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Motorola May Be First with a 5G Phone

The race is on to see which company will be the first to allow for 5G connectivity over your smartphone. And Motorola might just beat everyone else to the punch.

Credit: XDA Developers

(Image credit: XDA Developers)

The folks over at XDA Developers have obtained some internal documents that they say come from Lenovo's Motorola division. The documents shed some light on the Moto Z3 Play and more specifically, a new Moto Mod that would allow you to connect to 5G networks when it's attached to the handset.

The Moto Mod, a term Motorola uses to describe attachments to its smartphones that give you additional functionality, would ostensibly connect to your device and give you access to 5G networks. In an image leaked on XDA Developers' site, a person is shown attaching the Moto Mod to the back of the handset. It looks rather bulky and there's an unsightly bump at the top that's ostensibly required to connect to 5G.

MORE: The Truth About 5G: What's Coming (and What's Not) in 2018

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to remember that actually connecting to 5G networks won't be easy.

While carriers are actively working on 5G and are testing the technology in some areas, the first phones with 5G built in aren't expected until 2019. And if you don't live in an area where the carriers are testing 5G, there's a good chance you'll be waiting for quite some time to get the connection in your area.

Still, for Motorola, the move is a smart one. Using a Moto Mod would be a clever way to upgrade a 4G handset to 5G speeds.

In addition to the Moto Mod, XDA Developers obtained some specs on the Moto Z3 Play. According to those leaks, the upcoming smartphone will ship with a midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor. The device will have a 6-inch display with a Full-HD+ resolution and 4GB of RAM. A 3,000mAh battery will power the devie, and you'll have the option of 32GB or 64GB of storage.

The leaked images suggest Motorola is keeping to an older design concept with rather thick bezels at the top and bottom. And the Z3 Play looks like it will run Android Oreo. But exactly when the future-proof handset will launch is anyone's guess at the moment.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.