Motorola Moto Z4 Smartphone: Everything You Need to Know | Digital Trends


Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

Motorola’s latest phone, the Moto Z4, is now here, and on paper, it’s almost a replica of the Motorola One Vision, a phone the company announced a few weeks ago. The One Vision isn’t coming to the United States, though, so we’ll have to make do with the Z4.

while moto z phones are the cream of the crop of motorola, they are definitely mid-range phones compared to the rest of the market. Last year’s Moto Z3, for example, offered Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, while its peers had the newer Snapdragon 845. what sets the line apart are the moto mods. it’s part of the company’s effort to quickly bring new features to lower-priced phones. moto mods attach magnetically to the back of the phone and new features like extra battery life, wireless charging, or even the ability to capture 360-degree photos.

Reading: Moto z4 headphone jack

the 5g moto mod is the best example of this, as it allows you to access 5g (if it’s available where you are) for much cheaper than buying a 5g phone like the $1300 samsung galaxy s10 5g. it also made the moto z3 the first phone to support the new wireless standard.

here’s everything you need to know about the new moto z4.

specs and software

moto z4

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The biggest change from the Moto Z4’s predecessor is that you won’t see an 800 series Snapdragon chipset powering the phone. Rather, the new phone packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675. It’s still powerful, but it focuses on artificial intelligence and improved image processing. It can’t beat the Snapdragon 855 (the 2019 flagship processor of choice) in raw performance.

key specifications

  • cpu: qualcomm snapdragon 675
  • memory: 4gb ram
  • storage: 128 gb
  • microsd storage: yes, up to 512 gb
  • screen size: 6.39 inches
  • resolution: 2340 x 1080
  • connectivity: bluetooth 5, usb-c, nfc, headphone jack
  • battery: 3600 mah
  • size: 75 x 158 x 7.35 mm
  • weight : 165 g
  • operating system: android 9 pie

Combine that with 4GB of RAM and you’ll get 128GB of storage, though you can expand that storage with a microSD card. It powers it all with a 3600mAh battery, which Motorola says should get you two days of normal use. Of course, you may still find that you need to charge your phone every night.

You may notice that there is no fingerprint sensor on the back or side of the phone, because it has been moved below the screen. The in-display sensor is an optical sensor, and unfortunately that means you’ll need a compatible screen protector for it to work, something to keep in mind when shopping for accessories.

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the phone runs android 9 pie and there is not much that motorola has changed from the stock android. moto actions are still present so you can use gestures like twisting the phone twice to launch the camera, and so is moto screen so you can wave your hand over the screen to see notifications. fans of the google assistant will be able to activate the assistant by double tapping the power button.

motorola said the moto z4 will receive bi-monthly security updates for two years. however, the company is only committing to deliver an update to the android version, android 10 q, which will be released by google in august. android r is very unlikely to make it to this phone.

design and visualization

the moto z4 doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of design, but that’s because motorola doesn’t have much to work with. The company has to stick to similar body size and style so that the phone can accommodate all existing motorcycle modifications. even so, there are small variations.

The front of the phone is where the main design differences are. Motorola finally adopted an edge-to-edge screen for the Moto Z4, with rounded corners and a bubble-shaped teardrop notch for the front camera. the bezels are thinner, although they are not as thin as other devices. It is a 6.39-inch OLED screen with a full HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080) and the aspect ratio is 19:9.

the phone is available in flash gray and frost white and apart from the different colors the back of the phone looks almost the same as previous moto z devices. there’s a large camera bump, and towards the bottom of the phone you’ll see the moto mod connectivity pins. however, it has matte glass etched on the back, so it won’t pick up fingerprints or smudges as easily. both front and back use gorilla glass 3.

What’s interesting is the new addition of the headphone jack. The 3.5mm jack has been slowly disappearing from flagship phones for years, with Apple, Huawei, Sony and more dropping the venerable port in favor of freeing up internal space and relying on Bluetooth. Motorola was the first company to ditch the connector on the moto z, and this would be the first time a manufacturer has brought the port back on the same series of phones (the exception is the google pixel 3a).

Unfortunately, there is no IP-rated water resistance. the phone has a nano coating that protects it from splashes and rain, but that’s about it.


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another big change between the moto z4 and the previous generation moto z3 is that there is now only one camera lens on the back. That said, it’s a pretty advanced camera lens and will hopefully take some great shots.

The rear camera comes in at 48-megapixels, though thanks to the quad-pixel technology it uses, you’ll get 12-megapixel output. uses pixel binning technology, so it combines pixels so they can absorb more light, hence the lower resolution output. It has an f/1.7 aperture, 1.6um pixel size, and optical image stabilization and laser autofocus.

Motorola Moto Z4 Smartphone: Everything You Need to Know | Digital Trends

Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

The camera has a range of software features too, though we’ll have to wait and see how those features compare to other devices. It has a Night Vision mode, for example, and supports Google Lens. Other features, like Cinemagraph, AR Stickers, and Live Filter, are also present. There’s also Portrait Mode, and Motorola is now introducing a series of Portrait Lighting features to add different looks to the mode.

On the front of the phone, you’ll get a 25-megapixel selfie camera, with an aperture of f/2.0 and a pixel size of 0.9um. the front camera also supports the same quad pixel technology, resulting in an effective output of 6.25 megapixels. unlike the rear camera, you can’t use quad-pixel mode and opt to take full 25-megapixel selfies.

price and availability

The phone doesn’t have flagship specs, but luckily it doesn’t have a flagship price either. It’s $500, but that’s for the unlocked model, which works on all major carriers and includes a 360-degree moto mod. now you can get it from best buy, b&h and amazon. If you buy your device from Amazon, you’ll also have the option of getting one with “Alexa Hands-Free,” which comes with Alexa and other Amazon services pre-installed.

if you have verizon, now you can get the phone through the carrier and there are some great deals. you can get the moto z4 for $240, or $10 per month for 24 months, if you activate a new line. if you’re an existing customer upgrading, you’ll get $100 off the moto z4. If you’re in an area that supports Verizon’s 5G network, Verizon is offering a discount for the Moto 5G Mod: It’s only $200, but it’s for a limited time only. best buy is also offering a deal on the verizon variant of the phone: those who buy the phone at best buy will get a limited time offer of $5 per month for 24 months for new lines, or $10 per month for 24 months for upgrades.

the phone is only available in the us. uu. at launch, but will be heading to Canada in the summer.

Updated June 13, 2019: Phone is now available at Verizon.

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