It looks like 2016 will be the year of modular phones. Different vendors have released or announced modular phones earlier. For example, LG’s G5 and Google Ara which we have explored in a previous article. Lenovo is joining the game with two new phones: Moto Z and Moto Z force. In this article, we have a closer look on those new devices.
Lenovo’s Moto Z phones come in two different variations. The first one is Moto Z or the standard Moto Z which is a slim phone. The other one is called Moto Z force. They have many things in common, but there are some differences too of course. For the similarities, they both offer a 5.5’ AMOLED screen. They are both powered with the new Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GBs of RAM. They both come in two models: 32 GB model and 64 GB model. They both provide an extra storage of up to 2 TBs via microSD card. For the cameras, they both have a 5 MP front-facing camera.But if we switch to the differences, the rear-facing camera of the Moto Z is 13 MP while that of Moto Z force is 21 MP. Although both rear-cameras are different in terms of megapixels, both phones offer optical image stabilization and laser auto-focus. Battery capacity also is different. For the Moto Z, the battery lasts for about 30 hours while Moto Z Force’s battery should last for approximately 40 hours. Obviously, the Moto Z Force is a bit thicker than the standard slim Moto Z.
Both phones introduce a feature called turbo power charging. With that feature, you can get more battery time with less charging time. For example, the Moto Z would get 8 hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge. On the other hand, the Moto Z Force can get 15 hours of use with just 15 minutes of charge. Both phones don’t have the traditional 3.5mm audio jack. However, they only offer the USB Type-C port in which you can directly plug-in a compatible headphone.
Enough talking about the specifications and let’s move to the fun part which is the modularity. Moto Z introduces what is called the Moto Mods. With Moto Mods, you can complement your phone with extra features such as longer battery life, better sound and projector. The way Lenovo introduces Moto Mods is a bit different than Google Ara for example. You don’t have to remove anything from the phone. Moto Mods look very much like phone cases. These Mods are attached to the back of the phone through magnets. For example, the Power Pack Mod gives you additional 2,220 mAh of battery. You attach it to the back of the phone as you would do with any regular phone case. When it’s correctly attached, you’ll get a notification in form of a sound and animation on your screen.
Another interesting Mod is the JBL Sound Boost Mode. It’s similar to the Power Pack Mod and it gives you a clear, high-quality sound as an external speaker to your phone. One more available Mod is the Insta-Share Mod. This mod adds a projector to your phone. So, you can play movies on your phone a project it against your wall. This Mod has an internal 1-hour battery but you can use your main phone battery if it dies.
Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be available this summer in the US for Verizon users. It should be available unlocked worldwide later this fall. However, the pricing for both phones is not available yet.