When Motorola Mobility was acquired by Lenovo, in 2014, everybody was wondering what type of innovation would follow with the influence of the Chinese technology powerhouse, most known for taking over IBM’s laptop business, in 2004.
Now we can actually see the first fresh ideas taking shape in form if the new Android OS-based smartphone Moto Z, available for $699.99. The Moto Z is compatible with the Moto Mods, which are functional backs that can be swapped into the rear of the device.
We had a look into what’s already ready and available to Moto Z owners. How do the Moto Mods work? According to their website, with “…magnets. Really strong magnets”. Beyond that, there are some interesting features to be checked, so have a look:
The Hasselblad True Zoom mod significantly improves your photography game. 10x optical (mechanical lens shift) zoom lets you take photos of objects in the distance without decreasing the overall image quality like if you used the digital zoom of your phone’s camera. The mod also comes with an improved xenon flashlight for better shots in most environments and physical buttons for shutter and zoom control. Feels like an actual camera now. This mod costs $299.99.
With the Moto Insta-Share Projector mod you can project videos or photos on any even surface. If you want to watch movies properly you might want to also go for a silver screen for your mini home cinema. This mod comes with an integrated battery for less surge on your primary phone battery and a stand for projecting at multiple angles. Please note the specifications of a maximum resolution 480p, 50 ANSI lumen brightness and lamp lifetime of 10,000 hours. This mod costs $299.99.
Swapping in the JBL SoundBoost Speaker mod you will improve the sound quality when listening to music and making use of actual stereo sound. This mod is hardwired when snapped into your Moto Z, so you won’t need to bother with connection cables or Bluetooth pairing. The mod also comes with a stand so you can position your speaker as needed. JBL is a subsidiary of Harman, who happen to have just been acquired by Samsung, so this partnership could be ending very soon too. This mod costs $79.99.
Rather than carrying around a box of battery packs to charge your phone via USB cable, the Power Pack Battery mod (Incipio offGRID Power Pack) instantly adds hours of battery life to your smartphone. If you’re a power user, you might as well buy a few of these. One pack contains 2220 mAh of power. The actual phone’s battery contains 2600 mAh of power. A common no-name battery pack has a lot more capacity for less money. I am not sure how this pricing was developed. This mod costs $59.99.
If you don’t need any of the above for the day you can still style up your phone’s back by using one of the Moto Style Shell swappable backs. Whether you want to go for a fabric style, wood style, or some other pattern, these will do the job. Reminds a little of the swappable Nokia covers and backs from back in their era. One such back costs $19.99.
The Moto Mods are innovative but might be a little too pricey for only limited feature specifications. If they keep the compatibility up for future smartphones this might be a worthy investment, though. It’s great to see a large company actually trying something new. We didn’t see a lot of hardware innovation in the mobile space for long. For 300 bucks I just might go grab a
On the other hand, for 300 bucks I just might go grab a compact camera, with 20x zoom, on its own and not buy an add-on that only works with my smartphone.
What do you think about these? Should Apple, Samsung, and others follow or would you stay away from the Moto Mods? Please share your thoughts below in the comment section.
YouTube: Introducing Moto Mods – Transform your phone in a snap
Photo credit: Motorola Mobility / Ivan Ivankovic
Source: Crunchbase / Motorola Mobility
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I’m Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say ‘hi’ sometime. 😉