Moto Z front and back

Motorola announces the Moto X successor Moto Z and Moto Mods, beats iPhone 7 to the punch

Motorola’s flagship phone over the last three years has been the Moto X line, but the Lenovo-owned company is switching things up this year, renaming its flagship device the Moto Z, the company’s first modular phone. Announced alongside the Moto Z was a higher-end Moto Z Force Edition and Moto Z DROID Edition, both Verizon exclusives.

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Moto Z

Specs are similar for the devices, with a 5.5″ Quad HD display (2560×1440), Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal storage (with microSD support up to 2TB). The Moto Z has 15MP rear and 5MP front cameras, with a 2600mAh battery while the Force Edition ups those specs to 21MP rear camera and 3500mAh battery. The Force also has a shatterproof display. Both have USB-C port with turbo charging, water-repellent coating and a fingerprint sensor. Both will ship with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow installed.

One thing you won’t find on the Moto Z devices is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. As is rumored to be the case with Apple’s yet-to-be-announced iPhone 7, you will have to use an adapter (in this case USB-C to 3.5mm adapter) to use wired headphones with the devices. Otherwise, you’ll have to use Bluetooth headphones with the phones.

Moto Mod backs

Moto Mod interchangeable backplates

The Moto Z family also introduces the debut of Moto Mods, swappable backplates that either add functionality to the device or change the look of it. The backs, which attach to the phone using strong magnets, allow you to enjoy the additional functionality without drastically changing the look of the phone.

At launch, the available Moto Mods will include

  • JBL SoundBoost Speaker, which improves the audio coming out of the speaker, adds a kickstand to the back of the phone and includes its own battery for up to 10 hours of music
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector, a pico projector with kickstand and built-in battery that allows the phone to project images up to a screen of up to 70 inches
  • Power Packs, which Motorola says can add up to 22 hours of battery life to the phone
  • Moto Style Shell, which offers a different look to the phone; different variations include wood, leather and other personalizations (similar to Moto Maker options available with Moto X devices)

Motorola says that more Moto Mods will be available in the future.

The phones will be available this summer, exclusively for Verizon customers in the U.S. In the fall, the standard Moto Z will be available in an unlocked version for AT&T, T-Mobile and other GSM carriers. No word yet if there will be a Sprint version of the Moto Z available later in the year.

The Moto Z is available in black/lunar gray and white/fine gold options, while the Moto Z Force is only available in black/lunary. Additional backplate color options should be made available through the Moto Style Shell mods. Motorola did not announce prices for the devices, but you can expect them to run in the typical $600-700 range for a flagship, unless Motorola wants to compete on price on puts it closer to the $500 range.

Here are specs for the Moto Z (left) and Moto Z Force (right):

OS Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with up to 2.2 GHz CPU Quad-core CPU and Adreno 530 GPU Natural Language Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with up to 2.2 GHz CPU Quad-core CPU and Adreno 530 GPU Natural Language Processor
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB/64GB UFS, microSD Card support (up to 2 TB) 32GB/64GB UFS, microSD Card support (up to 2 TB)
Dimensions Height: 153.3 mm
Width: 75.3 mm
Depth: 5.19 mm
Height: 155.9 mm
Width: 75.8 mm
Depth: 6.99 mm
Weight 136g 163g (5.8 oz)
Display 5.5” AMOLED
1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440)
535 ppi
Corning® Gorilla® Glass
5.5” AMOLED
1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440)
535 ppi
ShatterShield
Battery 2600mAh
Turbo Charging
3500mAh
Turbo Charging
Water resistance Water repellent nano-coating Water repellent nano-coating
Sensors Fingerprint reader
Accelerometer
Ambient Light
Gyroscope
Hall Effect
Magnetometer
Proximity
NFC
Fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Ambient Light
Gyroscope
Hall Effect
Magnetometer
Proximity
NFC
Rear camera 13 MP
ƒ/1.8 aperture
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
Laser Autofocus
Zero Shutter Lag
Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) flash with dual LEDs
1.12um pixel
21 MP
ƒ/1.8 aperture
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
Laser Autofocus
Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF)
Zero Shutter Lag
Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) flash with dual LEDs
1.12um pixel with Deep Trench Isolation (DTI)
Front camera 5 MP
ƒ/2.2 aperture
Wide-Angle lens
Flash
1.4um big pixel for better low light
5 MP
ƒ/2.2 aperture
Wide-Angle lens
Flash
1.4um big pixel for better low light
Connectivity Moto Mods™ connector
USB-C port for headphones, charging and data transfer
3.5 mm to USB-C headphone port adapter included
Moto Mods™ connector
USB-C port for headphones, charging and data transfer
3.5mm to USB-C headphone port adapter included
Bluetooth 4.1 4.1
Network bands CDMA (850, 1900 MHz)
GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS / HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
CDMA (850, 1900 MHz)
GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS / HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (B2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz with MIMO 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz with MIMO
SIM Nano Nano

You can learn more about Moto Mods here.

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