+ Sunday June 16th, 2019
Motorola Xoom II — Review

The original Motorola Xoom was a huge step for the rapidly growing Android environment, carrying Android 3.0 Honeycomb and bringing a new “tablet friendly” operating system to users. As many did, I expected the Xoom 2 to launch with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Sadly, No!

When I questioned Motorola about this on Twitter:

Their response was less than satisfactory.


  • Noticably lighter than its older brother the Xoom
  • Screen presents crisp images and smooth video
  • 32GB Storage and micro SD expansion slot
  • Battery life is fantastic


  • Has not launched with Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Has not launched with Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Has not launched with Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Webcam is only 1.3MP
  • A couple of interesting wifi dropouts when in portrait mode, hope it’s not another antenna-gate!
  • Did I mention:
  • Has not launched with Ice Cream Sandwich

What we like

I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I like this device. The tablet “feels good” in your hands, it’s lightweight, the screen is really nice (not brilliant) with crisp video and the battery life I found to be outstanding.

What can be improved

The biggest thing that this tablet is missing is Ice Cream Sandwich! Having used ICS tablets, then gone back to Honeycomb for this review I can see some obvious holes in the OS that have been plugged by ICS including performance issues that would be resolved by updating. There’s a few times when the tablet isn’t as snappy as the hardware should be, I can only put this down to Honeycomb.

My son Alex got his chance to play (kids games of course!) with the Xoom 2 while I was reviewing this unit. He’s very funny when he’s playing with new toys, he’s more impatient than I am with loading times and clearly gets frustrated by touch screens that are not 1:1 touch response.

Here’s what he had to say about the Xoom 2.


The hardware is good, very good! It looks great, it feels nice to use, it’s got great battery life, but it’s lacking something very important when it comes to tablets in the current market: That’s right! Ice Cream Sandwich – Despite their “it will be released ASAP” response, I’m honestly not satisfied with that as an answer. Why is it that development would not take a half step back to incorporate ICS, when it’s the market standard. It’s disappointing, but Motorola have only let themselves down with this.

The Xoom 2 is very good, I wanted it to be and it could have been great, but it just doesn’t stand out among the other Android Tablets and has certainly been lost in the hype around the launch of the new iPad. I think Phil Nickinson summed it up best when I was talking with him, he stated “It’s nice hardware, but the same old Honeycomb”.Google+

Phil Tann   Associate

Phil Tann

Phil is an Android enthusiast who spends most of his time reading up on U.S. Android news so he can get the low down on what could possibly hit Australian shores. Coming from a background in IT & T sales, he’s in the perfect position to give an educated view on hardware and software.

Join the Ausdroid Conversation

7 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Matt BoothFrank BenignZanerPhil TannJohann Lo Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Frank Benign
Frank Benign

IMO, the widescreen form factor is not the best for tablets.

Matt Booth
Matt Booth

Depends on your intended use – for watching movies then 16:9/16:10 is ideal. However I agree that for most other uses such as web browsing etc 4:3 is better

Johann Lo
Johann Lo

Moto is amongst the worst of the OEMs re: timely OS updates. But unfortunately they often make very good hardware (Razr Maxx, original atrix for example).

their flashing/BL unlock method is also a lot more obscure/tricky than Sammy/HTC for example (IMO)


OK so Motorola had two options here:

Option 1: Let you use the hardware right now for 2 months* with Honeycomb then give you an OTA ICS update.
Option 2: Not let you use it *at all* for 2 months and then release with ICS on it.

In both options you have to wait for ICS.

Only in the first option do you get to use the hardware while you wait for it.

So obviously Option 1 is superior and yet you cane them for giving you this superior option?

*=2 months is an example to make my point – I don’t know true timelines.

p.s., cute kid


look at the tags =3

Geoff Fieldew
Ausdroid Reader

nice spot, didn’t even notice the tags.

Jake Oliver
Jake Oliver

Forgot locked bootloader in the negatives field 😛

Which means no unofficial ICS either.

I’ll be continuing to avoid motorola devices like the plague until they change their policies in regards to this.

Geoff Fieldew
Ausdroid Reader

I love Moto’s twitter responses, NOT. Xoom 2 was released in the US as the Xyboard in December 2011. It’s fair to assume they were developing it for many months prior to release using Honeycomb, as ICS wouldn’t have been available until November/December – all good.  This, however, is no excuse for launching it in Australia in Feb/March with Honeycomb. ICS has been available as source code for about 4 months now. It should have launched here with ICS. It will ALWAYS be one version behind. Not good enough Moto – especially when you know how buggy Honeycomb is, you… Read more »


Brief review I know, but are you sure about the specs as I don’t think the micro sd expansion slot is enabled, can you reconfirm please as this would be a deal breaker for many I’m sure.

Check Also

Vodafone offering two months free plan fees on new Red plans

If you’re looking for a great deal on a new mobile phone, Vodafone is running …