Motorola’s Android offerings used to be synonymous with bang-for-buck devices, offering a smooth Android experience without the exorbitant price tag. There was also the signature back dimple which housed the “M” – an intuitive place for users to place their index finger. With Lenovo now at the helm, and a new letter to denote a new tier, it seems Motorola is geared to play with the big boys.
Dimple Be Gone
The Moto Z stands out Moto’s previous offerings, eschewing the curved back for straight, slim profile. In place of the back dimple is the bane of modern smartphone design – the camera bump, and a pronounced one at that. That said, the Moto Z is remarkably comfortable to hold with one hand – it doesn’t dig into your fleshy palms, and the hardware buttons are easy to access… for right-handers (sorry southpaws!).
Fast and Furious
With some fast innards tucked within and just some light customisations applied to Android 6.0.1, it’s all smooth sailing with the Moto Z. The fingerprint reader unlocks the phone almost instantly, beating the current device I’m carrying. Throughout my days using it, I have never noticed any hints of slowdown, whether it’s playing a game of just checking my social feeds – the Moto Z is on point.
Time to Mod
The Moto Z also introduces the Moto Mods and Moto’s proprietary pogo-pin connection, with each Mod meant to enhance your experience with the Moto Z. Need a bigger battery? There’s a Mod for that. Need a projector? There’s one made by Lenovo. Need a souped-up camera with 10x optical zoom? Get the Hasselblad attachment. Finally, if you’re looking to shake the room, there’s the JBL SoundBoost Mod.
High Entry Point
My main issue with the Moto Mods is this: though they look and function the part, for the price they command, you could opt to invest in something non-proprietary – whether it be a power bank, a Bluetooth speaker, or a better camera. Buying into the Moto Z family means buying into an unproven ecosystem – one with potential, but you’ll need to get past the high entry price.
The unobtrusive and helpful Moto-exclusive features make a return in the Z, with Actions (gestures), Voice (voice commands) and Display (ambient display).
The pins at the bottom lets you connect to the various Moto Mods, or if you can opt for a Style Shell to keep things clean and simple.
The 2600mAh may seem small, but the Moto Z gently sips on the charge, letting it last a full working day with juice to spare.
Shift into Turbo
With the TurboPower charger, say goodbye to long charging times – a full charge just takes a little more than an hour.
In Brightest Day
The main camera of the Moto Z works well in normal lighting conditions…
In Darkest Night
However, low-light performance is mediocre at best, and don’t even think about using the digital zoom.
24 Hour Experience
Well, this is one comfortable device – with or without the bundled Style Shell. Colour me impressed.
Now I’m getting the hang of this. Definitely will miss chop chop and wrist twist after the review period.
The Moto Mods make or break the Moto Z, and so far, they excel at what they do.
Byline: By TeddyC
Price: RM 2,699
Dimensions (HxWxD): 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm
Weight: 136 g
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Storage: 64GB + microSD
Display: 5.5in AMOLED, 2560 x 1440 pixels
Battery: 2600mAh, non-removable
Camera: 13MP main; 5MP front-facing
Operating System: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Antutu Benchmark: 57096
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 1964
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme: 12879
PCMark Work 2.0 Performance: 5410
Basemark ES3.1 U-Boat: 390
Basemark X High: 24213
RATING – Out of 10 points
Verdict: A great flagship in and of itself, but the asking price and the pricey Mods make it a hard sell.
Total Score: 8.4