Since the dawn of the new Y2K millennium, we haven’t really seen any radical innovations in the smartphone category. Companies have made incremental advances on handsets to improve memory, performance, and screen resolution; yesterday, however, Motorola announced the world’s thinnest premium smartphone with ground-breaking innovations – but first, let’s get the incremental improvements out of the way.
Motorola’s Moto Z phone, which also comes in a Moto Z-Force version, is a very striking piece of hardware. It has been made using military aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, making it a lightweight but sturdy competitor in the market. At only 5.2 mm thick, it has a bright, crystal clear, 5.5” Quad HD AMOLED display, and with a simple down-swipe of the thumb, the display reduces to the bottom third of the screen, making it easier for one-hand operation. The metallic bezel on the phone is simple yet sleek, and although it surrounds the screen ever so precisely and delicately, it is a nice look. The entire phone is coated with a water-repellant coating, which all means that everyday splashes, spills, and drops won’t have you stressing over an inactive or inoperable device.
The handset is driven by a power-packed, Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 820 processor; it runs on 4GB of RAM and houses 32 GB of storage inside. It has a Micro SD slot that also allows for a further memory expansion of up to 2TB. That’s a lot of photos, videos, or music when these cards become available. The Moto Z boosts its performance by running a pure, clutter-free version of Android™ – no unnecessary software to slow it down.
You can take astounding photos using the 13MP rear camera. It has optical image stabilization and laser autofocus for crisp images, striking depth, and colour perception. The front-facing 5MP camera includes a wide-angle lens and an extra flash for perfect selfies, regardless of lighting conditions.
Much like the Moto X Play, the Moto Z has a very impressive battery life of up to 30 hours with its 2600mAh battery. This phone will simply run all day without any topping up; if you do need a little boost, the TurboPower™ feature can provide you with up to 8 hours of running time with just 15 minutes of charging.
The Z-Force version has many of the same features as the standard but with a few upgrades. You get a 21 megapixel camera, a 3500mAh battery, a little more girth to the chassis making it 7mm thick and most importantly; you get a shatterproof display. The only setback to either phone will be the absence of a headphone jack, which frankly doesn’t bother me at all.
The front of the phone is quite simple in design, with an accurate and lightning-fast fingerprint reader at the base of the screen. The back of the phone has a round camera and flash housing located at the top center, a Motorola emblem below, and at the bottom are two rows of electrical contact pins – what for, you ask? This is where the ground-breaking innovation comes in.
These pins are “Moto Mods” – modules that snap onto the back of the phone to expand and change its functionality and capabilities. For instance, the phone becomes an instant party maker with the JBL® SoundBoost, a compact, sleek speaker module that mounts to the back of the phone and produces sound that is – quite simply – really, really loud. It can transform the Moto Z into a party sound machine or a very effective unit for hands-free phone conversations. There is also a Power Pack module that instantly adds up to 22 hours of life to the phone when you need a boost, and then there is my favorite: the Moto Insta-Share Projector, which turns the phone into a mobile theatre with a 70” movie projector, or convenient office presentation center. Motorola has also teamed up with partners like Kate Spade New York, Tumi, and Incipio, who have all designed branded back covers.
Furthermore, you can match your phone to your own personal style as often as you want with “Style Shells”, and choose from premium materials like real wood, leather, or a patterned fabric. All of these accessories simply attach with two internal high-powered magnets; simply snap them on, and they will hold.
Motorola has built their new innovation on open architecture, and are providing the tools independent developers need to bring their own ideas to life through the new Moto Mods Developer Program. In short, if you have an idea for a module, you can easily bring it to life and be a part of Moto Z’s new innovation.
Moto Z DROID™ Edition and Moto Z Force DROID™ Edition5 will be available exclusively through Verizon in the U.S. this summer, Canada this fall, and worldwide beginning in September. Moto Z also will be available unlocked on moto.com and at various retailers this fall.