Now, let's dig into the phone. I played with one very briefly in the heart of Motorola's Chicago HQ and, well, it looks and feels almost exactly like the Moto Z3 Play we tried out earlier this year. Its slim, sleek design and its 6-inch, Max Vision AMOLED screen running at 2160 x 1080, were lifted from that earlier device wholesale, and it uses the same 3,000mAh battery as this year's Play model. (No word on whether or not it will also come with a free battery Mod.)
That said, there are some differences to be aware of here. The Z3 uses a 12-megapixel dual camera with RGB and monochrome sensors, rather than 12 and 5-megapixel sensors in the Z3 Play. (It still juts out prominently from the body, though.) More importantly, there's a faster processor running the show here: it's one of last year's Snapdragon 835 chipsets, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. I'll never complain about a little extra horsepower in a smartphone, but 5G potential aside, this seems like a fairly tepid update. Then again, the phone's price tag sits at the high end of the mid-range scale, so the Z3 just might make sense for some people.
It doesn't, however, make sense for the terminally clumsy. Remember: in years past, Motorola paired a lower-end Z Play model with a rugged, high-performance Z Force smartphone. This year, there is no Force -- the Z3 lacks its predecessor's ShatterShield, which was perhaps the biggest reason to invest in one of Motorola's high-end smartphones. Apparently, Motorola felt like the blend of affordable, almost-flagship performance and 5G "upgradeability" was more in line with what people really want than a phone that's really hard to break. That's a fair argument, but a phone that embodied all of those features would be an even more compelling sell, right?