Report: All 2016 Moto phones will have fingerprint sensors, five-inch screens

Parent company Lenovo doesn't want its mobile lineup to lag behind when it comes to core features and design.

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

Your fingers will be mighty busy should you opt for one of the new Moto phones due for release this year.

That’s because all the new devices will have a screen of at least five inches and a fingerprint sensor, according to Lenovo’s Senior Vice President of Mobile Chen Xudong Liu.

The report from Chinese site Tech Sina says the new mobile boss wants to see fingerprint technology in all devices in order to stay competitive. This is the second piece of big news to come from Chen Xudong, who recently said Google Play Services would be in China this year.

The insistence of a minimum of a five-inch screen size reflects the reality that the world has moved on to bigger phones. It’s unclear what this will mean for phones like the Moto E, which only has a 4.3-inch screen. It sounds like the new Moto lineup could be more high-end, so perhaps Lenovo will nix such devices or bump up the specs and build. Lately, even low-cost phones have started to sport larger screen sizes and sometimes even metal frames.

Xudong did praise Moto Maker and other customization options that have helped the Motorola brand stand out. But he indicated phones specifically targeted at China instead may use a metal frame, which is a popular choice among Chinese buyers.

One quip to keep an eye on is that Xudong said the company might eventually use Lenovo’s custom Vibe interface instead of stock Android. This would be a major downer, because one of the strengths of the Moto lineup is how the phones run an interface that mirrors stock Android. Moto fans may need to make their voices heard on this one.

Why this matters: This is the first real sense we’ve had of what Lenovo’s acquisition will mean for the Motorola Moto brand. While the Moto X Pure Edition is a great phone, the lack of a fingerprint sensor is a major pain point - for a little more money you can get a Nexus 5X or 6P and use one touch to unlock the phone and use services like Android Pay.

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Derek Walter

IDG News Service
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