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Design

Motorola has actually used a common style language for its phones over the past few generations—rounded backs, minimal bezels, and the top circular dimple. Customization v Motorola’s Moto an equipment website has likewise been a distinguishing feature because that its phones. Critical year’s Moto X, for example, offers different color combinations because that its aluminum frame, former bezel, and metal accent pieces. It additionally has swappable ago covers that come in various colors and also materials, permitting the phones to be extremely personalized.

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Out through the old, in with the new: Moto X Pure version (bottom) and also Moto Z Droid (top)

Motorola’s newest flagship phones still use an aluminum structure and permit some customization with Moto Maker, but are otherwise a radical exit from ahead phones. The biggest alters are roughly back, but even the prior of the Moto Zs show apparent differences. The lower bezel is now significantly larger 보다 what’s uncovered on the Moto X models; also the side bezels are a tiny thicker.

The square fingerprint sensor is mostly to blame for the bump in bezel size. I currently mentioned just how well the fulfills its main function: emotional the sensor with an enrolled digit instantly wakes and unlocks the phone. That can likewise turn turn off the display and also lock the phone call by touching it with any type of finger, also if it has actually not been clearly enrolled. Making use of the fingerprint sensor in this means is analogous to double-tapping the display to wake up or lock the phone and also is much more convenient than making use of the power button. Unlike many front-mounted fingerprint sensors, though, it does not duty as a home button. Instead, the Moto Z Droids use onscreen navigating buttons. Sure, soft buttons organize some advantages, but they take it up an important screen space, and not making use of capacitive buttons right here seems favor a mistake when there’s so much extra room in the lower bezel.

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On every side the the fingerprint sensor is a small microphone and also an infrared activity sensor the activates Moto screen when you wave your hand end the phone. The circuitry for the screen apparently sits behind the lower bezel, including to its overall height and making room for a “moto” logo that’s reminiscent of previous HTC designs.

A sufficiently huge earpiece, which likewise does twin duty together a mono front-facing speaker, is centered over the display. The approximately light and also proximity sensors sit simply to the appropriate of the speaker. The 5MP front-facing camera sits in the upper-left corner, if an LED selfie-flash, a attribute that’s still relatively unique, sits in opposing corner. Over there is no additional motion sensor because that Moto display in the Z’s top bezel like there is in the Moto X phones.

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As comparable as the two Moto Zs are, over there a couple of minor design differences. First, the Moto Z Droid’s edge-to-edge covering glass has actually a slight bevel roughly the perimeter, offering edge swipes a smooth feel. The leaf of the Moto Z force Droid’s ShatterShield sheathe is not curved; it’s completely contained in ~ the aluminum frame’s raised lip, instead. Second, the political parties of the aluminum structure have a various shape. The diluent Droid has a smooth, tapered edge, vice versa, the pressure Droid has twin tapers that accomplish in a elevated ridge. This difference is more form than function, due to the fact that it does no make the phone simpler to hold or pickup.

The top edge is home to an additional microphone (there’s a 4th one top top the back) and also the mix NanoSIM and microSD map tray, with a plastic antenna heat in the middle. The only feature on the bottom sheet is the USB Type-C port. Notably absent is a 3.5mm headphone jack, which way you’ll should go wireless or usage the included USB adapter cable—a component many will likely forget or lose. Speak to me old fashioned, yet I prefer being able come plug in some headphones or exterior speakers and also listen to music while charging the phone at the exact same time. Ns guess it’s inevitable, though, that Bluetooth or USB Type-C will change the aging, analog headphone jack.

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All of the buttons lied on the ideal edge towards the top, reduce the likelihood of pushing them by chance when handling the phone. The individual volume buttons sit inside a scalloped slot, if the unique textured power switch is straight below. Since the Moto Z Droid is so thin, that buttons room actually smaller, giving them a trickster feel similar to the Galaxy S6 edge. The buttons fit snugly in the frame and also make a solid click once pressed.

The ago of the phones are designed come accommodate the Moto mod accessories. Along the bottom that the completely flat ago are a series of exposed yellow pins that type the Moto mode connector because that sharing data and power v the modules. The one camera housing sticks out pretty far, and also is the only ar we see any Verizon or Droid branding.

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What's weird, though, is the the back is not simply unfinished black color plastic or metal. Motorola actually dresses it up through a inside wall pattern, Motorola logo, and color-matching plastic inserts at the top and bottom because that the antennas. It's almost as if Motorola expects human being to usage these phones v nothing attached come the back. Yet with the exposed Moto mod connector, a vast camera hump, and sides that carry out not blend nicely right into the back, the phones just look … naked.

Fortunately, there's a collection of decorate plates called Style Shells that snap ~ above the ago to maintain the phones’ modesty. They additionally sit flush v the behind camera, and also their curved surface ar blends far better with the sides, do the phones much much more comfortable come hold. The layout Shells begin at $14.99 and also come in numerous colors and materials the customize the look and also feel that the brand-new Droids, consisting of real wood and fabric for $19.99 and real leather because that $24.99. Both the our testimonial units came through the Charcoal Ash wood shell.

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The Moto Z Droids room not together customizable together the Moto X phones, however. The ability to mix and also match pieces is gone, replaced by three color mix choices: Lunar Grey frame with black color front and back (like our testimonial units), increased Gold structure with black color front and back, and a fine Gold structure with gold back and white front.

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Moto Z pressure Droid (left) and also Moto Z Droid (right)

The most controversial that Motorola’s design changes—large camera hump, lacking headphone jack, and smaller battery (at least for the Moto Z Droid)—are the an outcome of do the new phones as thin as possible. The Moto Z Droid is only 5.19mm thick (excluding the camera hump), while the Moto Z force Droid is a more common 6.99mm since of its larger battery. In this case, however, Motorola’s obsession with thinness extends beyond a bullet point on a marketing slide; it’s a necessary concession to allowing its vision for a modular smartphone.