Motorola’s modular future has arrived and it’s called Moto Mods. Appearing alongside the new Moto Z series at Lenovo TechWorld today, there’s a lot to like about Moto Mods. They simply snap into place using magnets, there will be continued compatibility with future Motorola phones and everything has been opened up to developers – with a sexy cash prize enticement – for new module ideas.
But what about the here and now? What does the first phase of Moto Mods look like and how do they work? Motorola has announced four Moto Mods to launch with the Moto Z: a projector, an extended battery pack, a style swap cover and a speaker. Here’s a closer look at the Moto Mods modules Motorola already has in store for you.
JBL SoundBoost speaker
This is my favorite Moto Mod so far. It’s a very simple idea: a speaker attachment for your Moto Z that snaps on and turns the back of your phone into a huge speaker. It even packs it’s won battery so you can get up to 10 hours of playback without draining your phone’s internal battery. It also has a nifty kickstand so you can prop it up and get a comfy multimedia experience in bed or on the move.
Incipio Off-Grid Power Pack
A bulky external battery isn’t anything new, but this is definitely a new way to make it work. The Incipio Off-Grid Power Pack snaps into place and, using the Moto Z’s 16-pin connectors, adds an impressive 22 hours of additional battery life. It also adds wireless charging capabilities to the Moto Z and while it’s bulky, it isn’t as ugly as most battery cases we’ve seen (note that this isn’t a case though, so the Moto Z’s edges aren’t protected).
Moto Insta-Share Projector
It’s pretty safe to say that built-in smartphone projectors haven’t exactly taken off but they are still a cool accessory to have. This is where the Moto Insta-Share Projector comes in. Following the same form factor as the other Moto Mods, the Insta-Share Projector includes a built-in battery for an hour of projecting time, a kickstand and 70-inch field of view. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have squeezed in enough battery to get you through a full movie.
Moto Style Shell
Moto Style Shells are simply replaceable back covers with a variety of different colors, designs and textures. For the Moto Z they are also available in real wood and leather and their slightly thick build means the Moto Z camera bump won’t be quite as noticeable. We’ll be interested to see just how snug the fit is though, considering the magnets on the back of the Moto Z are right at the bottom edge.
So that’s it. Nothing too revolutionary but an interesting first batch to launch the Moto Mods idea. It’s easy to see the JBL speaker mod will be the most popular, alongside the shells, but if the $1 million prize for the best module design has any impact we might see some pretty cool new modules in the very near future.
Which module do you think is best? What module would you design?
ZUK, a China-based sub-brand of tech giant Lenovo, has been busy in the smartphone marketplace of late. Only last month, the firm launched the impressive-looking Z2 Pro—a flagship device featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and up to a whopping 6 gigs of RAM. Today, the firm has unleashed the standard ZUK Z2, which still packs a punch with the SD820 and 4 GB of RAM.
The Z2 Pro, at just over $400, is rather inexpensive when compared to many other Snapdragon 820-powered handsets. Even so, the new Z2 scales a few features back to further to drag the price below the $300 barrier. The sleek, 'true 3D glass' design of the Pro is downgraded to a 2.5D glass finish over a decidedly generic aesthetic, which looks rather like a stretchediPhone 4 with a Samsung Galaxy-esque home button. But even though the Z2 makes cutbacks, the device described by ZUK as a 'small screen super flagship' nonetheless boasts an impressive repertoire.
Aside from the chipset and RAM, there's a 1080 x 1920 full-HD display over a 5-inch canvas, 64 GB of on-board storage, and two nano-SIM slots. The rear-facing 13-megapixel shooter boasts dual-mode focus, f/2.2 aperture and several other treats, while the front snapper gets a wide-angle lens for those all-important group selfies.
Like the Z2 Pro, the new version also includes a fingerprint scanner. In apparent favor of a svelte profile, the Z2 Pro's battery is a mere 3100 mAh effort—substantially less than the 4100 mAh juice pack of last year's Z1. The new Z2 includes a reasonably healthy 3500 mAh capacity, however, and there's Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology to sweeten the deal. It's also worth pointing out that the Z2 includes wireless charging support, and arrives bearing a USB Type-C port.
Available in White and Black colors, the device will sell in China for 1,799 Yuan—or $274 in US money. Even though it's perhaps not the greatest looking smartphone on the market right now, 274 bucks for a Snapdragon 820 handset with 4 gigs of RAM seems a killer deal whichever way you chop it up.
It's headed to the Chinese market from June 7th. If it became available in your area at that price, would you snag the Lenovo ZUK Z2? Let us know in the comments!