Motorola: we've learnt lessons from Razr

Motorola Dext - is it the future?
Motorola Dext - is it the future?

Motorola's release of the Dext with MotoBlur has been seen by some as the company's last chance to revive its fortunes, but will the new handset be enough to capture the public's imagination?

The MotoBlur overlay is designed to bring a new level of functionality to the Android system, but has the company realised where it went wrong after relying on the success of the Razr, particularly in the US?

"We're like a new Motorola," Simon Collinson, Marketing Director of Western Europe for Motorola told TechRadar. "We've reduced the number of platforms, the Dext is the first of many new devices going forward and yes, lessons have been learnt. We're now much more focused and believe we're we've got something pretty unique (in MotoBlur)."

It seems that Motorola is placing a lot of emphasis on the new MotoBlur platform, an overlay to Google's 'normal' Android OS.

It basically aggregates all your social network feeds and emails into widgets on the home screen, much like HTC's Sense UI (but with a greater number of accounts supported).

Too little, too late?

However, some might say Motorola has brought this proposition out a little too late, allowing the likes of HTC to steal a march.

"It's good to have consumer choice," says Collinson. "We can see variants across the market, but we have a great consumer proposition. We think the Dext is a first in terms of the 'social smartphone' so we don't want to compare ourselves to A or B. The feedback from carriers has made us confident."

Whether the Dext will be a success or not depends on the price. It's going to cost around £80 on a two year contract in the US, which may be too expensive to really differentiate it in the UK market.

But Collinson refused to be drawn on price ahead of the UK launch on 15 September with Orange likely to give more of an idea.

He wouldn't say this phone was pivotal to Motorola's future, but did say it needs to be a success: "It's an important handset for sure, especially as the first with MotoBlur. It's very important, but we're thinking long term."

He also confirmed to TechRadar there will be multiple releases coming in the 'near future', which won't be 'me too' devices.

If Motorola is thinking long term, then the Dext is crucial. Unless the MotoBlur platform captures the public's imagination, it's difficult to see a plan B for the once great company, especially as its cut ties with other mobile OS platforms.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.