Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Motomods - Everything you need to know
During the Lenovo Tech World 2016 event, Lenovo finally took the wrapper off the brand new Moto Z and Moto Z Force Android smartphones, which are the first to boast modular add-ons in the shape of Motomods. Here’s everything you need to know.
Moto Z Release Date: September 2016
Moto Z Price: Not yet announced, possibly more expensive than Moto X
Moto Z specs: 5.5-inch QHD Amoled screen, Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage plus micro SD slot, USB Type-C.
Moto Z special features: Modular back design that snap on for extra features. No 3.5mm headphone jack.
What are the Moto Z and Moto Z Force?
Replacing the Moto X range of flagship smartphones, the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force could be Moto's most impressive smartphones ever, with potential to change the somewhat stagnant mobile phone industry.
There's all-new design, improved specs, and most of all a modular back plate system called Motomods that will enable you to personalise and extend your phone's functionality.
Moto Z Features and Specs
The firm’s brand new flagship device is the world’s thinnest of its kind at just 5.2mm. It has a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels) with 535 ppi. In terms of power, there’s a Snapdragon 820 processor, backed up with 4GB RAM.
There’s 30-hours of battery life via the 2600mAh cell that can be replenished to the tune of 8 hours in 15 minutes. Moto Z also has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front facing camera, while video is captured at 1080p (60fps) and 4K (30fps).
In terms of storage, there’s 32GB and 64GB models, which can be boosted by a 2TB microSD card, while the device also offers fingerprint security. There's also a "water-repellent nano coating" but no statements about resistance.
Interestingly, as revealed by the spec sheet for the Verizon Droid version of the device, it will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead buyers will need to use an adapter via the USB-C port or go wireless using Bluetooth.
Moto Z Force Features and Specs
The second iteration of the new Moto Z range also offers the Shattershield “unbreakable” display technology we first saw in the Moto X Force. There's also 40 hours of battery life, thanks to the 3050mAh battery and the company’s fastest ever TurboPower charging. Moto claims just 15 minutes in the wall will offer 15 hours of extra battery life, while 20 minutes will charge the battery to 50 per cent.
The Moto Z Force will also have a 21-megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and Laser Autofocus.
Everything else remains the same as the standard Moto Z release, meaning the same display, processors, memory and storage options.
Moto Z and Moto Z Force: Price and Release Date
Motorola’s long-term partner Verizon will have first dibs on both devices, launching under the Droid moniker in September. Both devices will be available globally and unlocked in September.
The first Moto X hit shops on August 23, 2013. The Second-generation Moto X shipped on September 5, 2014.
Finally, last year's two-pronged Moto X release split the difference - the Moto X Play becoming available on August 18 and the Moto X Style doing so on September 2, so look for an early September launch.
The company is yet to reveal how much the phones will cost. Last year's Moto X family started from £239 for the Moto X Play and £339 for the Moto X Style. We would expect the Moto Z family to follow similar pricing.
Having said that, it's worth reiterating that this is a pretty major revamp for Motorola's premium range. With a brand new premium design and an advanced new modular ecosystem to support, there's a chance the Moto Z family will be more expensive all-round. We certainly can't see it being any cheaper than last year's Moto X launch price.
Also worth noting is that Motorola's entry-level Moto G range has crept up in price of late. Is this an indication that the company's flagship range will follow suit?
What about the Moto Z Play?
There isn't one... yet.
What are Motomods?
While the Moto Z and Moto Z Force look like a big step forward for the Lenovo-owned smartphone giant, the larger story here is the reveal of the Modomods modular accessories.
These accessories, which will beat Google’s Project Ara to market, simply snap to the rear of the phone via a super strong magnet and work instantly, without having to reboot the device. Afterall, "snapping, is the new flipping," according to Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang.
The company debuted three Motomods that will launch alongside the Moto Z and Moto Z force when they arrive globally in September. There's no word yet on how much they'll cost.
The JBL Sound Boost offers what appeared to be some extremely loud sound clipped to the back of the device that’s also capable of handling phone calls as well as streaming services. This particular Motomod offers a battery pack that will offer 10 hours of sound before even touching your Moto Z battery.
The Instashare is an attachable projector that instantly turns your Moto Z smartphone into a 70 inch display. Lenovo says that means no more crowding around a screen or passing it around to look at photos. The device can be placed at any angle via the kickstand and will handle whatever is on the screen. It also has a built in battery that will offer 1 hour of viewing before taxing the Moto Z’s lifeforce.
Finally, Moto introduced a super sleek Power Pack, which instantly adds 22 hours of battery life to the phone. The pack itself can also be wirelessly charged.
Motomods: What’s next?
The three examples that’ll launch alongside the Moto Z phones are just the beginning for the Motomods platform, according to Ashton Kutcher who was on stage at Lenovo Tech World 2016.
Moto showcases concepts that would offer hypercharging (85% in 15m), screen casting, projected keyboards, and a HDMI interface. The company also mentioned potential for a blood pressure monitor, linked to a cloud service informing doctors of any changes.
However, the innovation won’t end with Moto. The company is launching a developer program to encourage companies to built a hardware and software ecosystem for Motomods and is offering $1m in prize money to the best innovations.
All Motomods will continue to work with future iterations of the Moto Z range.
The idea is to deconstruct the smartphone in order to cut costs and reduce unnecessary hardware bloating. By offering smartphone buyers add ons, not all sensors will need to be shoehorned into phones. This should, at least, cut costs.
Stock Android N?
Lenovo didn't make any specific mention of Android N, but it will be out by the time the Motorolas are released so we should expect them to launch with the latest version available. They will, thankfully, use stock Android and not move to a custom version.
Are you excited for the Moto Z range and can Motomods shake up the smartphone industry? Share your thoughts below.