Another year, another set of Motorola devices. We’ve already seen the Moto G6, the Moto E5, and the midrange Moto Z3 Play — now we’re being treated to another Moto phone — but unlike what we expected, the new Moto Z3 is very similar to the Moto Z3 Play. In fact, the only real difference seems to be the fact that Motorola is touting this phone as the first phone to feature 5G support thanks to the built in Snapdragon X50 modem and an upcoming 5G Moto Mod — which you’ll need to adopt 5G when it’s available.
But exactly what does the new Motorola Moto Z3 offer? Is it all that different from previous Moto Z phones? Here’s everything we know about the new Motorola Moto Z3.
The Moto Z3 is pretty much identical to the Moto Z3 Play in terms of design. It features a 6-inch Super AMOLED display with rounded corners, with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080. It also features an aspect ratio of 2,160 x 1,080, which is indicator of the fact that this is not really meant to be a flagship device.
The back of the phone has a very similar look to previous Moto Z phones, which is likely so that the new phone can support older Moto Mods. There’s Motorola’s recognizable camera bump, along with pins that allow the phone to communicate with Moto Mods. Motorola announced a few new Moto Mods with this phone, so it’s nice to know that the new device can take advantage of them, along with previous Mods.
Also like the Moto Z3 Play, Motorola has moved the fingerprint sensor from the front of the phone to the side, accommodating for the slightly larger display. Rumors suggested that the sensor would be built in to a power button, but this turned out not to be true. Motorola has gotten rid of the headphone jack too — like in the Moto Z3 Play.
Contrary to what you might expect, the Moto Z3 isn’t really a flagship phone — though it’s not a midrange one either. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is Qualcomm’s flagship processor for 2017, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — though there is a MicroSD card slot in case you want to expand upon that storage. It’s not necessarily a midrange phone, but its not quite on the same level as recent flagships that feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, as was expected from this phone. Under the hood, the phone features a 3,000mAh battery, which should be perfectly fine for most users.
Perhaps the biggest and most important part of this phone’s specs is the support for 5G. While it doesn’t seem as though the phone will support 5G alone, Motorola will ship a 5G Moto Mod that will help users connect to 5G networks. There’s also a battery mod that has a 2,000mAh battery, and can be attached and unattached without having to turn off the phone.
On the back of the phone, the Moto Z3 features a dual-sensor camera, with two 12 megapixel sensors. The cameras are capable of recording video up to 4K at 30 frames per second, though there’s a super slow motion mode that allows you to record 1,080p video at 120 frames per second. The camera has also gotten a few software upgrades — like a black and white mode, and integration with Google Lens.
Like many other phones these days, the Moto Z3 also supports facial recognition, though we expect it to be very basic, and not as secure as what you would find on phones like the iPhone X.
Generally speaking, Motorola phones stick pretty close to stock Android, and the Moto Z3 is no different — though Motorola has made a few tweaks to the software. The phone ships with Android 8.1 Oreo, and the main change Motorola has made is that the phone features Amazon’s Alexa, so you can use either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as your digital assistant on the phone. That’s a feature more and more people are enjoying — so it makes sense that Motorola has adopted it.
Motorola has also tweaked the lock screen to make it a whole lot more useful. From the lock screen, you’ll be able to do things like control music, reply to messages, and so on — similar to what you would find in recent changes to Android notifications.
Price and availability
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this phone is the price and availability. The phone comes in at $480, but unfortunately it’s a Verizon exclusive — meaning you won’t be able to get your hands on it if you’re not on Verizon. Verizon is also offering a payment plan of $20 per month for 24 months, and the company will offer up to $300 off for a trade-in. The phone will be available starting on August 16.
Updated on August 2: The Moto Z3 is now available.