The Moto Z lineup of smartphones has a lot going for it, but one of its coolest features is the wide variety of Moto Mods you can slap onto the phones. Moto Mods easily attach to the back of everything from 2016's Moto Z Force to more recent releases such as the Moto Z2 Play and Moto Z2 Force (and presumably, whatever Z3 Motorola has planned for this year). The mods all magnetically clasp to the back of the phone with a definitive click and vibration, allowing the phone to automatically detect its new add-on.
We've tested a dozen currently available mods, ranking them on their design, utility and cost. If there are any Moto Mods you'd like to see us review, hit us up in the comments.
Credit: Tom's Guide
One of the most useful Moto Mods I've tested, the Incipio Offgrid Power Pack with Wireless Charging lets you snap a respectable 2220 mAh battery onto the back of your phone. While that's not quite as impressive as the Turbopower Pack, the Offgrid's slim profile and wireless charging compatibility more than make up for its shorter life. The Offgrid will charge your phone (and itself) fairly quickly once you place it on top of any Qi wireless charging pad, or you can charge the old-fashioned way, as long as it's connected to your phone. Either way, it's an attractive and functional Moto Z addition.—Marshall Honorof
One of the newest Moto Mods offers the next best thing to a removable battery. The Moto Turbopower case packs a whopping 3,490 mAh battery that promises a full day of extra battery life. The coarse back material provides a solid grip and feel, though one of our editors found that the phone tended to get warm after initially attaching the Turbopower before eventually cooling down. The mod weighs a hefty 3.36 ounces, but it offers the option to recharge it separately via its USB-C port. There's also a battery indicator on the shell itself for checking power levels at a glance.—Ben Moore
Swapping in a new back panel for your phone is a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to give your phone a new look. The Moto Style Shells, which cost only $20, can also alter the way the phone feels in your hand. The 0.8-ounce shell we tested featured a gray textured back with diagonal cross-hatching, as well as a circular Motorola logo, but you can choose from different materials, including fabric (Herringbone or Crimson Ballistic), wood (Silver Oak, Washed Oak or Charcoal Ash) and leather (Black) styles. We found the texture to be softer than the Z2 Play's metallic back, offering a good amount of grip.—Ben Moore
If you're ready to rock out, the dual 3-watt speakers of the latest JBL Soundboost mod deliver louder and clearer audio than your Motorola phone's built-in speaker. The Soundboost 2 also supports speakerphone functions. When you first connect this mod, it prompts you to to install the JBL companion app for controlling the equalizer and enabling the surround-sound enhancements.
The mod's splashproof fabric, which comes in either a black or blue (the blue was bright and bold in-person), felt nice, despite the overall bulkiness. There's also a stand that flips out from the back for propping up your Moto Z and giving the speakers a better playback angle. At $80, this is a fairly cost-effective way of boosting your phone's audio powers.—Ben Moore
Available exclusively through Verizon Wireless, the $79 Moto Gamepad transforms your phone into a veritable mobile gaming powerhouse by adding two joysticks, a gamepad, a directional pad and a few other navigational buttons. That functionality adds size: the gamepad tacks on another 2.75 inches in height and nearly an inch of width to your phone.
With the integrated battery pack on the gamepad, Motorola claims that gamers can play for a full 8 hours without interruption. The Moto Gamepad ships this summer, but we had the chance to test drive it during E3 2017, and we found that its buttons felt firm and responsive. It's not cheap, but the Gamepad mod offers a more comfortable experience for dedicated mobile gamers along with extra juice.—Ben Moore
The Moto Style Shell with Wireless Charging is exactly what it sounds like. You simply snap the style shell, which comes in a gray herringbone or a pink floral design, onto the back of your Moto Z phone. Then, if you place it on top of a Qi wireless charging pad, the battery will charge — and pretty quickly at that. However, the mod has no battery of its own, making it considerably less useful than the comparable Incipio Power Pack with Wireless Charging. Furthermore, while an average Style Shell mod will run you between $15 and $20, the wireless charging variant costs a hefty $40.—Marshall Honorof
Moto Z owners seeking an extra power boost have several backup battery options, including the Tumi Power Pack. This mod includes a 2,220 mAH battery, which is rated to add 22 hours to your phone's battery life. The mod features a somewhat slippery and brushed hard-plastic design and weighs 2.72 ounces.
Z2 Play owners in particular may appreciate how this mod's dark gray and red color scheme blends in well with the phone's metallic side buttons. But the material does not feel as high quality or as comfortable as some of the other mods we tested. Motorola's own Turbopower pack offers a higher battery capacity, a USB-C port for charging and feels much nicer in the hand for only a small jump in price.—Ben Moore