Android Oreo Hitting Unlocked Moto Z (Play) Units In The US

Android 8.0 Oreo is now hitting unlocked variants of the Moto Z and Moto Z Play in the United States, with numerous users reporting they started receiving the operating system update earlier this week. The two handsets were already upgraded to Oreo in select markets such as India and Brazil earlier this spring as part of Motorola's soak tests, with the stateside rollout being expected to take several days until it's completed. Originally released in September of 2016 with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow before being upgraded to Android 7.1.1 Nougat a year later, the Moto Z and Moto Z Play are now reaching their end-of-life in terms of software support and neither handset is expected to be officially upgraded to Android P after the next major iteration of Google's mobile OS hits the stable channel in the third quarter of the year.

The Lenovo-owned tech giant has often been criticized for its software support practices, with reviewers and consumers highlighting them as the most obvious weakness of its product portfolio which is otherwise largely oriented on value-focused offerings delivering a positive features-to-price ratio. The Moto Z and Moto Z Play are both highly illustrative examples of that problem, with Motorola first promising they'll receive their Oreo upgrades last fall but taking eight months to deliver them. While announcing its first 2018 smartphones last month, the original equipment manufacturer said it's also working on a new Beta Experiences program meant to provide enthusiasts with early versions of its software and possibly address some of the aforementioned criticism.

The beta initiative has yet to launch and no firm details on the endeavor have yet been provided by the company. Motorola remains the fastest-selling unlocked phone brand in the U.S. where it's currently attempting to mimic its Latin America business model, its newly appointed President Sergio Buniac said last month. The company's next Android smartphone is expected to launch next week as the modular Moto Z3 Play.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]