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…)
As you know from our two most recent videos, we have the Moto Z DROID and Moto Z Force DROID in hand in preparation for our reviews. It’ll be a bit before we get those reviews all put together, but that doesn’t mean we can’t sit here and answer some questions you may have.
Are you wondering about the missing headphone jack? Curious if the chin is as big as it looks on video? Is the regular Moto Z too thin or pretty great in hand? Are the Moto Mods actually cool and worth their previously reported high price tags? Is the camera any good on either phone? I may have some answers to stuff like that. (more…)
With the unboxing now out of the way (watch it here), we can start getting into the important stuff – whether or not the Moto Z DROID (and Moto Z Force DROID) are worth considering as your next phone. One place we love to look to see if a phone is any good, especially with Motorola phones, is in the software. As you all know, Motorola has stuck with a “pure” Android experience for years that has a suite of Moto features added to improve the experience without getting in the way.
With the Moto Z DROID, that’s again the situation. Motorola has given each phone Android 6.0.1 with behind-the-scenes Moto Mod magic, the Moto suite (actions, voice, and display), and a couple of Verizon apps and widgets. Overall, it’s very much what we have come to expect from a Moto phone.
In the short video below, you’ll see a tour of the experience, along with a couple of the new Moto options. Enjoy! (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…)
That guy, right there, is Jim Wicks. You may not know him by name, but you certainly will know him by his work. This was the man at Motorola responsible for leading the company’s design, which means the RAZR and Moto 360 were all created under his watch (Ooh, pun!). He also led the charge through a number of DROID devices and more than likely, the Moto X line. Jim Wicks was a big deal at Motorola and in the consumer electronics industry.
I say “was” because he’s out at Motorola. Wicks was one of the last remaining big names at Moto(rola) since the company was sold by Google to Lenovo. In fact, I don’t know who is left any longer. Ashton Kutcher, I guess? Either way, losing Wicks, like Rich Osterloh who went back to Google to head up a new hardware team, is a tough one for Moto. (more…)
Last Thursday, I started a 6-day vacation to Victoria, BC that was booked months in advance, partly because the trip involved being on hand to cheer on a family member during her Iron Man, but also because no one launches phones in June and it was thought to be a safe bet to be away. Silly Kellen. Moto(rola) and Lenovo announced the Moto Z and Moto Z Force on Thursday, while OnePlus took some time yesterday to unwrap the OnePlus 3. Yes, my trip managed to not only overlap two major phone announcements, but WWDC was packed in there too, for good measure.
Since I was away for most of the fun and Tim took on all tasks, I was able to watch from a distance and form some opinions on how these two phone launches went. I’ll just say this – there are two blueprints here for launching a phone and only one of them is even close to being right, while the other is about as bad as it gets. (more…)