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Lenovo’s latest flagship ‘Moto Z’ sports cool, modular back-covers sans headphone jack

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At the Tech World keynote event today, Lenovo announced their new global flagship device, the Moto Z. Whats with the ‘Z’ you ask and where is the ‘X’ ? Well, the Moto X product line-up has been revamped to be called the ‘Z’ to give it the Lenovo touch and move away from being a Google product.

The Moto Z is a thin, sleek and modular upgrade from the previous bulky flagship line-up of the Moto X. The device’s exterior features a metal body made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, giving it a more clean and chamfered look.


The Chinese tech giant is calling Moto Z to be the ‘world’s thinnest premium smartphone’ with modular capabilities(which we will talk about just a little later). On the outside, the flagship hosts a 5.5 inch Quad-HD AMOLED display(2560×1440) with thin bezels and a fingerprint sensor below the display to help you unlock your phone with ease. On the inside, the Moto Z is powered by the Snapdragon 820(why!? they could’ve used the latest 823 SoC), 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of on-board storage coupled with a microSD card slot for memory expansion.

Now, this is Lenovo’s latest flagship device, so it is bound to have some impressive hardware and additional features to boost the performance of the device.

On the camera front, the device supports a 13 MP rear sensor with dual-led flash, OIS and laser autofocus, while the selfie cam(or the front camera) is a 5MP wide-angle lens with flash. The rear camera has been bumped down from the 21MP shooter on the Moto X pure edition to a measly 13MP, but the design aesthetics according to the company pay homage to the ‘flat tire’ design of the Moto 360 smartwatch.


The device is powered by a 2,600 mAh battery with Turbo charging capabilities, which can provide you with upto 8 hours of back-up with just 15 minutes of charging. And as the connectivity port standards are shifting towards USB Type-C, Lenovo has taken the right step in that direction. But, the biggest shocker of all is – there is no 3.5 mm headphone jack on the device. It seems that Lenovo is steeping away from the distorted analog audio capabilities and taking a step to ensure high-quality audio and fast-charging with the help of the USB Type-C connector.

But since a large part of the population is still using standard headphones with a 3.5mm connector, so Lenovo will be including a 3.5mm to USB C adapter in the box so you can still use standard headphones with the device. Lenovo is the second smartphone maker to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack after LeEco and Apple is also expected to debut the iPhone 7 with no headphone jack.

There is no hint of the pricing of the handset and it is expected to make a debut by September, alongside its AR brother and the first Tango powered smartphone, the Lenovo Phab Pro 2.

Well, we’ve been hearing rumors all-summer about Lenovo introducing swappable back covers for its latest flagship, the Moto Z. And it seems that the rumors were in-fact true.

Meet the Moto Mods


Lenovo has debuted modular back-panels for the Moto Z, called the Moto Mods. These are accessories designed to connect to the back of your Moto Z and offer additional functionality to the device, without introducing much change to the device.

So how do the Moto Mods actually work? It’s just a simple one word answer – Magnets.

You can snap any Moto Mods onto the back of your phone using integrated magnets, that snap the cover onto the back of the device perfectly. There is no second step to this process. You just snap on the Moto Mod, the phone recognizes it and adjusts accordingly(there is just a one-time setup process to activate the Moto Mods though).

Lenovo is working with a host of hardware makers to bring the best modular and swappable back covers for your Moto Z, including JBL, iconic fashion brands like TUMI and Kate Spade, and many more

Let’s take a look at some of the Moto Mods that we’have been introduced to at the launch event:

  • JBL SoundBoost Speaker: This Moto Mod will help you turn your smartphone into a powerful stereo-sound boombox. Just snap in the speaker and you’re ready to annoy the people around you. The JBL Moto Mod has a built-in kickstand, an additional 10-hour lasting battery, and a speakerphone(ofcourse!) to hear your music and calls in surround sound.
  • Incipio OffGrid Power Pack: This is Lenono’s version of a battery-pack cover but with looks and style as compared to the ugly and hated battery-pack cover by Apple. This sleek battery pack could provide you with upto 22 hours of extra juice, and can also be charged wirelessly using NFC. And Incipio has also partnered with TUMI and Kate Spade New York to add ‘bling’ to your battery packs.
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector: This is exactly what you think it is – a mini projector that you can snap onto your Moto Z. This Moto Mod helps you turn any flat surface into a 70″ big screen to watch movies on the fly. This also has a built-in kickstand, so you can prop it up at any angle to enjoy your movies and catch up on the latest Game of Thrones episodes. And yeah, it’s extra fun to gather friends and share these moments with, rather than being lonely.
  • Moto Style Shell: Add beautiful personalized styling to your Moto Z, and choose form a wide range of materials, textures and fabrics, be it wood, leather, or any other fabric.

I think you should know another interesting fact about the Moto Mods. Lenovo has also announced a Moto Mod Developer Kit for third-party developers to expand and exploit their potential to bring forth some impressive Moto Mods. The company has also promised that the tech has been designed to work with future Moto Z handsets, and it isn’e expected to faze out anytime soon.

So, you can expect to see many more Moto Mods pop-up for sale in the coming months, as the developers try to provide you with extra capabilities to add to your device.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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