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Motorola announces the Z2 Play and a bunch of new Moto Mods

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More battery mods and a game controller are coming this summer

Image: Motorola

Motorola has announced the Moto Z2 Play, a successor to last year's sleeper hit Moto Z Play. Much like its predecessor, the Z2 Play is a midrange smartphone with a 5.5-inch display and compatibility with the Moto Mod accessory platform. It will sell for $499 and will be available from Verizon or unlocked from Motorola’s website this summer.

In addition to the Z2 Play, Motorola revealed four new Mods for its Z line of smartphones: the JBL SoundBoost 2, the Moto TurboPower Pack, Moto Style Shells with Wireless Charging, and the Moto GamePad. The SoundBoost 2, TurboPower Pack, and GamePad will sell for $79.99, while the wireless charging Style Shells are $39.99 apiece. All will be available for purchase this summer.

The Z2 Play is a thinner and lighter phone than last year’s model and it has an upgraded processor, more RAM, and a new camera. The battery is about 15 percent smaller — 3,000mAh vs. 3,510mAh — however, and it’s priced slightly higher than the Z Play was. Motorola says the phone gets up to 30 hours of battery life between charges; last year’s claim was a much higher 50 hours. The new camera should be appreciated, though, as it has a brighter, f/1.7 aperture lens, dual pixel focusing, and an improved laser focus system for low-light.

The new phone has a couple of software enhancements: it’s running Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has a Night Display feature to reduce blue light emissions in the evening. There’s also a redesigned fingerprint scanner and new voice controls that will provide information instantly without having to touch or unlock the phone.

Of the new Mods, the TurboPower Pack and GamePad are the most interesting. The TurboPower Pack brings Motorola’s quick charging features to a portable Mod: it has a 3,490mAh battery and can charge the phone at 15W speeds. A USB Type-C lets you refuel the Mod itself to 50 percent in just 20 minutes of charging.

Image: Motorola

The GamePad attaches to Moto Z phones just like any other Moto Mod and includes dual control sticks, a D-pad, and four buttons. Motorola says it was developed in partnership with the gaming division at parent company Lenovo and it has a 1,035mAh battery so it doesn’t rely on the phone’s battery for power.

The SoundBoost 2 Mod is similar in features to last year’s SoundBoost, but comes in three colors, has a fabric covering, and is now splash-resistant. It works with a new app from JBL that lets you adjust the sound coming from the speaker. The wireless charging shells also come in a variety of colors and finishes, and they support 10W fast wireless charging with compatible chargers.

Motorola has committed to launching at least a dozen new Mods this year and it still has a number of phones in its lineup that haven’t yet been updated for 2017, so we should hear more from the company as the summer progresses. Until then, be sure to check out our full review of the Moto Z2 Play for more info.