Hands on with the new Mophie and Incipio Moto Mods for Moto Z
There are new Moto Mods on deck for the Moto Z family, and they’re coming in the next couple of weeks.
While we’ve already seen the first — a 3,000mAh battery add-on from popular accessory maker Mophie — we can confirm that it is available now in the U.S., at Verizon, for $79.99. That’s the same price as those from Incipio and Tumi, except with a 36% premium in battery capacity. It’s also slightly thicker as a result: 0.35 inches compared to 0.27 inches.
The Mophie Mod has another advantage: it can be separately charged via USB-C, which negates the need to have it attached to the Moto Z itself to juice it up, making it far more useful in a pinch.
Battery add-ons have proven the most popular category in the Moto Mods ecosystem, according to Motorola. Over 40% of those purchased to date have been batteries, and the company says that in an average week, 37 hours are spent with a battery add-on attached to the back of the phone. Many people leave their battery packs attached to the back of their phones on a semi-permanent basis.
Another new Moto Mod being introduced next week is an Incipio-built Car Dock, which leverages the magnetic back of the Moto Z series to make it easy to hold up the phone while driving. The dock itself uses a standard clip at the back to safely attach to a vent, but it overcomes the inherent problems of many of those designs by removing the weight-bearing clips in favor of a strong magnet.
At $64.99, the Incipio Car Dock is not cheap, and will only be useful for a certain type of driver, but because it automatically launches Android Auto upon connection, and has an Auxiliary cable to plug into a car stereo, its premium price does afford a few benefits.
Motorola is also committing to bringing four Mods to market every quarter going forward, which is an aggressive cadence for a nascent product category. That doesn’t mean you’ll see four battery packs, or even four Motorola-released add-ons every three months, but there’s a confidence within the company we haven’t seen since the first Moto X back in 2013. And it’s infectious.
Some of that confidence can be attributed to the Moto Mods Developer Kit (MDK), which Motorola is encouraging hardware creators to build for over the next year or so, incentivizing them through a series of hackathons and an Indiegogo campaign.
Right now, the new Mods are only available at Verizon, but will be coming to Motorola’s own online store fairly soon. As for the future, expect more Mods in early 2017, including one that enables Google’s nascent Tango tech.