GADGETS | Quickie Review: Moto Z

Our rating

"Great gadget!"

What is it?

Motorola’s Moto Z is a premium smartphone with a unique selling point: hot-swappable accessories that instantly add extra functionality on the mobile phone.

Called Mods, these add-on accessories attach easily on the back of the Moto Z via magnet. The added functions could either be a power pack for extra battery life, a snap-on speaker, or even a zoom camera.

The Mods, however, amount to extra weight and thickness. Without them on the other hand, the Moto Z is a well-built ultra-thin and super light smartphone with great performance to boot.

Who is it for?

Specifically for people who want to push their smartphone functionality to a new level. Although the concept behind the Moto Z series and its Moto Mods is not the first — remember the Israeli-developed Motu? — bringing the modular concept in the already saturated smartphone market could be a potent gimmick for Motorola, which is right now struggling to make an effective comeback.

The current Mods that you can use (Motorola said there’ll be more later on): the Incipio offgrid power pack, which adds up to 22 hours of battery time; the Hasselblad Tru Zoom, providing 10X optical zoom and Xenon flash; the JBL Soundboost speaker with kickstand; Moto Insta-Share projector, which can project a 70-inch big screen on any flat surface; plus an array of Style Shells to protect the back part of the phone, and branded designer power packs from the likes of Tumi.

Moto Z and Mods

The good

Mod accessories
Weight and size (w/o Mods)
Moto brand

The bad

Premium price
Mods add cost
Mods add weight, size

Our verdict

Even without the Mods, the Motor Z is a solid performer. The stylish design complemented by its thinness and weight is something to be proud of while owning one. But of course, you do need to use the Mods to complete the full Moto Z experience.

The JBL Soundboost is simply a perfect Mod for this phone now that, more often than not, we use our smartphones to watch or stream movies and even music. Unfortunately though, and except for the Style Mods, the tech-enhanced Mods are not cheap. They are expensive. Some of them, like the Hasselblad and the Insta-Share projector, cost more than another mobile phone. Nonetheless, if Motorola’s objective is putting out another tech-ridden device for the history books, the idea of the Moto Z and its Mods is another Motorola classic in the making.

Moto Z with JBL Soundboost Mod and Incipio power bank Mod.

Moto Z quick specs:

OS – Android 6.0.1, Marshmallow
CPU – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor; 1.8 GHz Quad-core CPU; Adreno 530 GPU
Storage – 64GB, microSD Card support (up to 2TB)
Display – 5.5” AMOLED 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440) 535 ppi; Corning Gorilla Glass
Battery – 2600 mAh; TurboPower for fast charging
Water Protection – Water repellent nano-coating
Networks – 4G LTE (Cat 6); UMTS / HSPA+; GSM / EDGE
SIM Card – Nano-SIM
Rear Camera – 13 MP; ƒ/1.8 aperture; Laser Autofocus; 1080p HD video (60fps); 4K video (30fps)
Front Camera – 5 MP; ƒ/2.2 aperture; Wide-Angle lens; Flash
Connectivity – Moto Mods connector; USB-C port; Bluetooth; Wi-Fi
Dimensions (without Mods) – 153.3mm (H) x 75.3mm (W) x 5.19mm (D)
Weight – 136g

SRP: P34,000 (with one standard style Mod)

Moto Z