Now owned by Lenovo, the new smartphones were announced in San Francisco at Lenovo Tech World alongside the first Project Tango phone, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The Moto Z have been described as a ‘new family’ implying that this is not the case.
As it stands, there are two new Moto Z phones to inform you about: the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force.
Motorola Moto Z release date and price UK, US and global
First of all, the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid (as they are called in the US) will be available ‘this summer’ with Motorola itself. The Moto Mods will launch at the same time and unlocked versions of the phones will arrive ‘this autumn’.
Globally, including the UK, the Moto Z (no Droid labelling) will be available ‘beginning in September‘ including Moto Mod.
Since there are no specific release dates just yet, I will update this article when I find out more. Lenovo and Motorola have decided not to announce Moto Z prices just yet, which isn’t unusual especially considering the phone won’t be out for a while. We can expect fairly premium prices but they will be cheaper than the iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7, according to PhoneArena.
Motorola Moto Z specs and features
As there are two phones in the new Moto Z range we’ll look at the specs of each separately. Before that, let’s look at the Moto Mods which is one of the key reasons to buy the Moto Z phones over others. They look similar in design to the recently launched Moto G4 smartphones.
As expected, the Moto Z phones are modular but in a different way to the LG G5 which has a removable chin. Instead, Motorola has created Moto Mods which snap onto the back of the phone like a rear cover. They attach with high powered magnets and the system will work with future Moto Z phones.
A few have been announced but the firm is working on more and hoping for plenty of third-party additions, too. In fact, there’s a $1m equity fund up for grabs for the individual or company that creates the best Moto Mods prototype by 31 March 2017. More info on thathere.
The first Moto Mod is the JBL SoundBoost which turns the Moto Z into a tiny boombox thanks to bigger speakers. There’s also the Moto Insta-Share Projector which can create a screen of 70in. If you simply need more battery life the Power Pack will add up to 22 hours to the Moto Z. Watch the Moto Mods video at the bottom of the page.
There are also Moto Shells if you just want to easily change the look and style of your Moto Z including real wood, leather and fabric.
Pricing for Moto Mods has just been announced and is as follows:
Official Motorola Moto Mod Insta-Share Projector Case – $ 325.89
JBL SoundBoost Moto Mod Speaker Case – $ 85.07
Tumi PowerPack Moto Mod Power Case – 2,200mAh – $ 99.25
Tumi Wireless Charging PowerPack Moto Mod Power Case – 2,200mAh – $ 113.43
Moto Z specs
First things first, Motorola is claiming the Moto Z as the world’s thinnest smartphone at just 5.2mm. It measured at 5.3mm. The Moto Z is made from aircraft-grade aluminium and stainless steel.
Moving on and the regular Moto Z features a 5.5in Quad HD AMOLED screen and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor so it looks like it will be a key OnePlus 3 rival. There’s 4GB of RAM and either 32- or 64GB of storage plus a Micro-SD card slot able to take up to 2TB cards.
For photographers, there’s a 13Mp rear camera with optical image stabilisation and a laser autofocus. At the front is a 5Mp shooter with a wide-angle lens for fitting more into your selfies and a flash for when it’s darker.
Other features of the Moto Z include a touted 30 hour battery life, a fingerprint scanner, a water-repellent coating and fast charging with eight hours of juice from 15 minutes of charging via TurboPower.
Something which Motorola fails to mention in the press release is that the Moto Z doesn’t have a headphone jack, beating the iPhone 7 to it (if that rumour is true). Instead you’ll need to rely on the Micro-USB Type-C port and the included adapter.
Moto Z Force specs
The Moto Z Force is a similar phone to the regular model with a few tweaks. Core specs like the screen, processor, memory and storage remain the same.
Motorola is touting the second generations of Moto ShatterSheild tech which gurarantees the phone won’t crack or shatter when you drop it. It’s thicker and heavier as a result at 7mm and 163g. The other key difference is a 21Mp rear camera which also has OIS and laser autofocus but also phase detection autofocus.
Also featuring TurboPower, the Moto Z Force has a larger battery than the regular model at 3500mAh compared to 2600mAh. Both run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.