The New Moto Z: Take Notice

Yesterday at Lenovo Tech World, Motorola unveiled a new smartphone that will be known as the Moto Z. This will not be replacing the Moto X, and it is actually going to be part of their “Droid” smartphone lineup. Regardless, this smartphone caught my attention with the features under the hood and outside as well.

First of all, can we just admire how thin and elegant this phone looks? It’s just slick.

Not to mention, it’s even thinner that an iPhone 6/6s coming in at 5.19mm. That’s really thin. Motorola will release two versions of the Moto Z, one called the Moto Z and the other called Moto Z Force.

Specs

What’s the difference you might ask? Basically, the Moto Z Force will have a higher megapixel camera, bigger battery, and a shatterproof design. Because of that bigger battery, the phone will be slightly thicker (6.99 mm), but I’m sure users will forgive it with the larger battery.

Other than that, you will see the same internal specs with the latest Snapdragon processor, 4 GB of RAM and a Quad HD screen.

Oh, and what isn’t breaking headlines like other news probably will this coming September (I’m looking at you, Apple): THERE’S NO HEADPHONE JACK ON THIS PHONE.

Harry Potter Panic

Now don’t panic like our friends from Hogwarts are. Motorola is going to provide a USB-C adapter so you can still use your wired headphones. While there’s only one port to charge your phone or listen with wired headphones, it’s good that they are giving buyers the option to still use their wired headphones.

I will be interested to see how people react if (but probably when) Apple announces the iPhone 7 with no headphone jack. If anyone dares whine about it, I will be pointing them to the Moto Z.

So What’s the Big Deal?

Top-notch specs and lack of headphone jack aside, this phone is packing a groundbreaking feature that is somewhat of a game changer in the smartphone industry. They’re called Moto Mods.

See those gold circles at the bottom of the phone? Motorola says those are magnets and you can attach different accessories to the back of this phone. That means this is a modular phone!

Check out this quick 1-minute video to see what these Moto Mods are and how they work:

Now, that’s pretty cool. You can attach a better speaker, larger battery pack, and even a projector on the back of your phone with these Moto Mods. For the projector attachment, Motorola claims that it can project up to 70 inches on a wall, and the built-in battery gives you 1-hour without using the phone’s battery. After that, it will run off the phone battery.

With the Moto Mods, Motorola has opened up a lot of new possibilities and capabilities for the Moto Z. With the smartphone industry slowly transitioning to modular hardware, Motorola has opened the floodgates to what is possible in modular smartphones.

Software

The Moto Z will be running Motorola’s version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The great thing about Motorola’s version of Android is that you will notice very little difference in their software and stock Android. As a former Moto X (2nd gen) owner, their version of Android was the reason I bought a Moto X over other options.

It is nice to not have to deal with another skin of Android as I think the stock Android experience is superior to others such as TouchWiz (Samsung) and Sense (HTC). The features Motorola adds to their version of Android are practical and useful.

Pricing & Availability

We will get a better idea of how these Moto Mods and the Moto Z itself works when it is released later this summer exclusively on Verizon. If you’re not on Verizon, you will be able to purchase the phone carrier-free this coming Fall. Pricing has not yet been made available.

Follow me on Twitter at @taylore90 to keep updated on the Moto Z and all things tech!

Taylor out.

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