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Lenovo announces modular Moto Z and Moto Z Force at Tech World

Lenovo has announced the modular Moto Z and Moto Z Force, the company’s next flagship smartphones, at its Tech World event today in San Francisco at the Masonic Auditorium.

The phone, along with its Moto Mods, will be available this September globally. Specific Canadian pricing and carriers, as well as worldwide pricing, have not yet been revealed. We’ve confirmed with Motorola Canada that the Moto Z will be coming be the only device in the Z line coming to Canada.

Ashton Kutcher, of That 70s ShowDude Where’s My Car and Jobs fame, took to the stage to show off the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force’s new modular “Snap” technology, allowing both phones to connect to various modular accessories called Moto Mods. While specifics regarding the port that allows Moto Mods to attach to the Z were not discussed, it seems to work very similarly to Apple’s magnetic plug on the iPad Pro and 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

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The Moto Z features a 5.5 1440p Quad HD AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels), Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, SD card expansion slot, and 30 hours of battery life thanks to its 2,600mAh battery. The phone’s 13 megapixel back-facing f/1.8 camera also features optical image stabilization, and a 5 megapixel front facing camera with a f/2.2 aperture. Moto is also highlighting the fact that both the Z and Z Force are just 5.2mm thick

The Moto Z Force on the other hand, is identical to the Moto Z in terms of technical specifications, but features a shatter proof screen Motorola calls “Shatter Shield” technology, as well as a 21 megapixel rear camera. It also features a larger 3,500mAh battery that will last 15 hours with just a 15 minute charge thanks to Motorola’s “TurboPower” charging technology. In an interesting twist, neither smartphone features a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, which means only USB-C headphones are compatible with the Moto Z and Moto Z Force.
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“Right now there are over 200 smartphone manufacturers building smartphones that look the same and feel the same. We don’t think that is good enough anymore,” said Yuanqing Yang, CEO of Lenovo at the press conference.

At launch, Moto Mods will include an Instashare portable projector, a JBL sound system attachment, and a Power Pack that adds 22 hours of battery life to the smartphone. All Moto Mods can be attached to the Moto Z and Moto Z Force without turning the smartphone off and can be instantly snapped to the exterior of the handset. Motorola says it also plans to release additional Moto Mods in partnership with third-party accessory manufacturer Mophie, a company known for manufacturing battery attachments for a variety of smartphones.

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Unlike LG’s G5 and its limited modular devices, Motorola says it has ambitions to expand its Moto Z Moto Mods to third-party manufacturers through a developer program called Moto Labs, designed to encourage more companies to build accessories for the Moto Z.

Concepts shown off during the keynote include an accessory called OneCommpute, a device that docks the Moto Z in order to put its screen on a larger display. On top of this, Motorola announced a contest that will award the company with the best MotoMod accessory $1 million.

Yang also mentioned that its new Z series of smartphones will act as a hub for various devices, including cloud services and wearables, though specifics were not revealed.

Unfortunately for those hoping Lenovo would revive the Razr brand in more than just name, it seems Motorola’s new Z Force device has very little in common with the iconic flip phone it borrows its name from.

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It’s unclear what specific Canadian pricing and availability will be for the Moto Z, but we’ve reached out to Motorola Canada for additional information. We’ll update this story when we learn more.

Related reading: Lenovo debuts first Google Tango smartphone, the Phab2 Pro for $499

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