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Motorola’s new Moto Z line features swappable modular smart backs

TechCrunch TechCrunch 9/06/2016 Brian Heater

Anyone else starting to get the feeling that all of these modular smartphones are becoming interchangeable? Not in the sense that you can swap products cross-platform, of course. That’s not how proprietary hardware works.

The latest take on the compelling (though far from mature) space are two new Moto Z handsets, which were introduced practically concurrently with Lenovo’s long awaited Project Tango handset, another twist on smartphone modulation from Motorola’s parent company.

The Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be the company’s first two devices compatible with the new Moto Mods, swappable backs that bring a slew of additional features to the phones, including JBL speakers, a projector, and external battery packs from TUMI and Kate Spade of all places.

Motorola will also be opening up its Moto Mod Development Kit to third-party developers, so they can get your back, as well.

As for the phones themselves, the Verizon Droid-branded Moto Z is an extremely thin and light handset that packs in a Snapdragon 820 processor, 32GB of storage (plus a microSD slot), and a 2600 mAh battery. The display is a 5.5-inch Quad HD and the pronounced rear-facing camera bump measure in at 13-megapixels.

Oh, and the headphone jack has officially gone the way of mini-USB here, no doubt to help shave off precious millimeters on the razor (RAZR?)-thin device , so users will need to listen via USB-C –adapter or Bluetooth.

The Moto Z Force, meanwhile, sports a number of the same specs, but adds a 3500 mAh battery and a 21-megapixel camera to the mix. Both products are arriving from Verizon at some point this summer, with pre-order coming next month.

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