Motorola’s Moto X4 is Project Fi’s first Android One smartphone

Image: Motorola

The United States will be getting its first taste of Android One very soon. Today, Google and Motorola announced that the Moto X4 will be coming to Google’s Project Fi wireless carrier with the stripped-down Android One treatment. The Project Fi Moto X4 will cost $399 and come in two colors: black or silver. It will be available for preorder starting today.

The Android One version of the X4 is a little different than the one Motorola is selling in Europe and other parts of the world. It has a “pure Android experience”, which means that it lacks some of the enhancements that Motorola adds to its Android phones. You won’t find Moto Voice, Moto Access, attentive display, or one-button nav options on the Fi phone, but it will have Motorola’s helpful gestures and some display customizations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fi X4 will not have Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant either — the Google Assistant will be the only voice assistant option on the phone.

The Fi Moto X4 is launching with Android 7.1 Nougat, but Google says an update to Android Oreo will be available before the end of the year. Interestingly, the company also says that the Android One Moto X4 will be among the first phones to receive Android P when that is released. (Android P confirmed, I guess.)

Image: Google

Otherwise, the hardware of the Fi Moto X4 is the same as the one announced earlier this month. It has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 630 processor, 3,000mAh battery, and IP68 water and dust resistance. It has a dual-rear camera with 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors, plus a 16-megapixel front camera with special low-light mode.

Not only is this phone an important mark for Android One, it’s also the first non-Google phone to be offered on Google’s own Project Fi service. Prior to this, the only phones that were sold for and worked officially with Fi were Google’s Nexus and Pixel phones. Since the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL last year, the cheapest Project Fi phone available cost $649. The Moto X4 obviously makes it much less costly to join Fi than before.

Google is giving some incentive for existing Fi customers to upgrade, as well. It is offering up to $165 on trade-in for select Nexus devices, plus a $50 bonus trade-in credit if it’s done before October 5th.

This probably won’t be the last Android One phone in the US — Google has committed to bringing the Android One experience to more price points in the future — nor will it likely be the last non-Google Project Fi phone to come. But it is a good mid-range option from a known manufacturer, which should help bring more into the Project Fi fold.

Correction, 5:05PM, September 20th, 2017: Corrected mention of Google Photos storage — Google is providing the standard unlimited high-quality photo backup with the Moto X4 that every Google Photos user has access to, not the unlimited full-quality backups that Pixel phones have.

Comments

We really need stuff like this to also come to Canada, if you americans think you have it bad try looking at device prices here in Canada.

Here’s your new Nexus.

Will updates be handled by Google or Lenovo, though?

Google will update.

Also, you’re quite right about this being a pseudo-Nexus. The pricing is good, as is the hardware.

May not be bleeding edge, but software updates from the mother ship is most important.

And the manufacturer gets to brand the phone all they want while offering android the way Google intended. It’s a win win situation. Looking forward to devices from LG, Samsung, and maybe even Sony.

I mean, I don’t disagree, but the fact that this’ll be launching with Nougat kinda gives me pause on declaring it ‘the new Nexus’ or some such. I mean, I suppose we’ll see how it ends up going, but… Well, I have a Nexus, right now, and it’s running Oreo. This is a new phone that… Won’t be.

Does it really matter if it’s running 7.1.2 at launch and then goes to 8.0.0 in a month? Not really.

Nothing drastically new on 8.0.0 on my 5X.

If it doesn’t get Treble its a big deal. I don’t know if they will be treblizing the 630 or not.

Well, they said it’d be before the end of the year, which could mean late December for all we know.

Besides, it’s not so much about Oreo itself – I agree that it’s not exactly an amazing update, outside of Treble – as it is what we can expect going forward. If people are looking to this phone for a Nexus-like experience, then it having outdated software out the gate doesn’t exactly establish a great precedent.

Totally getting this over the Pixel at $849 once my Nexus 5X calls it quits. I used the G5 earlier this year and was positively surprised by how well put together it was.

I might actually just get the G5 Plus.

If you’re not tied to Project Fi (I am) then the G5 Plus is certainly a capable phone at a bargain price.

I’m unfortunately on the fence with this though. I had a Moto X Pure which I loved from a hardware standpoint, but then Lenovo took over and totally effed the update policy. Even if this is handled better, I have a hard time giving my money to them.

At least it sends Lenovo the message you think their software is shite.

It’s not that their software is shit, and in fact I found all of the Moto software enhancements besides their camera app to be very useful and well done (although those all pre-sauteed the Lenovo acquisition). The issue is their slow to non existent OS and security updates, which were the chief selling point of the Motorola brand. I would say this phone is different but the fact that it isn’t shipping with O is troubling.

Wait is the X4 ONLY coming to Project Fi? Or will it also be sold unlocked on Amazon like all other Moto phones? What about other carriers like T-Mobile?

Wait is the X4 ONLY coming to Project Fi?

No.

Or will it also be sold unlocked on Amazon like all other Moto phones?

Yes, but not the Android One version.

Motorola’s website shows the unlocked version with Alexa so hopefully that’s still coming.

Not on the Android One version. Android One = nearly Nexus/Pixel level of stock but with other manufacturers, so no customizations like Alexa.

I’m not talking about the Android One version. I’m saying the Moto X4 is still coming to the US as an unlocked device outside of Google’s Android One program.

Maybe. That has not been announced yet (in terms of a US release, the version with Alexa has been announced for European release currently).

Tempting. My Nexus 5X is just a year old and has run flawlessly. However, it is a ticking time bomb. I do have an extra year of warranty though through Amex, so it’s a matter of relying on that or taking advantage of the trade in.

I’m in the same boat. My wife had a 5x before I did and hers bricked a couple months ago and she was forced to buy a Pixel. Although my phone is running fine, I’m tempted to jump on this for the max trade-in value. The only thing giving me pause is my distaste for Lenovorola after they screwed me on my Moto X Pure updates.

I’m sure there will be similar Android One phones to this next year.

You will miss your Nexus 5X’s camera.

Will I? It’s not that great. Then again, neither was my prior Moto G. It’s certainly much better than the old old old old G, but I don’t know if it’s that special.

That’s probably the main issue of a $200-300 phone: getting a decent camera.

Is there a difference between the Android One and Nexus software stacks?

Not particularly. But this does include the fi radio drivers and software that enable multiple networks that most other non google ‘stock’ android phones lack.

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