At a colourful event in Sydney this morning, Motorola took the wraps of its widely anticipated Moto Z and Moto Z Play for the local market, with the addition of their modular concept that actually feels like it might work, called Moto Mods. The Moto Z line was introduced to the world a couple of months ago, at a Lenovo event in June, with the worldwide release to follow later in the year. Lenovo didn’t quite hit the goal of a September release, but we’re only a little way into October.
With the Moto Z, Motorola have made an incredibly tough phone that is just 5.2mm thin, to the point that in hand, without any Moto Mods attached, it almost feels too thin. However, in that razor sharp device fits a 5.5″ display, a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard. If that’s not enough, MicroSD is included for up to 2TB extra.
Motorola’s camera is easily performing with the best; the capable, 13MP shooter with a fast f/1.8 aperture lens, complete with OIS, performed extremely well at the launch venue which was fairly dimly lit, with fast refocusing on different subjects as well. Of course, we didn’t have much opportunity to actually explore the camera, but early impressions are promising.
As with many Motorola handsets before it, the Moto Z runs a fairly stock version of Android, this time Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, and — at this stage — while an update to Android 7.0 isn’t confirmed, it is rather likely if Motorola’s history is anything to go by.
Moto Z will go on sale tomorrow for an RRP of $999.
Moto Z Play
Though you might call it the Moto Z’s smaller brother, that’s probably not fair to say. In many respects, it’s the same as its flagship stablemate, but with a few key differences. The same 5.5″ display (though with a lesser 1080p resolution) is there, and visually, there’s not a lot between the two. In fact, the differences are mainly internal; the Moto Z Play takes second fiddle, with a slightly less powerful processor (a Snapdragon 625 for those who like details), 3GB of RAM and 32GB on board storage.
However, if that weren’t enough to tempt your fancy, there’s a whopping 3,510 mAh battery in this phone, and going by last year’s Moto X Play, the battery on the Moto Z Play could easily last two days of reasonable use.
Not being the flagship, there are a few other compromises, with a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture doing the primary photographic duties on the rear.
The two Moto Z phones are more similar than they are different, and I don’t think you’d be disappointed with either.
Moto Z Play is available from tomorrow for a RRP of $699.
This was the drawcard for the Moto Z; we’ve seen many spectacular phones this year, and we’re about to see more in the form of Google’s Pixel, but Motorola’s drawcard is the modular system. This is something LG tried to kick off with its G5 earlier this year, but it was — by all reasonable accounts — mostly a failure; the idea was sound, but the execution flopped, letting down an otherwise excellent phone.
With Moto Mods, Motorola has got it much closer to right. First of all, they clip on to the rear of the phone securely with magnets. There’s no removing batteries or pieces of your phone to make them work.
Better yet, the modules on offer themselves are pretty decent, and with connecting them being as simple as putting two pieces together, they’re undoubtedly going to be more successful.
Moto Mods available at launch include a JBL speaker mod, which can easily fill a room with music, an Incipio Off Grid powerpack to get your phone from two days to maybe three or four, a Hasselblad True Zoom camera that turns your phone — quite literally — into something of an entry-level DSLR quality camera, and even a projector that can put your phone display up to 70″ on a wall.
There’s a heap of features amongst these, which we’ll go into in more detail as part of our review, but these were genuinely impressive. The Hasselblad camera, especially, would be a must-have for any photographer on the go who doesn’t want to carry a giant camera around.
All the Moto Mods are available to buy from tomorrow 13 October as well, as follows:
- JBL SoundBoost speaker – $159
- Hasselblad True Zoom camera – $399
- Instashare Projector – $429
- Incipio Power pack – $119 or $139 for wireless version
- Style covers from $29
In each case, the Moto Z and Z Play, and Moto Mods, will be available from trusted retailers Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Officeworks and the Motorola.com.au online store from tomorrow.
We’ve got a review unit with a full complement of Moto Mods on the way to Scott Plowman for a review, so expect to hear more on the Moto Z range in the coming days.