Motorola announces Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod support

Posted August 04, 2018

Gaurang Telang, Motorola's product manager for Flagships and Innovation, confirmed to Engadget that the 5G Mod "won't be the last Mod", and that Moto Mods would "absolutely" continue to be part of the brand's mobile strategy for the foreseeable future. Google, which had a greater ambition for modular phones and LG, which tried modular phones once, have both given up on the idea. The modularity of the Moto Z line is what allowed Motorola to launch the world's first "5G-upgradeable" smartphone.

The Mod will initially work only with the Z3, although Moto said it's working on making it compatible with earlier generations of Verizon Moto Z phones. You've seen this phone before, or at least most of it, as it's nearly exactly the same as the Moto Z3 Play, which launched back in June. Powering the smartphone is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset, which could seem to be outdated in comparison to the current flagship SoC.

Motorola's targeting an early 2019 launch, but pricing for the 5G Mod hasn't been announced yet. Coming to the cameras, the Z3 sports two 12MP cameras on the rear side with the primary sensor featuring Dual Pixel autofocus, phase-detect laser autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash.

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Details are still developing on the Moto Z3, but from very brief hands-on time with the phone we've already had, it's easy to see that it is extremely similar to the Z3 Play from a design standpoint.

Numerous Z3 Play's hallmark features, like its dual-lens cameras capable of shooting in true black-and-white, as well as its 6-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display, return in the Moto Z3. Motorola hasn't announced any plans for worldwide expansion, so it's unclear if the phone - or the 5G Moto Mod - will ever arrive here in Australia.

From a subscription perspective, the Mod acts like "a data card connected to your phone", according to Moto engineers. The device is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and support (15W) TurboPower fast charging technology. For the time being, the focus is on the capabilities of the Moto Z3 as they exist in August 2018, and not what they may be at some point next year. On the connectivity front, you get 4G VoLTE, nano-SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, NFC and USB Type-C port.

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The 5G mod uses the usual MotoMod connector, but it only works with this specific phone. The Moto Z3 comes in only one colour model - Ceramic Black. The handset also a side-facing fingerprint sensor - embedded on the right. The 5G Moto Mod will be available later.

-The Moto Z3 is splash resistant, but Motorola hasn't yet specified the IP rating. There is now no information about the eagerly awaited Motorola One Power and the Moto One smartphones.

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