If you thought flagship season was over, well, you’re in for a treat as we’re now likely hours away from the launch of the Motorola Moto Z, or the Moto X 2016 as it used to be known.
Being so close to launch there are a lot of leaks and rumors, so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect and it looks to be worth getting excited about.
Above and beyond the high-end specs you’d expect the Moto Z to pack, it’s also shaping up to be customizable and even modifiable, so you can add and improve certain features.
These are exactly the sorts of things the Moto Z needs if it wants to stand out, as it’s facing stiff competition from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10, not to mention the impending OnePlus 3 and iPhone 7.
So if you’re in the market for a new phone, read on for all the updates on what Motorola’s got cooking.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Motorola’s next flagship
- When is it out? Likely announced on June 9
- What will it cost? Probably upwards of £339/US$450/AU$615 for the Moto Z Style
Motorola Moto Z release date
The Motorola Moto Z is likely to be announced at Lenovo Tech World 2016 on June 9.
While the launch hasn’t been officially confirmed, Lenovo’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing, revealed that an “exciting” new Motorola device would be coming on that day.
Since then an invite has been shared by HelloMotoHK, which shows a device that looks an awful lot like the leaked images we’ve seen of the Moto Z.
The date on that invite is also June 9, so if the Moto Z isn’t unveiled then we’d be very surprised.
Motorola Moto Z design
A number of shots and renders of the Moto Z have leaked and they all largely line up, so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the design of the phone.
In a departure from the Moto X Style the Moto X 2016 is shaping up to be an all-metal handset, with shots from as far back as December showing a metal back.
That shot has since been confirmed as “100 percent real” by generally-reliable twitter tipster Evan Blass and more recently we’ve seen even clearer images of the Moto Z, such as the one below.
This was shared by HelloMotoHK and gives us a clear look at what could well be the finished handset, showing off a slim metal shell with a square home button (likely housing a fingerprint scanner similar to those seen on the Moto G4), a large camera and some unusual connectors on the back.
We now know that those connectors are likely used to snap on alternative covers, which can either change the appearance through ‘Style Mods’ (with wooden, leather and ballistic nylon options having been leaked) or even add new functionality via ‘MotoMods’.
These MotoMods are reminiscent of what LG did with the LG G5, but look slightly more ambitious, with a pico projector, stereo speakers, a battery pack and a camera grip with an optical zoom lens all having been rumored.
All these mods certainly look intriguing, but they, and the metal build, may come at the expense of full Moto Maker customizations.
A leaked image from Weibo showing the phone side-on has it in silver, gold and rose gold, which may be the only color options we ultimately get, but if you can add wood, leather and projectors into the mix that’s a compromise we can live with.
Motorola Moto Z screen
The Moto Z is expected to launch in two distinct flavors, originally codenamed the Vector Thin and Vertex, but probably launching as the Moto Z Style and the Moto Z Play.
Both phones are rumored to have 5.5-inch screens, but the Moto Z Style is said to have a 1440 x 2560 resolution, while the Moto Z Play is supposedly going to come in a less-sharp 1080 x 1920 screen.
Motorola Moto Z camera and battery
The Moto Z Style is thought to have a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization and phase-detection autofocus, which should allow it to focus faster and more accurately.
The more mid-range Moto Z Play is rumored to come with a 13MP snapper without any of the extra features listed, as like previous Motorola models the ‘Play’ variant is a way of disguising a lower spec list and price.
However, what it lacks in camera skills it potentially makes up for in battery, as the Moto Z Play supposedly has a 3500mAh juice pack, while the Moto Z Style is rumored to have a far smaller 2600mAh one.
Motorola Moto Z OS and power
The Moto Z Style is expected to have a fairly conventional flagship configuration, with a Geekbench benchmark pointing to a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, just like the LG G5, HTC 10 and some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7.
That listing included an admirable score of 5344, which is similar to the 5386-scoring LG G5 and ahead of the 4962-scoring HTC 10, but behind the Galaxy S7, with its multi-core score of 6542.
The Moto Z Play meanwhile is thought to have a Snapdragon 625 processor and either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, which would still see it offer some reasonable power but perhaps a slower camera and app-switching.
Motorola Moto Z price
There aren’t any real price rumors yet, but the phones are likely to launch for roughly the same price as last year’s models, which means we’d be looking at around £339/US$450/AU$615 for the Moto Z Style and £279 (roughly US$406/AU$544) for the Moto Z Play.
Motorola Moto Z rivals
The Moto Z is going to face some stiff competition, both from phones that have already launched and those coming soon.
The LG G5 offers similar modularity, along with the same processor and RAM amount as the Moto Z is expected to launch with. We liked it a lot, but weren’t totally sold on the design.
Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which are the best Android phones around right now, with brilliant screens, great cameras, lots of power and a stylish design.
Before long the Moto Z will also have the OnePlus 3 to compete with, which looks to offer flagship power without the price. Then there’s the iPhone 7, which is set to land in September, with a slim design and an improved camera, plus all the power and slickness we’ve come to expect from iOS and Apple.