 is an odd handset in the Motorola lineup, largely because it sits above the Motorola Moto G5S, but below the Moto Mod-capable Moto Z2 Play handset. It’s a narrow pricing niche for the X4 to occupy, but what Motorola’s done with this particular handset makes for a compelling option if you’re happy with Motorola’s general Android approach.

MotoX4_1_738

Motorola’s own style is present in the design of the Motorola X4, with the same rounded corners and oval-based fingerprint sensor setup as found on the Motorola E4 or Motorola G5S. Where the Moto X4 really differs is in the construction of the handset itself. It’s a solid metal unibody design in either “Super Black” or “Sterling Blue”. I’m a bit of a sucker for blue metal phones, and the Motorola Moto X4 is certainly visually appealing at a level you don’t always see in mid-range handsets.

The Moto X4 measures in at 148.35 x 73.4 x 7.99 mm, although it does have a rather prominent camera bump at the rear that pushes out the top of the phone to 9.45mm. While this means the Moto X4 sits at an angle when it’s on a flat surface, it’s not wobbly in any real way.

The Motorola Moto X4 features a 5.2 inch 1080×1920 pixel display, which is entirely functional if not exactly exciting at this price range. It’s behind Corning Gorilla Glass, which should give it some durability, although rather predictably we did notice that the shiny casing quickly attracted fingerprints.

The Motorola Moto X4 is also notable for being water resistant, with an IP68 rating. As always a little caution is advised, so don’t throw your phone through the dishwasher, however, a small accidental immersion should be fine.

MotoX4_2_738

One of the Motorola Moto X4’s signature features is the inclusion of a dual lens camera. That’s a feature we’ve seen creep down into the middle tier of phones via handsets such as the Oppo R11 or OnePlus 5, although the X4’s implementation is more similar to the camera found in LG’s G6, with one 12MP f/2.0 primary sensor and one 8MP f/2.2 wide-angle lens.

Like the G6, there’s an onscreen toggle for either camera mode, although this is a rather slow process when changing from one lens to another. That’s fine for panoramic landscape work, but ill-advised if you’re capturing fast action scenes. It’s not a super-wide angle, but it can change your photo’s perspective nicely with just a little work. Here’s the standard lens at work:

MotoX4_CameraSample2_s

And here’s the same shot taken on the wide lens:

MotoX4_CameraSample2_w

Mid-range cameras have picked up pace in recent months, putting solid pressure on the premium space if all you want is a workable camera, and that describes the Motorola Moto X4’s camera capabilities nicely.

It’s an entirely workable camera with an optional landscape and object recognition feature, similar in concept to the Google Lens feature on the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. However, you can’t force it to identify landmarks if it decides not to. As an example, I could get it to identify Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower without issue, but to the Moto X4, the Queen Victoria Building was just another building.

It’s also possible to use the Moto X4’s dual lenses for bokeh style effects that mostly work in a realistic fashion, with a slider for the level of focus blurring, similar to that of the Galaxy Note 8. Here’s a standard shot:

MotoX4_CameraSample2_d1

And a shot taken seconds later with the depth effect applied:

MotoX4_CameraSample2_d2

The Moto X4’s overall camera performance was generally quite pleasing, and while it’s a little slow for a dual-lens camera, with a little patience it can deliver some quality results. Here are some sample shots taken directly from the Moto X4:

MotoX4_CameraSample1
MotoX4_CameraSample5

MotoX4_CameraSample4

MotoX4_CameraSample3

The Moto X4 runs on Qualcomm’s mid-tier Snapdragon 630 SoC, which is entirely in line with its pricing and positioning. That being said, the 630 is a relatively new chip that we’ve seen in very few phones here locally, so I was curious to see how it compared against other mid-range offerings.
Here’s how the Moto X4 compared using Geekbench 4’s CPU test:

Handset Geekbench 4 CPU Single Core (higher is better) Geekbench 4 CPU Multi Core (higher is better)
OnePlus 5 1976 6506
Oppo R11 1616 5895
Huawei P10 1922 5633
Motorola MotoZ Play 2 891 4485
Moto G5 Plus 842 4180
Motorola X4 865 4087
Samsung Galaxy A7 771 3998
Huawei GR5 2017 814 3398
Huawei Nova Plus 843 2985
LG Q6 536 2005

And here is how it compares using 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test:

Handset 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Result
OnePlus 5 39497
Huawei P10 25168
Oppo R11 24525
Motorola X4 16763
Motorola Moto Z2 Play 14032
Huawei Nova Plus 13969
Moto G5 Plus 13753
Samsung Galaxy A7 13629
Huawei GR5 2017 11859
LG Q6 7779

Those figures put the Moto X4 pretty much where I’d expect it to sit, but once again the benchmarks aren’t the full story. For heavier apps it will no doubt struggle a little compared to premium flagships, but for day to day tasks, it’s quite a nimble performer. That’s undoubtedly helped by the fact that Motorola only throws a very light overlay on top of stock Android. This means that there’s little clutter to add to performance lag on the Motorola Moto X4.

You do get Moto’s “Moto Actions”, as seen in other handsets, so you can use specific motions to enable the flashlight or camera quickly. The X4 handles these quite well, although they’re entirely optional in any case.

MotoX4_3_738

The Motorola Moto X4’s metal construction means that its battery is entirely sealed. Motorola throws in a 3000mAh battery in the Moto X4, which should, on a mid-range processor like the Snapdragon 630 and with that smaller screen lead to pleasing battery life.

Thankfully that’s exactly what you get, with the Moto X4’s battery performance right up there with the best mid-range phones available today. Single day performance at an anecdotal level is entirely feasible, and multi-day could be within range if you’re a light phone user.

This was backed up by Geekbench 3’s battery life test, where the Moto X4 compared very favourably:

Handset Geekbench 3 Battery Test Duration Geekbench 3 Battery Score
Huawei Nova Plus 13:21:20 8013
Motorola X4 12:42:00 7515
Samsung Galaxy A7 12:40:30 7603
Motorola Moto Play Z 2 11:50:50 7107
Huawei GR5 2017 11:33:50 6938
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 11:15:40 6756
OnePlus 5 9:33:30 5735
Huawei P10 9:31:30 5523
Motorola E4 9:26:10 3752
LG Q6 8:44:40 3498
Oppo R11 7:52:30 4725

MotoX4_4_738

The Moto X4 is, as noted at the start, a phone that sits in an unusual position in Motorola’s roster of phones, because it’s not a true budget option, and neither, technically speaking is it a premium option a la the Motorola Moto Z2 Play or Moto Z2 Force, although the latter is a phone we won’t see here in Australia according to Motorola representatives.

As such, the pressure is on for it to perform, and this it does, with an appealing design, quality camera and exceptional battery life marking it out from the crowd. But that’s quite a deep crowd, so you’d do well to consider your alternatives. There’s the excellent but hard to source OnePlus 5 to consider at this kind of price, as well as (effective) stablemate the Oppo R11, which has worse battery life but a faster camera. LG’s G6 has seen price tumbles bringing it close to this kind of price point if you’re happy going with a directly imported model, and there are plenty of lower cost options, including a number of handsets from Motorola itself.

MotoX4_5_738

Site Comment Score
TechRadar (hands-on) “The Moto X4 all adds up with good specs, an impressively low price point and a very interesting design.” N/A
CNET (hands-on) “Motorola wants the Moto X4 to be your Goldilocks phone” N/A

MotoX4_6_738

The Motorola X4 is available in Australia now at an outright price of $699. It’s not available on any carrier contract plans at the time of writing.

MotoX4_7_738

Product Name
Motorola X4
Display
5.2in
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
ppi
424ppi
Software
Android 7.1
Storage
32GB
RAM
3GB
Battery
3000mAh
Front camera
16MP f/2.0
Rear camera
Dual 12MP f/2.0, 8MP wide angle f/2.2
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
Size
148.35 x 73.4 x 7.99 mm
mm
Weight
163g

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Heady Investors are Taking a Look at Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI)

Dedicated investors are constantly on the lookout for a bargain when it comes to stock picking. As of late, investors have been taking notice of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI) shares. During recent trading, shares saw a move of -0.54% hitting a price of $88.88.

Most investors are likely looking for that next stock that is ready to take off running. Maybe the focus is on finding a stock that has recently taken a turn for the worse for no real apparent reason. As we all know, as quickly as a stock can drop in price, it can bounce back just as fast.

Although the popular stocks that receive a high level of media coverage tend to recover quicker after a sell-off, there may be plenty of under the radar stocks that are ripe for buying. Scoping out these potential market gems may help repair a portfolio that has taken a hit for any number of reasons.

The average investor might not have the time to monitor every single tick of a given stock, but taking a look at historical performance may help provide some valuable insight on where the stock may be trending in the future. Over the past week, Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI) has performed 0.29%. For the past month, shares are 4.54%. Over the last quarter, shares have performed 1.03%. Looking back further, Motorola Solutions, Inc. stock has been 8.13% over the last six months, and 7.81% since the start of the calendar year. For the past full year, shares are 21.45%.

Price Earnings Ratio

The price/earnings ratio (P/E) for Motorola Solutions, Inc. is 23.60 and the forward P/E ratio stands at 15.54. The price to sales growth is 2.34. The price/earnings ratio (P/E) is a market prospect ratio which calculates the value of a stock relative to its earnings. On other words, the P/E ratio is and indicator of what investors are will to pay for a stock relative to its earnings.  A firm with a high P/E ratio typically indicates that investors are willing to pay a premium for the stock and higher performance in future quarters would be anticipated. Going a step further we can also look at the PEG ratio of a company.  A stock’s price/earnings ratio divided by its year-over-year earnings growth rate. In general, the lower the PEG, the better the value, because the investor would be paying less for each unit of earnings growth.

There is rarely any substitute for diligent research, especially when it pertains to the equity markets. No matter what strategy an investor employs, keeping abreast of current market happenings is of the utmost importance. Everyone wants to see their stock picks soar, but the stark reality is that during a market wide sell-off, this may not be the case. Recently, shares of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MSI) have been seen trading 4.68% away from the 200-day moving average and 2.39% off the 50-day moving average. The stock is currently trading -5.19% away from the 52-week high and separated 24.76% from the 52-week low. Motorola Solutions, Inc.’s RSI is presently sitting at 59.64.

Motorola confirms that Moto X4 will launch on 13 November in India; Moto G6 series likely to come next year

Motorola has announced that it is finally all set to launch the Moto X4 in the Indian market on 13 November 2017. The new date comes almost a month after rumours stated that the phone would launch on 3 October. The company confirmed the launch date in a response to a customer on its official Twitter handle.

Motorola Moto X4

Motorola Moto X4

Motorola has already unveiled the Moto X4 at the IFA 2017 conference in Berlin earlier this year. It is already available for sale in the European markets. The Motorola Moto X4 comes with a dual-camera setup on the rear with a 12 MP dual autofocus Pixel sensor and an “ultra wide-angle” unit with an 8 MP sensor. The front camera comes with a 16 MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture and features a selfie flash for taking pictures in low lighting conditions. The 12 MP rear sensor has an f/2.0 aperture and the 8 MP has an f/2.2 aperture.

The phone has a 5.2-inch Full HD display (1080 x 1920) with Gorilla Glass protection and IP68 water and dust resistance rating. The device is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and comes with Motorola’s Turbo Charger for quick charging. Motorola has provided USB Type CTM Port for charging and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for using a headphone/earphone with the device.

Motorola has also included support for Amazon’s Alexa and the users can access it without unlocking the device. The company has also provided NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 as connectivity options. Currently, there are no details available on the pricing of the device in the Indian markets.

In related news, reputed tipster Evan Blass has tweeted that successor for its popular Moto G series, the Moto G6 lineup with Moto G6, G6 Play and G6 Plus will be launched next year.

 

 

 

Motorola unveils Scout Traks to help you keep an eye on your dog

Dog owners have a new way to keep track of their pet’s location, with Motorola launching its Scout Traks wearable.

The pet tracker, which is able to provide information regarding exercise, wellbeing and temperature, attaches to collars, and owners are able to receive real-time alerts on location through the Hubble for Pets app. Like many of its rivals, geo-fencing is also available and alerts can be set for when a dog escapes a pre-set zone.

Read this: Living with pet wearables

The Scout Traks device itself weighs under 30g, with a waterproof silicon rubber housing the likes of GPS, an ambient temperature sensor and an accelerometer. The latter uses an algorithm, which not only tracks the amount of exercise a dog has undertaken, but also compares the data with other breeds within the companion app and can also be used to set long-term goals, such as routines and feeding.

Commenting on the temperature sensor, Dave Evans, general manager of Motorola Pet, said: “The temperature sensor was a direct result of research [with dog owners] as we found out that some breeds struggle in the heat and sadly many dogs still die in hot cars.”

As Motorola indicates, the Scout Traks battery will give up to three days of use, while charging from flat to full capacity takes around an hour. To pick the device up, you’ll have to shell out £99.99, with a full year of its service plan (which includes 150 location calls per month) included. After that, you’ll have to renew for £35 per year. And unfortunately for those in the US and elsewhere, this will be a UK exclusive.

Motorola’s variant doesn’t really bring anything different to the pet tracking space, but it does, at least on paper, put together pretty much everything you would want in a device. The subscription fee after the first year isn’t ideal, but when compared to its rivals (which often propose lofty monthly costs) this isn’t too unreasonable.

Motorola unveils Scout Traks to help you keep an eye on your dog


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