Lenovo announces the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, its take on modular smartphones

Lenovo has just announced the follows up to last year’s Moto X, and they’re called the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. They represent the biggest change in Motorola’s Android design philosophy to date. The important bit? Modularity – but it’s different from LG or Ara’s approach.

The device can be customized with accessories simply called ‘Mods’ which snap together magnetically on the back of the main device. Some Mods so far include more powerful speakers, a projector, battery packs, and stylish design shells. More are to come, and Motorola has even launched a developer kit and competition to encourage more Mod ideas.

The advantage over LG is simple: you don’t have to turn off the phone to give it a battery boost or attach accessories. The battery packs in particular attach to the device without taking up an outlandish amount of space (the Moto Z is only 5.5mm thin). Just snap on the Mod and you’re ready to go – no restart required.

We already knew much about the phones coming into the event thanks to a series of leaks, and spec-wise it pretty mostly lines up with what we expected:

  • Snapdragon 820
  • 4GB of  RAM
  • 32GB/64GB of storage (expandable via MicroSD)
  • 5.5 inch QHD AMOLED screen
  • 13MP camera with phase detection and laser-assisted autofocus
  • 2,600 mAh battery

Lenovo is somehow claiming up 30 hours of battery life from that relatively puny 2,600 mAh battery, so we’ll be curious to see whether that holds up in real life. The phone is also apparently t0o thin for a headphone jack (it includes an adapter).

Meanwhile, the Moto Z Force includes the same specs, but adds a shatterproof screen and a 3,500 mAh battery than can give you “15 hours of battery life in just a 15-minute charge” thanks to proprietary fast-charging technology.

It also bumps up the camera to 21MP and adds phase detection autofocus. That said, the Z Force comes in a thicker frame to accommodate the larger battery, and Motorola still opted to forego the headphone jack on the larger model. I’m all for USB-C headphones, but that’s going to piss off a lot of consumers.

The Moto Z and Z Force will launch through Verizon this summer (under the Droid marketing label), and will be available unlocked in the fall.

The New Moto Z Family with Moto Mods: Transform Your Smartphone in a Snap on Motorola Blog

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