Moto Z Review
Motorola’s thinnest, most powerful and most expensive smartphone ever.
The first flagship phone to come out of Motorola since it was taken over by Lenovo is impressive. Within the confines of a black slab that is the look of pretty much every smartphone on the market Motorola has broken some new ground. The Moto Z is the slimmest smartphone at just 5.19 mm thin. It is so thin that Motorola couldn’t fit in a 3.5mm headphone jack and the ubiquitous micro USB port has been replaced by the new USB Type-C adapter. This means your old charging cables won’t work.
The all-metal body has a premium look. The frame is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and the rear is stainless steel with an etched design that gives it a grippy feel. The camera and flash module projects a bit from the back. You will also notice the gold pins across the bottom. These are for Moto Mods a standout feature that adds extra capabilities to the phone.
On the front side the screen is protected with the latest Gorilla Glass 4. The Moto Z comes in Black with Lunar Grey trim is a solid and classy feeling phone. The bezel at the bottom is a bit large to accomodate the fingerprint sensor which works well. Perhaps not quite as good as the sensor on the iPhone 7 it is certainly the best on an Android phone. It is however easy to mistake for a home button until you get used to it.
If you are like the design you will be equally impressed by the power under the hood…this is a serious flagship smartphone:
- System Architecture/Processor: Motorola Mobile Computing System, including Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with 1.8 GHz Quad-core CPU and Adreno 530 GPU Natural Language Processor Contextual Computing Processor
- Memory (RAM): 4GB LPDDR4
- Storage (ROM): 32GB, microSD Card support (up to 2 TB)
- Dimensions: Height: 153.3 mm, Width: 75.3 mm, Depth: 5.19 mm
- Weight: 136g
- Battery: Mixed usage up to 30 hours (2600 mAh). TurboPower™ for up to 8 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging.
The Moto Z comes with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and Motorola promises an upgrade to Nougat. All of this powers an impressive 5.5″ 2560 x 1440 AMOLED screen with a pixel count of 535ppi.
The cameras are appropriate for a top of the line flagship. The front shooter is a 5MP sensor with a fast f2.2 wide angle lens with flash which provides good results for selfies and video calls. The rear camera is 13MP with a f1.8 lens with optical image stabilization as well as all the other features you expect from a flagship phone. The rear camera takes excellent pictures under most lighting conditions. It also features video stabilization and records 1080p HD video at 60fps as well as 4K at 30fps with Video HDR at both resolutions.
The Moto Z is an impressive phone with luxurious finishing and up to date design. I found it surprisingly comfortable to hold despite the slimness and flat back.
Performance is impressive, apps start quickly and scroll smoothly, multitasking is seamless and the phone seems to have power to spare. Motorola has obviously optimized power consumption because I was easily able to get two days on a charge with moderate use. For those busy days the turbo charge feature gave me another 8 hours of use in only 15 minutes.
If you are looking for a well built great looking Android phone with excellent performance the Moto Z is a really good choice. It is Motorola’s most expensive phone at about $900 with no contract. It is well worth the price especially when you consider the extra value brought by the Moto Mods. The Moto Z is available at Bell, Koodo (Online Only), Rogers and TELUS starting at $220 depending on the plan.
So far I have spoken about just the phone, but the Moto Z comes with those gold pins on the back I mentioned at the beginning of this review. Those pins combined with powerful magnets ar for Moto Mods which set the Moto Z phone apart from all the rest. Moto Mods snap on to the back of the phone and add features from a simple back cover, to a battery pack, a JBL speaker, a projector and a camera by Hasselblad. More on those later this week.