Motorola unveiled a new clip-on attachment which will turn its freshly debuted Moto Z3 smartphone (pictured) into a 5G device.
The Moto Z3 itself is a fairly standard smartphone, featuring a 6-inch Super AMOLED display set in a glossy body, with a Snapdragon 835 processor running Android 8.1 Oreo under the hood. It comes with 12MP dual rear cameras; 8MP front camera; fingerprint reader; and 64GB of storage expandable up to 2TB with a microSD card.
What makes the device special is its compatibility with Motorola’s new 5G Moto Mod, which will work with Verizon’s forthcoming mobile 5G network to enable speeds of up to 5Gb/s over mmWave spectrum.
Motorola executives said the 5G Mod (pictured, left) uses four of Qualcomm’s recently announced mmWave antenna modules, including front and rear-facing arrays along with two side-facing arrays to maximise coverage. It also includes Qualcomm’s X50 5G and X24 4G LTE modems, and a 2000mAh battery which the company said will deliver a full day of usage to device owners.
Though the Moto Z3 is being sold exclusively by Verizon, the company said the 5G Mod uses standards-based New Radio technology rather than Verizon’s proprietary version of 5G.
Shakil Barkat, Motorola’s VP of Global Product Development, explained the company decided to launch 5G in a Mod rather than developing a full smartphone, because it allowed Motorola to introduce the technology faster and without requiring users to change their phone.
But the Mod will extend 5G speeds beyond the Moto Z3. Gaurang Telang, Motorola’s product manager for Flagships and Innovation, told Mobile World Live users will be able to tether the Z3 and Mod combination to other devices such as their PC, or use it as a mobile hotspot for up to ten devices.
The Moto Z3 will be available for $480 or $20 per month through Verizon from 16 August. Users will have to wait a bit longer for the 5G Mod, which is due out in the US in early 2019: pricing is yet to be announced.