Most of the older generation will remember Motorola for their iconic Moto Razr which at the time was the slimmest phone you could find in the market. The advert was even better, there was this lady who had trouble putting on her jeans because they were too tight, but once they were on, she had no trouble sliding the phone in the pocket. Brilliant! Frankly, that was the must have phone of that era.
On Tuesday, Motorola went back to their roots by launching their new flagship phones, the Moto Z and the Moto Z Play into the market. These are high end phones that promise a host of useful and innovative features that are apparently great value for money.
The first thing that strikes you about the Moto Z is how slim it is. At only 5.19mm and weighing 136 grams, it is very reminiscent of the iconic Razr which we thought back then to be impossibly thin. The main concern would be whether that has made it brittle or not, something they have addressed by making the Moto Z out of aircraft grade aluminium. Other than the incredible size, the Moto Z also has features that you would expect in a high end smart phone including an excellent 13MP camera that takes works very well even in low light and records 4K videos. The Internal memory is 64GB, which you can upgrade with an SD card up to 2TB. If you want to geek out over the specs, you can do that here.
The Moto Z play is no slouch either. It is relatively light at 165g, has an internal memory of 32GB which you can upgrade with an up to 2TB SD Card, a 16MP dual autofocus camera with 4K video capabilities. Overall, it is not very far off its big bad brother the Moto Z. More on the specs here.
Currently, we already have a wide range of high end smartphones that offer roughly the same level of quality as both the Moto Z and the Z play, what then sets them apart from the pack?
The engineers and eggheads at Lenovo Moto have come up with an interesting concept of adding mods to your phones. How this works is, there is a row of 16 connector ports at the back of the Moto Z and the Z play, where these nifty things called mods attach to your phone. The phone mods take the already great functionality of the phone into overdrive by making an already awesome phone better when attached to the back of the phone via the connector ports.
There are different types of mods, offering different upgrades to your phone. The most popular ones are the JBL Soundboost mod which attaches to the back of the phone and turns it into a miniature boom box with better sound and clarity. The Hasselblad mod is a mobile photographer’s dream come true. By attaching it to the back of your Z or Z play, you get up to 10 times optical zoom, xenon flash, raw shots and access to Hasselblad’s photo editing software.
Other mods include a projector mod which, yes you guessed it, allows you to project stuff from your phone up to 70 inches and a power mod which I think is what I liked most. The power mod works by connecting to the back of the phone and charging your battery while still remaining usable. None of that pesky cable distance to worry about like you do with your ordinary power bank and also none of the bulkiness.
Moto are also offering assistance to anyone with a mod idea that has a serious business case by linking them to resources in order for them to bring their idea to market. If you think you have a banging mod idea, submit your application here.
What we think
I am still blown away by how thin the Moto Z is. My first question was actually whether it would break on contact and then I learnt about the aircraft grade aluminium body and the corning gorilla glass. In as much as I love the Moto Z and the Moto Z play, which individually are great, I love the mods even more. They are not bulky or hard to carry, can be charged separately and the connectors are well built, strong and gold plated to keep them from oxidizing. The Motorola pitch is that you start with a seriously good smart phone and make it better; I totally understand this.