The world’s first 5G smartphone just launched and we all missed it

Ruben Fields
August 5, 2018

The 5G Moto Mod won't be available until 2019.

Verizon and Motorola announced the launch of the moto z3, the first 5G smartphone for Verizon, but with a catch.

5G Moto Mod price has not been announced by the company as of now. The modularity of the Moto Z line is what allowed Motorola to launch the world's first "5G-upgradeable" smartphone.

The Z3 itself is surprisingly midrange.

Anyways though, speaking about the Moto Z3, this smartphone looks very much similar to the Moto Z3 Play.

The Moto Z3 sports a 6-inch AMOLED screen that is accompanied by a taller display and minimal bezels on the top and bottom. It does have a slightly larger battery. And since Motorola is using an older processor here, in the Snapdragon 835, that is definitely a good thing. I get the feeling Moto was trying to hit a price point.

Motorola is back with a new smartphone. On the front, it features an 8-megapixel sensor that also supports the Face Unlock feature. Motorola needed to move it because of the taller display, which meant it had less space for a front-facing fingerprint sensor.

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The cameras feel like the phone's potential weakness. It's slim, though, measuring just 6.75mm - slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or the iPhone 8 Plus. The mod will be sold exclusively from Verizon because it has been created to connect to its network.

The 5G Moto Mod carries an array of four antennas as well as one of Qualcomm's latest X24 LTE modems, to deliver the fastest-possible LTE speeds even when 5G is unavailable. All 4G data transfer goes through the X24, which can achieve 4G speeds up to 2Gbps, double the speed of the X16. That distinction comes with a sizable asterisk but we'll get to that shortly.

The challenge, of course, is that carriers are still building out their 5G networks.

The Motorola Moto Z3 comes with a 3000 mAh battery which supports Motorola's TurboCharging.

Moto Z3 has magnetic pins at the back to snap on Mods. It uses a USB Type-C slow for charging.

Verizon is now rolling out 5G residential broadband service in four USA markets: Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and one additional city to be announced soon. That's a software challenge, not a hardware one, so it's apparently possible. Now that camera bump is there to help hold the Moto Mod in place. Which definitely makes up for the lack of wireless charging here. It comes after the Z3 Play in the same family, yet is actually identical to that model aside from the rear camera setup and the chipset employed.

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