Motorola Moto Mod accessories alter your phone in wild ways

Transform Motorola's new Moto Z phones into an audio speaker, movie projector and more with these snap-on Moto Mod backings.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
2 min read
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Watch this: Moto Mods transform your Moto in crazy ways

From Google's highly anticipated Project Ara to the quirky LG G5 and its switchable bottom bezel, modular phones are coming closer to a reality.

Now Lenovo and Motorola are throwing their hats into the ring with their newest pair of phones, the Moto Z and Z Force. In addition to a 5.5-inch display and Snapdragon 820 processor, the devices snap to special backings that transform the handsets into a beefed-up audio speaker, video projector and more.

These backings are called Moto Mods and they connect to the phones using 16 magnetic pins located on the back. The magnets are water resistant, and when I snapped the backings together they felt strong and secure. The accessories will inevitably add more bulk and weight to the overall device, but the handsets are quite thin to begin with.

Morph your Moto phone with Mod accessories

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During its Lenovo Tech World launch event, Lenovo and Motorola announced three completed mods -- all of which include their own built-in battery that can also charge the Motos. One is from the audio company JBL. Its SoundBoost adds an audio speaker and will beef up the phone's sound. You can also prop it up using the built-in kickstand.

If you want more battery power, Incipio's Power Pack is an extra 2,220mAh external battery, which will add 22 hours of usage time. Incipio also has a wireless charging version as well as special designer editions that include Kate Spade and Tumi.

Lastly, Motorola developed the Insta-Share Projector, which projects photos and movies from your device directly onto a wall or ceiling. Images scale up to 70 inches diagonal with a 480-pixel resolution. This is similar to Samsung's Galaxy Beam handsets or ZTE's two-in-one S Pro projector and hotspot.

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Motorola's Insta-Share Projector.

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Moto also has several Style Shells that come in different design options like wood grain, leather and bamboo. These don't add any extra utility to your phone, but they're neat if you want to switch up your Moto's look.

These three mods and the style shells will be available around the release of the Moto Zs, which is slated for September. However, Lenovo and Motorola are continually working with other developers to bring even more accessories. During the press event, Lenovo mentioned an upcoming partnership with Mophie (who is known for its battery accessories), demoed a smart cast virtual keyboard and hinted at a possible camera mod.

For more information on today's Lenovo Tech World event, check out our wrap-up here.