Motorola’s Moto Z3 will work on Verizon’s 5G network using Moto Mod


Motorola has just announced the first 5G phone for Verizon. Sorta.

The company’s billing its new Moto Z3, which launches on Verizon on August 16, as the first phone that’ll be “upgradeable” to 5G with the help of a new 5G Moto Mod.

Before we get to the 5G Moto Mod, let’s talk Moto Z3 basics. It’s the last of the company’s Moto Mod-compatible phones of the year and costs $480 in full or $20 per month for 24 months on Verizon. For a limited time, Verizon’s offering up to $300 off the Moto Z3 to customers who trade in an existing device.

Like the Moto Z3 Play, the phone’s made of glass and metal and has a large 6-inch Super AMOLED screen with thin top and bottom bezels. 

The Moto Z3 looks like every other metal and glass phone.

On the rear, you’ll find dual 12-megapixel cameras, and on the front there’s an 8-megapixel shooter for selfies. There’s also a side-mounted fingerprint reader just like the Z3 Play. Motorola hasn’t specified battery capacity, but says it’ll last a full day.

The phone’s only questionable spec is its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. This is a whole generation behind the current batch of flagship Android phones that use the more powerful Snapdragon 845. At the very least, the phone has 4GB of RAM.

An exploded view of the Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod attachment

An exploded view of the Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod attachment

Now onto the 5G Moto Mod, because honestly, the Moto Z3 sounds pretty average on its own.

With the 5G Moto Mod clipped on, the Moto Z3 can connect to Verizon’s 5G network, which is live in three U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston.

Motorola says the Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod will be capable of wireless data speeds of up to 5Gbps. The attachment uses four millimeter-wave modules located in the front, side, and rear to achieve 5G connectivity no matter what orientation the phone’s held in.

Being first to access a 5G network will mean super fast data speeds — Motorola’s touting 4K uninterrupted live streams and real-time VR experiences — but it’ll also come at a cost to battery power. To compensate, the 5G Moto Mod has its own 2,000 mAh battery so it doesn’t drain the Moto Z3’s battery.

The 5G Mod's got a little antenna bump at the top there.

The 5G Mod’s got a little antenna bump at the top there.

As you can see, the Moto Z3 isn’t quite a real 5G phone. It’s looking like it’ll be a little while before we see 5G technology built directly into phones. But with the Moto Mod, it’ll be capable of accessing Verizon’s speedier network.

It’s an interesting idea and we see it as being really useful for tethering other devices. But there are still questions we don’t know the answers to.

Motorola’s targeting an early 2019 launch, but pricing for the 5G Mod hasn’t been announced yet. We have no idea how 5G data plans will shake out — will Verizon customers need new plans, and how much more will they cost per month? Motorola says the accessory will work with other Moto-capable phones, but performance won’t be as good. How much of a hit will phones with wimpier processors take? 

These questions will likely surface as the 5G Moto Mod’s release nears. For now, there’s still much to learn about how it works. Are you eager enough for 5G that you’ll buy a specific phone and an accessory just to get faster data speeds?

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f85995%2fa86089d9 596f 4fc5 8cf7 c5ea0b863879