The Moto Z is the first non-Google phone to be Daydream-ready

Moto Z set to become the first non-Google phone to be compatible with Daydream VR

motorola moto z 2016 news droid edition lifestyle
The Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid and the Moto Z Force Droid smartphones have been out for some time, along with a handful of Moto Mods. Now, Lenovo-owned Motorola is announcing a third device under the new Z line — the Moto Z Play Droid — and this one’s got a headphone jack. There’s also a new camera mod called the Hasselblad True Zoom that turns your Moto Z phone into a point-and-shoot camera.

Now, the phones are set to get even better with a Nougat update that will make the phones the first non-Google devices to be Daydream compatible. In other words, you’ll be able to slip the phones into the Google Daydream View or other Daydream headsets to enjoy the best mobile virtual reality experience to date.

As far as the phones themselves go, here’s everything you need to know.

All three devices are available in the U.S., but the Moto Z Force Droid will not be sold outside the country. The international names of the Moto Z Droid and the Moto Z Play Droid are the Moto Z and the Moto Z Play, respectively. Pre-orders for the GSM unlocked Moto Z and the Moto Z Play have begun through Motorola’s website, Best Buy, and Amazon. The devices are available as of October.

Per a recent statement from a Motorola spokesperson, customers should “expect to see Android N on the Moto Z family beginning in Q4.” And with Q4 around the corner, you will have Android Nougat on your Z family phone soon.

You can check out our review of the Moto Z Droid and the Moto Z Force Droid here, and you can expect one soon for the Moto Z Play.

Moto Z variants

Moto Z Play

The Moto Z Play aesthetically isn’t too different from its older brothers. The Moto logo on the bottom has now moved to the top, the flash and the camera on the front seem to have switched places, and the rear doesn’t have any lines at the top or the bottom — there’s a rounded-line pattern emanating from the camera, which sticks out just as much as before.

Of course, the 16-pin magnet connector that brings the Moto Mods to life is present, along with the front fingerprint sensor, and the volume and power buttons that sit on the right side of the device. But you’ll be happy to know that the 3.5mm headphone jack is present on the bottom of the device — Motorola controversially removed it for the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, forcing people to use the included converter, or buy USB Type-C headphones or Bluetooth earbuds.

The Play is slightly heavier and bigger than the other two Moto Z devices, but only marginally. It has the same Adreno 530 GPU, but it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 and has 3GB of RAM. That’s a downgrade from the Snapdragon 820, which powers most flagships, and 4GB RAM on the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force. You’ll only get a 32GB storage option, but China will get a 64GB variant as well. Thankfully, there’s MicroSD support so you can add 2TB of additional storage.

The 5.5-inch Super AMOLED Moto Z Play also goes a step lower in resolution — it has 1920 x 1080 pixels, rather than the Quad HD screen for the other two. The rear camera has 16 megapixels, but the front has the same 5-megapixel-wide field of view as the Moto Z and Moto Z Force.

Interestingly, the Moto Z Play actually has a bigger battery than the other two devices, though it’s hardly an improvement. The Moto Z Force has a 3,500mAh battery, and the Moto Z Play offers 3,510mAh. You probably won’t notice a difference with the additional 10mAh.

The device runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

Moto Z

Design-wise, the Moto Z shifts from the Moto X form and opts for a more rectangular, but rounded device. On the back, you’ll find a large camera in the top-center, and 16 dots on the bottom. The dots come into play when you have a Moto Mod to attach.

The volume rocker buttons have been separated, and both, including the power button rest on the right side of the device. The front side features a fingerprint sensor on the bottom. Naturally, the device is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and luckily, it’s the near-stock Android experience we’ve seen in previous Motorola devices.

The Z is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that’s in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the LG G5. It’s got a 5.5-inch, Quad HD AMOLED screen (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), 4GB of RAM, and comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. Thankfully, there’s MicroSD card support, and you can add up to a whopping 2 terabytes of additional storage.

The camera on the back is packed with 13 megapixels, and there’s optical-image stabilization to keep your shots and videos steady. You can film in 4K at 30 frames per second, and there’s a whole list of other functions such as the ability to scan QR codes and bar codes. The front camera only has 5 megapixels, but features a wide-angle lens to capture more content.

The Moto Z only has a 2,600mAh battery, but it features Motorola’s TurboPower technology, and a USB Type-C charging port that makes it charge faster — the company claims you can get up to 8 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging.

Moto Z Force

The Moto Z Force shares many of the same attributes as the standard Moto Z, but the camera packs 21 megapixels rather than 13, the battery is upgraded to 3,500mAh, and it boasts a shatterproof display — it uses the same ShatterShield technology behind the Droid Turbo 2.

Everything else is more or less the same on the Force, from the fingerprint sensor on the front, to the colors that the devices will be available in: Black with a grey trim and black front lens; black with rose gold trim and black front lens; and “fine gold” and a while front lens.

You can read our review of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force here.


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