Moto Z And Moto Z Force With Moto Mods Review: Excellent Execution

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A Closer Look At Moto Mods

Moto Mods, though some may have scoffed at them for being gimmicky, are really kind of a big deal. In fact, the Moto Mods implementation and what the Motorola and Lenovo design teams have developed here are, in our humble opinion, some of the best examples of smartphone innovation and execution that we've seen in a long time. The Moto Mod magnetic attachment and pin connector assembly is really well done.

Moto Mod Connectors
Moto Z and Moto Insta-Share Projector Mod, before conjoining

The connection, once made, is firm and it instills confidence that it will remain attached and not easily pulled away. Also, once a Mod is attached, the software side of the equation is seamless with near instant detection of the Mods we tested and no reboot required. The connector and pin configuration is a patented interface developed by Motorola, which is now a Lenovo company. 
Moto Mod JBL Speaker
$79 JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

The 6 Watt JBL SoundBoost speaker mod is immediately impressive as soon as you turn it on. On board is a 1000 mAh battery (10 hrs of audio playback is promised when combined with the phone) that charges via the phone's USB-C connector once attached. The output of the two 3 Watt self-powered drivers is surprisingly loud with surprisingly decent low end response. You can hear it for yourself in our test video below but suffice it so say that it blows away any smartphone speaker output you've ever heard, both in terms of volume and audio fidelity. 

Moto Insta-Share Projector Mod, Back
Moto Mods Projector Edge
$299.99 Moto Insta-Share Projector Moto Mod

Then there's the rather pricey Moto Insta-Share projector mod that will absolutely blow you away when you attach it and hit the power button. In a matter of seconds, the operating system detects the Mod is attached and when you flip it on, it instantly starts projecting whatever is on the phone's display out over the projector. The projector has two simple controls, a power button and a focus wheel. The power button also doubles as an app toggle, bringing up controls on the Moto Z or Z Force for brightness and auto-keystone correction settings.

Moto Mod Projector
Moto Mod Projector2
Movie night anyone?

The auto-keystone setting also works really well, correcting the image shape on whatever surface you're projecting on, making it look like a perfect rectangle. It's pretty much a set it and forget it feature. The projector itself isn't the brightest (50 lumens nominal output) and you'll want to dim the surrounding lights, but it works really well. The projector outputs at 854X480 or 480p (WVGA 16:9) and is based on DLP technology. It also has an on-board 1100 mAh battery to extend playing times (further details in the battery test section). Regardless, you can imagine the various types of use cases for a mod like this, whether it be for keeping the kids busy on vacation while the parents are watching something different in the adjacent room, or in a pinch business setting for a presentation or demo of some sort, for example. 

Check out our quick demo of the JBL SoundBoost and Insta-Projector Moto Mods for yourself. Simply, impressive...


Preview demo of Moto Mods in action.

Moto Mod Notifcation Screen

Moto Z Incipio Battery

Other useful Moto Mods are more straight-forward like the Incipio OffGrid Power Pack that offers another 2220 mAh battery in the simple snap of the mod. It's also wireless charging capable (all by itself as well) and has an Efficiency mode where it only charges the phone when it drops below 80%, thus extending the power it gets from the pack. Power pack mods also come in designer editions from Kate Spade New York and TUMI, for a little extra bling if you like.

Moto Mods Pricing/Availability Info:
  • JBL SoundBoost is available for $79.99
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector is available for $299.99
  • TUMI and Kate Spade New York Power Packs are available from $59.99 to $89.99
Moto Mods are available for pre-order on July 21 and in Verizon stores beginning July 28th. 

Let's look at the Moto Z and Z Force software and camera setup, next...

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