Moto Z3 Review: Proven Hardware Chasing A 5G Future

Moto Z3 Review: Introduction

Motorola is currently on its third-generation of Moto Z smartphones and the 2018 flagship is the new Moto Z3. The Moto Z3 still supports the growing family of Moto Mod accessories, and early next year it will be available with the 5G Moto Mod, making it one of the first smartphones on the market with 5G capabilities. 

moto z3 banner shot

Whereas Motorola's previous generation Moto Z2 Force was priced at $720 unlocked, direct from Motorola when it launched last year, the Moto Z3 debuts at a much more palatable $480 as a Verizon Wireless exclusive. You can also pay for the device using a Verizon installment plan for $20/month for 24 months. In addition, if you're a new customer switching to Verizon, you can get $300 off the purchase with a smartphone trade-in.

The Moto Z3 only comes in one color, black, although you can change things up with different colored Moto Mod style covers that magnetically attach to the back of the phone. In the box you'll find a USB-C to USB-A cable and a Motorola Turbo Charger along with a USB-C to headphone adapter (given that you won't find a 3.5mm jack on-board).

motorola moto z3 beach back

Looking at the Moto Z3's specs may give you a sense of deja vu. Like the Moto Z2 Force that came before it, the Moto Z3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. There are no optional configurations, so if you need more than what's provided internally, you'll have to purchase a microSD card (up to 2TB cards are supported).

Moto Z3
Specifications & Features
Model Name Moto Z3
Display 6.01-inch Super AMOLED Display (2160 x 1080 Resolution, 402 ppi pixel density)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
156.5 x 76.5 x 6.75mm, 156g
SIM Single SIM (nano) or Dual SIM (nano)/SD Card Slot
Protection Splash Resistant
GPU Adreno 540
OS Android v8.1.0 (Oreo)
Storage 64 GB
Micro SD up to 2TB
Camera 12 MP f/2.0 rear camera, dual pixel PDAF, dual-tone LED flash, Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps
12MP, depth sensor
8 MP f/2.0 front facing camera, Video 1080p
Networking GSM / HSPA / LTE support
v5.0 Bluetooth, NFC, USB Type-C, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Fingerprint, Gyro, Compass, Proximity
Battery 3000 mAh Non-Removable Li-Ion Battery
Colors Black
Moto Mods Version 2.5 Full Support
Price  Approximately $480

To some, the Moto Z3's lack of the current, newer Snapdragon 845 processor may be a deal breaker for what should be a flagship device, but we're not so certain that should be the case. In fact, the Moto Z3 is still a good all-around performer and is priced right for those that are beholden to the Verizon Wireless network.

motorola moto z3 beach front

The display has increased in size compared to the Motorola Z2 Force, growing from 5.5 inches to 6.01 inches. It's still a Super AMOLED unit, although this time around it has an 18:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2160x1080, which is actually a downgrade from the Z2 Force's 2560x1440. One other thing of note is that there will not be a "Force" version of the Moto Z3, which means no ShatterShield screen technology -- instead, the Z3 uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

So, let take a closer look at what the Moto Z3 has to offer, shall we?

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