As an avid iPhone user, just the thought of an Android device was enough to send an eerie quiver down my spine. Still, when I received Lenovo’s new Moto Z smartphone for review alongside four attachable devices called Moto Mods — the JBL SoundBoost speaker, Incipio off GRID power pack, Hasselblad 4116 True Zoom camera and the Moto Insta-Share projector — I began looking at my iPhone like it was a total stranger.

The flagship smartphone is one of the first phones on the market to develop attachable modules that work in unison with a mobile device. The Moto Mods snap onto the back of the Moto Z with the help of built-in magnets. Once attached, they are ready to be used instantly.

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The Moto Z stands out amongst the competition with its slender design. At about 5.2mm, it is currently the world’s thinnest premium smartphone and feels incredibly light in-hand. Another thing to note is the absence of a headphone jack; though an adapter is included with the new Moto Z. For those without Bluetooth headphones, it’s just one more thing to carry. Luckily for me, I’m rarely seen on the go without my Plantronics BackBeat FIT Bluetooth headphones and the lack of jack barely affected my daily commute. The Moto Z also comes with a fingerprint reader below the 5.5” display.

The Moto Z stands out amongst the competition with its slender design.

One of my favourite features of the Moto Z smartphone is its ability to display notifications on the home screen, when available, by simply hovering my hand over the device. Icons will appear on the screen to indicate which programs there are new notifications from (i.e. text, email, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) By holding down any given icon, the screen will display a discreet preview of that notification while the phone is still locked.

Attachable mods are still in the beginning stages for the Moto Z, but current Moto Mods are a decent first attempt. With Samsung and Apple standing as the phone market’s toughest competitors, the Moto Z provides a concept that is totally new and may shift a little of the spotlight away from these companies in terms of innovation and creativity.

Sadé Powell is a freelance writer and illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario. With six years of experience in the journalism field under her belt, she has had the freedom to dabble in a range of topics including music, technology, culture, fashion, local and international daily news.

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