These are successor models to last year’s Moto X Style and Moto X Play, so yes, the rumours were true regarding a big re-brand. Plenty of the other rumours turned out to be true as well, including, most importantly, the MotoMod modular back panel design which allows a wide range of bolt-on features and capabilities, as well as visual customisation in-keeping with the Moto brand.
The Moto Z is the base model and is the thinnest of the two, indeed quite likely one of the thinnest smartphones on the market at a mere 5.2mm!
The front-facing secondary is a 5MP sensor with a wide-angle lens for those increasingly popular group-selfies, and in addition the battery supports rapid charging – eight hours of charge in 15 minutes, Lenovo claims. Naturally we’re looking at Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow in a stock setup once again.
The Moto Z Force is a larger version of the device with a thicker 6.9mm bodyshell but it actually has the same proportions otherwise and the same size display. The extra thickness grants a bigger 3,500mAh battery and shatter-proof ShatterShield display glass, which Lenovo says won’t break when you drop the phone. The camera has also been upgraded to a hefty 21MP shooter with a wide f/1.8 aperture – the other camera features are the same as the regular edition but with the additon of phase detection autofocus on top of the laser autofocus.
Interestingly neither handset has a 3.5mm headphone jack, instead Lenovo will ship them with a Type-C USB headphone adaptor.
Of course, as per the rumours, both phones support the same MotoMod snap-on modules, these attach via magnets and connect through the 16 little dotted connection points on the lower back panel. The earlier rumours were true and this feature is being opened up to third-party devs, but in the meantime the official launch MotoMods give us a taste of what might come and do offer some appealing bonus features and functionality.
The most basic ones are simply called “Style Shells” and as the name implies are purely aesthetic customisation for the handset’s rear panel. Lenovo and third parties are sure to put out quite a range for these but at present you’ve got leather, wood, patterned fabric, and synthetics such as “ballistic nylon”, all in a choice of colours and finishes of course.
The functional ones include the JBL Soundboost (above), which adds a pair of 27mm, 200 Hz – 20 KHz, 3W stereo speakers; it has been set up so this automatically synchs with your phone’s audio output so you don’t need to calibrate it yourself. Also included is a 1,000mAh battery so you get even more juice, and a kickstand.
The Incipio Offgrid is purely a battery booster, and a big one at that with a massive 2,200mAh on top of the Moto Z or Moto Z Force internal battery! There will also be a version with support for wireless charging. The final option is the InstaShare Projector with a built-in pico projector and a 1,100mAh battery boost so you can cast your images and video onto a screen or wall up to 70in” in size at a 854×480 resolution.
This mixture of beauty and beast will surely affect its major competitors – Galaxy S7, LG G5, OnePlus 3 and HTC 10. Choosing Lenovo this time is nicely played game by Motorola to increase the interest of people and heat up the market but we love it. These handsets will be available later this year.