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article imageMotorola's Moto Z lets you customize your smartphone with modules

By James Walker     Jun 10, 2016 in Technology
Motorola has unveiled the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, two new smartphones aimed at the top of the market. They can be customized with a set of interchangeable modules covering both style and functionality using Motorola's new "Moto Mods" system.
Announced at Lenovo Tech World yesterday, Motorola is not intending the Moto Z to be a direct replacement for its current Moto X flagship. Moto X is apparently going to live on but will now be complemented by the Moto Z, offering its own set of features and capabilities.
Moto Mods is Motorola's new modular system, letting you "transform your smartphone in a snap." The company says you'll be able to use Moto Mods to turn your phone into a device tailored specifically to you. Mods will be created by Motorola and third-parties to let you add new features to your phone as you require them.
Motorola has already unveiled the JBL SoundBoost, a speaker mod for much louder audio, the Moto Insta-Share projector, capable of projecting movies onto a 70-inch screen, and the Power Pack for up to 22 hours of extra battery life. To help inspire third-parties to create Mods, it has set aside $1 million in equity funding for the individual or company that creates the best Moto Mods prototype as part of the Moto Mods Developer Program. It has been funded by Lenovo's Capital and Incubator group.
Motorola Moto Z
Motorola Moto Z
Motorola
The Moto Mods system sounds very similar to LG's modular G5. Moto Mods isn't truly modular like Google's Project Ara. Instead, it focuses on letting consumers pick the feature that matters most to them. If you listen to a lot of music, you can add an extra speaker. If you work long days, the power pack may more be your thing. In any case, the choice is yours, as Motorola is keen to emphasise.
"We're taking a stand against incremental innovation in the premium smartphone category," said Motorola. "We envision a world where people are not limited by what their smartphone manufacturer provides at one point in time. Instead, we believe people should be empowered to choose the capabilities of their smartphone."
The Moto Z is a 5.5-inch Quad HD handset powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor. It has 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage and a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus. There's the usual collection of Android flagship extras including a fingerprint and a quick charge system that gives you eight hours of power from a 15 minute charge. The total battery life is up to 30 hours.
Motorola Moto Z
Motorola Moto Z
Motorola
If that's not good enough for you, the Moto Z Force may be more your thing. It's a more rugged version of the Moto Z that gains an even longer battery life, up to 40 hours. It can quick charge to 15 hours of power in 15 minutes. The Z Force includes Motorola's ShatterShield technology which guarantees the display won't crack or shatter if dropped. It also has a bigger camera than the Moto Z, a 21MP "industry-leading" sensor.
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force will launch worldwide in September alongside an initial selection of Moto Mods. As usual, Motorola will be branding the two handsets as "DROID" on Verizon in the U.S. The network is also the exclusive launch partner for the range but Motorola will be selling the Moto Z unlocked from its own website and various other retailers.
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