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Moto Z2 Play :: A modular smartphone
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Volker Weber    

IMG 0084

Yesterday, I had total gadget overload. Moto sent a big box with the brand new Moto Z2 play and alll these Moto Mods. And here is the good news. This is a 2017 smartphone and mostly 2016 Moto Mods. I like backwards compatibility.

I was very sceptical when Moto announced the Moto Z series last year. They had three models: the high end Z, the midrange Z Play and the Verizon exclusive Z Force. They were the top line Moto phones and shared the Moto Mod design. Moto Mods snap to the back of the phone via magnets, held in place by the camera hump and a protruding pin between the two rows of pogo pins which connect phone and Mod. The top row shows the Hasselblad 4116 zoom camera, a JBL speaker, and a Moto pico projector. Bottom row is an Incipio external battery, a Moto wireless charging plate and a simple plastic backplate that came with the Z2 Play. In Germany Moto is bundling a second generation JBL speaker with the Z2 Play for an initial 499 €.

The initial Z Play earned its place as a long distance runner. 3500 mAh battery which held up for two days. Add a battery pack to the back and you have an ultra runner. The new Z2 Play has an all metal body and improved components. It is thinner and the battery is slightly smaller with 3000 mAh. Since it runs on Android Nougat, which is more aggressive putting background apps to sleep, it is probably going to last as long as the original.

Since the Moto Mods concept has survived the initial year and is being expanded on, I have become less sceptical about them. Adding a battery pack to the back maybe more expensive than a power bank, but you don't have a dangling power cord, the phone charger will top off the phone first and then battery without needing two wires. A wireless charging plate can add inductive Xi charging for daily use. The pico projector and the speaker show the limits of the concept. You can't use both of them at the same time but they would compliment each other. Those are the only two you need to charge via USB C.

The Hasselblad camera is the odd one out. I provides a 10x optical zoom and turns your Z phone into a point&shoot camera. Frankly, a separate p&s camera is cheaper than this Mod and with a f/3.5-6.5 lens the Hasselblad needs lots of bright light. Since it does not have it's own battery, you can just leave it in your backpack and whip it out when you need it. It will always be ready. I am including a few samples zoomed out and zoomed in below the fold.

This post is more about the modular concept than the phone itself. My initial experience has been great. Almost stock Android with some great additions from Moto. No bloatware at all. Moto wants to publish monthly security upates for the Z series but they aren't quite there yet. This phone runs on 7.1.1 Nougat with a May patch.

The Z2 Play will most likely not be the only model in this range. Leaks have shown there will be higher end version later this year, probably with the shatter proof display technology of the original Z Force, a model that was never sold here. If I had to pick three of the mods, those would be the charging plate, the external battery and of course the Hasselblad.



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https://vowe.net/archives/016476.html
Jul 15, 2017
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Recent Blog Posts
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Thu, Sep 21st 2017 5:38a   Volker Weber
Ich habe sehr viele widersprüchliche Reviews zur Apple Watch 3 gelesen. Dabei blieb mir genug Zeit, diese Informationen zu ordnen und ich will gerne weitergeben, was ich gelernt habe. Es gibt wie zuvor drei Gehäuse-Ausführungen: Alu, Stahl und Keramik. Die Alu-Watch gibt es mit und ohne LTE, die anderen beiden Modelle haben stets LTE. Wenn man die eingebaute eSIM nicht aktiviert, verhält sich eine LTE-Watch wie eine ohne diese Option.Es gibt von jeder LTE-f
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Wed, Sep 20th 2017 1:10p   Volker Weber
Eine bessere Auswertung der Herzfrequenzmessung oder ein schnellerer Zugriff auf die Musiksteuerung, hier Spotify mit Sonos, watchOS 4 ist an vielen Stellen verbessert, ohne dass auch die ersten Apple Watch ausgebremst werden. So entwickelt man ein Produkt sauber weiter. Apple beweist bei der Watch eine ruhige Hand.
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Wed, Sep 20th 2017 9:08a   Volker Weber
iOS 11 uses new container formats for photos and videos. For the time being I prefer the old more ubiquitous formats, although they are larger. Set in Settngs/Camera/Formats.
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Mon, Sep 18th 2017 12:48p   Volker Weber
Bixby is Samsung's Clippy. An annoying assistant nobody really wants, besides Samsung of course. If you bought a recent Galaxy S8 or Note 8, it comes with an extra button that summons Bixby. It was the single most annoying feature when I tested the Galaxy S8. You can finally disable the single press on this button. Holding the button will still open Bixby Voice. Imagine you could use this button for something useful.
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Mon, Sep 18th 2017 7:18a   Volker Weber
Ich habe etwas neues auf Heise Online begonnen. Montags erscheint jetzt regelmäßig ein Ausblick auf die Woche. Das muss sich erst noch ein bisschen einüben. Gerne nehme ich Tipps für zukünftige Folgen entgegen. Das sind die beiden ersten: init - der Wochenausblick: Deutschland wählt und der IT-Herbst beginnt heise online, 18.09.2017 init - der Wochenausblick: Zwischen iPhones und Elektroautos heise online, 11.09.2017
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Sat, Sep 16th 2017 8:31p   Volker Weber
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Sat, Sep 16th 2017 5:58p   Volker Weber
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Second monthly update for Moto Z2 Play
Sat, Sep 16th 2017 7:12a   Volker Weber
I am seeing a pattern. OK, its August update in September, and July update in August, but Moto is on a monthly and not a quarterly update cycle. Much better than Huawei for instance.
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iOS 11 Control Center is customizable
Fri, Sep 15th 2017 8:52p   Volker Weber
I added the icons in the last row, amongst them the TV remote.




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