From the pagers and beepers of the 90s to the super slim, metallic days of the Razr, Motorola has always had a hand in the competitive game of electronics. Nearly a decade after going defunct, reemerging and branching out into the Lenovo-owned company, Motorola Mobility, the smartphone manufacturing brand is back at it again with a new cellular gadget.
While companies like Samsung and Apple have been going head-to-head in capturing more eyes and buyer interest, Motorola recently (and quietly) introduced 2 user-friendly devices, the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. Although both devices are similar in size and shape, I soon discovered that both items have a few feature differences. However, both shared a distinct one asset that makes the device more appealing to the Android user in the market for a new phone. Before I get into what this interesting feature is, I’ll get you more acquainted with the devices and what they bring to the table.
Moto Z (pictured above on right) – Dubbed “the world’s thinnest premium smartphone,” the ultra-light Moto Z leaves pockets bulk-free with its 2.5mm razor thin design. To add extra protection for those accidental drops, the multi-carrier compatible phone comes with a water-repellent coating and a clear, shock-absorbing bumper that can be attached with two snaps. With its 2600 mAh battery, the Moto Z device offers up to 30 hours of energy and a clutch “TurboPower” charging feature, gifting owners with 8 hours of power in 15 minutes. Unlike the Moto Z force which has a 21-megapixel camera 32GB of internal storage, the Z phone comes with a more simple camera of 13-megapixel and double the internal storage (64GB), fit for the teen who needs a basic device to reach someone important, like Mom or Dad. What’s convenient about this model – originally sold in the Z DROID Edition for $624 – is that it can be purchased unlocked at the retail price of $699.99 making it more compatible to more cell phone carriers.
Moto Z Force (pictured above on left) – As for this “big brother” model, it basically serves as a more durable device, thanks to its ShatterShield 5.5-inch AMOLED display HD display. Compared to the Moto Z’s 1.8GHz quad-core, the Force’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor keeps the device running with a solid 2.2GHz quad-core processor and up to 40 hours of battery life, perfect for the heavy cell user with too many applications running. With a slightly thicker design, the Force offers more crisp photos and shooting settings, appealing to those familiar with setting used in professional photography. Compared to the Z, the Force holds a larger, 3500 mAh battery which grants 15 hours of power per each 15-minute TurboCharge session. At the moment, the Moto Z Force is a Verizon Wireless exclusive for $720 and is not offered as an unlocked model.
Thankfully, both Android phones share the same intuitive user experience. You can view your notifications without pressing a button by hovering your hand over the device like a psychic reading a crystal ball. You can turn on and off your flashlight setting by facing the touch screen the left or right and shaking it up and down like an imaginary hammer. Compared to its competitors, the volume and power buttons are positioned on the right as opposed to the left, which takes a little bit of getting used to. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to reset the device after holding down the power button. One has to select “Power off” and press the button again to complete the restart, which is something I am not accustomed to. After much observation of the cell phone’s body, you’ll notice that the traditional headphone jack is nowhere to be found. Both Moto phones come with a 3.5 mm to USB-C headphone adapter, which can be plugged into the same port where the phone is charged.
After toying around with both devices for a few weeks, I can honestly say that I like the devices. No cell phone is perfect and these phones fair very well. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force devices get the job done, just like any other cell phone model out today. But one factor that influenced enjoyment of the phone is the one factor that makes them stand out from the rest – its cool accessory line of Moto Mods.
What are they? Simply magnetic and stowable add-ons that stick to the back of either Moto Z model. All convenient, fun and super simple, all five (5) mods are currently available for purchase – the Incipio offGRID power pack, the Insta-Share projector, the JBL SoundBoost, the Hasselblad True Zoom and style shells. In the gallery above, I break down what I found dope about each mod as well as what I didn’t like or wished there was more of. Some of them are a part of Motorola’s Black Friday Sale which ends on Cyber Monday, November 28.
Get familiar with all of them up top. Who knows, Motorola’s Moto Z phone just might be a good stocking stuffer and maybe most fun gift you’ve ever given.