Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Motorola Z3 hands-on: Motorola's latest smartphone, brought to you by Verizon

Motorola Z3 hands-on: Motorola's latest smartphone, brought to you by Verizon

The Moto Z3 is the first 5G phone-with an asterisk. Gaurang Telang, Motorola's product manager for Flagships and Innovation, confirmed to Engadget that the 5G Mod "won't be the last Mod", and that Moto Mods would "absolutely" continue to be part of the brand's mobile strategy for the foreseeable future. Here we are just over a couple of months later and the Moto Z3 and the Moto 5G Moto Mod are now official.

There's no word quite yet as to how much the 5G Moto Mod will cost, but once it's available, you'll be able to place it on the back of the Z3 and access Verizon's 5G network (assuming you live in a market that's covered by it). Sure, the Moto Z3 Play had a field day with spec leaks and protected views, but it looks as though Motorola kept nearly everything about the Moto Z3 under wraps.

The primary camera could be a dual sensor setup featuring two 12-megapixel sensors on the rear, one of which might be a depth sensor/telephoto lens. There's also a side-mounted fingerprint reader just like the Z3 Play. Motorola hasn't specified battery capacity, but says it'll last a full day.

The phone's only questionable spec is its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.

Motorola is known for offering pure stock Android experience on its phone which will be the case for the Moto G6 Plus as well. The base variant is going to have 64 GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, while the maxed out version should come with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.

Now onto the 5G Moto Mod, because honestly, the Moto Z3 sounds pretty average on its own. Moto Z3 is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor and the phone could also support Qualcomm's QuickCharge 4.0 technology. The attachment uses four millimeter-wave modules located in the front, side, and rear to achieve 5G connectivity no matter what orientation the phone's held in.

Numerous Z3 Play's hallmark features, like its dual-lens cameras capable of shooting in true black-and-white, as well as its 6-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display, return in the Moto Z3.

The challenge, of course, is that carriers are still building out their 5G networks. We got to take an early look at the phone at Motorola's launch event in Chicago. However, the company said it's still working with Verizon to determine whether users will still face the same data caps they're already limited to on current 4G networks.

It's an interesting idea and we see it as being really useful for tethering other devices. But there are still questions we don't know the answers to. It's just $20 a month for 24 months on Verizon's device payment plan and $480 at retail.

Pricing and exact availability for the 5G mod will come later this year.

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