Motorola has now confirmed that customers who buy its newly-launched Moto Z4 should not expect to receive any firmware updates beyond Android Q. Based on recent reports citing company representatives, the company has no plans for further updates beyond that.
The news shouldn't come as much of a shock for fans of the brand since the Lenovo-owned company doesn't typically offer as many updates for devices that aren't flagships. But it does mean that Android R most likely won't be landing on the mid-range gadget.
The full extent of features and even the marketing name to be used for Android Q are still in development and will be kept at least partially under wraps for at least a couple more months. Android Q probably won't arrive for the Moto Z4 for at least a few months after it is finally announced in full. So Android R plans may be made in the future but that doesn't seem likely right now.
Not good news for the first 5G handset
There are plenty of reasons why the news that the Moto Z4 won't receive Android "R", while unsurprising, is bad news for early Moto Z4 adopters who had planned to hold onto the device for more than a year. Not least of all, this is undoubtedly going to be among the top contenders in the mid-range market thanks to solid specs and its sub-$500 pricing.
Motorola's latest smartphone features a Snapdragon 675 SoC, backed by 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of micro USB-expandable storage. A sizeable TurboPower charger-compatible 3,600mAh rounds out the internal inclusions, packed under the gadget's 6.39-inch OLED 2340 x 1080 display panel.
For cameras, the Moto Z4 packs in a 48-megapixel primary snapper and a 25-megapixel Quad Pixel front-facing sensor.
Coupled with near-stock Android OS — Android 9 Pie, out-of-the-box — and an aesthetically-pleasing metal exterior, the device should have easily been a great device for those who want a smartphone that's going to last a while.
That's all stepping past the fact that the Moto Z4 is also among the first 5G handsets to be made available. That requires an appropriate moto mod, which attaches to the back of the handset via magnetic pins. But it is still among the least expensive options for getting in on 5G at the very beginning of its roll-out and likely will be for some time after.
What does the lack of Android R really mean?
In effect, the Moto Z4 is among the most advanced mid-range gadgets on the market and now is also going to be among the most short-lived for users who need or want the latest updates and features.
Now, those features are nowhere near ready to be revealed just yet but hints are starting to appear regarding what at least a few of those could be.
Among the more interesting of those — so far — is a newly spotted scrolling screenshot tool that would bring the ordinarily manufacturer-specific feature to all of Android. Summarily, that would allow users to capture a window or app far beyond what can be seen on the display of a handset. That would be useful for those who like to share their in-app activity and for other purposes since what's on the screen at any moment varies so much from device to device.
Although that's just one small feature that's still unconfirmed, there are also certainly going to be much bigger and even more useful features that Moto Z4 users miss out on too if Motorola doesn't update the Moto Z4 past Android Q.