- Images of a 5G Moto Mod have surfaced online, with the mod tipped to deliver high-speed connectivity to the Moto Z3 Play.
- The add-on also has a large bump at the top, presumably for the antenna.
- The Moto Z3 Play is expected to launch later this year.
Images of the add-on (and smartphone) have leaked via XDA-Developers, showing us a rather chunky mod. It actually resembles a power bank mod, albeit with a protrusion at the top — ostensibly for the antenna. Part of me wishes there was an actual antenna you could pop up and down, if only for nostalgia’s sake…
A 5G Moto Mod would supply 5G cellular connectivity to the smartphone, delivering higher speed downloads and uploads in accordance with the new standard. Presumably, the Z3 Play would feature an internal cellular modem for 4G connectivity by default.
We wouldn’t be surprised if there was an extra battery in the mod too, as the first generation of new cellular connectivity can be power-sapping. You also have to wonder whether the 5G Moto Mod would work with previous Moto Z releases. After all, this doesn’t seem like a simple gamepad mod or power bank add-on.
Another question is whether the mod will allow users to share their 5G connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This way, you wouldn’t need to buy a separate 5G dongle or wait for a true 5G phone to share a higher speed cellular connection.
Is 5G support necessary yet?
5G connectivity is set to launch in the U.S. in several markets in the second half of 2018, courtesy of Verizon. However, the carrier isn’t using the official 5G standard (called 5G New Radio), delivering its own standard which will then be switched to the official standard in time. The company isn’t targeting mobile connectivity either, focusing on 5G for home use right now.
Sprint has also announced markets for 5G, but it’s targeting the first half of 2019. The carrier is upgrading its towers with the required antennas, and will then switch to the official 5G NR standard later.
This makes us wonder whether the new Moto Mod would actually go on sale in 2019, when the official standard is more widespread. If the company does have 5G NR support via the mod in 2018, it would certainly make for a unique proposition, as 5G phones are only expected to launch in any meaningful numbers by 2019. It would, however, only be able to access those 5G speeds in a few U.S. cities until it rolls out further through 2020 and beyond.
What about Z3 Play?
The upcoming Moto Z3 Play is shaping up to be a notable upgrade over previous Play models. An earlier FCC filing, corroborated by XDA-Developers, has revealed a mid-range Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage.
The XDA report also yielded more camera details, such as a Cinemagraph mode, portrait mode on front and rear cameras, and a color pop mode. Other claimed specs include a 3,000mAh battery, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a 6-inch AMOLED display (18:9).
It looks like Lenovo is dropping the headphone jack on the Play model too, so you’ll either have to get an adapter or use Bluetooth/USB Type-C headphones. Who knows, the company may launch a headphone jack Moto Mod instead…