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Teaser: Hello Moto (X)?

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by Tim Yu

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 08:51 AM MDT

 

Mid summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and that means the harvest of fall flagship handsets is just getting underway. (The exception are Apples, which are planted and picked all in one afternoon in September.)

 

The past two weeks brought our first crop. A new authorization for a Motorola device in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database arrived yesterday. Just about in time for Motorola's expected August/September launch of its flagship (read: Moto X) devices.

 

Prior to that, S4GRU staff discovered a Motorola device filing last week with FCC ID IHDT56UC2, approved for LTE bands 2/4/5/7/12/17/25/29/41 in addition to the standard W-CDMA and GSM bands. Quick staff analysis of the filing lead to the conclusion that it was a either a fully unlocked version or a T-Mobile variant -- due to onboard VoWi-Fi and intra band band 4 carrier aggregation, both of which T-Mobile is pushing hard.

 

But other tech media discovered and wrote articles on the handset filing -- with some speculating that it was for Sprint as well, due to the inclusion of LTE bands 25/41. Did they overlook that band 26 and any CDMA2000 capability were absent? We know very well that Sprint devices must have LTE bands 25/26/41 and CDMA2000 band classes 0/1/10 at the minimum.

 

So, we waited with watchful eye for any new authorizations from Motorola, expecting a Sprint variant soon. Indeed, Motorola delivered FCC ID IHDT56UC1.

 

Fully Sprint CCA/RRPP and VZW/AT&T/T-Mobile compatible

 

This handset is fully certified for the Sprint network and those of its CCA/RRPP partners. It also completely covers VZW and T-Mobile network capabilities, mostly for AT&T, too, though lacking Ma Bell's emerging LTE bands 29/30.

 

For a full rundown, it supports:

 

LTE bands: 2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 41

CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10

W-CDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5

GSM: 850 / 1900

 

So, Sprint Spark? Got it. VZW XLTE? Got it. T-Mobile band 12? Got it. This handset does almost everything -- including carrier aggregation.

 

Sprint Band 41 Carrier Aggregation Capable

 

The device is a category 6 UE and supports all of the myriad FDD carrier aggregation combos present in the unlocked or T-Mobile variant detailed earlier. But this variant also includes Sprint's LTE Advanced implementation of TDD carrier aggregation on band 41 -- aka 2x CA band 41 or B41+B41. For reference, S4GRU confirmed activation of carrier aggregation and wrote about it a few weeks ago.

 

Now, this is the seventh announced device to support Sprint's band 41 carrier aggregation, joining the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, HTC One M9, LG G Flex 2, and LG G4.

 

Edit: There may be issues with MXPE's B41 carrier aggregation compatibility with the Sprint Network.

 

To wrap things up, I am not conclusively declaring that this is the 2015 Moto X nor that it is definitively headed to Sprint postpaid -- we all know what happened with the Sprint variant 2014 Moto X. But the band 41 carrier aggregation support screams Sprint and the FCC authorization timing comes spot on for an August/September device launch, as historically has been the time when Motorola has launched its flagship devices.

 

So, you be the judge...

 

Source: FCC

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Looks very nice!

 

 

I am looking forward to this device as well as the upcoming Nexus 5 2015 would should have similar multi-band support.

 

 

As you indicated, I wish that the C1 variant would have included support for band 29 which will be an important CA band for AT&T.

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I may be a 2nd device that is compatible with Project Fi...

 

Just a speculation, correct me if I'm missing something says otherwise.

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As you indicated, I wish that the C1 variant would have included support for band 29 which will be an important CA band for AT&T.

 

No, there really is not any reason for this Sprint "UC1" variant to have included band 29 for supplemental downlink carrier aggregation on AT&T.  That capability is already covered on the aforementioned "UC2" variant, which will be the unlocked version, the T-Mobile variant, and/or the AT&T/T-Mobile omnibus variant.

 

AT&T handset LTE band future proofing is a hot mess right now.  Some AT&T handsets include bands 29/30, some include only one or the other, and some include neither.  The only consistency is inconsistency.  A Sprint variant has no need to get mixed up in that muddle.

 

AJ

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No, there really is not any reason for this Sprint "UC1" variant to have included band 29 for supplemental downlink carrier aggregation on AT&T.  That capability is already covered on the aforementioned "UC2" variant, which will be the unlocked version, the T-Mobile variant, and/or the AT&T/T-Mobile omnibus variant.

 

AT&T handset LTE band future proofing is a hot mess right now.  Some AT&T handsets include bands 29/30, some include only one or the other, and some include neither.  The only consistency is inconsistency.  A Sprint variant has no need to get mixed up in that muddle.

 

AJ

 

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I'm actually pretty excited for this. It's either this thing or the Nexus 5 2015 for me.

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I'm actually pretty excited for this. It's either this thing or the Nexus 5 2015 for me.

 

Overall size will be about halfway in between the 2014 Moto X and the Nexus 6, so take that into consideration.  And tested RF performance looks average to good, just not outstanding.  We did not have time to cover those issues in this teaser article, so we may run a follow up.  More likely, though, we will discuss them in greater detail in a dedicated thread in The Forums.

 

AJ

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I'm actually pretty excited for this. It's either this thing or the Nexus 5 2015 for me.

I'm with you there.  I'm leaning towards the LG G4 right now but, if this (or the Nexus 5 2015) is priced significantly better, I'll probably go for it. 

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No, there really is not any reason for this Sprint "UC1" variant to have included band 29 for supplemental downlink carrier aggregation on AT&T.  That capability is already covered on the aforementioned "UC2" variant, which will be the unlocked version, the T-Mobile variant, and/or the AT&T/T-Mobile omnibus variant.

 

AT&T handset LTE band future proofing is a hot mess right now.  Some AT&T handsets include bands 29/30, some include only one or the other, and some include neither.  The only consistency is inconsistency.  A Sprint variant has no need to get mixed up in that muddle.

 

AJ

 

I'm hoping they'll sell the UC1 variant unlocked too, like the Nexus 6.

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Overall size will be about halfway in between the 2014 Moto X and the Nexus 6, so take that into consideration...

 

AJ

 

Yeah, I'm afraid they might increase the screen size to 5.5" which if true then I would pass on this device. I won't buy a device that I can't use with one hand. This would be too bad because I find the current size of the X to be pretty good (albeit at the top of the range size-wise for single handed use phones).

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Overall size will be about halfway in between the 2014 Moto X and the Nexus 6, so take that into consideration.  And tested RF performance looks average to good, just not outstanding.  We did not have time to cover those issues in this teaser article, so we may run a follow up.  More likely, though, we will discuss them in greater detail in a dedicated thread in The Forums.

 

AJ

Ack! Maybe not then. The original X size was perfect, and it would have been a no-brainer for me if it had Spark.

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Looking at the overall device dimensions in the FCC filings, one can rather positively deduce a screen size of 5.5". That's too bad. Not sure why companies insist on making these giant phones nowadays. You'd think after Moto's experience with the Nexus 6 they'd know better. Sigh.

 

I guess the Nexus 5 2015 is pretty much the only hope left for a decently-sized Android flagship device for the rest of the year.

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