AH Primetime: 5 Steps Lenovo-Motorola Could Take To Be Great

January 30, 2014 - Written By Patrick Northcraft

We all love Google and Android, and that is a reason why some people are very scared at the idea of Lenovo buying out Motorola from Google.  Google and Motorola have come out with some very impressive hardware together, but the facts can’t be denied that they have not done the best financially.  Motorola’s recent smartphones, the Moto X and the budget friendly Moto G have been rather impressive handsets in their own different ways, but they simply did not sell as well as either company would have liked.  This is where Lenovo comes into the picture.  Lenovo is a major phone manufacturer whose main market is in China, and they have experience with making some pretty good hardware.  Unlike Motorola, they have quite the experience dealing with the Chinese market, something Moto hasn’t done since being acquired by Google less than two years ago.  This, alongside other factors is why this merger may not be as bad as some people initially thought.

First, we need to look at hardware.  As great as Moto’s phones were from a software perspective, they simply cannot compete on the same level as high-end devices such as the Galaxy Note 3, the Nexus 5, the LG G2, or the HTC One.  Lenovo announced some high-end phones at CES 2014 which shows that the tech giant has the resources and the ability to make quality devices that have great power.  For example, they have announced the Vibe Z, which packs a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 1080p screens.  In simple terms, Lenovo can give Motorola’s phones a hardware facelift.  With all the software features that we loved in the Moto X, it would be astounding to see them in a phone that could stand up to the major industry competitors right now, like the Samsung Galaxy S and Note lines.  As a TouchWiz-to-vanilla convert, I would love to see more high-end devices that would hopefully run stock Android as opposed to skins.  If the Moto X and Moto G are any indication (assuming Lenovo sticks with that and doesn’t put their own skin over it), then we may get some devices that can compete on the high-end of the market.

This next bit is a little bit more subjective.  With that warning, allow me to say that Lenovo can make a device look very nice from an aesthetic point of view.  For example, I have their giant 17 inch G780 laptop that I use as a desktop replacement at college, and I think that they make that look pretty darned good.  It’s hard to make something that large look good, but with a nice finish and an appealing keyboard design, Lenovo did it.  The build quality is excellent as well.  While people liked the wood finishes that you could add to the Moto X through the Moto Maker, imagine if superior build quality came with all phones.  I know that it was a major complaint that the build quality of Samsung’s earlier Galaxy S and Note lines were sub par.  Some people don’t like the feel of the Nexus 5.  However, the metal design of the HTC One has received much critical acclaim, and the build quality cannot be ignored.  It matters, and hopefully Lenovo can come out strong and help establish Moto in that field.

Photos with stock Android phones have been… sketchy as of late.  There was the whole fiasco with the Nexus 5 on 4.4 KitKat having a terrible camera, although Google did fix it with the 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 updates.  Basically, if Lenovo follows what they are doing with the Vibe Z, then we could be seeing some quality shooters on the next big Moto phone.  The Vibe Z is expected to come with a 13MP camera, which is superior to what had been placed in Moto phones before.

Lenovo has proven that they can handle acquiring businesses.  About ten years ago, Lenovo bought out IBM’s PC business and their ThinkPad laptop brand.  Simply put, they have done well with it.  They are still shipping out PCs that are of quality design year after year after year.  Another thing that needs to be addressed is that Lenovo is clearly looking to expand their markets.  Today, they are the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in existence.  The reason we don’t hear about them as much as Samsung or HTC is because the majority of their business is in China.  Lenovo has expressed interest in expanding globally, and they certainly seem on the path to do it.  With the purchase of Motorola, we might see Lenovo phones on shelves right next to our favorite brands within a year or two.  How do you feel about this?  Can, and should Lenovo go global after acquiring Moto?  Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Source:  CNET