Motorola announced the launch of company's most innovative and feature loaded smartphones- the Moto Z and Moto Z Play. The smartphones are company's first attempt to win the grounds of Modular technology, which is still in its nascent stage and is open for experimentation.
Google was the one who set the ball rolling with it Project ARA, however the ambitious project failed to give a working prototype, even after three and half years of beta testing.
It was LG who gave the world its first 'Modular smartphone' in the form of LG G5, but the handset did not manage to be the ultimate Android handset. Now Lenovo owned Motorola has launched two smartphones, which in the words of Lenovo can be anything that users want them to be.
Will Motorola be remembered for its Modular approach? We tried to answer this our first impressions of Moto Z and Moto Z Play.
Moto Z is the flagship handset out of the two and is also the slimmest smartphone in the world with a thickness of 5.2mm. It is by far the best looking smartphone from the house of Motorola and is entirely built out of metal and glass.
Moto Z Play is equally good looking handset but is not the sleekest Android smartphone around. It is 6.99mm thick.
As the smartphones flaunt glass on front and back, they are highly prone to smudges and fingerprints and also feels slippery in hands. Motorola has added a water-repellent coating on both the handsets, which makes them good enough to withstand a few splashes.
The rear side of the smartphones have a 16-pin magnetic connector at the bottom to hold the Moto mods.
The rear side also features a round camera bump, which protrudes out a bit from the shell of the smartphones. However, it still looks good.
Overall, Moto Z and Moto Z Play are premium looking smartphones and feels sturdy in hands.
Moto Mods- The USP of the Moto Z series
The modular design is the highlight of the smartphones. Unlike the LG G5, that forces you to switch off the handset and take out the battery to connect the modular accessory, Moto Z and Moto Z Play does that without switching off the smartphone, that's a plus point here.
The moto mods simply snap on the back using the 16-pin magnetic connectors.
The company has announced a total of four Moto Mods including a JBL Soundboost priced at Rs. 6,999, the Hasselblad True Zoom priced at Rs. 19,999, the Insta-Share projector mod priced at Rs. 19,999 and the Incipio battery packs that will cost Rs. 5,999.
During our brief usage, we tried the JBL Soundboost mod, the battery power mod and the Hasselblad True Zoom mod. They are fairly easy to strap on and works seamlessly. The JBL mod sounds quite clear and offers a loud audio, enough to fill up a small to medium sized room.
The Hasselblad camera mod is the most interesting one. It offers a 10x optical zoom and is fairly easy to use.
Moto Z features a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display that churns out a pixel density of 535ppi. On the other hand, Moto Z Play packs in a lower resolution 5.5-inch 1080p display.
The displays are excellent, have good viewing angles and offers vivid colours with good level of brightness.
The Moto Z is a flagship handset and makes no compromise in terms of underlying hardware. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset coupled with Adreno 530 GPU. The smartphone has 4GB of RAM.
There is 64GB internal storage that can be expanded by up to 2TB via microSD card.
Moto Z and Moto Z Play comes running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The user interface is stock Android and worked without a glitch in our brief usage.
Battery and Connectivity
Moto Z is the flagship among the two but it has some downsides because of its sleek design. The smartphone is powered by a 2,600mAh battery unit, which won't be enough to last a full day with heavy usage. However, we will give our final verdict during our full review of the handset. The smartphone also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Moto Z Play on the other hand packs in a comparatively larger 3,510mAh battery unit and also retains a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom, next to Type C USB port.
Both the handsets have 4G LTE, dual-SIM option, USB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio as connectivity options.
The Moto Z features a 13MP primary camera with a f/1.8 aperture, Optical Image Stablisation (OIS), laser autofocus and a dual-tone dual-LED flash.
The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, sports a 16MP primary camera with phase detection and laser guided autofocus. The rear camera is also paired up with a dual-tone dual-LED flash.
Both the handsets have a 5MP front camera. We took some shots from both the handsets and the initial test results seems promising. However, we will evaluate the camera performance of both the handsets during our full review.