Moto X will sell in the Google Play Store, but won’t be a “Google Play edition” phone



When Motorola originally announced that the Moto X would be sold on Google Play as well as at major carriers, folks assumed this meant that the Moto X would be a “Google Play edition” device. That is, it would be a device with completely stock Android that would get updates almost as soon as Nexus devices. That doesn’t seem to be the case according to Leo Laporte from TWIT.

According to him, Guy Kawasaki had no problems confirming that the Moto X that would be sold in the Google Play Store would not be the typical “Google Play edition” phones we’ve seen to date. Those phones include the HTC One and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Instead, it will be the same device that all carriers are getting when it’s slated to launch later this summer.

This might ordinarily be a deal-breaker for some of you, but let’s not forget two things:

  1. Motorola’s new UI customizations are quite light compared to other phones. If you didn’t know any better you might mistake it for completely stock Android at first glance. And since Motorola is now “a Google company” we imagine they won’t want to drag their feet on any updates for the device in the future.
  2. Motorola is still rumored to be coming out with a Nexus device of their own at some point down the line. This would seem to negate the need for a Google Play edition of the Moto X, if true.

We can’t say we’re entirely heartbroken to hear that the Moto X won’t be considered a GPe device when considering the factors listed above. It’ll still be a great device, and from what we’ve seen with our time with it (be on the lookout for our review soon) it’ll be every bit as good as the GPe devices already sitting in the Play Store.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

NVIDIA SHIELD software update rolling out now, fixes audio lag when game streaming and other bugs

Previous article

NVIDIA Tegra Tab 7 gets benchmarked

Next article

You may also like


  1. I just can’t wait to see the price on the Play Store and put that to bed.

    1. That’s what I really want to know.

  2. So not only fart apps in the play store but now also fart phones.

    1. What the hell?

    2. Go away you troll! begone with you!!..

  3. if no GPE edition, i would hold off folks….wait to see the popularity and how much the dev community is going to want to work on this device. don’t lie to yourself…you know you aren’t going to want it to be stock when/if u get it. :)

    1. this phone is 99.5% stock as told by all sites who reviewed it….whats the dif if u have stock android with like 3 more features that effect nothing of the total ui…i rather have these on stock thats why i like this idea i see some gs4 features n am like eh maybe if stock android had it id be cool n i might try it out…but id never get a touchwiz phone because i think its just disgusting to look at and bogs down the whole os

      1. i agree, i love STOCK….however i love stock in the context that other develop on it. if no one develops on it, i have no intrigue.

        1. developers will develop for a popular phone…so thats just what we gotta hope for if we want this phone…being this phones from google and unlocked everywhere except at&t and verizon(damn communists) im pretty sure devs will get at it and that developmetn should help us verizon guys

  4. i never understood the want of a stock android experience. i mean i get that its easier to root, rom, etc. but my friend talked about stock android and he isnt a tech savy guy that roots and such. it was the htc one ge that he was interested in. i get that stock android is not as overwhelming as some UIs but the only thing that really stood out about nexus devices and the new trend of google editions is getting updates first.

    1. I prefer stock Android not just for the updates, but the clean and mostly consistent UI, speed and smooth scrolling and no bloat. I just prefer using the stock experience the way android was meant to be, with the UI and functionality that Google designed. Don’t care much for skins after starting with a carrier bloated HTC One X and then moving on to the Nexus 4.

      1. i love my nexus 4, but i’d give it up for a one x… we shoulda traded lol

        1. Lol, I would have done it in a heart beat. I really only prefer the screen on the One X…otherwise it’s got weaker hardware, far worse performance, and a bloated skin. It’s still stuck on Jelly Bean 4.1.1 and it’s still a lag machine. I have the Roger’s Canada carrier version and I swear it has 15 or 16 Rogers bloatwear apps that can’t be uninstalled, only disabled.

          But damn the screen is so much nicer than the Nexus 4’s screen

          1. ahh ok, yeah the screen on the Nexus 4 is nothing to write home about. I moved from the Evo LTE to the N4 and i was saddened by the screen.

            Lag fest is interesting, my boy has the ATT version and it felt just as snappy as my phone did in my short times playing with it. Did you ever try a GE rom?

          2. I don’t play around with custom roms or rooting. I’m stock for every device I have. But I have a hard time believing any version of Sense 4+ is as smooth as the Nexus 4, which is verified to be the smoothest, least jankiest phone in the Android world.

            Though I am sure if I flashed CyanogenMod or any other AOSP rom that the One X would be close the the performance of the N4, sorta like the Galaxy Nexus (Which is much smoother than the One X with Sense 4+ from my experience, despite the One X having better hardware).

          3. i’m not saying it was faster than my phone, but i definitely did not notice any performance differences when putting down my device and then picking up his. Maybe that changes with long term use, but i can only go by my first hand experiences.

            I went from Evo LTE to nexus 4 and yeah i noticed that difference instantly, but i didnt notice the same this time.

          4. I still have my One X and I use them side by side and the difference is smoothness and framerate is jarring.

            I used to think my One X was smooth when I first got it with Ice Cream Sandwich…Then the Galaxy S3 came out and I was blown away by how much smoother the S3 was…I was waiting for Jelly Bean and almost an entire year later, they finally release 4.1.1. I immediately noticed HUGE improvements in speed with the One X, but then when I compared it to my sister’s Galaxy Nexus on Jelly Bean, once again I was disappointed to find it simply not smooth like Jelly Bean is supposed to be. Now I’m exaggerating the lag thing a bit because it’s not Gingerbread slow…but compared to stock Android, there is clear jank and stuttering to be found in every single application when scrolling.

            Also the battery life on the One X with my specific use cases is not quite as good as the Nexus 4 (which itself is nothing to write home about) but I saw both performance and battery life increase when I got the Nexus 4, and that got taken further with the 4.3 update.

            Hopefully Roger’s will not completely abandon the One X and we will get the 4.2.2 with Sense 5 update, but honestly, the phone came out in April 2012 and there has been a total of ONLY 2 firmware updates for the Rogers version. One was a maintenance update to fix a WiFi bug that I never had, the second (and final update) was to bring it from the outdated Android 4.0.3 to 4.1.1 (So even when I got the update, the Nexus 4 was already out with Android 4.2.1)

          5. oh i just realized this whole time i was talking about the One X but i meant the HTC One >.< lol.

          6. AHHH that makes alot more Sense (Pun intended)…See HTC, that’s why you don’t name the successor to your phone practically the same name.

            Yes I’ve tried the HTC One and it is a beautiful beast, and the only time I saw lag when I tried it was when doing the Pinch-Out gesture on the homescreen to see the homescreen preview/edit mode (It always seems to have a short framerate issue when doing that, just like on the original Htc One X)

      2. Yes i agree about the no bloat of stock android. i am a galaxy s fan and since the first 3 galaxy s devices i would have to root them to get all of the bloat apps uninstalled. then the s3 and s4 they let you hide apps. it wasnt really about storage space but more screen space. i just wanted them off my screen. lol

    2. Have you used a stock device?

      1. Does the G1 count lol

        1. Nah.. Not by today’s standards lol. I believe you’d get a better understanding of why stock is so nice if you play with a newer phone with it. It feels smooth and clean. Somewhat like the iPhone.

          1. I think i like the gimmicks or UIs too much lol even though i dont really use them i think i would freak out if i lost them. i think if i had gotten an gsg4 ge from the jump i would be ok but now that i have gotten a taste of the gestures and eye scanning mumbo jumbo i dont wanna give it up. but i do understand the love of stock android and happy that companies are now offering choices. i am wondering now if the senors for gestures and eye detecting is built into the UI or hardware. might be a stupid question but i really dont know. it would be a waste of tech if the google editions didnt use them right?

          2. Doesn’t the GS4 use the front-facing camera to for eye detection and gestures?

          3. Na… it’s the front facing camera then three other sensors on the front next to the speaker. I’m sure one is for eye recognition and the other 2 I have no idea lol

    3. well updates is number one reason, performance is reason number 2, phones like the gs4 get much more battery life when on stock software, some of these UI’s are so heavy it hampers down the phone’s snappiness/battery life, reason number 3 could be design, some people really like the designed of skinned devices, other’s hate the aesthetic look of touchwhiz or sense.

      1. I can also agree with this…. im starting to want a ge sgs4 now lol. i really just like the lock screens of touchwiz but i havent used stock google in awhile so i dont know what has been improved. i think stock and i think of my g1 but that isnt fair since that was more than 5 years ago which equates to like a century in cell phone tech. i have wanted stock google and nexus devices but mainly for the reason of speedy updates.

        1. The UI has changed TREMENDOUSLY since the G1. I can’t stand the look of Touchwiz or Sense. Stock Android has a mature sleek look to it.

          1. I do appreciate a mature look… ok ok ok im sold now point me in the direction of slapping stock google on my tmobile gs4 and keeping the ota updates from tmobile. had a bad time with that when i rooted my gs3 and couldnt get the ota update for a celluar fix and actually had to unroot to finally update it.

          2. I am still on an S3 so I am no help with the S4, but it should be easier than the S3 was since there is a GPE version.

          3. True dat. thanks

          4. you can’t get OTA updates once you go the custom rom route, the only way to get OTA’s again once you’ve installed a custom rom is to flash the device back to stock.

            modem updates (which I expect was your cellular fix) are an extremely easy flashing of a modem zip in recovery.

            But once you go to a custom rom all updates are manual in most cases, most of the time you can clear the cache and flash the newest version of the rom and newer modem (if one exists)

            Occasionally you can find roms like CM with include OTA update functionality. but the GPe roms don’t include that.

            That said the GPe roms for these devices are great, if you go that route you won’t be disappointed.

          5. I wanna try it out but I’m not gonna lie. I’m terrified about bricking with rooting and roms. I’m not a noob I’ve rooted 5 phones I’ve owned but I’m not an android rooting specialist either. I mostly just rooted to delete bloat. Only added a Rom to my gs2 it was from bombraider. I don’t know what it is but I get that queasy feeling when I’m rooting… the feeling after eating a crave case of white castle. You know what I’m talking about lol

          6. bricking is extremely rare and very hard to do, read up and understand what you’re doing first, don’t just blindly follow some guide. If you feel up to it here are some links.

            Basic terminology


            Newbie thread for T-mobile S4, XDA is where you want to be.


          7. Thanks man… i just have the worst luck. i bricked 2 galaxy s 4g phones just trying to update it through samsung kies. i dont know if it was acutally bricked but it was in a loop upon startup that i couldnt get it out of. so if i messed up using samsung’s own program i am twice as scared when its odin. it might have been because kies was terrible.

          8. Kies does suck majorly i avoid using it unless I have too (The problem there was probably a bug in Kies) if you understand the rooting/roming process well, it’s really hard to hard brick a device, I’ve rooted and install custom roms hundreds of times, but if you’re uncomfortable with the whole process by all means don’t do it, or get someone you know who is comfortable with the process to help.

          9. I’ll find the time to watch a tutorial on the process of flashing the stock Rom. I’m comfortable just alittle scary.

        2. u couldnt of seriously left a comment like this on an android blog…i cant even phatom a response…g1?…did u really bring that up when speaking of current stock android?

          1. You couldnt of seriously left a comment misspelling the word FATHOM! I cant even FATHOM a thought as to why you thought it was spelled phatom.

          2. touché…i realized that when u pointed it out…ima at work gimme a break

          3. *couldn’t HAVE

          4. My corrections are more funny… nice try though. I see you didn’t understand that I used the exact words of the user I corrected. It happens lol

          5. Is that why you bothered to change “u” to “you”? Rhetoric confuses people; it happens. And btw, more funny=funnier.

          6. Yea its called auto correct. i dont use the letter “u” meaning “you” so when i type “u” it auto corrects it to “you” i will admit i do use “cant” which is why it didnt auto correct that. And yes i could have used funnier but i decided to use more funny. please dont dissect my comments to try to win a battle that YOU started because of a reply i made to another user that attacked me to begin with. please dont be that guy… or girl. trust me i didnt want to be a spelling nazi but his reply to my comment came with a little sprinkle of douchebag so i had to handle business. just walk away.

      2. Can’t agree more, I switched my AT&T galaxy S4 to a GPe rom and their’s no looking back for me, Samsung has made the S4 a good performer, but the massive bloat is still there, the battery drain is still there.

        With GPe my device flys in comparison to the stock touchwiz rom, I don’t have all that bloat that I had disabled anyway, the superior hardware of the S4 really shines with GPe, with touchwiz they are hampered by bloat and excessive memory usage by touchwiz and bloatware features that are all but useless.

    4. Because after years of playing with TouchWiz and Sense I got tired of all the bloatware that makes the phone run like garbage. Admittedly I haven’t tried the new Sense, but Sense 3.0 and 4.0 were bad, and i mean VERY bad. Also I picked up an S4 at the store the other day and watched frame rate stuttering while going through the UI. On a device with top specs in the game, I shouldn’t see any frame rate stuttering at all. Plus I loathe Samsung’s design aesthetic when it comes to UI changes.

      With all that said i’ve never seen a stock android experience lag, so its easy for me to choose. A few gimmicky features or a phone that doesn’t lag… I choose no lag.

      1. If ryan (i think that is the devs name) made a sgs one click lag fix i would root it in a heartbeat. It was so easy on my galaxy s (vibrant) and it was a jewel of an app. but rooting the gs2 and gs3 through odin is a more stressful experience more so of the fear of bricking. i know odin is pretty idiot proof but one click app was great and no computer needed.

    5. The biggest want (for me atleast) is for instant updates. My nexus 4 is far from stock but I have it tricked out the way I like it. I’d have to say that’s so the second want.

    6. only idiots down vote…

      1. Ok? Thanks for sharing your opinion. Wanna know how many fucks I gave? 0 fucks were given. Side note I don’t think I’ve ever down voted anyone. So if you wrote that in reply to me on accident then I accept your apology.

        1. Chill out I think rockmarz was defending you. As of the time of this writing you have 9 down and 1 up vote

          1. thank you sir i cannot see the downvotes because i am on disqus in my dashboard i have issued an apology to rockmarz and i would like to issue one to you as well. my sincere apologies… may a flock of vaginas find your crotch by days end.

          2. im sure rockmarz is one of those downvotes now. lol me and my fucking mouth…er fingers?

  5. I am actually glad this is happening. It means that I will be able to get almost stock Android with the features I wanted. For the first time ever I like what a company did with Android.

  6. why would anyone buy a phone with lowered specs that doesnt have the software features that helps market the phone? I mean a stock dual core processor with 720p resolution, I already have that in the galaxy nexus. I would not be interested in a Gpe Moto X.

    1. For the carrier price I agree but I don’t agree with you about the specs. The Moto X is much faster than your Galaxy Nexus. If the play store price is significantly cheaper than the carrier price then I’d easily buy it.

      I have 2 family members and a friend that want to buy it based on the software features alone.

      1. You are correct. The features of the Moto X is the only reason i still talk about this phone. Im not too concern with the processor or the screen resoultion just used that to say i dont think its a worthy upgrade without the features. That comment was only towards a Gpe Moto x. Im glad they arent considering it.

    2. As a Galaxy Nexus user, let me just say this phone will destroy it. They may share the same number of CPU cores, but that’s where the differences end. The Moto X will outperform the Galaxy in every way, not least of which is battery life. As for the screen resolution, I hope more people stay at 720p. At anything under phablet size, all 1080p does is waste performance and battery life.

      1. I agree Moto X will smoke the galaxy nexus, but its not a big enough upgrade for me to consider ( for a Gpe Moto X). Im totally fine with 720p. The phone will perform better this way. The Moto X with all the features is a HOT PHONE in my book!

        1. I’m actually waiting for the Nexus 5. I’m hoping Google releases another $350 phone so I can go month-to-month. Plus, I hate seeing Verizon logos everywhere on my phone and it would be nice to get timely updates. (I know, I should root, but I’m worried I’ll brick my phone and end up having to buy another)

          1. By all means if your not comfortable with rooting, don’t and your probably better off with a nexus device, But just as an fyi I’ve never heard of anyone bricking a phone by rooting a device, almost every device eventually gets a one click root method on XDA, if you wait for those ( I usually do just because I’m lazy ) it’s rarely more than turning on usb debugging, connecting the phone via usb and clicking a button :)

            Bricking devices is usually a result of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing messing with bootloaders and/or rom flashing

          2. Thanks for the info! I’m going to try that on my Galaxy Nex as soon as I upgrade. I plan on keeping it as something of a holiday device (read: the one I won’t miss if I get drunk and lose it) and it would be nice to be able to update at will, since Verizon decided that their version apparently isn’t an actual Nexus device.

          3. Me to! Im waiting to see what the Nexus 5 will bring. I already ordered a sim card for str8 talk (at&t sim), but I really dont want to give up verizon coverage. I live in North Georgia and frequently go to Clemson SC and verizon has the best coverage by far. Im just tired of $140 phone bills when i could pay $45.

          4. I’m waiting for the N5, too. Hoping it remains a good price (and I want a 32GB version).

            Though, truth be told, I’m still 100% happy with my GSM G’Nex. It’s been a great phone in my experience.

      2. I agree that the Moto X will outperform the galaxy nexus, but as an owner of the galaxy S4 (I upgraded from the 720p nexus 4) I can tell you that 1080p looks greats and the battery life/performance of my S4 (With GPe rom) is much better than the nexus 4, there is no reason to turn down 1080p goodness with the right phone. 720p is adequate I agree and it doesn’t make me dismiss the moto X at all, and only the most discerning will notice a difference, but the battery life/performance concerns surrounding 1080p over vastly overstated. And in fact they said the same thing about moving from qHD to 720p

        1. i’m not disagreeing with you, but the only thing i will say is you cant compare the nexus 4 to the gs4 when comparing 720 to 1080p. The two screens are different technologies, and the Nexus 4 screen (which i have) is inferior to other 720 screens like the One X’s screen (which i used to have). Gotta compare 720p samoled to 1080 samoled… aka gs3 to gs4 screen, or One X or HTC One screen, if all you are trying to compare is the 720/1080 resolution debate.

          1. I’ll agree my comparing IPS LCD to samoled was wrong, but I don’t think nexus 4 had an inferior screen by any measure IPS displays are very highly ranked, again maybe like I seem to prefer samoled, you simply prefer SLCD2 over samoled and IPS

        2. I think people are forgetting that while the Moto X is 720p it is not pentile like other 720p SAMOLED phones(Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, etc)
          Pentile 1080p vs non-pentile 720p is not a huge difference at this screen size.

          1. Hrm, you have a good point. I actually didn’t know the S4 was pentile, maybe I just prefer samoled.

      3. No surprise that it will “destroy” it. It’s using technology inside that’s almost 2 years newer than what’s in the G’Nex (though i still love my GSM G’Nex and it runs like a champ on Android 4.3). :)

        David obviously just counts cores and looks at resolution and calls it a day. Not paying attention to improvements in RAM speed, I/O, CPU core power and efficiency, GPU power, etc. ;)

        1. read my other comments for a better explanation for why i stated what i did. if i only cared about cores and specs i would bash this phone all together not just a “Gpe” Moto X. without the software features the specs of this phone wont sell it. that was my point. I happen to like the Moto X because of its features.

          1. Don’t worry. I downvoted your reply too.

            Thanks. I enjoyed the experience.

          2. no problem. if you read other post i have more comments you can down vote. Pleas help yourself!

          3. Haha! Yeah.

            That was pretty unnecessary on “Guest’s” part. Upvote from me!

          4. I’ll be 100% honest. I don’t care about this phone at all (sacrilege, I know /s). By the way, I think it’s retaining the software features you’re talking about. That’s the main reason it’s not a GPE phone.

            I like the concept of the phone, and the features, and the specifications don’t bother me. But its cost, off contract, is likely to be high (we’ll see). I’ll wait for the Nexus 5. That’s been my plan all along.

          5. yea thats what i was saying, That im glad they decided against the Gpe edition. Were basically saying the same thing. I hope they keep the off contract price down also.

          6. Hmm. So, are you waiting for a Nexus 5, too, then?

            I love my G’Nex, but I’m interested in the N5 as well. My G’Nex (when I decide to switch) will make a great backup phone, though.

    3. I agree with you. and if pricing rumors are correct then the N4 is the better value and sitting right next to it on the play store

  7. I’m not surprised. It’s 99% stock already. And its not the Moto X without those Moto Xtras.

  8. i wonder if it will have a sweet spot baked in for google glass?

  9. I hope it will be cheaper. I will upgrade to this after my year old gs3. I HATE ME GS3 battery life it runs out so quickly and ill be amazed with the moto x. Idc about specs I did last year with the samsung gs3 and it doesn’t even play games good without lag. I ill still wait for the nexus 5 and reviews of the lg g2 but those are my three options

    1. You should throw cm10.1 on there. I had some game lag with touchwiz but it vanished when I put on cyanogenmod

      1. How would you do that?

        1. well if you are on verizon, you would start here, but please do a lot of research before you start so you don’t mess up your phone: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2332825

          That will unlock the bootloader and root your phone.
          Then from recovery you would do a factory reset wipe and then flash cyanogenmod and google apps for your device.
          cm10.1 for vzw s3: http://get.cm/?device=d2vzw
          gapps: http://goo.im/gapps

          1. Will it take away my contacts and pictures???

          2. Yes it will I suggest backing up everything you want to keep to your computer because it will wipe everything and don’t forget to make a backup of your phone in case anything goes wrong

  10. “Instead, it will be the same device that all carriers are getting when it’s slated to launch later this summer.”

    Same device that all carriers are getting? I won’t hold my breath to see if this is true. Although, it would be AWESOME! The past shows there is an unlikely chance that they will sell a version that works on Verizon from Google Play Store.

    1. I so wish we could get this for Verizon. With Moto’s security, there’s unlikely to be a way to unlock the bootloader on Verizon and at&t. I really want this phone on Verizon too and with my gnex contract up in 2 days, I guess I can leave and go to T-Mobile if I feel I could get a better deal. I really would hate to lose unlimited data though

      1. Your contract isn’t up in two days, that is just the early upgrade of 20 months that is coming on the 15th. Your contract is up on December 15th.

        1. well how about that, learn somethin new every day.

      2. I believe that the bootloaders for all of Motorola’s older Snapdragon based devices have already been cracked (this includes the Razor HD, Razor Maxx HD, and the Artrix HD). So, all hope is not lost. Plus, a “developer” version will be released for Verizon and AT&T and an unlocked one from Google Play.


  11. It can be as close to stock as you want, but it’s still not a nexus. The Nexus S just got it’s 4.3 factory image released by Google. I am curious to see if Motorola will honor the 18 month update pledge it suggested other manufacturers honor.

    1. Where is the 4.3 factory image for the the Nexus S? 4.1.2 is the last version of Android for that device.


  12. Google makes no sense with the “Google Edition phones”. Are they nexus-like.. who brands them.. why do they need to be made? Why does Google then sell phones in their store that aren’t Google Edition phones. I love google but once again they confuse the consumer.

    1. Google needs a device to develop Android on (instead of working on a theoretical device) and thus, there are Nexus phones. However, with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, Google made Android so as it can work on many devices with little change. The Google Play Edition (GPe) phones prove that. These phones showcase the Android designed for the Nexus devices on non-Nexus devices that people are really into at the moment. In return Samsung, HTC, and Motorola seem have obtained a new Android version way before Google announced it, unlike prior Android versions where everyone had wait for Google to release it. Their respective OEMs update the GPe devices, not Google; but at least the OEMS should be able to update all of their devices more quickly now.


  13. I don’t see why this is such a revelation. The Moto X, while very close to stock Android, is NOT stock Android (Active Notifications, the camera app, the touchless control).

    The stock Android on the GPE of HTC One and SGS4 are a lot closer to true vanilla Android (though there are some minor additions, like Beats Audio on the HTC One, for example, but that’s much smaller than an entire new camera app). Anyway, that’s just my two cents on the subject.

  14. this is a slap to the potential purchase of this phone. will it receive timely updates?

    1. I think that this is awesome news. Wanted to keep the motorola features. Besides that one will probably have an unlockable bootloaders so 100% stock android will be easy to port.

  15. Fart apps on fart phones. Android.

  16. tinyurl.com/l3cselt


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets