Motorola tried something innovative when they introduced the Z-line of smartphones and the Moto Mods to go with them. The problem is that this association between the two has resulted in them being unable to match current design trends with their own devices. That looks set to change this year with details of the Moto Z3 Play leaking overnight suggesting a change in the design.

The folks over at XDA Developers have been shown an internal Lenovo document laying out the specs for the upcoming Moto Z3 Play. While it is an early leak they have full confidence in it and are confident that what is on the document will make it into the device when it is launched. So what is in said document?

The biggest change and it does have me scratching my head regarding Moto Mod backwards compatibility, is that the display will be an 18:9 aspect ratio, a 6 inch FHD+ AMOLED one at that. With a different shaped phone it will be interesting if Motorola can still maintain some compatibility with Moto Mods of yesteryear.

Aside from the display, it will sport an aluminium body making the phone “one of the thinnest premium smartphones” — it has already been one of the thinnest in recent years. It will still pack a 3,000mAh battery inside (which will support their TurboPower charging) this thin body as well as a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB and 64GB variants. A microSD slot will also be included for those who need more storage. One thing absent though will be a headphone jack which is not a surprise given the apparent thinness of this phone.

In 2018 the perceived quality of a smartphone seems to be based on how good the camera is. To produce some great shots (hopefully) Motorola will be including a dual rear camera setup with one of the lenses being a 12MP low light sensor and an 8MP selfie camera on the front. The fingerprint sensor, with the shrunken bezels is now to be placed on the side of the device but face unlock (to some degree) will be included.

The Moto Mods available with the Moto Z3 Play are also touched on in the document and include a battery Moto Mod, a style shell, a gamepad Mod and a projector Mod.

On the software side of things Motorola are including several voice controls to control apps as well as a simple bar for their navigation gestures. The camera setups will allow portrait mode on both the front and back cameras as well as a feature that allows you to pick a single colour in the photo and keep that while making all other cameras shades of grey/black and white.

Unlike some manufacturers Motorola will be stating their intention to upgrade the phone in the future, guaranteeing two future upgrades to the latest Android version.

At this stage it is unclear when this phone will arrive Downunder but you can be sure we will bring it all to you as soon as we know anything concrete.

Source: XDA Developers.
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Adam J

I’m not sure Moto/Lenovo are hitting the mark here. People weren’t buying the Z Play series for its profile. That was the marketing feature of the flagship ‘Z (non-Play)’. The original Z Play was attractive due to its incredible battery life not its thinness. Having experience with both the Z Play and more slippery Z2 Play, I think they are overestimating the value of ‘thin’ to consumers.


Hmm I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I like the fingerprint on the side instead of moving to the back (tho I’d still prefer the front), but losing my Moto mods would be a bitter pill – I mean, it had to happen eventually but I thought it would be another year yet. The speaker mod is really useful when going on holidays. Getting new style shells wouldn’t be an issue I suppose, and at least then I’d still be able to snap it off and spin it round on my finger when I’m… Read more »