The Moto Z is the company's flagship for 2016 and it bets big on modularity. Whereas LG does it by literally swapping parts of the phone body, Motorola goes about it with MotoMods - interchangeable back covers of the phone that add various functionality.
Before we get into them, here's what the Moto Z is all about. It's a 5.2mm thin smartphone that's extremely light at 136 grams. The thin profile means there's no 3.5mm headphone jack, though there's an included USB-C adapter to fix this.
The 13MP camera (1.12micrometer pixel size) at the back has f/1.8 lens, OIS and laser autofocus. At 5.2mm you could imagine that the hump at the back is quite big. Interestingly, the design of the camera department reminds us of the Moto 360 face, as the dual-LED flash is inside the camera ring.
At the front, there's a 5MP camera for selfies with LED flash on its side for dark conditions. Below the display, there's a fingerprint sensor, which was quite snappy to respond.
The screen itself is a 5.5" AMOLED panel with a QHD resolution. It's very sharp and offers vivid colors. Moto has two settings for displaying colors - normal and vibrant. We would've liked a third option akin to Samsung's Adaptive mode on its Super AMOLED screens.
Inside the metal body, there's a rather small 2,600mAh battery. We'd imagine it won't last too long on a single charge, but there's a neat MotoMods back that adds extra juice for when you need it.
Performance is great and everything is as snappy as a cheetah with the Snapdragon 820 in charge. The 4GB of RAM is plenty for any app and there are 32 and 64GB options, in addition to a microSD card slot. Moto Z runs almost stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and we appreciate the cleanliness of it all though we did spot a Verizon app or two on our demo unit.
Now, for the MotoMods accessories. The MotoMods are magnetic covers that snap on the back of the Moto Z using sixteen pins and two strong magnets. We're not too fond of how the pins look on the back of the phone, though. Nevertheless, the end result is an additional back cover that's securely attached to the phone.
We tested the Power Pack Mod, which adds 2,220mAh battery and is conveniently displayed in the settings menu as an external source of energy. Currently, it comes in three different designs: Icipio, Kate Spade, and Tumi with more on the way.
There are, of course, cooler ones like the Insta-Share Mod, that adds a pico projector on the back. It can display an image of up to 70 inches in diameter at 480p resolution.
Other MotoMods include the SoundBoost Mod with 3-watt JBL speakers and additional 1,000mAh of battery. Moto promised future generations Z phones will remain the same size and shape to ensure future compatibility with MotoMods.
Lenovo extends an arm to developers and third-parties to offer their ideas of potentially cool ways to use them. The company has allocated a $1 million as part of a development program to help lure developers.