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Moto Z3 launch: First 5G Upgradeable Phone!

The world’s first 5G smartphone just launched and we all missed it mainly because there are no 5G networks, to begin with. Motorola announced the new mod along with the blazing new Moto Z3 at the MWC 2018. You’d have no way of actually taking advantage of 5G features just because of this device.  Also, the new Android phone, as it is now, can’t do 5G for another reason. It doesn’t technically have a 5G modem inside, which will be a problem when 5G launches. But where there’s a modular Motorola phone, there’s a Moto Mod to fix it. So this is basically a replacement 5G, or let me quote myself, “pseudo-5G”.

Source: XDA

Starting in early 2019, Motorola will release a 5G Moto Mod that will tap into Verizon’s 5G network, once the first of the carrier’s 5G networks flickers to life. The fast internet we are using today seems to slow us down a bit. The next generation of fast data that will make phones upload and download an order of magnitude faster than the fastest 4G LTE networks today. We’re talking about downloading 90 Spotify songs in 10 seconds, at up to 5 gigabits per second.


First things first, it is the Moto Z3 and not the Z3 Play or the Z3 Force or anything. Because as a device’s point of view, it looks exactly like the Moto Z3 Play. The 6-inch 1080p panel is what the user sees and utilities the most and it gets pretty bright and looks smooth too. This new smartphone will be 5G-upgradeable with the help of a new 5G Moto Mod that will be available to buyers later this year. This is an ingenious trick for the phone series. Well, which is Moto pretty famous for.  The modularity of the Moto Z line is what allowed Motorola to launch the world’s first “5G-upgradeable” smartphone. Even after pretty decent ownership issues, the Chinese company is still in the race.

Motorola partnered with Verizon to launch the phone, and the press release notes that Verizon will be the first to deliver 5G residential broadband service later this year. A mobile solution will follow in 2019, which is when that 5G Moto Mod will come in handy. Other than the 5G support that’s coming at a later date, the Moto Z3 will offer you a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, microSD support, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, 8-megapixel selfie camera, 3,000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging support, fingerprint sensor, USB-C connectivity, and Android 8.1 Oreo.


Coming straight to the point, it packs a more than efficient chip and that performance won’t be an issue. Apart from the 6-inch 1080p panel, the camera comes as the second interesting thing on the outside. That is two 12MP with a secondary monochrome sensor to capture true B/W photos and for Portrait Mode. Obviously, it isn’t as good as a Pixel phone but it comes at par with the Huawei P20 Lite. Moto Display, Moto Actions, and Moto voice are still intact as users are pretty comfortable with the user-experience that roams around it. Like the original Moto Z Force and Moto Z2 Force before it, the Moto Z3 here will make its carrier home exclusively on Verizon in the US, at least at first. Verizon is launching it in 4 selected cities and it will increase gradually. The Moto Z3 will cost $480 and launch on Aug. 16.

More importantly, the price of the 5G Moto Mod was not revealed, but the press release says that, for a limited time, you can purchase any existing Moto Mod over $100 for just $50 if you buy the new Moto Z3.

Moto Z3 launched at Chicago MWC 2018. Enhanced 5G connectivity with Moto Mods


While the Moto Z3 is a more than capable piece of tech, its spec sheet is an interesting mix of tech that’s both old and new. Maybe because they wanted to focus on the latest in tech and the money in our pockets. Have a look for yourself below.

Operating system Android 8.1
Moto Display, Voice, Actions
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
GPU Adreno 540 GPU
Screen 6.01-inch Full HD (2160×1080) AMOLED
Materials Gorilla Glass 3
6000 series aluminum
Storage 64GB
Expandability microSD up to 2TB
Rear camera 12MP, Dual Autofocus Pixel
phase-detect, laser autofocus
1.25um pixels
f/2.0 lens
dual-LED flash
Rear camera 2 12MP black & white
Phase detection autofocus
portrait mode
Video capture 720p (120fps), 1080p, 4K (30fps)
Front camera 8MP
1.12-micron pixels
f/2.0 wide-angle lens
Connectivity USB-C
(USB-C to 3.5mm adapter included)
Speaker Single front-facing
Moto Mods support Yes
Water resistance Water-repellent coating
Security Side fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Battery 3000mAh
TurboPower charger (8 hrs battery in 15 min)
Colors Deep Indigo
Dimensions 76.5 x 156.5 x 6.75 mm
Weight 156g
MWC, moto mod launched. moto z3
Moto mod launched in Chicago MWC 2018

Although the promise of customization may not be the Z3’s biggest draw for every potential buyer, Motorola still scores for a solid phone hardware and clever software that’s better in some ways than Google’s own take on Android. This might be because of the Lenovo blood that is running in them now.

Motorola says it will release it in “early 2019” when Verizon’s 5G network is a bit more mature and ready for mobile connections. Well, now its official, we’ve upgraded to 5G.
That’s all from our side. Stay put to Tech Includes to watch out for latest tech updates right at the touch of your screen. Peace Out.

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Written by Manish Rath

Android Developer. Tech Savvy. Opened a Pentium 4 when I was 8. Follow me on twitter @Manishrath. Peace!


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