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Lenovo unveils Moto Z, the Modular Flagship

Motorola introduced its 2016 flagship smartphone lineup, known as Moto Z, at parent company Lenovo’s Tech World exhibition in San Francisco today. The line includes two all-metal handsets, the Moto Z, Moto Z Force, and features a rich ecosystem of functionality-enhancing, modular backplates called MotoMods.

On the outside, a 5.5-inch Quad HD display has thin bezels that are surrounded by a body that looks like a combination of the new Moto G and last year’s Moto X Pure Edition. Below the display, a square fingerprint sensor makes unlocking the phone much faster, which has been previously seen on Moto G4; on top, a 5MP front-facing shooter with LED flash.

Lenovo has kept with the industry trend by lowering the sensor size to 13MP from last year’s 21MP shooter, along with a dual-LED flash in a module that pays homage to the “flat tire” of the Moto 360 smartwatch. On the inside, a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal storage and room for expansion through microSD, it features a USB-C port equipped with quick charging. The battery seems disappointing at a below average capacity of 2600 mAh while the flagships now tend to have more.

The phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Moto skin.

The unique selling point of the Z is its modular future, with snap-in accessories called Moto Mods. These are the MotoMods that they announced todat:

  • JBL SoundBoost Speaker — Like a BoomBox strapped to the back of your phone, this Mod includes a kickstand and its own battery to offer up to 10 hours of booming sound at significantly louder volumes than the phone’s regular speaker. You can also use this Mod as a speakerphone, just in case you need whomever you are talking with to be nice and loud.
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector — This is exactly what it sounds like: a pico projector you connect to the back of your Moto Z. With its integrated kickstand and built-in battery to give you an hour of extra projector power, you can prop your phone up in a dark room and get up to a 70-inch screen.
  • Power Packs — These Moto Mods claim to offer an extra 22 hours of battery without compromising on the look and feel of your phone. They also come in TUMI and Kate Spade New York designs, which will probably look nicer than a battery backup in your pocket.
  • Moto Style Shell — Magnetic snapbacks that add real wood, leather, and other unique personalizations to the back of your phone.

Moto Mods

Unfortunately, they’re going to be exclusive to Verizon when they launch this summer. There’s good news, though. The company also just announced that the Moto Z will eventually be available unlocked from Moto.com in September.

Lenovo didn’t say exactly when the new phones will be available or how much they’ll cost, but we should know pretty soon.

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