Moto Z3 Review: Proven Hardware Chasing A 5G Future

Moto Z3 Review: Battery Life And Final Thoughts

The Moto Z3 employs a 3000mAh battery, putting it on even footing with the Moto Z3 Play and well ahead of the Moto Z2 Force (which came with a 2730mAh battery). Given that the processor has not changed this time around and we have a larger battery to feed the beast, the battery results were quite predictable.

Futuremark’s PCMark for Android Work 2.0 Battery test simulates everyday workloads that involve image and video editing, email and web browsing, and continuously loops them until the battery level falls below 20%. In order to keep our testing consistent, we calibrated the display’s brightness to 200 nits, while Wi-Fi and the cell radio (connected to Verizon LTE) were enabled and Bluetooth and NFC were disabled. 

Moto Z3 Battery Life Test

Remarkably, the battery lasted almost two hours longer than the Moto Z2 Force despite only have an extra 270mAh of capacity to work with. Tweaks made to power management in Oreo and the lower resolution screen on the Z3 were most likely factors in its strong battery life performance as well.

Final Thoughts On The Motorola Moto Z3

What can we say about the Motorola Moto Z3? For starters, it’s a competent all-around performer powered by the same processor as last year’s Moto Z2 Force. While the Moto Z3 is Motorola’s current flagship smartphone, it is not in the same class as the top flagships from the likes of Samsung, LG, and Google. In addition, the 4GB of RAM and the max 64GB internal storage can be shortcomings, depending on your personal use case.

However, where the Moto Z3 shines is in the fact that it is priced right and has very respectable battery life. While it may not carry 2018 Android flagship specs, it also doesn’t come with an insanely high price tag. At just $480, the Moto Z3 makes its case as a compelling solution for those that don’t want a heavily skinned Android experience and don’t mind being tied exclusively to Verizon. Camera performance is also admirable, with similar image quality to the Moto Z3 Play, while the AMOLED display impressed in most lighting conditions. Our main gripe with the phone is its awkward, narrow, side-mounted fingerprint reader and the plethora of preloaded Verizon apps (which thankfully can be disabled in most cases).

moto z3 bushes

The Moto Z3 does have a wild card in the form of the unreleased 5G Moto Mod. Although the 5G accessory won’t be available until early next year, it will give Moto Z3 owners the opportunity to experience Verizon’s 5G wireless network without having to purchase a brand new phone, or be inconvenienced with a “puck” type mobile hotspot. But on the other hand, the 5G Moto Mod likely won’t be cheap, which when combined with the initial cost of the phone could put the Moto Z3 up against first-generation 5G smartphones with even faster 7nm Snapdragon processors and fully integrated designs.

In the end, the Moto Z3 is somewhat of an enigma. It has one foot in the past with its 2017-era hardware specs, but it tries to be forward-looking by dipping its toe in the 5G wireless future that is coming in 2019. Are there enthusiasts/early adopters that would traditionally be drawn to 5G that want to ride that next-generation wave with the Moto Z3? Only time will tell. 

approved hh

 hot not 
  • Ultrawide 18:9 OLED display
  • Good overall camera performance
  • Attractive pricing
  • Excellent build quality
  • Support for 5G Moto Mod
  • Same Snapdragon 835 processor from last year
  • Fingerprint reader is hit-or-miss with unlocking phone
  • Limited storage options

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