Here's How the Moto Z Stacks Up to the Competition

Back in 2013, the Moto X broke open the unlocked smartphone market with a flagship-level phone that cost hundreds less than its competitors. But after lackluster sales of last year's Moto X Style and Pure Edition phones, it was once again time to reinvent Moto. So at its annual Tech World event, Lenovo introduced a new modular vision for the iconic phone brand: the Moto Z. Here's how both versions of the Moto Z stack up against its competition.


While both versions of the Moto Z come with 5.5-inch screens, the standard Moto Z features a super-slim 0.2-inch thick body for people who want something really sleek, while the thicker 0.28-inch Moto Z Force sports a larger 3,500 mAh battery and a Shattershield 2 screen, which Lenovo says should make cracked screens a thing of the past. However, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Motorola's phone is not water resistant.

Around back, magnetic metal pins provide a connection for the Moto Z's biggest innovation: modular add-ons. At launch, Lenovo says its family of Moto Mods will consist of an add-on projector, powerful JBL stereo speakers, and battery packs co-designed by fashion brands such as TUMI and Kate Spade.

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However, there is one common feature you won't find on either Moto Zs: a headphone jack. So if you want to listen to music without using the Moto Z's small on-board speakers, you'll have to spring for wireless headphones or ones that use a USB Type-C connector.


With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, the Moto Z should have no trouble keeping up with other big name phones. And with an expandable micro SD card slot, you won't suffer from a lack of storage either.

The one spec that looks a little worrying is the vanilla Moto Z's 2,600 mAh hour battery. Because while Lenovo claims the Z should last up to 10 hours on a charge, its battery size is 200 mAh smaller than the next closest competitor, the 2,800 mAh LG G5. Thankfully, it seems Lenovo has thought about keeping its phones topped, because the Z features fast charging tech that the company claims can restore 8 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.

Aside from their battery size, the other major difference between the Moto Z and Moto Z Force is that the Force features a higher-res 21-MP megapixel camera versus the Z's 13-MP rear cam. So if you're looking for the sharpest, most detailed photos from Lenovo's new phones, the Z Force should be the clear winner.


With specs that match what you get from Samsung, LG and HTC's top-of-the-line phones, two different designs to help suit your tastes, and big 5.5-inch AMOLED displays, both versions of the Moto Z seem well-equipped to take on their competitors from Samsung, LG and HTC. If Lenovo's Moto Mods prove popular, we could also see a lot of imitators. However, you're going to have to be willing to live without a headphone jack.

But if you're hoping to get a Moto Z soon, you better be on Verizon, because the Z will be exclusive to Big Red until unlocked versions become available later this fall, the only thing we're waiting on is a price.

Sam is a Senior Writer at Engadget and previously worked at Gizmodo as a Senior Reporter. Before that, he worked at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer and Senior Product Review Analyst, overseeing benchmarks and testing for countless product reviews. He was also an archery instructor and a penguin trainer too (really).