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A closer look at Motorola's 360-degree camera Moto Mod

When Lenovo announced the Moto Z2 Force last week, it also unveiled two new Moto Mods: a 360-degree camera and a gaming controller, the latter of which you can check out in our hands-on article. The one that I was given is the 360-degree camera.

To be clear, all of the Mods that were announced for the first-generation model still work, and the two new ones will work with the original Moto Z with a software update.

It's a simple process, as Lenovo promises. All the user has to do is snap the Mod onto the back of the phone, and it just works.

Obviously, you can take 360-degree images with the camera (roughly 19 megapixels) which will be the default mode when you launch the Camera app. Luckily, it's easy to toggle between that and the main camera.

It also provides you with a solid amount of options for taking your picture. You can use it to take a 150-degree wide-angle shot, which could prove to be more useful than a 360-degree image. There's also a professional mode that allows you to adjust the white balance, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, and brightness (there's no manual focus, as it's a fixed-focus camera).

And then there's video, which is where the usefulness of the 360-degree camera really comes in. The Mod supports recording 4K 360-degree video, and you can view that with any virtual reality headset.

The device tends to do well during the day, but the quality starts to suffer in lower lighting conditions.

And then when it gets even darker, the lighting really becomes an issue.

As far as the design goes, the rounded back certainly makes the phone feel more complete, and it's thick enough that the big camera bump is recessed. As I noted in my review, the Moto Z2 Force almost feels like half a phone, as if it's meant to be used with a Mod all the time.

The only problem is that I wouldn't want to use this Mod all of the time. It has a big camera sticking out of the top of it, making it uncomfortable to carry regularly. For $299, it's really not for me personally, but if this is something that you might be into, it's nice to be able to attach it to your phone.

The thing is, I'm not sure if I could imagine myself investing in more than one Mod, as they range from $39.99 to $299.99. I'd recommend stocking up on some of the $19.99 Moto Style Shells, which will make your phone feel more complete without using a Mod all of the time.

Again, the 360-degree camera Mod seems to me like a really fantastic product. It's a great way to be able to record 360-degree photos and videos without having to carry around a standalone device. Unfortunately, it's just not my cup of tea, and it's not enough to make it my cup of tea.

Here, I'll leave you with some additional samples:

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