It looks like the next big movement in smartphone design is going to be physically customisable handsets. The latest company to do more than just add bigger screen, ramp up the processor speed and chuck in a bit more RAM is Lenovo. Today the company announces the Moto Z family with Moto Mods.
At the moment, the 'family' comprises just two phones: the Moto Z, and the more powerful Moto Z Force. Things get off to a promising start with the handset boasting impressive specs, and measuring just 5.2mm thick (which Lenovo boasts is 'The world's thinnest premium smartphone'). Which is just as well because, as you'll see, the available Moto Mods -- snap-on modules that clip to the rear of the phone to add functionality -- make it a whole lot thicker.
But let's get the basic specs out of the way first. The Moto Z is a 5.5 inch handset with a Quad HD AMOLED display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, backed up by 4GB of RAM, and there are 32- and 64-GB variants on the cards. If this isn’t enough, a microSD card slot allows storage to be expanded by up to 2TB.
Lenovo claims up to 30 hours of battery life, and a fast charge option means 15 minutes plugged into an outlet could give you 8 hours of usage. The 13MP and 5MP cameras are nothing particularly groundbreaking, but the handset gains points for the inclusion of a fingerprint reader and a water-repellent coating.
If this sounds like the sort of handset for you, the Moto Z Force takes things to the next level. The essential specs are identical, but battery life is boosted to 40 hours with TurboPower giving 15 hours of usage from 15 minutes of charging. The primary camera specs jump up to 21MP, and the handset gains the protection of second generation Moto ShatterShield technology which guarantees no cracking or shattering in case of a drop.
But it's Moto Mods that are the Moto Z's most striking feature.
A series of purpose-specific clip-on modules transform the Moto Z or Moto Z Force into a projector (Moto Insta-Share Projector), a sound system (JBL SoundBoost), or a phone with an extra 22 hours of battery life (Power Pack). Held in place with ultra-strong magnets, Lenovo says the modules will be compatible with future members of the Moto Z family.
There's no word on pricing at the moment, nor a precise release date. Lenovo says the Moto Z DROID Edition and Moto Z Force DROID Edition will launch this summer exclusively through Verizon, and will also be available at Best Buy and direct from Lenovo. A global launch will start in September.
Check out the video below to see what Lenovo has in store for later in the year, including the bulk-increasing Moto Mods: