Another day, another black rectangle. But not this day, for Moto has… dare I say… UNLEASHED a swag of new gear that has us dazzled.
The basic stuff comprises two new smartphones, and they’re pretty decent, but it’s the stuff that you can attach to the back that really piques our interest.
Phone-wise, there’s the $699 Moto Z Play and the $999 Moto Z. The Play is all about big battery life. It packs a 3510 mAh unit, which is good but not remarkable, but Moto claims it’s quite possibly the longest lasting smartphone out there thanks to ‘optimisations’. The company held off making that a definitive statement, but implied that in testing it was a battery champ better than any other, and can go for 45 hours of mixed usage. We shall be testing that once review units arrive! The Play is a 5.5-inch Full HD device with a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 CPU, 16MP laser focus camera, 32GB memory and 3GB of RAM.
The properly premium Moto Z is now officially the thinnest premium smartphone on the market today, at a mere 5.2mm. Made from stainless steel and aluminium it feels mighty solid in the hand. It also sports a 5.5-in screen, but with a big 2560×1440 res and has a healthier Snapdragon 820 processor – the same as seen in most premium phones at the moment. 4GB of RAM and 84GB of memory are onboard. The camera is 13MP and the battery 2600 mAh.
But these phones are really all about the things that attach magnetically to the back. These ‘Moto Mods’ do wonderful things, aren’t especially cheap, have several already at launch and more in the pipeline – especially as one of the Mods is a Raspberry Pi-style dev kit!
Each attaches magnetically to the back, and communicates via a strip of contacts. These, by the way, can be safely left uncovered with no Mods, or you can attach a style cover to pretty things up. I personally really liked the ghetto look of exposed contacts, it looks properly geeky in a very nice way.
To the Mods!
JBL SoundBoost Speaker – $159
In brief testing at the noisy event they seemed pretty decent for a hotel room party or BBQ. It also includes a battery and as with all Moto Mods, will run the Mod battery dry before hitting the phone battery.
Hasselblad True Zoom Camera – $399
By far the most interesting, it looks fantastic and shoots well in our launch event testing. The 10x optical zoom is the big draw card. As for how much actual Hasselblad stuff is here that remains unclear. We know the glass isn’t Hasselblad, or the sensor. So, once again, like many smartphone companies it’s likely mostly just a licensed name, but regardless it’s unique and doesn’t add ridiculous volume to the phone’s bulk. A very bright Xenon flash is another big plus, as is the ability to shoot in RAW.
Instashare Projector – $429
This pico projector is fairly basic, but it works.
There are also standard battery power packs and a bunch of style covers.
We have review units on the way and will be testing these hard – especially the camera. For now it’s a genuine delight to be nicely surprised by such gutsy innovation. And if the whole community dev scene takes off there could be a very exciting development. GG Moto.