The Moto Z is ultimately the successor of the Moto X and Motorola's legacy lives on through Lenovo. This is why the Moto Z is so important, it marks a new chapter in Motorola's portfolio. Even if the Moto brand phases out the "Motorola" name over the next few years, we are glad to see the brand left in good hands.
Although the Moto Z doesn't have as large a battery as the Moto Z Force, it makes up for usage time with its excellent standby time. Although fans of Motorola's Moto X may or may not be disappointed with the Moto Z, there is thankfully a second (thicker) choice with the Moto Z Force Droid. Even so, the Moto Z Force perhaps should have been the only Moto Z to come out. But then the company would not have been able to call the Moto Z the thinnest smartphone in the world.
Some worthy competitors to the Moto Z include the HTC 10, LG G5, Galaxy S7 edge, iPhone 6S Plus, Huawei P9, OnePlus 3, and of course, we can't forget the Moto Z Force Droid!
The first and most obvious alternative to the Moto Z would be the Moto Z Force. It has a shatterproof screen, larger 3,500mAh battery, and higher-resolution camera. Although we haven't fully tested the camera on the Moto Z Force yet, we can't expect it to be a huge improvement over the Moto Z. There's also a $94 premium over the Moto Z that might just be worth considering.
The next alternative is another 5.5 inch device, although, it's not a quad-HD display. The OnePlus 3 is a worthy competitor with the Same Snapdragon 820, a healthy 6GB of RAM, larger battery, great all-around camera, and much lower cost at $399. No Moto Mods, though.
The LG G5 is a great alternative as both smartphones have a Snapdragon 820 that make them tick. But the other reason is that the G5 also offers modular accessories, and even though the concept was great, the execution could have been better. The Moto Z's software shines brighter than the G5's as a more consistent and familiar experience.
The Galaxy S7 edge packs a beautiful, 5.5 inch, quad-HD, AMOLED screen into a more compact foot print. Although the Moto Z is really thin, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, while not as thin, has a larger battery, comparable performance (regardless of region), excellent camera (not so excellent front facing camera), and Samsung's suite of bells, whistles, and apps. TouchWiz might be a sore spot for some, but the Snapdragon 820 (or Exynos 8890) ensures an otherwise heavily skinned UI will run smoothly.
The iPhone 6S Plus is another 5.5 inch device with a great camera, great battery life, and predictable software experience. If you find yourself switching from an iPhone into Android territory, the Moto Z may be the right fit for you, but not if it involves the overwhelming carrier bloatware that iPhone users are strangers to.
The Moto Z has everything going for it. The performance numbers are in line with other top flagships of the year. And while battery life may not be where it should for 2016, it makes it up for with Moto Enhancements and Moto Mods, expanding a smartphone's abilities beyond the outer shell. The Moto Z does this with a thin and stylish, yet reserved looking device. There is no doubt that the Moto Z will carry Motorola's legacy in the hands of Lenovo.