Moto Z Release: 5 Things You Need to Know

Moto Z Release: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

In early June Motorola and Lenovo announced the all new Moto Z and Moto Z Force. Then, in August unveiled a third, the Moto Z Play. These new flagship phones for 2016 aim to replace the original Moto X. With a razor thin all metal design, stunning camera, and more customization than ever before. This could be the best Moto yet, and here’s everything buyers need to now.

The Moto X has been one of the most popular smartphones over the past few years thanks to a sleek design, low price, and wide array of customization. However, with Lenovo now in charge things are changing. It’s called MotoMods, which brings true customization that can transform the phone. Similar to what LG tried with the LG G5, but in a much more practical way.

Read: Moto Z Review

These new phones are the thinnest and most premium Motorola devices ever released. There are actually three, all with big 5.5-inch screens and tons of accessories. The Moto Z and the shatterproof  Z Force were released on July 28th, and now we have the Moto Z Play. Below is a video along with more details on the phones, specs, MotoMods, customization and release date.

Motorola has slowly been improving the Moto X lineup to be more premium in order to compete with Samsung, Apple and others, and they took their biggest step with the new Moto Z platform. Combining everything we loved from the old Moto X into a metal design, managed to keep customization options (and add more) then pack in top-tier specs across the board.

Moto Z & Moto Z Force

Both of these new phones will also be know as the Moto Z DROID Editions for Verizon Wireless. The regular Moto Z is razor thin coming in at 5.2mm thick, sports a 5.5-inch display, and powerful internals that nearly match the Galaxy S7.

Then the new Moto Z Force is slightly thicker, has a bigger 3,500 mAh battery (like the Galaxy S7 Edge) and a shatterproof display similar to last years Moto DROID Turbo 2.

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These phones feature a new fingerprint scanner, improved camera, all-day battery life, micro-SD card for storage expansion, Moto Maker customization, and 16 pogo pins on back that lets owners magnetically attach stunning accessories. Like a pico projector, JBL speakers, external battery and more.

Moto Z Play

Now that the Z and Z Force have been available for a little over a month, the company decided to release one more model, as if two weren’t enough. It’s called the Moto Z Play, or the Moto Z Play DROID. It will be available on September 8th from Verizon Wireless or unlocked at Motorola.com for $408, or $17 a month.

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This is good news, as the regular Moto Z has a pretty small battery and specs that didn’t quite match the Force, and it was the only 2016 Moto phone coming to anyone but Verizon. Now, there will be two unlocked models.

The Moto Z Play has the same 5.5-inch display (only 1080p) with a similar metal design, 8-core Qualcomm processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, a micro-SD slot, USB Type-C port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a 16 megapixel rear camera and a massive 3,510 mAh battery. Combine all of that with the lower resolution screen, and this is essentially a Moto Z Force for those who aren’t on Verizon Wireless. Moto claims over 50 hours of battery life and TurboCharging will give owners 9 hours of usage after just 15 minutes on the wall.

It will be available globally in late September, but will be available to all in the U.S. from Verizon or Motorola’s website for only $408. This is the true successor to the $399 Moto Z 2016.

Moto Z Design

Rather than delivering another plastic phone with replacement backs that can be customized on Motomaker.com like previous years, this time it’s all metal. In fact, they’re made out of a high quality aircraft grade lightweight and durable aluminum.

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Both phones feature a 5.5-inch display, a square front-facing fingerprint scanner under the display similar to Apple, a large camera around back and more. Then of course the biggest aspect of the design is they’ll be customizable on MotoMaker.com with leather, wood and different colors for those who’d like to cover up that metal, or snap on modular accessories that transform the phone.

The Moto Z is one of the thinnest smartphones on the market, coming in at 5.2mm thick. It’s also the lower end model with a smaller battery, no shatterproof display, and a lower-end camera. The Moto Z Force or DROID Force is the one you’ll want to know about.

Moto Z & Z Force Specs

Similar to almost every other flagship smartphone released in 2016, these phones have the latest powerful processor, fingerprint scanners, a great camera, fast charging technology and other things. For those interested in the finer details, here’s the official spec sheet.

Moto Z Specs

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB storage with micro-SD expansion
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 13 Megapixel Rear Camera with Dual LED Flash, auto focus, OIS
  • 5 Megapixel Front Camera with auto-focus, LED flash, wide angle
  • Metal Design with MotoMaker customization and MotoMods
  • USB Type-C Port with Fast Charging, and USB-C Headphones (no 3.5mm port)
  • 2,600 mAh battery
  • 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter for headphones
  • Water repellent nano-coating

Moto Z Force Specs

The Moto Z Force is technically the “flagship” high end smartphone from Motorola this year. Featuring a much bigger battery with even faster Turbo Charging (Quick Charge 3.0) a better camera and other changes we’ll detail below. Here’s the rundown.

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display (Shatterproof)
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB storage with micro-SD expansion
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 21 Megapixel Rear Camera with Dual LED Flash, auto focus, phase detection focus, OIS
  • 5 Megapixel Front Camera with auto-focus, LED flash, wide angle
  • Metal Design with MotoMaker customization and MotoMods
  • USB Type-C Port with Turbo Fast Charging, and USB-C Headphones (no 3.5mm port)
  • 3,500 mAh battery
  • 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter for headphones
  • Water repellent nano-coating

The main difference here is the Moto Z Force has a shatterproof display, a bigger 3,500 mAh battery with faster charging, and a better 21 megapixel camera with the addition of phase detection auto-focus and other tricks. It’s also a little taller and a little wider for the bigger battery.

Moto Mods & Customization

Here is where things really get exciting. The new Moto Z lineup has that great all-metal design, but still has the customization that many buyers loved from Motorola. Meaning prospective buyers can get it customized on MotoMaker.com with the amount of storage, then choose between a few metal colors, wood backs, leather, or different colors, accents and more all to fit their own style.

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That isn’t even the most exciting part of the Moto Z either. As we all know there are also modular accessories that “snap” or connect magnetically to the back, and are extremely secure. Shown off in the video above, Moto Mods transform the phone unlike anything else on the market.

Rather than make users pull out the battery and reboot the phone, like LG, the Moto Mods simply attach to the back for a seamless and instant transition. Snap on the JBL speakers for improved sound, a kickstand and longer battery life. A pico projector that can stream content up to 70-inches on the wall (and add tons of battery life with a built-in battery) or even other things like a camera Moto Mod and external battery packs from Mophie. The options are endless, and Lenovo/Motorola will be working extremely close with partners to create stunning mods.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 11.43.10 AM

Add in the fact that they work with magnetic pogo pins on back, its possible these Mods will work with the next Motorola smartphone in 2017. Something we doubt users will get from LG.

Motorola has now confirmed another MotoMod, the Hasselblad camera module. Featuring a 10x Optical Zoom and a Xenon flash, you just focus on getting the shot – lighting and distance will never stand in the way of capturing the perfect image. Plus, physical shutter and zoom controls, dedicated camera editing software and more.

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The Hasselblad True Zoom will be available on September 8th as well, for $249.

Verizon first unveiled pricing for the Moto Mods on their official app. It looks like the JBL Soundboost speaker Mod will be $79.99, which is fairly reasonable given it extends battery life and improves sound. The projector is more expensive at $299. Then, the power packs to extend battery life range from $79, to $99 with wireless charging. Which is about average when compared to battery cases like Mophie or Incipio for the iPhone 6s. Other accessories, as well as the actual phone were left out, and we’ll update when we hear more about pricing.

Moto Z & Moto Z Force Release Date

So when can you get one? Well, the Moto Z DROID and Moto Z DROID Force were released on July 28th, and the Play will be available on September 8th. Then, the Moto Z will be available unlocked (for most carriers) later this fall on Motorola.com and likely many other retail partners.

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Sadly, the better Moto Z Force will only be available in the US from Verizon Wireless. Everyone else will need to settle for the razor thin Moto Z with the smaller 2,600 mAh battery, or choose the Moto Play. Motorola further explained that these phones will be available globally starting in September.

Moto Z Release: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.