Moto Z Specs, Design & Features Review: Android's Underrated Powerhouse

Moto Z Specs, Design & Features Review: Android's Underrated Powerhouse
The Moto Z can battle it out with some of the best smartphones that were announced this year. Despite its noteworthy specs, it has one feature that pushes it above and beyond its competition - its Moto Mods. Photo : Marques Brownlee/YouTube

The Moto Z was first debuted in July 2016 and has since released success, albeit of the relatively low-key variety. From the very beginning, its innovative design sent waves across the tech world, as it featured snap-on accessories that could personalize each unit for a specific individual. It definitely was not the first of its kind, but it did carry out a feature a lot better than its competitors.

As C|Net notes, there was the LG G5 that came before the Moto Z. But while they two models shared the same principal, the newer model did something that the one before did not. That is, the LG G5 arguably fell short on execution, while the Moto Z offered modularity with ease and necessity.

The customization of the Moto Z is much more than just a redesign feature - such as changing the back cover to fit a particular aesthetic - most accessories actually change what the phone itself does or specializes on. The accessories, called Moto Mods are capable of turning the already notable device into a boombox or a video projector. But for those more practical, there are also Mods for simply improving battery life.

At this stage, the idea is still in its infancy stages, so there are certain payoffs with the device. The Mods add to the size of the device, for example, making the unit more bulk and less easy to use - depending on the accessory added onto it. Furthermore, these same items do not come with the Moto Z itself, as they need to be purchased separately. In other words, the perfect device will definitely come at a cost.

The device alone will set back a user upwards of US$625. The thing is, however, the base device alone is a good investment because Motorola did not skimp out on the core specifications of the Moto Z. It is still a powerful device that can battle it out with some of the best smartphones that came out this year. The Mods are just a fun little addition that easily snap on and off with the company's magnetic design.

The 5.5-inch display is an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution, which is protected behind Corning Gorilla Glass 4. As GSMArena notes, the entire unit - sans any Mods - measures about 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm all around and weighs in at 136 grams. Straight out of the box, the Moto Z runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but it is upgradable to Android 7.0 Nougat.

The handheld is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor - as are some of the best Android smartphones. Furthermore, it has 4GB of RAM and is available with either 32GB or 64GB of internal memory. Nevertheless, there is a microSD slot that can expand the storage to 256GB. It has a 5-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

Motorola has also since released the Moto Z Play, which is a revamped version of the model discussed above. It is a mid-range phone that has more battery than its predecessor. However, it does have all the original modular features but at a lower price. It retails for about UA$450.

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