With the launch of the latest in the Moto G line out of the way, all heads have turned to the upcoming launch of the successor to the Moto X Pure Edition. That may come in the form of a Moto Z, or perhaps simply Moto X 2016, but in either case it's the same phone we're talking about here.
Details are pretty light about the new flagship coming out of the Lenovo-owned Motorola, but as we piece together information, we're rounding it all up here so you can get the best picture of what's coming in the new phone.
Potential name change
Some rumors are indicating that Lenovo may be switching things up this year by choosing to move to the name "Moto Z" for the latest flagship, rather than release a fourth yearly version of the Moto X brand. Apparently the Moto Z name would refer to a whole line of phones, as was the case last year, with versions like the Moto Z Style and Moto Z Play.
There isn't too much weight on either side of the argument at this point, with a couple un-sourced leaks indicating that the Moto Z name is on its way in counteracting the past years of simply sticking with "Moto X" appended with a year or some other nomenclature. (And what happened to Moto Y? Weird.)
Fresh, but still Moto, design
Since Motorola is now owned and operated by Lenovo, some have worried that Motorola's iconic design sense would be going away. Based on early leaks of the new Moto Z and the launch of the latest Moto G4, it doesn't look like there's much to be worried about — this is looking to be very much a "Motorola" phone from a design standpoint.
Lenovo seems to be going for a flatter back this time around, which is a change of pace from the ergonomic (but unstable on flat surfaces) curved back of previous years. The back looks to sport a metallic finish, along with a nice big camera installment up top and interesting pogo pins at the bottom. From the front, it very much has the same design language already shown off in the Moto G4 — including a new fingerprint sensor.
That flat back and array of pogo pins is set up to allow for swappable modules to be clipped onto the phone to add extra features. The first set that we've seen in leaked images reveal a projector attachment, a speaker and a full external camera.
These modules have a couple of different potential names floating around, including "Amps" and "MotoMods." No matter the name, they would be a nice competitive offering to what LG is attempting to do with the G5, though if the set from Lenovo is as big as expected it will overshadow LG right from launch.
Further leaks have also shown stylish, but not functional, replacement back covers that could protect the phone and give it a fresh look, without wrapping it in a full case that covers the sides. The materials shown include wood and leather, as were staples on earlier Moto Xs, as well as a textured rubber.
And yes, a Droid version
Motorola still has an exclusive deal with Verizon to make its "Droid" branded phones, but rumor has it that in 2016 the Droid lineup will be more of a version of the new Moto Z than a separate line. Early images show that we can expect a simple Droid version of the new phone rather than an altogether new handset with a different design and capabilities. Let's just hope that the similar design of the Droid versions keep compatibility with the modular accessories.
Between a few different leaked images we can see that the Droid version matches the Moto Z's look and materials, with some subtle branding additions with a "DROID" on the camera pod and a nice big Verizon logo on the front of the phone above the fingerprint sensor. Of course.
Launch time frame
One thing we do know for sure is that Lenovo is ready to unveil all sorts of new products at its Lenovo Tech World event, which is taking place June 9 in San Francisco. It's basically a lock at this point that we'll see the Moto Z (finally confirming that name) at the event, alongside plenty of other big products from the company.
Our hope is that we'll be able to get a solid launch date at the event, particularly if Lenovo continues its strategy of selling directly to customers in the U.S. rather than through carrier partnerships. The one exception here is of course the partnership with Verizon, which could announce its Droid version pricing and availability at a later date.
What do you think about the upcoming launch of the Moto Z? Let us know in the comments below, and we'll be continually updating this article with the latest information!
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