Moto Mods

Moto Mods

Deal: Save $400 off a Moto Z with Hasselblad True Zoom Camera

The Moto Z family of phones from Motorola have fully embraced the modular design concept with their support for Moto Mods, and the company has certainly done a much better job of supporting them then we saw from LG with the G5. Interested in the Moto Z but looking for a good deal? Today, you can get an unlocked Moto Z combined with one of the more expensive Moto Mods, the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera, for just $599.99 at B&H Photo.

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Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snap

July 27, 2016

That price is $400 off that bundle’s normal cost of $999.99. That basically means you are getting the $299.99 Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Moto Mod for free while still getting the $699.99 Moto Z itself for $100 off. All in all, that’s a terrific deal.

Here’s a quick recap on both the Moto Z and the camera mod. The 5.5-inch unlocked Moto Z has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, along with a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera and a 2600mAh battery. The version of the phone in this bundle has 64GB of onboard storage, and it has Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, with the promise that the update to Android Nougat is coming sometime in February.

The unlocked phone included in this bundle can be used on GSM networks run by T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, but it cannot be used on Sprint’s network. Verizon does sell its own version of this phone, under the name of the Moto Z Droid, that can only be used on its network.

As with all the Moto Mods, the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera connects magnetically to the back of the Moto Z. Its main feature is the 10x optical zoom lens, which will make taking photos from a distance much easier. Most of the rest of this Moto Mod’s hardware is not quite as impressive. It only has a 12MP sensor, and it supports filming video at up to 1080p.  However the big jump for the optical zoom may make this worth getting, especially since, as we pointed out before, this bundle essentially makes this Moto Mod free with the purchase of the Moto Z.

Hopefully, we will get to hear more about the next wave of Moto Mods from Motorola in time for the MWC 2017 trade show in late February. In the meantime, you can get the unlocked Moto Z and the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera from B&H Photo at the discounted price from now until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 29.

Get it at B&H Photo

Moto is hosting an event in India for developers to shape the future of modularity

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Last year, Moto launched the Moto Mods along with Moto Z. The Moto Mods transform your smartphone in a snap, turning your phone into a camera with optical zoom, a movie projector, a boombox and more.

Moto plans to share the Moto Mods Development Kit (MDK) allowing people everywhere to contribute to the ecosystem by bringing their own Moto Mods to life. The company wants to empower developers to dream, build, and fund their own Moto Mods. The company is hosting ‘Moto Collide’, an event in Bengaluru on January 25, where it will introduce new opportunities to help developers get involved.

 

The event is focussed on both one-person startups as well as experienced development firms who can their great ideas and interact with different partners across hardware, software, manufacturing, and product development teams to realize them into a global product opportunity. Moto has also partnered with Lenovo Capital who will invest up to $1 million for selected products.

Head to motocollide.com to register, and the Moto team will get back to you on your qualification status within five business days.

Mods could one day bring 5G data to the Moto Z series

The Moto Z appears to have been a successful handset for Lenovo this year, and the company is looking to extend the handset’s life cycle with more modes for the range over the next year. A new 3,000mAh Mophie battery pack that’s available from Verizon will be heading out to more regions, and there are plans for an Incipio car dock charger with a 3.5mm audio output connection too.

Alongside these additions, John Touvannas, senior director of product management at the company, believes that we could eventually see secondary e-ink displays, a baby monitor, and even a 5G modem appear in the Moto Mods line-up in the future.

“Without having to wait for the next-gen phone that can bring the next technology or capability, we can get to that quicker through the mod,” – John Touvannas, Motorola/Lenovo

The prospect of something like a 5G modem being available via a modular extension is interesting, as it could mean that customers won’t have to upgrade to an entirely new phone for faster data speeds. Motorola’s mods can communicate via USB 3.1, as well as to the phone’s image and display processors, which would technically be fast enough to handle faster data coming in at 5G speeds. Although the form factor of such an accessory would need to be sleek enough for users to carry round, say a back panel with the required radio antennas and modem. Verizon, a close partner with Motorola, plans to begin its 5G trials in mid 2017.

While some are still sceptical that modular smartphones are nothing more than a gimmick, Motorola’s research suggests that around half of all Moto Z owners make use of at least one mod. The battery mod seems the most popular, with users clocking in 37 hours of typical use. 20 percent of users have even stumped up for the expensive camera and projector mods, with the latter being used 10 hours a week on average.

The good news is that Motorola is actively pursuing new mod ideas, rather than letting the idea flounder through a lack of development like a certain competitor. The company is running hackathons and an Indiegogo campaign to entice third-party developers, and the Motorola aims to bring out four new mods each quarter starting from the middle of 2017.

Moto Mod smart car dock from Incipio announced for Moto Z

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The lineup of modular Moto Mods for the Moto Z family of smartphones continues. Motorola officially announced that Incipio will launch a smart car dock Moto Mod sometime next week. It also confirmed the previously revealed Mophie battery pack Moto Mod that’s now on sale at Verizon Wireless.

See also:

Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snap

July 27, 2016

The Verge reports that the car dock attaches to the Moto Z on its back with magnets, like any other Moto Mod. The dock can then be attached to a vent on the car’s dashboard in both vertical and horizontal positions. When the phone is connected to the dock, it automatically launches the recently revamped Android Auto app, which was redesigned to work on a phone’s display. You can also charge the phone on the dock and connect to your car’s stereo speaker with a 3.5mm jack. The price for the car dock will be $64.99.

Motorola also indicated that more Moto Mods are in the works for 2017, with the plan to release about four of them per quarter. One of them might be a Tango 3D camera that would enable the Moto Z phones to use the growing number of AR apps using Google’s technology.

Moto Z is “likely” to get a Tango 3D camera Moto Mod

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The biggest feature in Motorola’s Moto Z family of smartphones is their support for Moto Mods, which are modular add-ons that can be quickly connected to the back to add extra features to those devices. Today, Motorola CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing said the company will “likely” release a Moto Mod in the future that will add support for Google’s Tango 3D camera technology to the Moto Z.

See also:

Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snap

July 27, 2016

Of course, this is one of the exact reasons why Lenovo and Motorola created Moto Mods in the first place. If an up-and-coming technology comes out that may be of interest to users, creating a Moto Mod with that functionality is much easier than building it into a smartphone. de Lencquesaing stated that the augmented reality features that can be used with the Tango camera will fit well within Motorola’s smartphone plans:

Augmented reality on a phone is a technology that’s likely to stick. Of course we’ll follow, or lead, the market in this area.

Motorola’s parent company, Lenovo, launched the first Tango-enabled smartphone, the Phab 2 Pro, earlier this month. The large 6.4-inch unlocked device is currently priced at $499.99, and there are over 35 apps in the Google Play Store that specifically support Tango’s AR features. There are rumors that ASUS could announce its own Tango-based smartphone in January during CES 2017.

Currently, the Moto Z family of Moto Mods directly from Motorola include an external speaker, an extra battery and projector. More recently, Verizon began selling a Moto Mod battery pack made by Mophie. Motorola has also partner with the Indiegogo crowd funding website to help hardware developers fund the creation of even more Moto Mods.