Moto Z Review Roundup: Modular Phones Finally Get Their Champion

When it comes to any big design choice, especially one that’s expected to be pretty huge for an entire market, there has to be at least one device to lead the charge. The Lenovo-owned Motorola Moto Z may be the modular phone’s champion.

Reviews for Motorola’s latest flagship handset, along with its variants, are starting to flow in, and the consensus seems to be that Motorola’s made a top-tier handset, and that it’s certainly the first device to make a strong case for modular design, but that there’s still work to be done, and others still see it as a drain rather than a bonus.

Verizon Wireless recently opened pre-orders for its variants of the Moto Z, called the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid, with the launch planned for Thursday, July 28.

Here are just a few snippets from the reviews of the Moto Z:


“I have to give Motorola credit for doing what LG couldn’t: building modular smartphones that are convenient, cool and worth using. It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Moto Z and Z Force are two of the best-made devices in Motorola’s history, and that they can go toe-to-toe with any other flagship Android phone out there. These devices represent Motorola at the top of its phone-making game.”

Ars Technica

“The idea of a modular smartphone is interesting, but neither the Moto Z nor the LG G5 has actually given us any module that is a worthwhile accessory. The most useful is the battery backpack, but battery cases already exist. The other accessories don’t make sense as features that are attached to the phone. Using Bluetooth or Miracast with a separate accessory just provides a superior experience, allowing you to use the phone as a remote while the attachment does its thing in a more appropriate spot. Couple this with the outrageous prices Motorola is charging for the Moto Mods, and the whole system feels like a failure.”


“Motorola has managed to build phones that feature a better design, better materials, better build quality, better relative battery life and better performance than just about anything else out there. The look is incredible, the feel is as impressive, and the major pain points from earlier Moto phones have been addressed with a great AMOLED display and two different dramatically improved cameras.”

The Verge

“What’s missing is that one must-have Moto Mod. These first few are by no means essential. Others are coming, though. Lenovo is working on more due this calendar year, and developers can dream up and build their own by joining the Moto Mods developer program. Lenovo and Verizon will need to sell a lot of phones before that happens, though.

In the meantime, the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid are both good, premium Android flagships with standout features: one of them is ridiculously thin, the other super strong. Between the two, I recommend the regular Moto Z over the Force. For me, the thinner profile wins out over the toughened display and big battery.”

PC World

“Things are looking good for Motorola under Lenovo’s wing. Its budget line might have taken a weird, unfortunate turn, but it appears that its flagship line has finally received its much-needed makeover.

Let’s be real here: The Moto X was a great line of smartphones, but never particularly exemplary. The Moto Z, on the other hand, is the Lexus to the Moto X’s Toyota: It’s a sturdy, confidence-inspiring device that promises extra bits of luxury. In the Moto Z’s case, those luxury promises are the Moto Mods. Sure, you can opt for basic cosmetic flourishes with Power Packs featuring Kate Spade and TUMI branding, but you can also customize how you use the Moto Z. And that’s the whole point behind the Moto Z’s modularity: To help you to create your perfect smartphone.”

If you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber, do you plan on picking up one of the new Moto Z models? And if you aren’t under Big Red’s umbrella, are you looking forward to September when Motorola starts selling the handsets unlocked?