There are gadget launches which are marked by elaborate presentations. Then there are those that are accompanied by much razzmatazz and/or celebrity involvement. There are even those where sometimes people make you wonder what on earth is being launched. And then there are those that cut to the chase straight away and are done and dusted before you know it.
And the last mentioned best describes Lenovo’s launch of the Moto G5 Plus in Delhi yesterday. No, we could not attend the event because of challenges of time, geography and traffic (the former caused by the latter two). But we followed the live stream of the event, right through, and whatever you can accuse Messrs Lenovo and Moto of, complexity certainly ain’t on the cards.
For, although things started a trifle late, we had everything done within less than an hour. Yes, in less than an hour, we had had four people on stage, had an oversight of Lenovo’s new dual product strategy, been introduced to the new Moto G5 Plus, been given an overview of the new phone’s capabilities, seen a couple of product films and even been told the price. Yes, all of that in well under an hour.
It was literally as simple as saying “Hello, Moto.” And well, we must confess that we are not complaining, for this was pretty much a presentation that followed the Apple presentation template of “talk about the brand, talk strategy, drop a few sales figures and market shares, and then bring on the product” template, albeit without the sheer theatrical ability that the company imbues its events with. No, this was a very vanilla version of that template. The two main speakers were Motorola Mobility’s new managing director, Sudhin Mathur, and the Head of Product Marking of the same company, Anuj Sharma. Both have been a dual act in Lenovo’s events for almost four years now, with Mathur generally sticking to matters corporate and strategy, and Sharma (who Mathur refers to as “the guy who eats, dreams, sleeps phones”) handling the product side of matters. It is not a spectacular partnership but it is a remarkably steady one, eschewing style for substance and speed time and again.
And this was in evidence yesterday once again. Sudhin Mathur took the stage first and once again walked us through Lenovo’s dual product strategy, revolving around the competitive co-existence of both Lenovo and Moto, and the response of the market to the company’s products in recent times. Matters of market share were touched, especially how Lenovo had progressed from being the 31st largest telephone brand (“There were only thirty other brands in the country at that time,” he remarked dryly) to one of the leading players in the highly competitive Indian market.
And then he left the stage for Anuj Sharma – the two did indulge in a brief but patently faux question and answer session that was frankly a trifle odd. Anuj then introduced the new Moto G5 Plus in some detail, but without getting into too many adjectives, and thankfully no endorsements from dubious celebrities. A lot of the talk focused on the much-improved camera of the device and one of the neat touches of the presentation was the use of a darkened box to highlight just how good the low-light photography of the new phone was (it even got a rare round of applause). No, we were not bombarded with comparisons with THAT phone and detailed comparative spec sheets. It was pretty much what the new phone was about and what it could do. The slides were not spectacularly designed or miracles of graphic wizardry. But they were informative enough and easy enough to read.
Sudhin Mathur came back on stage to announce the price (with no drama whatsoever – the revolving numbers used for the launch of the Vibe X2 are a dim memory now!), there was a statement from Flipkart. And that was it. Followers of Hugo Barra and Xiaomi would have shaken their heads in regret at the lack of theater and the absence of emotion, but we were not complaining. This was simplicity at its cut, dried and efficient best – speedy and simple. Perhaps as simple and speedy as the phone itself that was being launched.
Was it the greatest product launch we have ever seen? No, we would not say that – it is unlikely to make it to our list of memorable product launches. And yet, it ticked all the boxes for the media at which it was targeted: it was informative, clear and best of all, finished quickly, allowing everyone to get back and file their stories.
What better way to say “Hello, Moto” to a phone that prides itself on stock Android?