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Motorola Moto Z3

Motorola Moto Z3

from  $479.99+
Moto Z3 Review

Moto Z3 Review

Posted   08.13.18
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71 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
71

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

At the risk of sounding reductive, the Moto Z3 is last year's flagship Moto phone packed into a cheaper body with a bigger screen. That's not necessarily a bad thing: Its Snapdragon 835 chipset keeps things moving at a respectable pace and Motorola's Android tweaks are as thoughtful as ever. That said, it lacks some of the flourishes that made earlier Moto Z phones truly great, and the best argument for owning one -- the 5G Moto Mod -- is still months away and will only be of use to Z3 owners in select markets.

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Pros
  • Thoughtful software features
  • Solid performance
  • Pleasant screen
Cons
  • No ShatterShield or IP-rated water resistance
  • Annoying fingerprint sensor placement
  • It’s exclusive to Verizon
  • The best feature isn’t available yet
71 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
71

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

71
 

Users

Not yet scored
 

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Score Breakdown

 
73
Average Critic Score
 
70
CNET
Buy Motorola's Moto Z3 if you're looking for a well-priced Android phone on Verizon today, not for the promised 5G upgrade module.
 
70
The Verge
The Moto Z3 comes off feeling like an odd mishmash of good value, recycled bits, and a far off, yet-to-be-realized promise of 5G. It's a 2017 flagship in 2018, only with an improved display. Hopefully Motorola has bigger plans for next year.
 
60
Android Police
For the first time, Moto's budget flagship Z Play-branded phone is more expensive than the regular Z-series phone. Verizon will charge $480 for this phone, which is actually a solid deal for a Verizon phone. Yes, it has last year's Snapdragon SoC, but a Note 9 is more than twice as expensive. Even a OnePlus 6 costs more. The low price is not just a function of the older hardware (though I'm sure that's part of it). Verizon is also subsidizing the cost of this phone because it wants to move 5G Mods next year. I would wager the Moto Z3 with a 5G Mod will bring it up to the standard flagship phone price range. If you're not jonzing for 5G, there's not much reason to buy this device.
 
80
SlashGear
I think the Moto Z3 is worth buying if you want a solid phone that won’t break the bank, but I don’t think you should get caught up in all the 5G hype just yet. If that’s one of your primary motivations for considering the Z3, you should definitely hold off for now and wait to see what things look like once we’re into 2019.
 
70
DroidLife
They created a budget phone that isn’t bad, but we sort of already had that with the Moto Z3 Play, a phone that costs between $450 and $500 depending on where you buy it. Motorola made two different phones at the same price, added a couple of better specs to one and then let Verizon keep it as their own. It’s beyond silly. Some of us would have liked to get a Moto Z3 Force (they aren’t making one) with shatterproof display and current Snapdragon processor and more RAM and a real high-end camera and a big ass battery. We didn’t get that, though. We got a phone that won’t be remembered six months into 2019 when other phones release that have 5G built-in and don’t need a thick-as-hell Moto Mod attached to their backs.
 
80
Neowin
If you're looking at the Moto Z3 right now, buy it because of the value that it offers for $480, or because you're invested in the Moto Mod ecosystem and you want to stay in it. After all, it's a great phone, especially given the price.
 
70
ZDNet
The Z3 is a solid choice for someone who is a Verizon Wireless customer who wants an affordable and reliable Android device, with the option to add more functionality through Moto Mods. Outside of that narrow scope, the Moto Z3 is impressively mundane.
 
80
Stuff
There are more compelling ~$500 handsets today, but the Moto Z3 is a very good phone that could become fantastic with the 5G Moto Mod.