Motorola Moto Mods The Basics
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Moto Mods Style Shells

Motorola Moto Mods The Basics

For some the modular smartphone has become the holy grail. LG gave it a try with the G5. You slide out the bottom module and replace it with a camera grip or a headphone amplifier. The best module is the ability to swap out the phone’s battery…not exactly a game changer. Then there’s Google’s Project Ara, which promises a lot but is still a long way from reality.

Motorola started out with Moto Maker a few years ago…a way to customize the look of your Motorola smartphone with different colors and materials. That idea has morphed into Moto Mods for the Moto Z family of phones. Moto Mods add functional features to these phones as well as styling changes.

The secret behind the simplicity of the Moto Mods is powerful magnets which enable the Mods to just snap on to the back of the phone. The row of contacts allows instant connection with he phone so no special apps are needed to use the features of the Mods.

Style Shells

Moto Mods Style Shells

The simplest of the Moto Mods is related to the original Moto Maker. The Style Shells  demonstrate the simplicity of the Z family’s modular technology and add an element of personality to your phone at the same time. Attached by powerful magnets, the detachable back covers for the Z phones, the Style Shells come in a range of colours and materials that add 2mm of thickness to the back of the That 2mm covers up the phone’s otherwise prominent rear camera bump and smooths out the normally flat back of the phone making it easier to hold for some. Style Shells come in a range of colours including Red Ballistic, Black Leather, Silver Oak for $29 at Bell, Rogers and TELUS

Incipio OffGRID Power Pack

Moto Mod Incipio OfffGrid Power Pack

The razer thin (6.2mm) Incipio OffGRID Power Pack crams a 2200mAH battery into a 79 gram package. That will add up to 22 hours of battery life. I comfortably got three days on a Moto Z with the battery pack and with a Moto Z Play with its already huge battery I only had to recharge at noon on day 5. If I was prepared to shut off the Bluetooth and WiFi radios I likely could have squeezed a full week out of the Z Play. My only complaint is the requirement to charge the Power Pack only while it is attached to the phone. I would prefer it have a charging port of its own. The Incipio OffGRID Power Pack is $89 at Bell, Rogers and TELUS 

JBL Soundboost Speaker

The third basic Moto Mod is the cool JBL Soundboost speaker. This cool little addition to the Moto Z family of smartphones brings a pretty impressive little stereo speaker with a kickstand that makes it perfect for watching videos.

Moto Mod JBL Soundboost

The audio is surprisingly good. If you want to start an impromptu party, when cranked up the volume is impressively loud with no distortion. Like all these little speakers it struggles at the low end but for listening to music or videos the JBL Soundboost is as good as anything in this price and size range. You don’t have to worry about the speaker draining your phone battery. It gets power from an internal battery that provides up to 10 hours of music. The JBL Soundboost is $99 at Bell, Koodo (Online Only), Rogers and TELUS By the way, you can clearly notice the difference between the phone’s built in speaker and the Soundboost in this video

The clip is a Pentatonix cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelulia from their new Christmas album A Pentatonix Christmas. If you are only going to buy one album this Christmas this should be it.

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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