Motorola Moto Z Style and Z Play rumor review: design, specs, features, everything we know so far

Lenovo-owned Motorola released its promising Moto G4, G4 Plus, and G4 Play mid-rangers a couple of weeks ago, but is totally not done with showing us what's been developed under wraps. Actually, we are expecting two brand new Motorola devices to get unveiled in three days' time, at Lenovo's Tech World event which takes place on June 9 in San Francisco. 

That would most probably be nothing else but the Moto Z Style and the Moto Z Play, following a similar naming scheme to the current-gen Moto X devices. Wait a minute here, what's this new "Z" lineup that Motorola is seemingly brewing? It's expected just Motorola's new flagship family, which could succeed the Moto X one. The latter is seemingly getting phased out, many a leaker believe.

So, what's in the cards for the Moto Z? We are now going to review all the rumors surrounding the anticipated devices. Believe us, there's a lot to get excited about!


Design: Both the Moto Z Style and Z Play are expected to have interchangeable modular back plates and fingerprint scanners at the front.
Hardware: Snapdragon 820 with either 3 or 4GB RAM for the Moto Z Style; Snapdragon 625 and 2 or 3GB RAM for the Moto Z Play.
Display: Moto Z Style - 5.5" Quad HD AMOLED one; Moto Z Play - 5.5" 1080p AMOLED one. 
Camera: 13MP camera for the Moto Z Style; 16MP one for the Moto Z Play.
Release date, pricing: $400-$500 for the Z Style, $300-$400 for the Z Play.


As we already told you, there will most probably be two new devices unveiled - the Moto Z Style and the Moto Z Play. The Z Style is expected to be the higher-end one, with beefier hardware and higher price tag, whereas the Z Play will be a toned-down version featuring more affordable price. 

At this point, we have little to no idea as to what the rest of the differences between these two might be, so we'd speculate that they will probably be mostly hardware- and availability-related ones. 

At least, that was the case with last year's Moto X Play and Moto X Style — they were intended for different markets and had substantial hardware differences.

Additionally, we were also tipped that Verizon might release one or two additional versions of the two phones in the near future that will likely be just marginally different in terms of design, exterior, and hardware. Of course, these probable versions will be branded as DROID devices. 

The two seemingly sport similar metallic designs, with lots of common features. That'd be the front-positioned fingerprint scanner embedded under a squarish home button, which is a new one for Motorola. 

There's a large camera lens with Motorola's signature batwing-like logo situated a bit beneath it. It appears to be flat and not depressed this time around.

There also seems to be an intriguing 16-pin connector dock at the bottom. What's its purpose? Scroll down to find out!

Amp MotoMods and StyleMods

At the bottom rear, both devices sport distinct 16-pin dock connectors that allow different modular backplates to snap on and pair with the device.

Dubbed MotoMods, these will further expand the functionalities of the two upcoming devices. The most interesting one could be a dedicated Hasselblad photography back cover - it seems to have a dedicated shutter button, a lens cover, and probably optical zoom, too. With said module popped on, the device will resemble a point-and-shoot digital camera, which is most certainly an intended resemblance. 

There might also be a module with JBL speakers and even one with a mobile pico projector. Your turn, LG G5!

Additionally, there will seemingly be different rear covers for the Moto Z Style and Play, made of different materials. So far, we've heard about leather, ballistic nylon, and wood ones. That's already a pretty intriguing collection for all those customization aficionados out there. 

It appears that these will either enrich or substitute the MotoMaker customizability program, which in the past allowed consumers to customize numerous aspects of their devices. We are eager to find out the truth!


Now, to the interesting part - hardware! Indeed, this is where the two differ the most. As we said earlier, the Moto Z Style is expected to be the one with the better hardware, while the Play edition will most certainly be a toned-down variation. Check out the neat table below with all the differences at a glance.

Moto Z StyleMoto Z Play
ChipsetSnapdragon 820Snapdragon 625, octa-core
GPUAdreno 530Adreno 506

So, the Z Style will make use of Qualcomm's finest, the Snapdragon 820, while the Z Play will likely rely on the upper mid-range Snapdragon 625 silicon. It seems you will be able to pick a Z Style with either 3 or 4GB of RAM; those willing to get a Z Play will be presented with two flavors - 2 or 3 gigs of RAM. The on-board storage will most likely vary, too. We also heard that the Moto Z Play will feature a larger battery than the Z Style. 

Will there be a difference in terms of performance? Of course, but it will certainly depend on each user's habits and usage patterns.


So far, it seems as if both of Motorola's upcoming handsets are slated to appear with 5.5-inch AMOLED displays on board. Despite being of the same size, the two will be inherently different in terms of resolution. The Z Style is expected to sport a pixel-dense Quad HD display, with a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels. Meanwhile, the Z Play will likely put all of its faith into 1080p display. 

Secondly, we expect either handset to feature Motorola's oh-so-good ShatterShield display. First feature on the DROID Turbo 2, this technology makes extensive use of numerous protective layers that simultaneously protect it from the device's metal frame and any hard surfaces that your phone might encounter. It also helps that the display itself is made not of glass, but from a plastic substrate.


Apart from donning a larger battery, the Moto Z Play might also sport a larger camera than the Z Style. It's the rumor mill that claims the Z Play will have a 16MP rear snapper whereas the Z Style will seemingly "only" boast a 13MP one. Last year, for example, both the Moto X Style and X Play had 21MP cameras, though it looks the scales might tip in favor of the Z Play in 2016.

In fact, we've got a hunch that the camera units will be the same that appeared on the Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4, respectively. As a reminder, the Moto G4 Plus' 16MP F/2.0 snapper came with an OmniVision sensor that has 1.3μm pixels, phase-detection autofocus, and a couple of intriguing features that aim to reduce pixel crosstalk and image noise. The 13MP F/2.0 camera of the regular Moto G4 was not as compelling, mind you. 

What about the selfie cameras? Once again, we will speculate that these will be 5-megapixel units, similarly to what we saw on the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. Still, there's plenty of leeway in this aspect - we won't be surprised by 8MP snappers up front, either!

Price and release 

Just everyone out there hopes and expects the Moto Z Style and Z Play to cost as much as Motorola's similarly named phones from 2015. This likely means the Z Style might cost between $400 and $500. The toned-down Z Play will probably set you back between $300 and $400.

We are optimistic that the duo will make it to the USA, as far as all other major markets. So far, so good, but when will these become available? That's the million-dollar question, folks, and our guess is as good as yours. 

Related phones

Moto Z Force
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 21 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
Moto Z
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh



1. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Oh, forget these behemoths... There're "strong' rumors circulating the web lately that Motorola is about to launch a 'Flip Phone' or at least something (like... A yet another bloody pathetic & of course 'gigantic' Smartphone, meh...) bearing the 'Razr' moniker in near future @ June 9, 2016... Can't wait for 9th of June, lads!!! Lets hope it turns out to be an actual FLIP PHONE!!! Even celebrities like Rihanna is using one (Not that I like her; or even her so claimed 'songs', naught at all...) Now that would definitely make my day! G'Day!

15. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

There's going to be no flip phone from lenovo moto by the way

20. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I want a smartflipphone!

30. havoc

Posts: 95; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

A flip would be a FLOP. And am I the only one who hates that boxy front fingerprint scanner?

2. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Not gonna lie, I LOVE my Moto X 2014 (Verizon). I think it looks amazing, great speed, 'good' battery life (I never use GPS, so I could see people not agreeing with this). Only downside is it won't get Android N. Which is a freaking joke, but whatever. I have an upgrade in September, and I think the Moto Z is my number one choice at the moment. Anyone else have a Moto X 2014?

12. Junito

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Yes, I do. Love it, in fact I'm using mine with Cricketwireless as a back device. The radio in this particular device in amazing.

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Motorola is dead, and these really hideous phone designs just proves my point. They ditched the front firing speakers, the ergonomic design, the dimple in the back that could have been a fingerprint scanner, the camera to whatever that monstrosity on the back is, and pretty much anything that made the Pure Edition a great high-end phone.

7. EyeSea

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 04, 2016

Very true....

8. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

I love the X Pure but there's no need to bash any new designs from a company. We can't possibly see the same designs for the next decade right?

16. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

Mxytroll has a hard-on for motorola, every article, he'll pop up to be negative. Been doing it for years all because he had one of the older ones he didn't like. Hasn't stopped bitching about moto since.

9. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Moreover, the shape of the new design reminds me of old Moto candybar form factor, the ROKR and SLVR series. Odd looking phones, but unique.

13. Junito

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

That my friend is a porthole; have to agree with you on that one, is one ugly device.

4. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I'm really intrigued for the moto Z phones and their Mods tbh.. What would blow my mind is if their modules will offer features not common in phones today. For instance, 1. if I'll be able to customize the look/back/frame of my phone with any colour or material of my choice, 2. There should be a clear distinction between the JBL speakers and normal stereo phone speakers (akin to high end bluetooth speakers), 3. The CameraMod should be far and away better than the best phone camera in existence right now (lg g5), 4. The battery Mod should last longer than the best ones found on phones by some distance (S7E), 5. Though the pico projector is already self sufficient as a feature and I'm already loving it.. THIS WOULD BE AN INSTANT HIT Along with the other possibilities that will be possible with the phone through the modular functionality like credit card readers, game controllers, keyboards (surface style etc). This would instantly make me stay with a phone for 2 year or more for the first time, since I'll be able to get a unique experience without getting bored of the phone like the rest of the other phones out there. Considering how stale phones have being for some years now.

17. BracketLTE

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 06, 2016

This would be tight man! I'm still taking this with a grain of salt. Have you seen these phone in person? Everyone keeps speaking like this REAL and PA and you seem to be spot on with the assumptions. I'm stayin hopeful that this phone will be different!

5. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

not interested

6. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

24. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

Yeah but uglier.

10. fay99

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

It looks nice, before you pay attention at the bezel...

11. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

No pictures of the actual front has been leaked yet.. Having the fingerprint sensor so near bottom with that big of a bezel doesn't make sense.

14. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

We know you've had the phone for some time already PA. So why don't you post some anonymous leaks you know, to spice things up here. Btw, is this the most concealed flagship phone in the history of flagships? 3 days to go yet we've not seeing any leaks of the actual phone in any condition aside render..

28. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

All pictures on this site were sourced from HelloMotoHK+ or Evan Blass I think.

18. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 930; Member since: May 07, 2014

The only thing I hate about this design is the square home button

19. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

lol, now i need to buy a scratch proof protection cover for camera also.......... i wonder how they came up with that bizzar design...

23. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I'm sorry, I don't care if the camera samples look great, I don't care if motomods are the most innovative smartphone feature to date, I'm not doing this to annoy people. Why, why can't Motorola make a phone with awesome features that looks great as well? This is the most ugliest thing I've seen. The uneven top and bottom are HUGE, and the you-can't-forgot home button! Jeez, its tiny. It's square. And it's no even in the centre of the behemoth bezel! And what are those small dots on the bottom bezel? Sensors? The back is a nightmare as well. Its a boring, HTC 10 ripoff. Until of course you get to It's camera. Well at least I think it is. It's a.. a.. Flat tire? I've heard those on smart watches, but smartphones? The G5 design I grew attached to. Those iPhone 7 plus leaked design I grew attached to. These Motorola leaks have been going on for awhile. But I can't - not one bit love this phone. It is outstandingly UGLY.

26. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Those two dots have been on Moto X's for the past few generations, how could you have only noticed it in 2016..

29. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I've only gotten into smartphones and the tech world late last year. I haven't been bothered with Motorola much, I consider them a dead company that makes disgusting looking smartphones.

31. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

It means that you have set your mind that Moto phones are ugly no matter what. Even if they do produce a Samsung/Sony/Apple/whichever clone that are your type of beauty, you will probably not like them still.


Posts: 121; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

so if you haven't been bothered with Motorola you don't know anything about telecommunication, and everything for you is a shiny display and gorgeous design. tbh Brady in todays market i don't see anything except of toys, and yes there are no " PHONES " there. manufacturing 20 phones per year is not good criteria for judging. do more study Brady.

25. Sealblaighter

Posts: 430; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It is a bad idea to put the speakers at the back! At least put it on the bottom!!!

27. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Those 16 dots are for modules attachments. p/s: even if they are speakers, most moto phones before android have had speakers located similarly.

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