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Motorola’s Moto Z4 is keeping the Moto Mod dream alive

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More Mods, less bezel

Motorola has officially announced the Moto Z4, the thoroughly leaked (and even accidentally shipped!) successor to last year’s Moto Z3. And yes, the company is still firmly sticking with its strategy of modular Moto Mod attachments.

As one might expect, the Z4 is essentially an upgraded version of last year’s Moto Z3. The basic design is still the same: the phone is a glass sandwich with POGO pins on the back for snapping on the Mods. Motorola has followed recent phone trends by excising the bezels on the front in favor of a teardrop notch and a 19:9 OLED panel.

Additionally, Motorola has also undone a few of the changes it made on the Z3 that people didn’t particularly like. The smaller 3,000mAh battery on last year’s Z3 has been upgraded to a 3,600mAh battery at the expense of making the Z4 a bit thicker. (Motorola says the battery should last for around two days off a single charge, although we’ll obviously be testing that claim in real-world conditions.) There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is nice.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

As for specs, the Z4 features a Snapdragon 675 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage (which can be upgraded via microSD). It’s a midrange processor, a step down from the previous generations of Moto Z phones, which had featured Qualcomm’s top-notch 800-series processors. Presumably, the change here will help Motorola keep the price down on the Z4 and battery life up due to the less demanding chip.

Motorola has also overhauled the cameras: the dual-lens system on the rear camera has been replaced with a single 48-megapixel shooter, which outputs 12-megapixel shots by combining four pixels together into one larger pixel (a strategy seen on various recent smartphones, including the recently announced Moto One Vision). Also borrowed from the One Vision is a dedicated Night Mode, which promises a Pixel-like ability to illuminate darker shots. The company has also upgraded the front-facing lens from an 8-megapixel sensor on the Z3 to a 25-megapixel lens on the Z4.

As for the Moto Mods, Motorola doesn’t actually have any new ones to go along with the Z4, although it will be compatible with all of the previous Moto Mods out there, including Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod that enables the Z4 to work with Verizon’s 5G network (assuming you live somewhere within the still extremely limited coverage zones). Given how few 5G phones are out on the market, that makes the Z4 one of the only options available right that supports the next-gen networking standard.

The Moto Z4 will ship with Android 9 Pie, which, in Motorola style, is a nearly stock version of the OS with a few enhancements on top like the Moto Actions gestures that actually add to Google’s experience.

The Moto Z4 will be available on Verizon starting on June 13th for $499.99, although the company is offering a limited time deal for new lines that will offer the phone for $10 a month for 24 months and the 5G Moto Mod for $199.99. (That will total $439.99 for the phone and Mod together.) Verizon is also offering free 5G service for Moto Z4 customers with the 5G mod on its Verizon Above Unlimited and Beyond Unlimited plans

Alternatively, if you’re not a Verizon customer, Motorola will also sell an unlocked version of the Z4 for $499.99 starting on June 6th in a bundle that includes the 360-degree camera Moto Mod at Best Buy, B&H, and Amazon.