Best Modular Phone Android Central 2019

When you buy a modular smartphone, you're not only buying the phone itself, but also into the ecosystem of accessories that you can attach to it to make it better than it is out of the box. The idea of modular phones is quite fascinating, but in 2019, they're not nearly as popular as they could be. With that said, these are the best ones you can buy right now.

Our pick: Moto Z3 Play

For most people, the best modular phone is the Moto Z3 Play. Available unlocked on Amazon, the Z3 Play works on T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, has a 6-inch Super AMOLED display, dual 12MP + 5MP cameras, and with the Prime Exclusive variant, has Alexa built right in. The Z3 Play supports Motorola's Moto Mod accessories and even comes with a Moto Power Pack battery pack Mod included in the box!

$470 at Amazon

For Verizon customers: Moto Z3

If you're a Verizon customer, an alternative to the Moto Z3 Play you may want to consider is the regular Moto Z3. The Z3 is nearly identical to the Z3 Play, save for some minor spec differences, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It still looks and feels great with support for the same excellent Moto Mod ecosystem. Down the road, the Z3 will be able to use a special 5G Moto Mod that'll increase data speeds up to 10 times what you get with today's 4G LTE networks.

$480 at Motorola

Cheap modular option: Essential Phone

While the Essential Phone has since been discontinued by Essential, you can still buy a certified refurbished model that works just as well and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. Essential's modular ecosystem isn't nearly as robust as Motorola's, including just a 360-degree camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack with a HiFi DAC. On its own, the Essential Phone delivers a stock build of Android Pie, the Snapdragon 835 processor, and dual cameras that have gotten a lot better since the phone's release.

$200 at Amazon

Wait and see: RED Hydrogen One

Last on our list is the RED Hydrogen One. Similar to the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play, the Hydrogen One has a row of connectors on its back that should allow for some pretty impressive accessories later on down the road. Right now, however, we've yet to see anything actually take advantage of that modular potential. RED has announced a 4K 4-View cinema camera that'll use the Hydrogen One as a monitor, but there's no telling when it'll be released or how much it'll cost.

$1295 at Verizon

If you want to buy a modular phone, your best bet is to go with the Moto Z3 Play. Not only does it work on virtually every carrier in the U.S. and offers a good user experience on its own, but the Moto Mod collection of accessories is second-to-none. You can attach a 360-degree camera, Polaroid printer, stereo speaker, projector, and more to the phone in the blink of an eye. Compared to its competitors, there's really nothing else like it.

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