It’s been almost a year since the Moto Z (above) was announced, and the word on the street is a Moto Z2 Play could be announced this week. So, modular phone fans, get ready for the Moto Z2 range.
At least two models are certain, thanks to an image posted by regular leaker Evan Blass.
Motorola 2017 [via tip] pic.twitter.com/qahD9PIxrD— Evan Blass (@evleaks) 14 May 2017
It shows the new Play and Force models, and he later tweeted that the main Z2 is “in the pipeline”.
The Moto Z range is modular, which means you can buy accessories which clip on to the back using magnets and a special connector.
Lenovo, which now owns the Moto and Motorola brands, said at the original launch that it would support these ‘Moto Mods’ for at least three generations.
The Z2, along with the Z2 Play and Z2 Force will form the second generation, but will they be among the best new phones launching in 2017?
We never got the Moto Z Force in the UK, and it’s possible we won’t get the Z2 Force either.
When is the Moto Z2 release date?
The latest leak comes from Instagram, and suggests the Moto Z2 Play will be announced on 1 June.
However, an earlier leaked image, via TechBuffalo, of the Z2 Play has the date 8 June on the screen. As the original phones were launched on 6 June last year, this is the best clue we have so far about when Lenovo will officially announce the second-generation Z range.
A lot of phones have an annual update cycle, so a June 2017 launch would make sense.
If this happens, there may be a six- to eight-week delay before the phones go on sale, as that’s what happened last year.
What are the Z2’s specifications?
So far there haven’t been any leaks containing details on specs. However, because of the Moto Mods, there’s not a great deal of scope for changing the size of the phone.
The three current Z phones all have 5.5in screens so it’s likely the successors will stick with this too, unless Lenovo has been busy slimming down the bezels - as other makers have – to shoehorn in a bigger screen in the same chassis.
The original Z was amazingly thin at 5.19mm, but we hope the follow up doesn’t try to beat this. One of the problems with that phone was battery life, no doubt affected in part by the limited space inside the phone.
Most people would prefer a slightly thicker device with better battery life. However, the thin design did offset a bit of the bulk that’s added whenever you snapped on a Moto Mod.
According to GSMarena, the Z2 Play has been approved by a Chinese regulator, whose site lists the device under model number XT1710-08. It appears that it's under 6mm thick, which doesn't bode well for those who enjoyed the previous Play's long battery life and might be thinking of upgrading.
The new Play's capacity is reportedly 2820mAh, down from 3510mAh. And it may get the Snapdragon 626, a minor update over the 625 in the old Moto Z Play.
The Moto Z was the first phone to dump the 3.5mm headphone jack, so it will be interesting to see if this is brought back if the Z2 is thicker than its predecessor.
The leaked slide showing details of the new Z Play and Force indicates that at least the Play will have a 5.5in full-HD screen and that the Force will have 1Gb LTE.
The only SoC that can support gigabit mobile data is the Snapdragon 835 (with its integrated X16 modem), which would be an appropriate choice and upgrade for the flagship Z2 over the original Moto Z’s 820 chip.
Screen resolution, though, could remain at 2560x1440, which equates to 535ppi on a 5.5in display.
There's a circular camera on the rear - this has to stay the same due to the cutouts in all the Moto Mod accessories - but leaked renders show a dual-lens setup.
A small design change is the fingerprint reader at the bottom of the screen. On the old Z it was square, but the leaked image below, via Android Authority, shows a more rounded scanner.
How much will the Moto Z2 cost?
The Moto Z was a flagship phone which – by today’s standards – was a bargain at £499.99. Will Lenovo stick with this price or join ranks with the likes of Samsung and Apple at over £600?
We don’t know, and won’t know, until prices are announced at the phone’s launch.
It will be at the opposite end of the spectrum to the budget Moto C, which was unveiled just after the leaked slide revealing the whole Moto lineup for 2017.
We'll be updating this article regularly with new information and rumours.