Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

The market is unlikely to be found so similar, but at the same time so different smartphones: the LG combination display QHD, Snapdragon 820 and expandability through modules have not impressed, but Moto Z similar concept can be called a success already. The new smartphone Motorola, Lenovo unit arrived in our test lab. All the details you will find out in this review.

From the outset, should answer one question: how to call a smartphone, Motorola Moto Z or Lenovo Moto Z? Neither the site nor on the smartphone pack, we have not found a clear answer. But the latter option is more common.

Moto Z can be ordered through the Moto Maker with different base colors, although in this case the options are not so much. Available only two colors, white and gold or black and silver. Different memory options or exotic backdrops are proposed. Price Moto Maker is 699 euros, although the recommended retail price – 660 euros.

For this price is quite reasonable choice of materials. Stainless steel and aluminum provide the necessary strength, and the manufacturer calls the body the thinnest in the world – only 5.2 mm. However, this does not include the thickness of the camera and serving protection backdrop. But even with the mentioned features Moto Z remains rather thin. However, it is not evident. Compared with previous smartphones Moto design has changed, especially in the backdrop. It draws attention to the protruding camera lens, as well as a strip with 17 metal contacts. Front and side design looks familiar, it looks like the same Moto G4 Plus. But Moto Z fingerprint sensor on the front panel is slightly shifted downwards, Moto logo located between the sensor and the display.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

Lenovo also decided to drop the audio connector

There are other features: three volume control buttons and a transition to standby mode on the right side at the top are very close to the fans selfie added LED-flash, but Lenovo has decided to give up the good old 3.5-mm headphone jack. But the owners of headphones and headsets should not be upset, there is provided an adapter with USB Type C 3.5 mm audio. In any case, all the criticism iPhone 7 in this regard will be true for Moto Z.

Quality of manufacturing a smartphone weighing 136 g may be called very good, here it matches the high-end category. Less we were pleased with the ergonomics Moto Z housing with dimensions of 155,3 x 75,3 mm. Of course, the 5.5-inch display itself is quite large, but will have to accept the broad scope of the top and bottom, only 71% of the front panel display area is occupied.

Lenovo promises that Moto Z is resistant to bad weather and easily withstand the rain, but no IP certification.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

Moto Z – cool color and low brightness

Moto Z, unlike the unofficial predecessor Moto X Style, uses AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2.560 x 1.440 pixels. The pixel density of 534 ppi provides more than enough detail, but the battery a screen consumes faster than Full-HD resolution. But manufacturers often ignore this defect as a high resolution looks better on the brochures.

We’ll have to go to the brightness and temperature of the victim. In manual mode the 5.5-inch panel provides a maximum brightness of 352 cd / m², not so much to work on the street. Several helps increase automatically up to 411 cd / m², but also not so much. Features of influence on color temperature are limited. There are only two options, namely 7,200 or 7,800 K. Both are too cold temperature, color blue cast. The same Samsung clearly proves that OLED-panel can provide the color temperature is much closer to the optimum of 6500 K.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphoneAt least we get saturated colors, which it does not lose naturalness. We were pleased with us and the contrast, which for AMOLED virtually endless.

High performance with delay

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor promises to give sufficient reserve capacity in the coming months and years; although it may well be that Google’s Android 8.0 will expose certain hardware requirements as happened with Android 7.0.

SoC has already met us in smartphones and HTC 10 LG G5, it is based on their own nuclei Qualcomm Kryo, designed by the architecture ARMv8-A, to which is added the GPU Adreno 530. Two clusters with four CPU cores, each operating at a maximum frequency of 1.6 GHz or 2.15 GHz, allowing SoC shows a high level of performance. From direct competitors may be noted Exynos M1, which is set in the same Galaxy S7 edge, as well as Apple A10 fast, but nameless nuclei. The same applies to the GPU.

In Moto Z potential of the 14-nm SoC it is not always disclosed, as can be seen by comparison with the LG G5. Modular smartphone LG in some tests is up to 16% faster, particularly when CPU performance is important. The reason is well known: a high-speed cluster can not maintain a high frequency cores for a long time. The Messenger is a fairly high temperatures, which reaches SoC after some time, that is, the body dissipates heat smartphone inefficiently. In tests, the body is heated to 42 ° C. Still, the performance can be described as very good: more than 25,000 points in 3DMark (Ice Storm Unlimited) and 7,400 points in PCMark, that is, games and other applications to problems Moto Z does not represent. Of course, some smartphones Flagship can give better results in the tests, but in practice it will hardly be noticeable.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

The manufacturer has established a fairly fast flash memory capacity of 32 GB. Read and write speed amounted to 242 and 149 MB / s, faster are only competitors with UFS 2.0. Another plus: with the help of microSD memory card can be expanded, but would have to give up the Dual SIM feature. 4GB of DDR4 memory will be enough for most “hungry” applications.

Lenovo Moto Z | Equipment, Moto Mod, battery life

As for the other features, it is not always we get the maximum possible. Wirelessly no complaints: in the smartphone built high-speed WLAN module (802.11ac MIMO), there is support for Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and LTE Cat 6 with speeds of up to 300 and 50 Mbit / s download / download. But with all the cable connections are not so good. It’s nice that the manufacturer has determined the port USB Type C with universal connector orientation, but only USB 2.0 standard. If you often plan to transfer data between the PC and Moto Z, you’ll have to be patient despite the fast internal memory.

Opportunity Audio Many competitors show better results. The top speaker handles voice communication, background noise is well filtered through an array of four microphones, but in handsfree mode or when playing music quality can be called, at best, average. Not enough, not only low, but also the medium frequency. Perhaps the reason lies in the small thickness of the body, because of which had to give up a separate speaker for these purposes.

The rest of the flat-type hidden in usual sensors, including a fingerprint sensor on the front panel. Last in our tests to recognize prints with confidence, as the sensor allows you to quickly switch between the standby mode and operating state of the smartphone. And now for the 17 metal contacts on the back side of the smartphone.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

You can connect additional modules

Contacts on the back side provides the connection between the smartphone and modules Moto Mod, which is represented by five. The first – a simple cover for the backdrop, available in different versions. Due to the transfer interface on the backdrop of the smartphone, connect the different modules is much easier and more convenient than in the same LG G5. The latter is necessary to extract the lower segment of the battery, but Moto Z module is simply mounted from the rear using magnets. They provide a fairly reliable fastening.

After installing the module control is carried out through the usual setup of the smartphone. After paragraph Moto Mod can update the software module to initialize or start training master for the corresponding module. For the test we have two modules, JBL SoundBoost Speaker and Hasselblad True Zoom, but the last we will devote a separate test.

Available Moto Mods

  • JBL Soundboost Speaker Stereo, 2x 3 W, the battery on the 1000 mAh € 99
  • Moto Insta-Share Projector WVGA projector, max. 70 inches, 50 lumens, the battery is 1,100 mAh 349 euros
  • Incipio Offgrid Power Pack extra battery at 2,220 mAh, wireless charging (Qi) 89 euros
  • Moto Style Shell Protection backdrop from 20 to 27 euros
  • Hasselblad True Zoom Camera 12 megapixel, optical stabilizer, Xenon flash, 10x optical zoom 299 euros

With the added module speakers we get the dimensions of 142 x 73 x 13 mm and weight of 115 g, which is somewhat limited mobility. The combination of pocket and Moto Z SoundBoost fit is not so good. The reason for this lies in the size of the module built-in components. Inside equipped with two 27-mm speaker (from 200 Hz to 20 kHz, max. 80 dB at 0.5 m), the power of each is 3 watts, and the manufacturer has added to the battery of 1,000 mAh. Charging an additional battery can be carried out through a separate plug USB Type C or via a smartphone, if the latter is already charged. When making music charge an additional battery, first consumed, for which claimed up to five hours. In our tests, listening to music at the secondary level, we’ve only got about three hours. Then enjoy music have already been built by discharging the battery of the smartphone.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

The quality of sound SoundBoost module significantly exceeds the built-in speaker Moto Z, although the ideal, we would not have called. Still 3-watt speakers can hardly expect the bass drum. But, at least, distortions occur only at very high volume levels, and even then not always, the maximum volume can be called more than enough. Of course, for the JBL SoundBoost Speaker module will have to pay 99 euros, which is not cheap. So we recommend you weigh, is not it better to buy an external Bluetooth speaker.

Moto Z is too thin for a good battery life

Slim design looks noble, but it does have a drawback. Yet the battery is required considerable space inside the smartphone. Here, for comparison, the same Moto G4 Plus and Huawei P9 Plus. Both the width and length similar to the Moto Z, but much thicker. But they have a battery capacity of 3,000 or 3,400 mAh, while the Moto Z we get only 2,600 mAh.

Not surprisingly, the Moto Z on the charts battery life is far in the lead. In video streaming playback test with brightness of 200 cd / m² smartphone lasted a little more than ten hours, this result was enough to get into the top three. The result is better than HTC and LG G5 10 with seven and eight o’clock, but worse Galaxy S7 edge with 13.5 and P9 Plus with 11.5 hours. The situation is similar in the test battery life PCMark. We got almost seven hours, the smartphone is in the top half of the list, but inferior to competitors in the Snapdragon 820 from Samsung and Huawei.

The same applies to everyday use. Smartphone lasted one and a half to two days on a single charge. Of course, if you run the game, then the battery will sit down much sooner.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

Details charging proved very interesting. Staffing is provided only charge via USB. But for its acceleration Lenovo has implemented support for fast charging technology called TurboPower. Fifteen minutes is added to the battery charge, which can provide up to eight hours of battery life. The maximum charging power is 15 watts. Thus, TurboPower provides less power than technology Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, which is supported by Snapdragon 820. Why it took to build on its own decision, the Lenovo does not explain. Perhaps the reason lies in violation USB Type C specification, which allowed Qualcomm. Through VBus voltage is higher than 5 is prohibited, but Quick Charge 3.0, we get to the level of 20 V. And TurboPower voltage is limited to 5 V. If you want to charge the Moto Z induction method, enough to buy fashion Power Pack, supporting Qi standard.

Lenovo Moto Z | camera software, conclusion

Smartphone Moto Z is equipped with a camera in accordance with his class. Front mounted camera 5 MP with 1.4 micron pixels, which together with LED-flash will please fans selfie. Behind the camera, we get 13 MB. It indicates the size of the pixels Lenovo has 1.12 m. In addition, the laser helps to focus in a meager light, the optical Image Stabilizer prevents blur due to hand-shake, and True Tone flash two LED provides a correct gradation.

Unfortunately, the results are not always convincing call. Even missing is not always optimal sharpness lighting conditions, especially in border regions – a look at the green areas, they seem to be blurred. However, there are pictures that have the same quality as, or Galaxy S7 Huawei P9, color and detail remain at a high level, with the sharpness too, everything is normal. Under the conditions of scarce illumination positively affect optical image stabilization, and wide aperture, but they are not always enough. Shades are beginning to fade, items are lost, the noise manifests itself clearly in the twilight.

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

To improve the quality of images it makes sense to go in Pro mode. Here the user can change all the basic settings such as ISO or shutter speed. camera application interface is simple and clear, after a little love in it is easy to sort out even novice users. Unfortunately, the images will be stored only in JPG, regardless of the recording mode that limits the ability of multiple post-processing.

Surprisingly well-behaved showed front-facing camera, which gave the above average results even under less than optimal lighting conditions, sometimes even bypassing the rear camera. But from the front LED-flash is better to abstain, at standard distances for selfie it gives too strong illumination.

Some problems have been observed and Moto Z when shooting video. In Slow Motion mode and 4K cameras with slow conducting artifacts appeared in the case of 4K them added twitching. Overall, the videos are too dull, but small enough for the quality of video recording. Despite the high performance computing, Moto Z supports a relatively low resolution in Slow Motion mode (720p at 120 fps), no situation spoils Time Lapse. 4K Video can be shot only 30 fps.

Moto Z without Nougat

The advantages Moto smartphone lineup, we have attributed the absence of any firm shell. However, the latest models of Moto G, Moto X and others still did not become the first smartphone to receive updates Android. Reason, on the one hand, lies in a small interest to updates by consumers. On the other hand, the manufacturer still has to solve compatibility problems with drivers, and your own applications. Some manufacturers integrate additional functionality through its own skin Android, but Motorola is going through additional applications. But here, the manufacturer needs to ensure their flawless performance. So still the question arises about the timeliness Moto Z. updates will not affect whether the output speed of the same Moto Mods updates?

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone

On the software side note two points regarding Moto Mods. In the settings menu, added the corresponding item, through which you can install different mods option, and perform a software update mode. But any details Motorola has not yet given.

Except mentioned concerns, Moto Z interface is fast and responsive, as we used other model series. The smartphone is still equipped with Android 6.0.1, as he went out before the appearance of Android 7.0 Nougat. There is also an assistant Moto with voice control, in the daily work with the smartphone helps gestures. In some places, the interface seemed to us not as “licked”, as our competitors. Yet the use of proprietary interfaces helps faster access to popular settings, and look at the interface of many competitors better.


If Moto Z to describe in one sentence, then Lenovo has learned from mistakes of competitors. If LG most complicated module connection system that is not user friendly, the Lenovo came up with a surprisingly simple solution. There are common: for Moto Z is not much available extensions. JBL SoundBoost module could not convince us fully, and in the case of the module Offgrid Power Pack price / quality ratio is not the most optimal.

But, unlike from LG, Lenovo have big plans. Announced the second smartphone Moto Z Play, which will work with the modules Moto Mods. Let’s see what surprises Lenovo will prepare us for the future.

Perhaps, Lenovo should be better to work on other areas. Display distressed low brightness and bluish hues; High performance SoC, but inferior competitors. And the battery life suffers because of the low battery capacity. Manufacturer focused on the design, the Lenovo announced the thinnest smartphone in the world, although the company is a little tricky.

In any case, we had no complaints on the quality of manufacturing or feelings from work, everything was at a high level, as befits a flagship smartphone. A set of wired and wireless interfaces convinced, except that you can cry about the lack of classic audio jack. We’ll have to use an adapter, or connect a wireless headset. A main disadvantages Lenovo camera can eliminate the firmware update. Let’s hope that part of the weak Lenovo correct places as far inferior to some of the smart phone competitors. There may be mentioned, and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and Huawei P9 Plus, which provide better battery life and better performance, albeit without any additional modules.

Smartphone Moto Z can be recommended to those users who are close to the idea of modularity and extensibility, but who did not like the implementation of LG G5. If you do not take into account the modules, the arguments in favor of Moto Z not so much. The advantages we assign almost pure Android and slim body, the rest of the smartphone plays the best competitors, which are less expensive. For Galaxy S7 edge will have to pay 60 thousand. Rubles (550 euros), HTC will cost 10 to 38 thousand. Rubles (560 euros).

Advantages Lenovo Moto Z:

  • memory Expansion
  • High Contrast Display
  • High system performance
  • Expansion through modules
  • High quality workmanship
  • Excellent front camera
  • Almost pure Android
  • Convincing fingerprint sensor

Disadvantages Lenovo Moto Z:

  • Non-removable battery
  • No audio jacks
  • Display with a bluish tint
  • The low capacity of the battery, short battery life

Source: motorola

Lenovo Moto Z review: flagship modular smartphone was last modified: September 23rd, 2016 by Tomas Shellby