Moto Z3 First Look: Looking Ahead to 5G

Moto Z3

The Moto Z3 will be the final flagship in the series for this year as the tech giant hinted that there would be no Z3 Force for the first time since the Moto Z line was introduced. It does have a slightly larger battery.

Motorola's version of Android has always been smooth and clean, and there's nothing new here-which is good, in this case.

The phone sports a dual-camera setup at the rear with a combination of the 12MP primary sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.25-micron pixel size and a 12-megapixel monochrome sensor coupled with Laser Autofocus (pDAF), Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) dual LED flash, Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL). And more importantly, the Moto Z3 retails for a much lower price. A fingerprint sensor is embedded into the power button on the right side and face unlock features for unlocking is also supported.

The cameras feel like the phone's potential weakness.

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The pieces for 5G network connectivity are falling into place, but we haven't seen an actual production-ready 5G handset from a major manufacturer yet. Installing the quartet of antenna arrays is a way around that, as you're unlikely to cover them all.

Internally, the mod has a 2,000-milliamp hour battery, and the Qualcomm X50 modem. If the phone needs to make or receive a voice call, or coverage drops to 3G or 2G, the X16 turns back on to handle the call or process the slower data. That distinction comes with a sizable asterisk but we'll get to that shortly. The smartphone is one of the first to have 5G capability with a special mod. It still supports MotoMods but will be the last Moto Z device, so from next year you can probably say goodbye to the modular system. And yes, it will also only be available at Verizon. Let's take a closer look at the new Moto Z3.

Obviously, the 5 Gbps speeds Verizon, Motorola, and Qualcomm were touting today will only be achievable under optimal circumstances, but even if you never top out with the Moto Mod, you'll still be going a lot faster that you were on 4G LTE. In other words, it's possible that the Z3 Play will one day work with the 5G Moto Mod, but for now, the Z3 is the only phone that's guaranteed to work with it. That's a software challenge, not a hardware one, so it's apparently possible. The 5G Moto Mod will be available later. And it definitely makes the phone thick and heavy. After all, the Z3 is a Verizon exclusive, so it wouldn't be far-fetched to hope that the firm has something planned for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

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