Ever since the first Moto Z handsets launched in 2016, this particular series hasn't changed all that much over the years. New models get less bezel around the display and better specs, but for the most part, the phones remain the same to accommodate Motorola's Moto Mod system.

That can make Moto Z phones appear boring to some people, but we need to give credit where it's due for Motorola continuing to stay committed to its modular accessories.

For 2019, the Moto Z series is getting a new addition in the form of the Moto Z4. It looks a lot like the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play from last year, and while it might have a hard time standing out thanks to phones like the Google Pixel 3a, it's still worth diving into in case you're interested in it.

Here's everything you need to know!

More than a phone

Moto Z4

Keep on using your Moto Mods for another year.

On its own, the Moto Z4 is a fairly compelling mid-range smartphone. It's got a Snapdragon 675 processor, 6.39-inch OLED display with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and expandable storage. Things get more interesting when you factor in support for Motorola's Moto Mods, but at this price, it's got a lot of competition.

Take a look at our hands-on coverage

We aren't ready to review the Moto Z4 quite yet, but in the meantime, we do have some initial hands-on impressions for you to check out.

The Z4 is a competent mid-range phone, bringing a quality display, capable processor, and nice features such as NFC and expandable storage. Not to mention it continues to support Motorola's extensive Moto Mod family.

That's all fine and dandy, but at $500, the Moto Z4 could prove to be a tough sell to anyone that's not a die-hard Motorola fan. You could get the Pixel 3a for just $400 or spend $170 more for the OnePlus 7 Pro.

The Moto Z4 brings a 2019 refresh to Motorola's stagnant modular phone platform

Here are the specs

Despite being the most expensive phone in Motorola's current U.S. lineup, the Moto Z4 is a mid-range device through and through.

The 6.39-inch OLED display with the in-screen fingerprint sensor is perhaps the highest-end feature being offered, but you're quickly reminded of its middle-of-the-road nature with things like a Snapdragon 675 CPU and 4GB of RAM.

Here's a quick snapshot of the most important details:

Spec Moto Z4 Specs
Operating system Android 9 Pie
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor
Screen 6.39-inch Full HD (2340x1080) OLED | 19:9 aspect ratio
RAM 4GB
Storage 128GB
Expandability microSD up to 512GB
Rear camera 48MP, quad pixel
phase-detect, laser autofocus
f/1.7 lens
dual-LED flash
Connectivity USB-C
(USB-C to 3.5mm adapter included)
Headphone jack Yes
Water resistance Water-repellent coating
Security In-display fingerprint sensor, face unlock
NFC Yes
Battery 3600mAh
TurboPower charger (8 hrs battery in 15 min)

Moto Z4 Specifications: Snapdragon 675, 4GB RAM, 48MP camera, and Moto Mod support in 2019

All Moto Mods still work, including Verizon's 5G one

The Moto Z4 may not look very original on its own, but it does have something you won't find from any other company — Moto Mods.

Moto Mods are accessories you can snap onto the back of the Moto Z4 (or any Moto Z smartphone) for expanded functionality, with some of the most notable Mods being a battery pack, stereo speaker, Polaroid printer, and a 360-degree camera.

Furthermore, the Moto Z4 (at least the Verizon version) will work with the Moto 5G Mod that enables 5G connectivity on Verizon's network.

The OLED display has a built-in fingerprint sensor

As mentioned above, one of the standout specs for the Moto Z4 is its display.

On its own, this should be a great canvas for consuming content of any kind. The 6.4-inch size is plenty big for watching movies, the OLED panel allows for rich colors and deep blacks, and the resolution of 2280 x 1080 means all of your media will look plenty crisp.

Taking things a step further, Motorola embedded an optical fingerprint sensor underneath the screen. Optical in-screen sensors have proven to be a bit slower and less reliable than traditional fingerprint sensors, but there's certainly a cool factor that you're getting with this feature.

There's just one rear camera

We've seen a lot of improvements in phone cameras in recent years, even with more affordable phones like the Pixel 3a. That's why it's so disappointing that Motorola didn't think to make this a priority for the Moto Z4.

The Z4 comes equipped with just a single 48MP rear camera that captures 12MP photos with support for optical image stabilization and a special night mode.

We need more time to test the camera for ourselves to see how it performs, but if past Moto Z phones are anything to go by, it'll simply get the job done without doing anything special to really wow us.

It costs $500 and is available for pre-order

If you're interested in buying the Moto Z4 for yourself, here's what you need to know.

You can pre-order the unlocked model directly from Motorola's website, and when you do, you'll get a free Moto 360 Camera Mod that typically has an MSRP of $200 on its own. If you get the unlocked Moto Z4, it'll work on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, but won't be compatible with the 5G Moto Mod.

If you're a Verizon customer, you have a couple of options:

  • Buy just the Moto Z4 itself for $10/month for 24 months
  • Buy the Moto Z4 + 5G Moto Mod for $430 with a new activation

More than a phone

Moto Z4

Keep on using your Moto Mods for another year.

On its own, the Moto Z4 is a fairly compelling mid-range smartphone. It's got a Snapdragon 675 processor, 6.39-inch OLED display with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and expandable storage. Things get more interesting when you factor in support for Motorola's Moto Mods, but at this price, it's got a lot of competition.

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