Motorola stuck very closely to stock Android when they designed the software for their 2012 devices, the RAZR HD and the RAZR M, but when the company was acquired by Google, it seemed only a matter of time before they did away with custom UI overlays completely and shipped the AOSP experience on their devices. According to Jim Wicks, Motorola’s design chief, in an interview with PC Mag, that time has come:

Consumers love what the Android OS can do for them, and they want to have the most recent releases faster… From a software and UI perspective, our strategy is to embrace Android and to make it the best expression of Android and Google in the market. It will be the unadulterated version of Android, and I feel really good about our embracing Android and being the best Android experience.

Not only will Motorola ship devices without any custom ‘enhancements’, they’re also aiming to remove any bloat, both in terms of the useless applications that carriers include with their phones, but also physical bloat – unnecessarily large screen sizes, and thick bezels. I know some people love the extra screen real estate you get with devices such as the Galaxy Note, but there is also fairly strong demand for phones with smaller screen sizes, which are largely relegated to low-mid end devices. Motorola and Google are aiming for a philosophy of ‘better is better’, rather than ‘bigger is better’, and are trying to make a high-end phone for those of us who would rather a phone that’s ‘just about right’. Obviously, what’s ‘just about right’ is subjective, but there’s plenty on the market in the 4.5+ inch range, so it’s likely that Wicks is referring to the 4 – 4.3 inch range of devices.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Motorola will come up with, and Wicks has given an estimated release for the second half of this year.

Source: PC Mag.
Via: Android and Me.
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I dont know why any manufacturers cant offer a premium and cheap spec model in each size range to keep everyone happy. ie. 4, 4.5 and 5+inch. Thats 6 models or so, not overly complicated either.

Also as for stock android im not overly phased about. I think people over rate it and make out some bloat to be a bigger issue than it is.

Shane Wilson

I love my Nexus 4 but feel the top & bottom bezels are a waste of space. If Moto can release a phone with the same physical screen size but minimise the bezels, and include a pure AOSP experience, they can take my money.


Probably have a locked bootloader…

Andrew Palozzo

Im hanging to upgrade my nexus4 to an LTE equivalent.. Can’t wait to see this.

geoff fieldew

Awesome news. Unbloated experience on an easy to handle phone.

Sean Royce

I love the idea of a manufacturer doing this, but I don’t want to lose my 4.8 inch screen which is the perfect point for me. I’d love a 5.5 inch, but if it stays at 4.8 I’d be happy.

Dennis Bareis

Well then Motorola will be on my short list as an alternative to nexus devices 🙂


It’s good to hear that Motorola/Google are aware that not anyone want a massive screen. A 4.0 – 4.6 inches range is good enough for me personally and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same way.

Sean Royce

Not anyone? I think you mean not everyone, because a lot of people like large screens.


Sorry, I meant “not everyone”. The popularity of the samsung galaxy note is a good example of people buying mobile with bigger screens however the motorola razr m is also selling well which can be served as a reminder that there is a sizeable market for smaller screens mobile out there.

James Finnigan

For me, the optimal screen size is between 4.3″ – 4.7″. Anything outside of that is too small, or too big for my hands and just doesn’t feel right. But I know people who think even 4.3″ is too big, so there’s definitely a market for smaller-sized phones that don’t suck.

Sean Royce

4.7 would be fine, 0.1 inches is miniscule.


I work at a phone store and every single person owns Samsungs. Maybe one iPhone or HTC or the new Sony here and there but everyone sings Sams. I went from an s2 to a s3 4g now to a razr M, and I am loving it so much more. Solid rom, battery lasts THREE DAYS! I don’t care if I can’t use multiscreen, I can charge my phone to 30% from 0% in 15-20 minutes, its lasts ~40 minutes on 1% after turning it on from full discharge, still usually around 80% when I get home from work. Boom.


I really like the UI on my Razr HD. If they can get even closer to AOSP and maybe just include some custom widgets etc, like they did with the Circles on the Razr, that would be great. It would also, hopefully, speed up the update process…

I wonder how they’re planning on convincing carriers not to include bloat? Maybe Android is finally getting to the realm of iOS where it can demand purity from the carriers?

Sean Royce

iOS may not get filled with carrier apps, but it has enough useless stock apps that I’d consider it bloated. The OS on install is nearly 2gb.


This is exactly what I’ve wanted to hear! <3

David Anderton

Looks like I might be going to buy my first Motorola phone! This guy has hit the nail on the head

James Finnigan

Me too! I’ve never liked Motorola’s phones – for various reasons – but if they’ll offer me solid battery life and stock Android, I might seriously consider them to replace my HTC.