Mobile Technology

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Moto Z

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Moto Z
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the iPhone 7 Plus (left) and Lenovo Moto Z
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the iPhone 7 Plus (left) and Lenovo Moto Z
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3D Touch
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3D Touch
Camera aperture (rear)
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Camera aperture (rear)
Battery
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Battery
Build
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Build
Camera megapixels
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Camera megapixels
Color options
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Color options
Processor
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Processor
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Display size
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Display size
Display type
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Display type
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Headphone jack
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Headphone jack
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the iPhone 7 Plus (left) and Lenovo Moto Z
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New Atlas compares the features and specs of the iPhone 7 Plus (left) and Lenovo Moto Z
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Modular build
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Modular build
Optical Image Stabilization
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Optical Image Stabilization
Optical zoom
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Optical zoom
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Weight
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Weight
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging
View gallery - 27 images

The monumental success of the iPhone and Galaxy brands has pinned smaller smartphone companies into a corner. One advantage of being pinned into a corner – probably the only advantage, come to think of it – is that you have very little to lose and are free to take risks that others might balk at. Let's see how one of the bolder risks in recent smartphone history, the Moto Z's modular design, stacks up against the unified simplicity of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The iPhone is a little taller and wider, but – as we'll see in a minute – doesn't give you any extra screen real estate.

We put that asterisk next to the Moto Z's depth because that only measures the phone without any add-on mods attached.

Build

Build
Build

Both phones have all-metal bodies.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

Motorola only describes the Moto Z's water resistance as a "water repellent nano coating," which is fancy marketing jargon for "it can handle splashes." The iPhone's IP67 rating is more impressive: It can soak in up to 1 m (3.3 ft) of water and live to tell the tale.

Modular

Modular build
Modular build

The Moto Z's simple modularity is its killer feature. It has super-strong magnets that will snap and hold a Moto Mod of your choice in place.

The Mods are add-on accessories that add new style or functionality to the phone: things like a projector, speaker, battery pack, camera with optical zoom or simply a new color/material.

Colors

Color options
Color options

There are colors aplenty for both phones.

Display size

Display size
Display size

The Moto Z has the more economical surface, giving you the same screen size on a smaller phone.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The Moto Z also has a 33 percent sharper screen, but Apple did a phenomenal job making the iPhone 7 Plus' screen look so ridiculously good that you won't miss any pixels.

Display type

Display type
Display type

It's IPS vs. AMOLED in display panels.

3D Touch

3D Touch
3D Touch

The iPhone lets you activate some shortcuts by pressing deeper on the screen.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

Don't fall for the megapixel myth: Both phones' cameras are well past the threshold where this is going to be the measure of the shooter.

Camera aperture (rear)

Camera aperture (rear)
Camera aperture (rear)

Perhaps more telling is aperture, where the primary cameras are tied up.

Optical zoom

Optical zoom
Optical zoom

The iPhone 7 Plus' secondary rear camera acts as a telephoto lens that gives you 2x optical zoom without any loss in resolution. Later this year, after a software update launches, it will also enable a bokeh (blurred background) portrait mode.

The Moto Z doesn't have built-in optical zoom, but one of its add-ons is a Hasselblad camera with a lens that physically stretches out like a point-and-shoot cam. Oh, and it can zoom up to 10x without any digital cropping.

The only downside (apart from cost) is that the Moto's zoom mod, while attached to the phone, makes the phone feel a bit like a toy tank in your pocket.

OIS

Optical Image Stabilization
Optical Image Stabilization

Both phones have Optical Image Stabilization.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The iPhone beats the Moto Z's internal battery, but you can buy a battery pack that snaps on and gives the phone off-the-charts uptimes. It's our favorite thing about the Moto Z, and the best answer yet to extending smartphone battery life: thin phone when you want that, thicker and longer-lasting phone when that's what you need.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

The Moto Z also has built-in fast charging; like nearly every Android flagship from the last two years.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

Neither phone has built-in wireless charging, but some of the Moto's battery backs add this functionality.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The iPhone's A10 Fusion chip is a screamer, out-benchmarking the (already very fast) Qualcomm CPU in the Moto.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The Moto has an extra gig of RAM, but that means very little when comparing different platforms. Apple has a knack for doing more with less in the RAM department.

Storage

Storage
Storage

These are your storage tiers to choose from.

MicroSD

Modular build
Modular build

Most people can get by with the 32 GB version of the Moto Z, since it also expands via microSD card.

Headphone jack

Headphone jack
Headphone jack

Hey, did you hear about how batshit-crazy Apple was to drop the headphone jack in the latest iPhones? Well, you may not have heard that Motorola had already done that a couple months ago.

Both phones include adapters so you can use your old wired headphones with the new handsets.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Like the iPhone, the Moto Z has a fingerprint sensor below its screen, but it isn't a home button (it's sleep/wake instead).

Software

Software
Software

It's iOS 10 vs. Android Marshmallow, of the nearly-stock variety.

Release

Release
Release

The Moto Z is still fairly hot off the press – and the non-Verizon (unlocked) version is only now going up for pre-order. It had been a Big Red exclusive with "Droid" branding up to this point.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

The Moto Z undercuts the iPhone by US$155, but remember that any Moto Mods you buy (apart from the lone "Style Shell" that ships in the box) will cost you extra. If you go the Moto route, we highly recommend grabbing a battery mod at the very least, and they start at $60.

For more, you can check out our full reviews of the iPhone 7 Plus and Moto Z.

View gallery - 27 images
2 comments
Rocky Stefano
Can we really report the facts please?. I don't care for you saying "Apple did a phenomenal job on the display" The Moto display is 1/3 sharper and clearly better. Don't worry you're not hurting their feelings.. Its Apple's flagship phone and still no fast\wireless charging? That's been available on my Nokia Windoze phone for 4 years. Finally the A10 is only about 20% faster and that barely evident in real world usage. The Moto is by far the superior handset.
EricRichardson-MelissaRichardson
The Moto Z looks great. Hope it goes on sale soon.