Motorola Moto Z3 vs the competition

Despite boasting the industry’s first 5G capabilities (via a modular accessory), the Motorola Moto Z3 isn’t really a flagship contender, given it’s $480 price tag. Instead, it’s more of an upper mid-range handset, sharing a similar price bracket to the OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy A8, and now-discounted premium handsets from 2017. The phone is also a Verizon exclusive, meaning it’s only coming to the U.S. market, which doesn’t have a lot of competition around the $500 mark. The most notable recent releases include the likes of the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra and Honor View 10. Rather than comparing this release to the very best on the market right now, here’s how the Motorola Moto Z3 stacks up against its U.S. rivals around the $500 price point. The main hardware package One of the most notable entries on the Motorola Moto Z3 spec sheet is its inclusion of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, last year’s flagship SoC package. It’s an admirable performer that still outclasses many other chipsets at a similar price point, including the Snapdragon 630 and 625 found in the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra and BlackBerry Motion respectively. The very best performance comes from the OnePlus 6, which boasts 2018 flagship tier processing hardware. The Snapdragon 835 is about as fast as the Honor View 10’s Kirin 970 processor, which is the same chip inside the high-end Huawei P20 Pro. The Moto Z3 is also a little behind the curve on RAM, featuring a very common 4GB, rather than the 6GB option offered by the very best performers in this price segment. However, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference in the vast majority of use cases.  Motorola Moto Z3OnePlus 6Honor View 10Sony Xperia XA2 UltraBlackBerry Motion Display6.01-inch Super AMOLED 2160 x 1080 resolution 18:9 aspect ratio Corning Gorilla Glass 3 79 percent screen-to-body ratio6.28-inch AMOLED 2280 x 1080 resolution 19:9 aspect ratio Corning Gorilla Glass 5 83 percent screen-to-body ratio5.99-inch IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution 18:9 aspect ratio 78 percent screen-to-body ratio6.0-inch LCD 1920 x 1080 resolution 16:9 aspect ratio Corning Gorilla Glass 4 76 percent screen-to-body ratio5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD 1920 x 1080 resolution DragonTrail glass 16:9 aspect ratio SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 835 2.35GHz, octa-coreQualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core up to 2.8GHzHiSilicon Kirin 970 Octa-core up to 2.4GHzQualcomm Snapdragon 630 Octa-core up to 2.2GHzQualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core up to 2.0GHz GPU Adreno 540 Adreno 630Mali-G72 MP12Adreno 508Adreno 506 RAM 4GB6/8GB4/6GB4GB 4 GB Storage64GB MicroSD up to 2TB 64/128/256GB No MicroSD64/128GB MicroSD up to 256GB32/64GB microSD up to 256GB 32GB microSD slot - up to 2TB Battery3,000mAh battery Non-removable3,300mAh Non-removable3,750 mAh Non-removable3,580mAh Non-removable4,000 mAh Non-removable Storage wise, the Moto Z3’s 64GB memory is again very standard. Competitors offer larger storage options, should you want to spend a little extra money. Although the inclusion of a microSD slot makes this virtually less important. Battery capacity is a bit more of a problem. The Z3 features a 3,000mAh battery — considerably lower than its competitors, which all push past the 3,500mAh mark, barring the OnePlus 6. We’re looking at a good 10 to 30 percent more capacity with other models, so you might want to invest in one of those battery pack Moto Mods. The display is where the Moto Z3 pulls ahead of its competitors a tad. The higher 2,160 x 1,080 Full HD+ resolution is a match for the more expensive OnePlus 6 and beats out the 1080p panels more typical at this price. The AMOLED panel is also nice if you prefer punchy colors and deep blacks, and can live with black latency smearing. Cameras and extras Dual cameras are pretty mainstream these days and the Motorola Moto Z3 is no exception. The handset retains the same dual-camera setup as the Moto Z3 Play, offering a 12MP camera and 5MP depth sensor. Unfortunately, we didn’t really think much of the camera on that model, owing to a lack of both color and detail. Unlike a lot of dual camera setups, the secondary sensor doesn’t help improve image quality at all. We haven’t done a direct shootout, but we had no such complaints about the Honor View 10’s camera. The dual 16MP and secondary 20MP monochrome sensor produce very detailed colorful snaps. The OnePlus 6 and Xperia XA2 Ultra also hand in decent photography performances and are probably also better options if you’re an avid snapper.  Motorola Moto Z3OnePlus 6Honor View 10Sony Xperia XA2 UltraBlackBerry Motion CamerasRear cameras 12MP main sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.25μm pixels Phase-detect and laser autofocus, dual-LED flash Front camera 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.12μm pixelsRear cameras Main: 16MP Sony IMX 519 sensor with 1.22μm pixels, OIS, EIS, ƒ/1.7 aperture Secondary: 20MP Sony IMX 376K sensor with 1.0μm pixels, ƒ/1.7 aperture Dual LED flash Front camera: 16MP Sony IMX 371 sensor with 1.0μm pixels, EIS, ƒ/2.0 apertureRear cameras Main sensor: 16 MP RGB, f/1.8 aperture Secondary sensor: 20 MP monochrome, f/1.8 aperture Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.0 apertureRear cameras 23 MP Exmor RS with f/2.3 aperture, hybrid AP, and 5x zoom Front cameras 16 MP sensor with OIS and 8 MP with 120 wide-angle lensRear camera: 12 MP sensor, 1.55 μm pixel size, and f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus Front camera: 8 MP sensor, 1.12 μm pixel size, and f/2.2 aperture AudioFront-facing speaker USB Type-C No 3.5mm jack USB-C to 3.5mm adapter includedBottom-firing speaker 3.5mm audio jack Dirac HD Sound Dirac Power Sound aptX HD BluetoothBottom-firing speaker 3.5mm audio jack aptX HD BluetoothBottom-firing speaker 3.5mm audio jack aptX HD BluetoothBottom-firing speaker 3.5mm audio jack Charging15W TurboCharger USB Type-CDash Charge (5V 4A) USB Type-CSuperCharge (5V, 4A) USB Type-CQuick Charge 3.0 Qnovo Adaptive Charging USB Type-CQuick Charging 3.0 USB Type-C IP RatingSplash-resistant p2i No IP ratingNoNoNoIP67 water and dust resistance Software Android 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 7.1.1 Nougat There’s no 3.5mm jack here, which is rather uncommon in this price range. You’ll have to rely on USB Type-C headphones or a dongle, and there’s no aptX codec for better quality Bluetooth headphones either. Audiophiles will certainly want any of the competitors on our list, most of which offer aptX HD for Bluetooth and a 3.5mm headphone jack. IP ratings for water and dust resistance are rare in this bracket and the Moto Z3 is no exception, barring a small amount of “splash resistance.” If you want to take your phone for a dunk, the BlackBerry Motion or a Samsung Galaxy A8 are better options. In the fast charging department, Motorola’s 15W TurboCharge is about as nippy as Quick Charge 3.0, but OnePlus’ DashCharge and Huawei’s SuperCharge ill fill your phone up a bit faster. Editor's PickThe full list of current and upcoming Moto ModsWhile we've seen many smartphone makers try and fail to sell smartphones with "modular" hardware features, Motorola seems to have been the most successful with its Moto Mods. Okay, they may not technically be "modular" … Of course, the one extra unique feature Motorola’s handsets boast is Moto Mods. These bring extra battery capacity, better quality speakers, and the new 5G-ready antenna, though they will increase the total cost of the handset quite a bit. Conclusion The Motorola Moto Z3 is better than many of its rivals, but a bit too dated to keep up with the very best. The older processor was a very good choice to outpace many other phones, and the Full HD+ AMOLED display is ultra sharp. If you prioritize these features, the Moto Z3 might be right for you. Instead, it’s the handset’s dated design, battery capacity, and underwhelming audio and camera technologies that can’t keep pace. At this price point, there are now some exceptional handsets to live up to. Compared with other smartphones around the $500 mark, the Moto Z3 is a tough sell. The $499 Honor View 10 matches or exceeds the Z3 in pretty much every respect. For an extra $30, the excellent OnePlus 6 is also within easy reach. Why settle for last year’s hardware when you can have this year’s? If older processors don’t bother you then you can also snag the Essential Phone, LG G6, and probably even a discount Galaxy S8 from some retailers for around $500. Ultimately, this is probably why the company made such a fuss about its 5G accessory — the handset itself is a bit more humdrum. Next: OnePlus 6 review: The new Nexus

date: Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:13:38 +0000