Motorola was bought out by Lenovo a few years ago, and the new Moto Z lineup replaces the old Moto X lineup. The Moto Z takes many ideas of the old lineup and packs them into a slimmer, lighter phone that is more customizable than ever.
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Pro Useful software features with supporting hardware
Recent Moto phones have all come with very useful software features, and the Moto Z is no exception. Moto Display uses IR sensors built-in to the front of the phone to detect when you wave your hand over it, and when you do it displays the time and up to 3 recent notifications. These notifications can be acted on right on the Moto Display screen, making it a seamless and very useful feature.
Moto Voice uses 4 microhones to passively listen for your voice - and your voice only to activate. Saying the customizable launch phrase anytime - even when the phone is off in your pocket or across the room - will activate Moto Voice where you can use it to check your notifications, send texts, check the weather, and more.
Pro Super customizable
Moto Mods snap onto the back of the Moto Z and add modular functionality. Here are the currently available more (more are expected in the future):
Insta-Share Projector ($300): Projects up to a 70" screen and includes a stand. Includes a built-in battery.
SoundBoost ($80): JBL stereo speakers includes a stand and a built-in battery.
Wireless Charging Battery Pack ($90): Nearly doubles the phone's battery life and adds wireless charging.
Style Shell ($60): Adds a textured back to the Moto Z and covers the camera hump.
These mods clip onto the back of the phone using the pins near the bottom rear.
Pro Solid camera performs well in any situation
With 13MP, OIS, laser autofocus and 1.4µm pixels it's no surprise that the Moto Z takes great shots. It manages to get exposure correct in virtually every shot it takes, even if its dynamic range is just a touch shy of the best phone cameras.
Pro Battery charges quickly
The battery in the Moto Z is about 13% smaller than similar phones, which helps it charge a bit quicker. This is helped by Qualcomm QuickCharge technology, which accelerates charging speeds below 70% before tapering off. A full charge takes about 75 minutes.
Pro Super thin design
At just 5.2mm, this is one of the thinnest high-end phones available. Compare this to the iPhone 6S which is 7.1mm thick or the Galaxy S7 which is 7.9mm. This is really important for Moto Mods, which will add thickness (which is OK because it's so thin to begin with).
Pro Great performance
The Snapdragon 820 processor paired with 4GB of RAM is plenty to run all modern apps well. It scores very highly on all benchmarks- scoring 7396 in PCMark overall (beating phones with similar specs like the Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3), and 260 in AndroBench 4.0 sequential read (beating all but the LG G5 which scored 262).
On the GPU side, things are similarly snappy. In 3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 overall, it scored 2nd place with a score of 1865, and in the GFXBench Car Chase it was only bested by phones that has a lower resolution display.
Con Poor battery life
The 2600mAh battery in the Moto Z powers a large, high resolution display. This is the smallest battery seen yet in a phone using the Snapdragon 820 processor, and it shows. During web browsing, this phone lasts just 6.5 hours, lower than all of its high-end competition.
Con No 3.5mm headphone jack
There is only 1 port: USB-C. This means that you will need to use the included USB-C to 3.5mm jack for wired headphones, or you will need to use bluetooth headphones.
Con Verizon exclusive for now
The Moto Z will be available starting in September world-wide, but is currently available on Verizon as the Moto Z Droid.
Con Slightly below average display
The display isn't the brightest at just 350 nits, its greyscale accuracy is poor, and whites tend to show up blueish. On paper this display performs decent, but not anything special. In person it still looks good however, with very punchy colors - even if they aren't the most accurate.