These are the Moto Mods you need to consider buying along with the Moto Z smartphone.
When it comes to the Moto Z (and Verizon's Moto Z Force Droid Edition), the phone is only half of the story. The other half is Moto Mods — the optional (but very desirable) replaceable backs. Some of them are just backs. Others add a good deal of (albeit very specific) functionality.
You don't need to buy every Moto Mod to get the most out of the Moto Z. Hell, you don't even have to buy any if you don't want. You'll get the most basic of Moto Mods in the box with the phone.
But you should at least check out the others. And we've gotten a chance to do exactly that. Here are the Moto Mods you need to consider.
Moto Style Shell (Starting at $14.99)
Every Moto Z — and Verizon's Moto Z Force Droid Edition — will come with one of these Styles Shells in the box. And that's important. While you can use the phones without one of these removable backs, you probably won't want to. For one, the phone is less ergonomic without them, since the back will be completely flat. The other reason is that you'll want to protect those 16 contact points for the other Moto Mods.
But moreover is that these Style Shells can give your Moto Z a different look and feel. And they're easier to change than any other removable back we've ever used. But they're also affixed so well that we haven't had a single issue with them coming off accidentally.
Style Shells will come in at various price points, depending on what they're made of. But they start at a mere $14.99, which is a very sweet spot indeed.
Incipio power packs ($59-89)
Moto has teamed up with Incipio for a number of power packs. Think of these as extended batteries (because they are) that are hot-swappable (they are) and can easily added in whenever you know you're going to need some extra juice. (Because at some point you will.)
These backs also enable wireless charging, so there's that. They way they work is that the charged battery pack will keep the phone charged. Once it's depleted the phone's battery will then be used. The back needs to be affixed to the phone to charge, and it does so at a trickle until the phone itself is fully charged.
We've also already seen branded versions of these backs from Tumi and Kate Spade. And further splitting things up is that there are wireless options available.
In any event, this is a really handy way to add more battery life to the Moto Z.
JBL SoundBoost ($79.99)
Our next favorite Moto Mod is the speaker. It adds a significant amount of size and weight to the Moto Z. But in return you get an external speaker that sounds pretty decent, is surprisingly loud, and is easier to use than Bluetooth. Plus, since it becomes a part of the phone, it's more of an accessory and less of a big-ass speaker you'd have to also carry around.
It also serves as a bit of an extended battery, with a 1000 mAh cell built in. (Moto says you can expect 10 hours of use before the speaker drains and you start using phone battery.)
Instead of lugging a separate Bluetooth speaker with me on the road, this is what I'd take. In a heartbeat.
Moto Insta-Share Projector ($299.99)
We've seen companies try to make pico projectors work in the mobile space for years. Now we're seeing another with Moto's Insta-Share Projector. And you know what? It's not horrible. But, unsurprisingly, it's not inexpensive.
This is one of those places were you kind of marvel at how well these Moto Mods work. You attach the projector to the Moto Z just like any of the other Moto Mods. Then you hit the power button on the projector, point the whole thing at a big blank space, adjust the focus wheel — and that's it. Audio is served by the front-facing speaker on the Moto Z, but you might well want to invest in an external speaker if you're serious about using this. It's not the highest resolution or contrast, but it does work. I could see it being a decent business expense, actually. Kids will dig it, but that's an expensive novelty. TV is still easier and better quality. But this is sort of fun.
More to come ...
And the really cool part? There will be more Moto Mods. Undoubtedly we'll see Moto roll out its own mods — and there's a developer program as well, which gives a path for anyone to start creating mods, and bringing them to fruition.
But for now? These are what are available, and what you'll want to look at when buying a Moto Z.
- Our Moto Z review!
- Moto Z Play preview
- The Hasselblad True Zoom is a Mod to remember
- Moto Z specs
- Moto Mods custom backs
- The latest Moto Z news
- Discuss in our Moto Z forums