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Good Read: History of Motorola – From Marty Cooper to the OG DROID and Sanjay to Today

Posted by Kellex August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If you were looking for a solid article that covers the history of Motorola from its glorious days of inventing the first mobile phone to its eventual fall, rise again thanks to the original DROID, to its landslide decline again before being sold to Google and then to Lenovo, Chicago Magazine has you covered. In a piece released at the beginning of the week, the story of one of America’s most innovative companies is detailed from the good times to the bad. We’re talking from its founding days in 1928 as Galvin Manufacturing Corp to its current up-in-the-air status with a Lenovo acquisition looming over their new downtown Chicago headquarters.

You should really go read the full article if Motorola’s history interests you at all, but for the sake of saving a bit of time and grabbing your attention, we have pulled out a couple of excerpts on events that stood out to us, starting in the 70s.  

The introduction of the first phone by Marty Cooper:

Of all Motorola’s inventions, none were as transformative as the cell phone. A request from Orlando Wilson, Chicago’s police chief from 1960 to 1967, provided the impetus. Violent crime in the city was surging. Wilson wanted his patrol officers out of their cars and on foot, but he didn’t want them on the street without a way to stay connected.

Cooper, among others, envisioned a solution: a handheld phone that functioned on a wireless cellular network. Bob Galvin realized that the market for such a device could extend well beyond law enforcement. So he committed $100 million to developing it. In 1973, Cooper made his first call—to a rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs—on a boot-size prototype.

On the massive success that Motorola once had in the cellphone business, before being lapped by Nokia:

Indeed, thanks largely to its still-growing cellular business, in 1994 Motorola rose to 23rd on the Fortune 500 list of the nation’s biggest public companies, with revenues of $22 billion and profits of nearly $2 billion. By 1994, 60 percent of the mobile phones sold in the United States were Motorolas, with the wireless business making up nearly 65 percent of the company’s revenues.

But Motorola was about to fall off a cliff. Because Finnish rival Nokia had wisely retooled for digital, by the time Gary Tooker’s four-year run as CEO ended in 1997, Nokia had surpassed Motorola as the world’s largest mobile phone maker. It had become a newly powerful competitor in building networks, too. Nokia would remain the world’s largest maker of mobile phones by volume—if not by revenue—for the next 15 years.

On Motorola essentially teaching Steve Jobs how to make the ultimate smartphone:

Meanwhile, in arguably one of the worst decisions ever made by a major corporate CEO, Zander struck a deal with his Silicon Valley friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. Together their companies created a Motorola iTunes phone, the first phone connected to Apple’s music store. “We can’t think of a more natural partnership than this one with Apple,” Zander said at the time. Named the Rokr, the phone launched in the fall of 2005. Jobs, who introduced it, called it “an iPod Shuffle right on your phone.”

Zander says he believed that by working with Apple, Motorola could become cool again. But much as it had taught the Chinese to compete with it years before, Motorola was teaching one of the most creative, competitive, and consumer-savvy companies of all time how to make a phone.

On choosing Android for the original DROID:

The presentation, held in early 2009, grew heated. One top Motorola executive declared that choosing Android over Windows Mobile was madness. Google’s system wasn’t ready for prime time, he argued, whereas Microsoft was one of the most powerful software companies in the world.

Jha would not budge. Motorola’s board faced two options: go with Jha’s recommendation or shut down the mobile phone business altogether.

By a vote of 4 to 3, the board members chose the former. Quickly, Arshad handpicked a team of 200 in-house engineers to work closely with a Google team led by Andy Rubin, who had created the Android system. “They wanted Motorola to be successful and to prove everyone wrong,” says Arshad. “To save the company.”

The article goes on and on, so this is just a taste. It’s good stuff, again, especially if you are interested at all in the history of Motorola.

To read the whole article, head over to Chicago Magazine.

Cheers Robert!

Good Read: History of Motorola – From Marty Cooper to the OG DROID and Sanjay to Today is a post from: Droid Life

Alleged Motorola DROID Turbo (XT1254) specifications show eye-opening 640 ppi display

Posted by wicked August - 23 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off


The latest trend for mobile devices at the end of 2014 seems to be incredible displays. After all, it is the one part of a device that is always being used. Now it seems that Motorola and Verizon will have an upcoming device that will please even the most demanding viewer. A CPU-Z identification test reveals that a Motorola device with the model number XT1254, and codenamed Quark, will have a 4.59-inch display with 2560×1440 resolution. This means that it has a whopping 640 pixels per inch.

The internal specifications are no slouch either. The Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.65GHz has 3GB of RAM to go along with it. So this device, believed to be the DROID Turbo, is going to be as fast as the name suggests. The internal memory is set at 32GB, but it is unknown if there will be other storage options. The front camera is 2MP and the rear camera is an impressive 20MP. And right out of the box, Motorola will ship the DRIOD Turbo with Android 4.4.4 which is the latest version of Android.


Do you believe that this device will have 640 pixels per inch? While it does seem odd to be cramming all of those pixels into a screen at 4.59 inches, it is not impossible to imagine.

Source: Android Authority

Come comment on this article: Alleged Motorola DROID Turbo (XT1254) specifications show eye-opening 640 ppi display

What is the Motorola “Quark” XT1254? Is It Really the “DROID Turbo?”

Posted by Kellex August - 18 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

At the end of last week, a reader of ours pointed out that device made by Motorola under the model number XT1254 had passed through Bluetooth SIG with a description confirming that it was an Android smartphone. No other details were attached, so we ignored it. Then over the weekend, a couple of supposed CPU-Z screens of a Motorola device with a codename of “quark_verizon” surfaced under the same model number, causing the tech world to freak out, toss around conspiracy and fanboy theories involving the rumored Motorola Nexus, and generally sound silly. Names like “DROID Turbo” were mentioned, as were a handful of next-level specs.

So what is this mystery device? Well, let’s see if we can’t find out. 


The CPU-Z screens with the name “quark_verizon” first surfaced through Android Authority, along with a couple of extra details. The benchmarks show a device running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.65GHz, Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB RAM, 24GB of available storage (likely 32GB total), Android 4.4.4, and a display with a resolution of 2560×1440 (640×360 dpi, edit:  display size is unknown). They also tossed out the potential name of “DROID Turbo” and the device having a 20MP rear camera, thanks to “anonymous” sources.

As previously mentioned, the codename “quark_verizon” and model number XT1254 are also shown.

If you didn’t notice, the “4G LTE” logo in the notification area is indeed Verizon’s.

Much like last year’s DROID line, this phone does not appear to have on-screen navigation buttons. As can be seen by CPU-Z screen, the resolution of the display is a full 2560×1440. If there were on-screen buttons, that would show as something like 2392×1440, like it does on the LG G3. You also can’t see the on-screen buttons, which do show on devices that have them with CPU-Z open.


Model number of XT1254.

Motorola, like most manufacturers, has always tried to keep model numbers in order from year-to-year and from device-to-device. For example, the Moto X last year carried model numbers of XT1053 (unlocked/T-Mobile), XT1056 (Sprint), XT1058 (AT&T), and XT1060 (Verizon). The DROID MAXX and ULTRA live under model number XT1080, while the DROID Mini is the XT1080M. The original DROID RAZR was the XT912 and the RAZR HD was the XT926. We have also seen unreleased Motorola devices under the model numbers XT1096 and XT1097 show up within the last couple of weeks. These are largely thought to be variants of the new 2014 Moto X.

So what is the XT1254 then? We haven’t seen a Motorola model number close to XT1254 yet – this is a massive and surprising jump in the sequence. The only thing we know from looking at this, is that it is a Motorola device headed for Verizon (thanks to the codename). But with such a large jump, is this a phone that is months and months away from a potential release?

Digging for a couple of hours around the web over the last couple of days has returned nothing new on this XT1254 device. It clearly just showed up for the first time within the last week.

Codename of “quark.”

The now-retired @evleaks pointed out back in February of this year that Motorola was busy during Mobile World Congress “working on the Quark X.” He didn’t elaborate on what that meant, as far as I can tell, but that shows you how far back the name existed. Since then, there have been no new mentions of this codename.

The name “quark” has even more meaning, though, if you do a little bit of research. Intel has an entire line of mobile processors that fall under the name “Quark.” These processors, at least their highest end models, are expected to ship in Q2 of this year. However, these processors are generally thought of as made for smaller, low-power devices like wearables. Clearly, the device depicted here is not a low-end wearable or powered by an Intel chipset.

Was @evleaks referring to the new Moto X? Was he referring to a new DROID, but didn’t know it? We have zero answers there.


What about the Moto X vs. this phone?

The oddest thing about all of this is the level of a phone we are talking about. Let’s assume this is a new DROID and it does indeed run a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with tons of RAM and a Quad HD display. The new Moto X, which is Motorola’s flagship for 2014, can’t even stand up to those specs, assuming the benchmarks we have seen are correct. The Moto X is thought to have a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, and 2GB RAM. Are you telling me that Verizon worked a special deal to release a DROID-branded phone that stomps all over the Moto X? Seems odd, but hey, you never know. They did manage to release last year’s DROID line a couple of weeks before Motorola unveiled the Moto X, even though those phones were the Moto X in DROID disguises.

Then again, that whole situation only matters if this phone is released any time soon. For all we know, it could be months out.

DROID line is a mystery.

Last year, Motorola and Verizon announced that going forward, Motorola would have the exclusive to their exclusive on DROID devices. Until we hear differently, we have to assume that Verizon is still fully committed to the DROID line, only we have heard nothing on a DROID front so far this year. We know that Motorola is going to announce a new Moto X and Moto G on September 4, while giving us launch details on the Moto 360. But what about new DROIDs? We haven’t had new ones since last year’s launch of the DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini, so it’s about time for replacements. Is the XT1254 one of them? Maybe, maybe not.

As of today, the “DROID Turbo” and XT1254 are nothing but a Bluetooth SIG listing and an anonymous benchmark. Should we happen upon additional details, we will be sure to pass those along.

What is the Motorola “Quark” XT1254? Is It Really the “DROID Turbo?” is a post from: Droid Life

Images of the Moto X+1 front panel, new DROID leak

Posted by wicked August - 15 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


We learned earlier today about specifications for the upcoming Moto X+1, and now we have new images to put its 5.2-inch display into perspective. The image above shows what is allegedly the Moto X+1 (left) next to the original Moto X. The height is certainly larger and the bezels on the sides have been shrunk. It also seems that the top and bottom of the device will feature quality speaker grills. The original Moto X has a 4.7-inch display, so the jump to 5.2 inches is definitely noticeable.

The same source, HelloMotoHK, also posted an image of what is said to be a new DROID device. The design is more rounded and similar to the Moto line of devices. This could have to do with a Moto Maxx device being in the works. Still, though, the image suggests that on-screen navigation buttons are not present. Identical buttons from last year are back in action.

Hit the break for another image of the Moto X+1 and the image of an alleged new DROID device.



Source: HelloMotoHK (1) (2)

Come comment on this article: Images of the Moto X+1 front panel, new DROID leak

Moto X+1 confirmed to pack the Snapdragon 801

Posted by wicked August - 8 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


Last month, it was revealed that the upcoming DROID phones will sport the Snapdragon 801, so we kind of knew the new Moto X+1 would as well. In case you needed further confirmation, a Geekbench benchmark reveals the XT1097 with the 801 in question.

Previous benchmarks led people to believe it was the Snapdragon 800 because of the processor model of MSM8974, but based on the clock speed of 2.46 GHz, it is likely to be the 801. The Xperia Z2, Z2 Tablet, and Find 7 sport the MSM8974-AB, which is the 801, and the Galaxy S 5 has the MSM8974-AC, which again, is also the 801. Those last 2 letters will probably be different for Motorola since it will likely be part of their new and updated Mobile Computing System.

Now it’s possible that the XT1097 is actually a DROID device, but either way, I think it’s safe to say the all the DROIDs as well as the new Moto X+1 will feature the 801.

source: Geekbench
via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Moto X+1 confirmed to pack the Snapdragon 801

Abbagoochie and Valocia Codenames Outed as Possible Upcoming Motorola DROIDs

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

For those hoping to see more DROID devices from Motorola this year, @evleaks has reportedly outed at least two devices codenamed, Abbagoochie and Valocia. The Abbagoochie, which is easily one of the most bizarre codenames ever, is said to be a DROID MAXX replacement device, while the Valocia is to be a rehash of the DROID Mini.

According to @evleaks, both devices will be powered by quad-core Snapdragon 801 processors from Qualcomm, but no other specifications are known at this time. 

As it is mid-July, it is almost surprising we have gotten this far into the year without more news about upcoming DROID devices. Whether Motorola is just too busy focusing on the Moto 360 and Moto X+1 to start the Verizon hypebeast, your guess is as good as ours. As a refresher, the DROID MAXX, Ultra, and Mini were announced last year on July 23.

Besides a possible Snapdragon 801 powering these devices, what other specs do you hope Motorola might bake into any upcoming DROIDs? We will get the ball rolling for you. For us, we would like to see at least Full HD displays, 2GB+ of RAM, 13MP rear-facing shooters, fat batteries that put the competition to shame, and of course, new proprietary software as we saw on last year’s Moto X.

Make it happen, Moto.

Via: @evleaks

Abbagoochie and Valocia Codenames Outed as Possible Upcoming Motorola DROIDs is a post from: Droid Life

Battery cover image leaks for unknown Motorola device

Posted by wicked July - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


An image of a battery cover supposedly meant for a Motorola smartphone has surfaced on the Facebook account for HellomotoHK. The cover is made out of a kevlar-like material or has been designed to give that appearance and is reminiscent of some recent Motorola Droid device covers.

The cover includes several access holes on the back with two large ones seemingly configured in a manner similar to the HTC One (M8) duo camera. According to HellomotoHK, the cover may be meant for the Motorola Moto X+1 or a Google Play Edition version of the same device. It is also possible it may be intended for an updated version of a Motorola Droid device for 2014.

source: HellomotoHK
via: Phandroid

Come comment on this article: Battery cover image leaks for unknown Motorola device

Is This the Back Casing for a New Motorola DROID?

Posted by Kellex July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The crew over at HelloMotoHK posted the image above this morning, which looks like the back case for what could be an unreleased Motorola phone. To be more specific, if real, I would peg this for the back casing of a new DROID device. Motorola, as we know from last year, has the exclusive on the DROID brand with Verizon going forward, a brand that tends to use materials like kevlar which is seen here. 

So what’s with all of those holes? Well, my guess would be that we are looking at a camera lens hole at the top, centered in between a dual-flash setup. The hole directly below that could just be a slot for a Motorola logo, like we saw on the Moto X. The odd thing there is the dimple on the Moto X was a piece of the back casing, it wasn’t filled by an attachment to the hardware of the phone, if that makes sense.

There were rumors surrounding the Moto X last year, which suggested that the dimple could be used for controlling parts of the phone. Motorola reportedly killed that after testing. Should they have figured out a way to add that touch-sensitivity back to this year’s line of DROIDs and the Moto X, then maybe that bottom hole will be filled by some form of button. I do not see this being an HTC One-esque dual camera setup, if you were wondering.


Via:  HelloMotoHK
Cheers Antony!

Is This the Back Casing for a New Motorola DROID? is a post from: Droid Life

Android 4.4.4 changelog for Motorola DROID line (2013) gets posted

Posted by wicked July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


Over the weekend, an Android 4.4.4 soak test was launched with some Motorola handsets. Now, the company has posted the changelog for the Android 4.4.4 update regarding the DROID Ultra, MAXX, and Mini.

The core of the update, which is the latest version of Android that is available for now, improves stability and security. But Motorola has done its job by making improvements in other areas aside from what Google has added. The Camera app’s quality has been improved with better performance in low light conditions and more realistic flash color. The video component of the Camera app has gained a pause button while recording. Bluetooth connectivity is now more stable, too. Even Verizon’s apps have been updated and Isis mobile wallet has been added to increase the bloatware. Finally, the Motorola Alert app is compatible.

Did you receive the Android 4.4.4 update? Let us know how it is in the comments.

Source: Motorola

Come comment on this article: Android 4.4.4 changelog for Motorola DROID line (2013) gets posted

Here are the Full Changelogs for the DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini Android 4.4.4 Updates

Posted by Kellex July - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini all started receiving an update to Android 4.4.4 over the weekend that first began last Wednesday with a soak test. The minor changelog that showed up with the update prompt mentioned that there would be camera enhancements, the addition of Isis Mobile Wallet, and bloatware updates. Motorola released a full list of the changes today, along with Verizon’s standard PDF changelogs.

The update, as we already knew, is 21.11.21. The device will see stability, framework and security improvements, along with better Bluetooth connectivity. The camera will see enhancements in picture quality, like improved photos in fluorescent lighting and enhanced dynamic range. Pausing of video recording has been added as well. VZ Cloud and Visual Voicemail were updated, plus Isis Mobile Wallet has been added. 

Motorola also noted in their changelog that Motorola Alert, an app that allows you to alert specific people in times of need, will now be installed.

To check for the update, head into Settings>About phone>System updates.

Everyone receive the 4.4.4 update?

droid maxx 444 droid ultra 444

droid maxx ultra 444
Via:  Verizon | Motorola

Here are the Full Changelogs for the DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini Android 4.4.4 Updates is a post from: Droid Life