Google isn't the only company working on modular smartphones. Following on the heels of the LG G5 and Google's "Project Ara" concept, Motorola today unveiled its new Moto Z flagship, which makes use of various modular accessories. These add-ons, collectively dubbed MotoMods, snap onto the handset using a quartet of magnets and draw their power/data through a 6Gbps multi-pin connection. There will be three Mods available at launch: a projector, "party speaker" and an external battery.
Lenovo has already built a projector into a tablet, so it's not a huge surprise to now see Motorola creating a snap-on pico projector case. The Moto Insta-Share Projector (MISP, for short) combines a built-in kickstand with a teensy 50-lumen lamp that can beam a 70-inch image onto nearby walls. Its onboard battery allows for an hour of showtime, though you if you want you can plug the phone into a wall charger via its USB-C connection. The projector will also output audio to an external stereo using Bluetooth or the USB-C so you aren't stuck with the phone's rinkydink native speaker.
The JBL speaker does exactly what you think it does. It offers 6W stereo sound, 80-decibel volume and 10-hour battery life. Like the projector mod, this too has a built-in kickstand, and can charge as it plays using a USB-C connection.
The Incipio Power Pack straps on a massive 2,220mAh backup battery rated to provide an extra 22 hours of runtime. That's not quite as huge as, say, the Galaxy S7 Active's 4,000 mAh cell, but it's certainly a nice complement to the Moto Z's onboard 2,600mAh pack, which is rated for 30 hours. What's more, these power packs will be available in more stylish designs from designers Kate Spade and Tumi. There will also be a version that charges wirelessly.
These first few Mods are just the beginning as far as Moto Z accessories go. The Moto Z line will also include a series of snap-on cases in a bunch of exotic materials like wood and cloth. Motorla's Seang Chau also hinted at upcoming collaborations with battery-case maker, Mophie, and a camera pack as well. In addition to developing its own, Motorola is also launching the Moto Mods Developer Program. Through it, the company will partner with the Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG) to provide both seed funding for certified developers as well as $1 million in equity funding for whoever submits a winning MotoMod prototype.
As you can see, Motorola hasn't yet announced pricing for any of these accessories. Expect more details on that closer to the phone's launch date.
Get all the news from today's Lenovo and Motorola event right here!