Motorola Moto Z Review: First Ever Modular Phone Packs Good Specs

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Lenovo-owned Motorola’s new Android smartphone, Moto Z series, is out in India. Pioneering the modular connectivity in smartphones, this is first of its kind in the country. Lenovo has come up with a very aggressive “skip the sevens” campaign which actually refers to the recent expensive releases Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Motorola is presenting this unique sexy back handset which really stands unique in the Android Smartphone segment.

This new “Build your smartphone” concept is more of fun considering the well-designed four practical modular accessories. This new series of Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Moto Z Play smartphones are compatible with the same add-on mods that connect with the rear magnets of the phones.

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The super slim offering from Motorola is impressive since its first look, but the company had succeeded in offering the best specs without any generation loss. Here’s is our full Moto Z review about Specs, Features and check out what the company has stored in the things which interest you.

Design:

Motorola has set up a new thinness records with this Moto Z with a super slim design of just 5.19mm thickness. With super built quality comprising metal frame and glass, Moto Z sports a unique body language compared to its competitors in the segment. The design will surely get thumbs up from the users for its slim feature and better in-hand experience.

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A hybrid SIM tray is provided on the top and USB type C port is adjusted at the bottom. The right edge of the phone houses volume rocker keys and power button, while left edge remained absolutely blank. It measures around 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.19mm and weighs just 139g which comes as surprise in spite of the built material.

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The front profile is pretty neat at looks with a prominent earpiece, front camera with flash on the upper bezel and Moto branding, and fingerprint sensor on the bottom chin. On the rear side, a primary camera along with dual tone LED flash is accustomed in an embossed circular shape which is slightly high above the phone surface but looks perfect when attached to external Mods or style shells. Unfortunately, a regular 3.5mm audio out jack failed to make its presence.

Display:

Motorola keeps you up to the present day with 5.5 inch Quad HD AMOLED screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection on top and a resolution of 1440×2560 which equals the Samsung’s world-class displays. The display density of 535 ppi makes provides extremely sharp images. Moto Z active display embeds two IR sensors and one transmitter in the face which excels screen functionality.

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Touch sensitivity is pretty good and very responsive which enhances the fun in experiencing the updated smartphone. It offers an excellent legibility in bright sunlight too. Moto Z comes with adaptive brightness feature which tweaks the display brightness according to the ambient light and found perfect at its job. Customization options of the phone help you to choose color reproduction between standard and vibrant.

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Hardware and Performance:

Moto Z is no lesser than the present day smartphones and packs a Qualcomm’s MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 processor that is coupled with 4GB of RAM which any other flagship offering does provide. Adreno 530 GPU serves the best graphic performance in its range, be it Subway Surfer or Marvel Contest of Champions. Long term game play may warm up the phone but it never heated up to an alarming level, where cooling up the phone is necessarily required.

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The real life fast performance ensures a lag-free functionality while switching between apps. The camera apps also boot up quickly even when you shake the phone twice or press the standard button twice.

Moto Z is available at a starting internal storage range of 32GB, but it is always good to pick 64GB variant as the expanded internal memory will easily merge with the updated configuration. The provided microSD slot can take extent storage level up to 2TB but is useful up to only 256 GB considering present day chip availability.

On Geekbench 3 software, Moto Z managed to get an impressive score of 5,167 where its competitors HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7 lagged behind with 4,962 and 5,337 respectively.

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Software:

The device runs on the Android 6.0.1 without any virtual customizations, and it is a good thing though. Besides the Moto skins and bloatware, many genuine third-party improvements have been observed. Sadly, Moto Z failed to get the updated Android 7.0 Nougat OS inbuilt.

Hopefully, the company may release the update soon as Motorola is always quick at releasing the latest updates. Few simple things are found missing like the battery percentage indicator which is standard in other phones.

Camera:

Moto Z rolls out with a 13 Megapixel primary camera with f/1.8 aperture and large 1.2-micron pixels. The rear camera also comes with a dual-LED flash, optical image stabilization, and laser auto-focus. The camera performs well in better light conditions, and HDR mode shines in challenging conditions.

The device struggles white balancing when there is an active light source and even goes overboard at times. OIS and zero shutter lag make Moto Z camera work fine during daylight hours and compete with other flagships.

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The 5 MP front-facing camera is equipped with f/2.2 aperture, LED flash and 1.4um big pixels for better low light. This is big, really big feature for all the selfie lovers. Overall, Moto Z camera is a step up from Moto X but is not sure that it can take over Samsung Galaxy S7 without Hasselblad camera Mod.

A 4K video can be shot at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps or 30fps with the 13 MP camera.  Slow motion can also be recorded on the rear camera at 120fps, but gets the resolution down to 720p.

Battery:

Coming to battery department, Moto Z falls short, and the smaller battery size should be blamed. The device includes a 2,600 mAh Li-Io removable battery which is not enough for a modern phone considering the usage in daily life. The provided battery hardly serves a day with mixed use, not at least 30 hours which Motorola claimed to be.

On standard battery life test of 90 minutes HD video loop, the battery dropped only 33% from full charge. But the Turbocharger provided along with device convinces the argument and there is also a reason to keep the Moto mods battery case accessory.

Moto Z battery regained 27% of battery life with a charge of just 15 minutes. It took around 74 minutes for a complete battery charge. The only issue we face with the Turbo Charger is it is attached to its power wall brick.

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Pros:

  • Great ecosystem of Moto Mods accessories
  • Brilliant screen
  • Excellent combo of specs and overall performance
  • Slim design and lightweight

Cons:

  • Hybrid SIM slot
  • Confusing Fingerprint sensor placement
  • A bit more expensive

Verdict:

The much-anticipated phone from Motorola with external mods is definitely a powerful phone than other devices. But the question is what if without considering external Mods besides the fact that everything about the phone looks good and works well. This price of Rs.39,999 is a bit high for its specs sheet but is apt considering the customizing option which serves you multipurpose.

Undoubtedly, this is a great combo of style and power, but the point is it depends on the ability to use mods. Stay tuned for our review about the Hasselblad True Zoom camera, Moto Insta-share projector and JBL Soundboost speaker.

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