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1. Moto Z4: Zzzzz, or a Pixel 3a killer?

Motorola Moto Z4 front panel

The Moto Z4 launched yesterday as a bit of a surprise. Motorola hadn’t even made the Z4 official before yesterday, although that one person did manage to buy one from Amazon before the announcement, so it wasn’t a complete shock.

Z4 specs and need-to-knows:

  • The Moto Z4 is a mid-range fighter, not a flagship spec beast, but it’s still handy.
  • The Z4 packs a Snapdragon 675 SoC, 6.4-inch OLED screen, and supports the Moto Mods line, including that $200 5G mod.
  • The choice of a Snapdragon 675 is a firm message that Motorola is playing in the mid-range game – it’s an interesting choice to downgrade from the Snapdragon 800 series.
  • At least the SD675 offers strong battery life and performance isn’t a big step down.
  • Otherwise, the Z4 sees some nice upgrades over the Z3: bigger battery, more internal storage, a larger screen-to-body ratio, and the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor.
  • The 3.5mm headphone jack is back in the Z-line, too, while Android Pie ships in the box.
  • The rear camera is back to a single-lens, reducing different types of camera options, but it’s a 48MP imaging sensor now, so image quality is hopefully improved.


  • For many of us in the Android space, the Z4 doesn’t seem too exciting – the specs and price are easily beaten by many players including OnePlus, Asus, and Redmi, and it isn’t trying anything new.
  • But Motorola has the big advantage of a North American release, with contract availability as well, which is the big market.
  • So it’s a bit of safe bet for Motorola – probably too safe to make a big impact.
  • But there’s a Verizon deal that makes it stand out when it would otherwise have been shunned.

Price and availability:

  • It’s available in the U.S. and Canada.
  • It’s a fantastic deal on Verizon: $240 ($10 per month for 24 months) with new activations, and there are some trade-in deals as well.
  • For everyone else, the unlocked phone is $499. Which is a huge RRP that seems unlikely to stay in place over the coming months.
  • But if you’re buying this outright for $499 over the Pixel 3a ($399) or 3a XL ($499), we need to talk.

2. Uh-oh: Galaxy Note 10 might not have headphone jack, physical keys (Android Authority).

3. HMD Global sends out invites for June 6 event, Nokia 5.2 and 6.2 inbound? (AA).

4. Pocophone F1 redux: Still the best value for money? (AA).

5. Amazon interested in buying prepaid cell carrier Boost from T-Mobile, Sprint (Reuters). This tweet from @trengriffin explains it’s all about the spectrum at wholesale prices.

6. Apple WWDC 2019: Mac Pro, iOS 13, Marzipan, and what else to expect (The Verge).

7. PC players get thrown a bone: Microsoft is bringing its Xbox Game Pass to Windows 10, meaning the battle to be the Netflix for games has properly started (Engadget).

8. Open Insulin: biohackers trying to create a “microbrewery” for insulin as an answer to price-gouging (Boing Boing).

9. Now that Uber and Lyft are public, their inevitable financial collapse is much clearer (Naked Capitalism).

10. Also in capitalism: How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years (Ars Technica).

11. What’s your go-to snack for a long road trip? (Jalopnik). My cousin used to eat a whole loaf of bread, but that always seemed so unexciting. “I don’t eat in the car like a savage,” is also an option for you very fussy.

1Bonus: Is secondhand vape bad for you? (Gizmodo). It sure seems like it, even if post-vape clouds smell like strawberries.

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