In 2013, Motorola released the original Moto X device, which combined higher end if not flagship components, clever software features and a “stock plus” interface – that is, the Moto X used a near-stock version of Google’s Android with a number of embedded additional features. This trend was continued with the 2014 Motorola Moto X, which used a similar specification to earlier flagships from 2014, which included the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, 2 GB of RAM and a 1080p AMOLED panel. The device was bundled up with a carefully optimised antenna arrangement to ensure the device received the best possible reception and data speeds, a superb microphone setup and again a near-stock user interface, which keeps things responsive and snappy. These first two generations of the Moto X were generally quick to receive their software updates, at least until both AT&T and Verizon Wireless confirmed that their carrier-branded 2014 Moto X devices were not to receive the upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Given that a typical flagship Android device can expect to receive software support, including upgrades to the current version of Android, for two years after launch this does not appear to have been a wise decision by AT&T and Verizon. For customers of the original Moto X excited to see their devices receiving the update to Android 4.4 Kit Kat around the same time as Nexus customers, where this was a reason to upgrade to the 2014 model, this is a very bitter pill to swallow – when Moto X customers from elsewhere around the world are enjoying Android Marshmallow on their devices. It’s a move that has seen many customers promise never to buy another Motorola / Lenovo device again, which is a shame as it is as much the carrier’s fault if not more. For their part, the carriers have not completely dropped support for the device: today we have learnt that Verizon Wireless has released a software update for the Motorola Moto X.
Verizon’s update brings the 2014 Moto X to software version 23.201.2 and is labelled as a security patch. This is not the update to Marshmallow; Verizon didn’t change their minds and the former flagship model is still running Android 5.1 Lollipop. The 2014 Moto X remains a solid smartphone, but AT&T and Verizon branded devices could be so much better – and today’s update feels somewhat insulting.