Motorola announced its latest flagship smartphone, or at least the top-of-the-line phone that the company no longer wants to make. The Moto Z4 is a mid-range Snapdragon 675 device released on Verizon on June 13 for $ 499.99.
The phone still supports MotoMods. Motorola has been connected to its modular ecosystem for four generations, which limits the possibilities in terms of phone design. MotoMod compatibility means that all phones have to share essentially the same bodywork. The colors of Z2, Z3 and Z4 are thus in the lines of the original Moto Z, which were set in 2016.
In-time design created a problem with the fingerprint sensor because the original Moto Z had a front-mounted fingerprint reader. Over time, fingerprint readers had to be moved due to the diminishing front panel and the need for larger screens, but Motorola could not put them down like the others on the back of the phone as it would be blocked by the attachable MotoMods. Finally, with the Z3, the company developed a creative solution in the form of a side-mounted fingerprint reader. For the Z4, the strange design problems of Motorola are solved: It has an optical fingerprint reader on the screen, which is fast becoming a standard feature of the phone.
The body of this fingerprint reader is a 6.39-inch display (2340 × 1080). With the fingerprint reader, Motorola can create a nice, modern design for a $ 500 slim-bezel phone with a front camera cutout. Other specifications include 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of memory, an SD slot, NFC, a USB-C port and a 3600 mAh battery. Both cameras use "quad-pixel technology," which means Motorola uses a high-megapixel sensor and combines four pixels into a single pixel, resulting in better light output. For the rear sensor, there is a 48-megapixel sensor that outputs 12-megapixel photos, and for the front, a 25-megapixel sensor that outputs 6.25-megapixel images.
The Moto Z was one of the first phones in which the headphone jack was removed Motorola cited the ability to make a thinner phone. The Z4 seems to have heard the cry after returning the headphone jack, which is why the Z4 brings back the universally compatible audio jack. Motorola even has a couple of headphone outlets, one showing the phone on a pile of headphone cords and the other showing it being simultaneously charged and powered by headphones.
For all of these developments around MotoMod compatibility, the MotoMod ecosystem seems pretty dead. Motorola is promoting the same years old mods we've seen in the past. There's the awful pico projector, an expensive clip-on battery, a low-resolution 360-degree camera, multiple clip-on speakers and a gamepad. For just about all of them, you would get better value for money and better compatibility if you just bought a universal Bluetooth version of the product you wanted instead. Each MotoMod device is compatible with the Z4. This brings 5G mmWave compatibility to the Z4, and we've already seen it in action on Verizon's emerging 5G network. The 5G mod costs a whopping $ 200, because it's basically a whole extra smartphone that you attach to the back of your existing smartphone. It includes a world-class Snapdragon 855 SoC, a Snapdragon X50 5G modem, a 2000 mAh battery and its own USB-C port. It's a weird hardware hack, but 5G hardware (and networks) are not ready for mass consumption yet.