First 24: Hands-on with Lenovo's Moto Z

It's hard to get excited about a device that has essentially been on the market and already reviewed by others extensively over the past several months. Now this isn't a case of the Moto Z arriving late at Neowin, but instead about waiting for the GSM unlocked variant to come to market. As mentioned in the "unboxing" article, Verizon typically partners to gain an exclusive with Moto handsets, rebranding them as Droid. This year, things were no different, leading to a few months delay for those in the United States and not on Verizon.

At the beginning of the month, the top-end Moto Z was finally released, allowing those with GSM carriers to experience Lenovo's best. So without further delay, this is my experience during the first 24 hours with the Moto Z.

When you grip the Moto Z for the first time, you get a trio of sensations, indicating the handset is a bit wide, extremely thin at 5.2mm and very well built. The front offers a large 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, which looks pretty good in most conditions, but can get a bit harder to read under sunlight.

The bottom chin houses a fairly responsive fingerprint sensor, that is NOT a physical home button. Instead the Moto Z relies on on-screen buttons, which is a bit odd considering the bottom chin is large enough to house capacitive buttons. Luckily, the fingerprint sensor does offer additional functions, as it can be used to turn off the screen if pressed firmly while the screen is on.

Above the screen, there are a couple of nice surprises in the form of the front-facing flash (for those that take selfies) and the earpiece that doubles as a front-firing speaker. The sound is plenty loud and thanks to its positioning, is much clearer than anything previously experienced.

The rear houses the 13MP camera with laser focusing and optical image stabilization. As expected, the camera takes pretty good pictures during the daytime or in well-lit areas, but does struggle in low light or night scenarios. To be a bit more clear, the camera can actually be pretty good, but the software for auto mode in darker scenarios leaves much to be desired. Towards the lower portion of the rear, there are a set of gold contacts that add a bit of flair to the otherwise reserved design - they also serve the purpose of allowing Moto Mod modular accessories to connect.

As a total package, the Moto Z looks and feels pretty good, but there is cost to be paid for the extremely svelte frame, and it comes in the form of battery life and the missing headphone jack. The Z offers a 2600mAh battery, which for most, will be just enough to get through a 12 hour day. If you use more battery intensive apps, you will probably feel uncomfortable with the Moto Z, and will benefit by keeping it on the charger whenever possible.

While it does offer fast charging capabilities through its USB Type-C port, the handset does not utilize Qualcomm's Quick Charge feature and instead relies on a proprietary TurboPower charging method. This means that in order to take advantage of an expedited charge rate, you will have to use the Lenovo-provided charger, otherwise you will not achieve the fastest charging times.

As for the headphone jack that's not present on the device, Lenovo has included an adapter that can be used to convert the USB Type-C to 3.5mm.

While this is only a quick first impression, I can say that I am a bit torn with the Moto Z. It offers quality construction and materials, top of the line specifications, and brings a bit of unique charm with its modular accessories. On the flip side, it has a bit of an odd shape, a fairly small battery and camera software that isn't quite as optimized as its competitors'.

For those that might have questions about the Moto Z, you can leave a comment down below or ask me on Twitter. A full review of the Moto Z will arrive shortly.

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