Two metal modular Moto devices on the horizon

Manny Pham
May 10, 2016

A leaked image confirms suspicion of an all-metal affair for this year’s Moto X, but more interestingly it reveals modular intentions.

In what seems to be a completely irrelevant social media Mother’s Day post, HelloMotoHK posted alleged images of the new all-metal metal Moto X devices.

An all-metal body would be a departure from the Moto design language. We’ll be seeing the Moto line falling in… line, with rivalling manufacturer who have gone with metal bodies, e.g. Apple and HTC.


But we want to talk about the suspicious looking 16 pins on the backplate of the new Moto X phones. At first glance it seems they could be for customisable back plates. We theorised this could be Lenovo’s way around the all-metal body to include wireless charging, as metal bodies clash with wireless charging.

According to VentureBeat the 16 pins are for Lenovo’s modular effort for their new flagship devices. The modular system will be called ‘Amps’ and will come with six modular attachments from launch. LG started off all this modular hoo ha with the G5’s horribly named ‘LG Friends’ at Mobile World Congress. LG has started a new feature trend but now it looks like they are losing their unique selling point.

The ‘Amps’ will apparently include a stereo speaker, battery pack, and a camera grip with optical zoom lens, according to a source speaking to VentureBeat. A digital audio converter was strangely not mentioned, perhaps something to be confirmed at the official launch.

It seems Lenovo will be improving on what the LG G5 started, massively. What really lets the LG G5 down is having to remove the battery to slot in a module, which restarts the entire device. With the pins on the Moto X devices it seems you can simply latch on a module on the fly.

No doubt there will be comparisons if the modular design proves to be true (we’d be surprised if it wasn’t), we’re very interested to see modular accessories done right, making it actually worth your money.

Wild Motos travel in twos

Motorola (now Lenovo) released the Style and Play together last year and they’ll be repeating the move this year. The Moto X devices this year will be called Vector Thin and Vertex. Both will have a 5.5-inch display but differ spectacularly with internal specs.

The Vector Thin will be the higher-end of the two with a 1440p panel whilst the Vertex settles for a 1080p full HD display. The Vector Thin will use a lower clocked 2.0 GHz Snapdragon 820 whilst it’s little brother will use the 2.4 GHz Snapdragon 625.

Thankfully it seems we’re seeing the slow phasing out of a standard 16GB model in flagship smartphones, Lenovo will ship the the Vector Thin with 32GB, complimented with either a 3GB or 4GB model. However the Vertex will have a 16GB model with 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB model with 3GB of RAM. The higher-end Vector will have a paltry 2,500 mAh battery, let’s hope this isn’t true, while the Vector weirdly has a massive 3,500 mAh (a mix up of the batteries perhaps).

Vertex supposedly has a 16-megapixel sensor with both laser-assisted and phase detection autofocus technologies, while Vector’s 13-megapixel sensor has only the laser autofocus, but will have optical image stabilisation.

There is no mention on a time scale for release, but with leaks as big as these we can expect more in the build up to the announcement.

For more news, visit What Mobile’s dedicated news page


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