The branding and model have undergone radical changes, but the character remains the same. The hugely popular Moto X series is now known as the Moto Z. With identity, work has also changed completely. Because it supports different types of mods. LG made a similar attempt with the G5 flagship. However, the LG G5 could not become popular. We hope Lenovo and Motorola have tried something new together.
moto z look and design
new moto z Made of metal and glass. Its price can be justified only through these hardware specifications. However, there is nothing unforgettable in its looks, if compared to the Samsung Galaxy S7 (Review) and the new iPhone.
The Moto Z is way too tall. For this reason, there is a lot of space left at the bottom of the screen. You’ll find a square fingerprint sensor with the Moto logo on top. The sensor looks like a home button, which is not really there. You will get standard onscreen Android controls for navigation. The sensor works to lock or unlock the screen. During our time with the Moto Z, we touched this sensor over and over again, as if it were the home button. Sometimes the phone got locked in this affair.
The sides of the phone are of metal frame. The left part is completely blank. There is a hybrid SIM tray on the top. There is a USB Type-C port at the bottom and there is no 3.5mm audio socket. The power and volume buttons are on the right and they are very small.
The most interesting part of the Moto Z is the rear panel. All the modular mods here are awesome. The phone is very thin. However, there is a bulge in the place of the camera lens and dual LED flash. At the bottom you will see a wide metallic contact point. This is a space made for Motomods which are affixed to the back of the phone by means of a magnet. When you are not using the mod you can stick the style shell. You can also use the phone without the mod or shell if you want, but you have to be prepared to face the sharp edges. The review unit we got comes with a wood-grey style shell. You can change the color and texture of the Moto Z as per your convenience. Due to this shell, it was more convenient to hold the phone. Due to this we have no complaints about the increase in width.
The Mods and Style Shell are seamlessly attached to the back of the Moto Z by magnetic power. And due to the bulge of the camera, they stay in their place. We found that the magnetic lock was not completely reliable.
No claims have been made about the Moto Z being water and dust proof which is expected to be present in a phone in this price range. However, it is written on Motorola’s website that the phone has a nano coating which will work to protect the phone from splashes of water or any other liquid.
Moto Z Specifications and Software
The specifications of the Moto Z are great, but not enough to differentiate between the affordable OnePlus 3 and the Asus Zenfone 3. You get 1.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Adreno 530 GPU, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. There is also support for microSD card up to 2TB. However, due to the hybrid SIM design, you will not be able to plug in a second SIM using microSD.
It has a 5.5-inch display with 1440×2560 pixels resolution. Its pixel density is 535 ppi. The battery is of 2600 mAh. Motorola has promised up to 7 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging.
The sensor of the rear camera is 13 megapixels. It is equipped with laser autofocus, f/1.8 aperture and the most interesting optical image stabilization feature. The sensor of the front camera is 5 megapixels, but it comes with a wide angle lens. There is also a flash with it and with the help of the bigger sensor, the performance in low light is expected to be better. This phone runs on Android 6.0.1 in which not much customization has been done.
We think it should have been possible to use the Moto Z’s fingerprint sensor for many more things. There is no sensor button, it starts doing its work just by touching it. You can activate the phone from standby and will also be able to activate it with fingerprint in a jiffy. But, even if you accidentally touch the sensor while the phone is active, it locks it immediately.
In terms of software, the biggest change in the Moto Z has been in the Active Display feature. We have got a glimpse of this in the old Moto phone.
It also has some voice and gesture controls. You can also launch the camera app directly from standby mode, all you have to do is twirl your wrist twice. We found it very useful.
Motorola has given its only app Moto in this phone. It has all the controls for active display, gestures and voice assistant. There is also an icon called Moto Mods but it is a link to a web page.
moto z performance
Unlike other big screen phones, the Moto Z is not easy to use. Grip and comfort have been taken care of, especially when attaching the style shell. The lower part of the front and rear panels of the phone gets a little hot when using the camera or playing 3D games.
Videos of all formats play smoothly on the phone. The screen is bright and vibrant. There is no problem in reading even in bright sunlight. The sole built-in speakers are fine for playing games and watching videos, but listening to songs on them isn’t much fun. The sound of the headset in the box is decent, but due to the hard plastic, it is awkward to use.
Talking about general performance, the Moto Z has never slowed down. Despite running many large apps in the background and with many browser tabs open, its speed did not slow down.
Motorola has changed the default camera app this time. The app provided in Moto Z is easy to use. It has a Pro mode in which it is possible to control focus, white balance, ISO, shutter speed and exposure. Video and slow motion have their own modes. The app can detect bar codes, QR codes and business cards.
We really liked the photo quality. In daylight photos, we found that all the details of the object were captured properly. There were no textures and there were occasional issues with autofocus as well. But, overall it can be said that the camera of the Moto Z justifies its price.
Photos taken at night were also good. There was a bit of noise and motion blur, but we got a lot of work photos. The front camera is also quite capable. But we found the flash to be more powerful for objects only an arm’s length away.
Battery life disappointed us. This is less than Motorola’s claims of 12 hours. Our video loop test repeatedly produced disappointing results. Finally, we requested the company to send another review unit. The battery of the new unit lasted 13 hours and 4 minutes in the loop test. Expect that the poor performance of the battery is limited to just one unit. The battery of the phone easily lasted for a day in normal use. Charging was done very fast. The battery gets charged up to 20% in just 15 minutes and up to 45% in 30 minutes.
Motorola has made one of the most solid efforts in the field of modular smartphones. Forget about mods for a moment, the new Moto Z is a powerful and stylish handset. Most of the things about it are good and it does the job well. This phone is for those who want style and power. Its important feature is to be able to use Moto Mods.
However, it also has some drawbacks, such as a very awkward fingerprint sensor and it gets very hot. It is also costlier than OnePlus 3 and Zenfone 3. If you do not like any of the mods then you will not want to spend so much money for this phone. Instead you can consider the Samsung Galaxy S7.