Most Olympic swimming events are decided by tenths, even hundredths of seconds. During this Olympic cycle there have even been several ties for medals as there was literally no way to separate athletes as they came to the wall.

And then there were the races that had Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky won the 800m freestyle final by 11 SECONDS. The entire field of runners in the Mens 100m sprint ran their complete race in a shorter amount of time than that. And aside from Katie just being a superior athlete, a main reason for her dominance was a change in the stroke she was using. By changing the game, she changed the outcome… by a lot.

Same goes for technology. When we were tired of carrying CD’s around, mp3’s showed up. When we were tired of carrying multiple sets of media around that stored mp3’s, the iPod appeared. As a DJ I’ve used LP’s, VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs and now mp3 and mp4 files stored on laptops for all my music allowing thousands of songs instead of a handful of records in crates.

On the mobile phone front we were at a bit of a crossroads. Both Android and iOS are pretty good at what they do, and unless you were an enthusiast the same phone would work for years at a pretty acceptable level. All have good cameras, have LTE network service (some networks are better than others), decent processors and are built thinner and lighter. Many have expandable storage. All can have cases and protective covers added.

But once in a while someone changes the game. The Motorola Moto Z Droid is that change. AND, it’s exclusive to Verizon Wireless.

On the surface, the phone is like most any other high-end smartphones.

  • 5.5″ Gorilla Glass screen
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB memory, expandable up to 256GB
  • 13MP primary, 5MP selfie camera
  • Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, accelerometer
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • NO headphone jack! Don’t worry, there’s an adapter to connect to the USB-C in the box and another way to listen available.

Ok, the lack of a standard headphone jack is weird, but other than that, pretty standard stuff.

The MODS

Moto ModsWhat changes the game, is the MODS.

For those of you not familiar with the new mods for the Moto Z, here you go. Mods are attached to the main phone body by a series of powerful magnets, making the attachment easy and not requiring any disassembly of the phone. These mods allow you to transform your phone so the capabilities are extended and include:

  • Moto Insta-Share Projector
    Project your phone screen up to 70″ on any surface, self adjusting the keystone to accomodate the picture. Great for business people who may need to show spreadsheets or slides, or just anyone who may want to show photos or video to friends or family.
  • JBL Soundboost Speaker
    High quality JBL sound anywhere with a built-in kickstand. There’s even an extra battery that brings up to 10 hours of extra battery life.
  • Incipio offGRID Power Pack
    Need up to 22 hours of extra battery life? This sleek battery “case” looks like a beautiful case and continues to work with wireless charging.
  • Moto Style Shell
    Add materials like real wood, genuine leather and more as a styling case to the Moto Z with the Style Shells. Magnets allows you to change in seconds, and while the unprotected back of the phone has the camera protruding a bit more than most phones, the shells (and other mods) bring the camera flush and protected.

So why the big deal?

Phones like the iPhone do a great job of finding the “happy medium.” The have good storage, a good camera, decent battery and ok speakers. Several Android phones maintained the slightly “better-than-average” features as well with better cameras and ok sound, or a great battery, but poor front camera.

The Moto Z mods allow additional functionality to be added to an already great device by simply attaching extension mods to the original phone via strong magnets. So a business person who doesn’t need impressive sound can have a 70″ projector in his pocket, or a power user can have an additional 2200 mAh of battery ( for a TOTAL OF 4800 mAh!!), or that girl who takes a ton of videos can show them using the JBL speaker mod with the attached kickstand.

Throw in the fact that most of us buy some sort of case but may want to go without, or with a different look for multiple events and this makes the mods invaluable.

This phone and the mods are a great step forward in mobile technology. Sure, eventually, we’ll all have a projector built in, a great battery, and amazing speakers in a same small footprint occupied by the Moto Z and other great smartphones. But until then, the Moto Z forces other mobile phone companies to take a look at their devices and think, “What about this?”

Check out the Moto Z Droid and it’s mods at a local Verizon store or at the Verizon Wirless website.

Want to learn more about the Moto Z mods? Watch the official video:

or this great review of the projector and speaker from Hot Hardware.

Do you have, or want, the Motorola Moto Z Droid? I’d love to hear your review on the device, or get questions if you need some clarification on something before you take the plunge.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

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