Moto Z and Z Force are official: Bets big on modularity

Lenovo has officially unveiled the much anticipated Moto Z flagship smartphone under the Moto brand during the Lenovo Tech World 2016. There is no more Motorola branding anywhere, and the new parent company might be decided to call it simply “Moto.” Lenovo bets big on the modularity this time around just like the LG’s approach with its G5. However, this is a much simpler take on the modular phone with ‘snappable’ mods, which the company calls “Moto Mods.” In addition, Moto Z Force is the more feature packed smartphone, and the Moto Z Droid Edition, Moto Z Droid Force Editions are the Verizon exclusive versions of the Moto Z and Z Force. We discussed in detail about these models later in this post.

Moto Z & Moto Z Force:

Moto Z and Z Force

Moto Z is a standard flagship smartphone while the Moto Z Force enhances the experience by offering the Moto’s trademarked Shutter Shield display. Technically, Moto Z Force should survive from the severe drops. Both the devices have got the stunning new design with protruded rear cameras. The design is unique and stylish too, the 16 “magic pins” at the back side of the devices are noticeable at first glance, which is meant to enable the whole new world of possibilities, which we discussed in a separate section in the post. The surprising fact is that the thinner Moto Z lacks the headphone jack, but Lenovo will ship the device with USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter in the box. The Moto Z is the first mainstream smartphones to come without 3.5mm jack. Furthermore, Lenovo claims that Moto Z is the world’s thinnest premium smartphone till date since it measures insanely thin at 5.2mm.

Moto Z and Z Force

Talking about the raw specifications, both the devices packs 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution. Under the hood, both packs Snapdragon 820 chipset with 4GB of RAM as a standard processing package. These two smartphones come with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with microSD card expansion.

However, the differences between these two devices start off with the cameras. The Moto Z packs 13MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, and OIS. The sensor is complemented with Dual LED flash for better low-light photography. Meanwhile, the Moto Z Force features a higher resolution 21MP rear shooter with similar f/1.8 aperture. Interestingly, the high-res sensor is OIS enabled too and feature Dual LED flash. Both the devices paired with 5MP front shooters and boasts front mounted fingerprint sensors.

Moto Z and Z Force

Talking about the differences, the Z Force offers Moto’s signature second generation Shatter Shield display to survive from accidental drops. Lenovo said that the screen is almost impossible to crack. You can expect to see the top-notch connectivity with both the devices such as 4G LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with a-GPS and NFC. However, Lenovo had to cut down the battery significantly to accomplish the Moto Z’s extreme thinness. As a result, it comes with just 2600mAh battery, which is slated to provide 30 hours of usage time. In the meantime, the Moto Z Force packs much bigger 3500mAh battery, but you cannot get the razor thinness of Moto Z. Still, it measures at impressive 7mm. The Z Force will lend around 40 hours of battery life. Both the devices are fast charging enabled and can get you 8 hours and 15 hours of usage times respectively from 15 minutes of charging.

Moto Z and Z Force

Moto Mods:

The impressive designs, the powerful internals, are just half of the story of these newest Moto devices. The rest of the story is about the brand new “Moto Mods”. These are snap-on accessories for Moto smartphones to extend the functionality on the go. As we mentioned above, the 16-pins at the back will allow the mods to snap on to the back of the devices, which are carefully designed to extend the functionality. It is definitely a simpler modular approach and ambitious than Google or LG. There are no moving parts like G5 so that mods can be used with confidence, and if you do not like to snap mods, the standalone devices can be considered against the current high-end smartphones.

Moto Mods

Lenovo has given a couple of demos on stage to let the world know about the importance of Moto mods. The best one is the SoundBoost Mod, which is made by JBL to enhance the audio experience on the go. It adds thickness to the device once you snap but provides one of the best audio experience as external loudspeakers, users no need to carry any external speakers in another hand. The next one is the Power Pack Mod; it adds a 2200 mAh cell to the back of the phone and comes in three different styles – Kate Spade, Tumi, and Incipio. The other great Moto mods are Insta-Share Mod and Style Shell mods. The Insta-Share mode is basically a pico projector for your phone to project the phone’s display up to 70-inches wide at 480p resolution. In case you are missing the moto maker, Lenovo has also kept that option alive, so users can select the phone’s front color – Black or White and also has an option to choose the metal frame color. This is a bonus to the Style Shell Mods, which will give additional styling and comes in a variety of materials and finishes such as nylon, wood or leather.

Lenovo team has seamlessly integrated all these Moto mods functionality to the phone’s software so that users can see the charging status of both the internal and Power Pack Mod right on their phone. You can see the same implementation with SoundBoost Mod since the phone’s software is smart enough to eliminate the pairing headaches. It also pumps the sound right away after attaching the SoundBoost mod to the phone. All these things can be done without requiring the reboot of the device. Although none of the mod will be included in the box, users have to buy it separately.

Lenovo is betting big on the Moto mods, so it has started a developer program with a $1,000,000 fund for the individual or company that comes up with the prototype Mod by March 31st, 2017.

Moto Mods Droid Edition

Pricing & Availability:

Moto Z Droid Edition and Moto Z Force Droid Edition are the Verizon exclusive devices, which will be released in the United States in this summer. However, if you are looking for the standard Moto Z, it will be available for purchase unlocked in the US sometime in September. The global availability also slated for September and as you guys know already, the Droid editions are limited to the US only, that too for Verizon exclusive. There is no other way to get the Moto Z from any other US carrier. You should go with Moto Z unlocked model if you do not like to pick one on Verizon. Pricing is still unknown for all the models, stay tuned to us.

What do you think about the Moto Z and Z Force? Will mods save the Lenovo under Moto? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below.