In 2016, if you aren’t Apple or Samsung and you make smartphones for a living, you need to find new ways to stand out or you may not be around for long. This industry is tougher than ever and has become increasingly difficult for anyone to sell enough phones to remain (or become) profitable. For Motorola, they think that could all change through modularity and the idea that a smartphone can be improved depending on the situation, thanks to swappable hardware.
With the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, Motorola has introduced phones that are not only high-end devices with top-tier specs, they are also compatible with Moto Mods, a line of modules that attach to the backs of each via pins and magnets that could help improve an audio experience, battery life, etc. Motorola may not be the first to usher in the era of modules (that would be LG), but they more than likely are the first to at least get it close to right.
Over the past week, we’ve spent time with both the Moto Z DROID and Moto Z Force DROID, the Verizon versions of Motorola’s new phones, to see if 1) they are any good at being high-end phones, and 2) if this Moto Mods deal is worth your attention and investment. I took on the Moto Z, which you’ll find out all about below, while Tim has the Moto Z Force. You can read his review right here.
This is our Moto Z DROID review. (more…)
Introduced as the Moto Z Force DROID Edition, now launched sans Edition, the Moto Z Force DROID could be described as a follow-up to last year’s DROID Turbo 2, but it’s much more than that. On paper, the Moto Z Force DROID attempts to bring the best of specs and modular functionality into a single device, offering a big battery and stellar camera to get people excited for this year’s lineup of DROID phones. Combine all this tech nifty-ness into an incredibly thin body and you would think Moto and Lenovo are positioned to have themselves one very popular device.
The Moto Z (DROID) and Moto Z Force (DROID) were announced on June 9, meaning we have had quite a long time to get unexcited about these devices, but putting the delayed launch aside, let’s find out how they fare after a week in our pockets.
Here’s our Moto Z Force DROID review. (more…)
Moto Z DROID and Moto Z Force DROID reviews will be a long shortly, as you probably guessed, but in the mean time, we’re still doing what we can to share all that these two phones have to offer. That means running through unboxing videos, doing software tours, and showing you how the Moto Mods system works. It also means taking a look at camera capabilities, which we are about to do here.
While we aren’t ready to give final scores to each phone’s camera, we did want to at least share a bunch of initial shots taken with each to show you what to expect when these phones are available for purchase. Our review units, as far as we know, are running software that you will see should you buy either and so these images do give a good representation of each phone’s camera.
UPDATE: Final reviews are out, which means final thoughts. Read the Moto Z review here. Read the Moto Z Force review here.
Let’s take a look. (more…)
Now that we are back from our Moto Z DROID meeting in NYC and have the new Moto phones in house, along with their launch line-up of Moto Mods, we have a big ol’ modular-focused tour to share with you. Thanks to Motorola, we walked away with not only the Moto Z DROID and Moto Z Force DROID (unboxing here), but we have Moto Mods like the JBL SoundBoost speaker, Moto Insta-Share Projector, Tumi Power Pack, and Style Shell as well.
In the lengthy video below, we’ll show you how this whole modular thing works inside-and-out. From attaching and detaching modules to charging them and updating their software, this video covers it all. We even have a Moto Mods carrying case to show you, in case you plan on catching them all.
Let us know if you have any Moto Mods questions after watching! (more…)
You may have heard, but there was indeed a media gathering in New York today, hosted by Motorola and Verizon, that allowed the press to get a second look at the Moto Z DROID and Moto Z Force DROID (those are the official names now, by the way). Maybe even more importantly, it was a chance for us to all get review units as we approach launch day. And get review units did we ever.
We have them both – in hand! So, we unboxed! Of course we did.
I know that you have all watched Tim’s initial hands-on videos from the Lenovo Tech World unveiling, but this is a chance to see final units, in boxes, and to see what comes in those boxes.
We’ll have a lot more over the next few days, so stick with us!
UPDATE: Software tour now posted as well! (more…)
Pokémon GO is literally taking over the world. As awful as the launch of the game has been due to countless server issues, no one can seem to stay indoors anymore. Even the White House and the Pentagon are getting in on the action.
True to the original Pokémon games, Nintendo and Niantic didn’t explain much about the game in terms of “How To,” so to help you level up quickly and find the best Pokémon, let me be your Professor and give you some Pokemon GO tips and tricks while out playing. (more…)
After what I can only describe as a confusing 2015 for OnePlus, the upstart Chinese manufacturer is back for 2016 with another flagship phone. This time, though, the hypetrain has departed, there are no gimmicky feature trollouts per week, promises of it destroying 2017 phones are no where to be found, and that f*cking invite system that stayed around for far too long, might be gone for good. Oh, and that phone is the OnePlus 3, a phone that on paper, stacks up with the best without any major sacrifices and even has NFC. Yes, NFC is here.
I’ve spent the better part of the past three weeks with the OnePlus 3 in hand and can’t help but nod in appreciation or congratulation to OnePlus. There just aren’t any glaring issues with this phone, nor is OnePlus doing and saying a bunch of annoying things to turn us off. They, for lack of a better descriptor, seem to have done a great job. Let’s talk about it all in greater detail.
This is our OnePlus 3 review. (more…)
The OnePlus 3 is a sweet phone, I can’t deny that. For $400, you are getting a very nice hardware package, but on top of that, OnePlus throws in software tweaks and other functionality to spruce up what’s already a pretty solid Android experience.
For fans of Nexus devices, you undoubtedly like stock Android, and for me, that’s where the OnePlus 3 software shines. Not only does it provide that stock feel and look like on a Nexus phone, but certain OxygenOS features, such as gesture commands and icon pack support, really help get the most out of the possibilities for Android. (more…)