Motorola may have pulled out of Australia for the past year or so, but the company is back, bringing smartphones out that are all about working cleanly without any of the gimmicks other vendors are focusing on.
The company has returned complete with phones that Aussies have missed out on from the launch, and this week, executives from the company sat down with GadgetGuy to talk about the company’s future, and what it plans to bring to the table.
“The consumer has been our strongest sales advocate,” said Magnus Ahlqvist, the Vice President of Motorola in the Asia Pacific region. He’s tall, wears a suit well, and speaks with an accent that is instantly recognisable as Swedish, which is interesting given that Motorola releases phones to Sweden last, even behind Australia.
“If you’re paying a lot of attention to what the consumer likes, if you have more of a dialogue, that will go a long long way,” says Ahlqvist, who tells us that company is more about talking to the customer these days than ever before, because the customer’s experience is the most important part of the equation.
The new phones released in Australia practically scream that, with features designed to simplify the modern mobile experience, dropping the health gimmicks and oversized screens, and instead finding the right formula for a phone with the perfect fit.
Originally launched in the US in August of last year, the Moto X is now finally hitting Australia, with select stores getting the phone in March.
Almost a year late, the handset’s specs don’t scream “future-proof” in the way other phones from manufacturers like HTC, Sony, LG, and Samsung do, but the company isn’t thinking about that. Instead, it’s saying its experience with Google has paid off by letting it work with more data to define a better phone experience.
“We put a lot of smarts into the way we optimised the software,” said Danny Adamopoulos, Motorola’s Director of Product Operations in the Asia Pacific, India, and Middle East regions.
“With the help of Google, we were able to make a very light footprint,” adds Adamopoulos.
The lighter version of Google’s Android operating system is also cleaner, with no real obvious interpretation to Android sitting atop. Instead of Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC Sense, Motorola is making the Moto X and its other handsets look more like what we see on LG’s Nexus 5, which is considered Google’s own flagship phone.
In both handsets (the Moto X and the LG Nexus 5), you can see Android the way Google envisioned it, without any of the messy extra software companies tend to throw in, which also makes for quicker update roll-outs for the devices.
It’s not just updates and a light OS, though, because customisation is key, and unlike Samsung’s locked dock and locked lockscreen that you can’t change, Motorola’s view is one that customisation is a good thing that should be in the control of people.
“We believe in the native experience,” said Adamopoulos, referring to the use of Google’s operating system where you can change the shortcut dock, lockscreen, and anything else you want, which other manufacturers, such as the aforementioned Samsung, struggle with in Australia specifically.