One of the elements which always managed to grab my interest when thinking about Android smartphones was that most of the time manufacturers will be working hard on releasing as many software updates for their device in order to increase its lifespan. Also as a lot of software updates will sometimes increase performance in a device or simply increase compatibility with a lot of the new Android apps which come out almost on a daily basis these days. In order to maintain a high level of competitiveness, manufacturers will work hard on updating their devices and releasing as many new features as possible.
There are occasions when this however is not possible and most manufacturers are trying to gain time by saying things like “it will be out soon” or “we are still optimizing it” and so forth. The device which had the bad luck to be one of the ones which didn’t get an update and won’t get one is the Motorola CLIQ XT. On the Motorola Support Forums, Matt, one of the Forum Managers, dropped the bomb on this device by announcing that, and I quote, “After comprehensive testing of the Android 2.1 upgrade for the CLIQ XT, we have concluded that this device will remain on Android 1.5. We realize many of you were anxiously awaiting this upgrade, but we aim to deliver software upgrades only when it will provide a better customer experience”.
From what that sounds like, we might have a case of a redneck tune up on a car which should get recycled. Apparently the device’s specs are not up to the challenge of optimally running Android 2.1 no matter how much effort was put into developing a custom ROM which would provide the best customer experience. The thing which did get my attention was that Motorola was honest about this to their users and didn’t blame it on lack of time or that the device wouldn’t need the update (yes Sony Ericsson, I’m looking at you and your lack of interest in the Xperia series). They tried it and it just won’t work, so they decided that this is the best course of action.
The statement released by Motorola does go on with some details regarding the issues they did encounter when trying to update the software on the device.
“Our product team members worked for months to attempt to create a version of Android 2.1 that would perform well on the CLIQ XT. When the software could not meet the basic performance standards required, they went back to the drawing board multiple times. They gave it everything they had. We even took the unprecedented step of investigating the benefits of code provided by the independent developer community to try to improve XT performance. In the end, we were not able to develop a version of Android 2.1 for CLIQ XT that would deliver an optimal customer experience.”
I’m sure that some CLIQ XT users out there will be pissed at this but Motorola announced that they won’t be bringing Android 2.1 Froyo to the CLIQ XT at all as it simply cannot be done because of the hardware specs of the device.1