Moto Z: Everything You Need To Know About the Modular Android Phone

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Motorola revealed its latest wares last night, giving birth to the Moto Z and Moto Z Force at Lenovo Tech World. The handsets are pretty much as 2016 as they can possibly be, but we’ll explain what that means slightly further down the page. Here’s everything you need to know about the Moto Z.

Moto Z: Major Talking Points

First things first. It's soooo 2016. By that, we mean Motorola has jumped on two of the freshest trends -- or is ‘fad’ more appropriate here? -- in the industry right now. The Z is modular and forgoes a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s right, Motorola just became the hippest kid in town.

The Moto Z comes with a range of accessories, branded MotoMods, which snap onto the back of the handset through 16 connector pins and magnetic magic. As with the LG G5, however, it sounds like Motorola and owners Lenovo need a little more time at the drawing board to think these accessories through.

So far, the company’s outed the Moto Insta-Share projector, Incipio OffGrid Power Pack and JBL SoundBoost speaker, and a bunch of different styled panels, but we’ll need to see a wider variety in order to take them seriously. We hopefully won’t need to wait too long though, as a MotoMods developer program is on its way.

The headphone jack thing, meanwhile, has ‘iPhone 7 rumours’ written all over it. The Moto Z instead opts for a USB Type-C port. If you want to be able to use your £200+ pair with it, you’re going to have to pick up an adaptor. Or a new Bluetooth set.

Moto Z specs

Moto Z: Design

If you hadn’t guessed already, here’s confirmation that the Moto Z is super-thin. I personally rank a headphone jack over slinkiness in terms of importance, but what do I know? It measures 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.19mm, and comes clad in a combination of aluminium and stainless steel.

The square home button (which doubles up as a fingerprint scanner) helps it stand out from most other handsets on the market, but it’s a shame the rear camera protrudes so much. More on that below. As you’d expect, the Moto Z gets the full Moto Maker treatment, so you can customise the hell out of it online before throwing your cash into the internet.

Moto Z specs

Moto Z: Display

Small-handed wretches, look away now. The Moto Z features a 5.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution AMOLED screen, with a pixel density of 534ppi. Simply put, it should be cracking for watching movies and TV shows on. The Z unfortunately doesn’t come with shatterproof levels of protection though, with Gorilla Glass instead the barrier between the ground and total devastation.

Moto Z specs

Moto Z: Camera Bits

Motorola’s chosen not to get sucked into the megapixels war, equipping the Moto Z with a solid-sounding 13-megapixel primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilisation and laser autofocus. On the front side, there’s a 5-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a wide-angle lens.

moto z

Moto Z: Software

An almost pure version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Next.

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Moto Z: Processor, RAM and Other Specs

Here’s the sexy stuff. Motorola isn’t messing around with hardware, packing the Moto Z with the Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. Let’s make no bones about it, this is a flagship. You can choose between 32GB and 64GB models, both of which can be boosted by a microSD card.

We’re not convinced by the 2,600mAh battery though. With the handset being so slim, we’re assuming Motorola’s options were limited, but we imagine this will be a real weak spot for the handset. Motorola claims it’ll provide 30 hours of power, but we’re going to have to see this to believe it. TurboPower charging is a handy addition though, and should let you power the Moto Z up in no time.

moto z

What About the Moto Z Force?

US-only, I’m afraid. It’s a slightly better version of the Moto Z too, which is a bit of a kick in the teeth. Really want to know what it brings to the table? Fine. Unlike the standard Z, it’s slightly thicker with a 7mm frame, but this translates to a bigger battery. The Force uses a 3,500mAh engine that should significantly outlast the Z’s 2,600mAh number.

There’s more. Its ShatterShield display should keep it completely protected from drops and collisions, while its enhanced 21-megapixel main camera adds phase-detection AF, which should make it speedier than the standard Z’s. BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE IT!

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Moto Z: Release Date and Price

Annoyingly, there's no word on pricing yet, but the Moto Z will hit shelves around the world in September. We'll update this piece when we learn more about numbers.