Lenovo hoping to do modular right with new Moto smartphones

Motorola_Droid_Leak

Earlier today we reported on some leaked images that appear to show this year’s variant of the Moto X and the Verizon Droid branded version of the device. At the time, we noted some dots on the back of the device that we thought may be some type of support for a dock. It turns out that Lenovo may have something more significant planned for the new devices as sources now indicate the dots are actually connectors for a series of modular, swappable backplates providing all sorts of additional functions and hardware for the devices.

The concept appears to be similar to what LG tried to achieve with the LG G5 and the modules that can be added to that device. While many were cheering LG’s decision to create a system for a swappable battery in an otherwise sealed, metal-body smartphone, reception for the limited number, difficult to obtain modules has not been as warm.

Lenovo appears to have learned from LG’s attempt at creating a system for modular accessories and is developing this system, tentatively called “Amps”, that will attach like a backplate to the smartphones. Sources believe there will be at least six items available at launch including stereo speakers, a camera grip with flash and zoom, a rugged cover with a wide angle lens attachment, a battery pack, a pico projector, and a plain colored backplate.

The modules will interface via the connection pins and will be snapped on to the devices magnetically. In addition, they will apparently be thin enough so that once attached, the protruding rear-facing camera will then sit flush. This should make the system work in a secure manner and appear to just be a normal part of the device.

Sources also indicate the device images that leaked correspond to two Moto devices, each of which will get a 5.5-inch AMOLED display. The Vector Thin will be getting a Snapdragon 820 processor while the second device, the Vertex, will come with a Snapdragon 625 chip. Other specs will vary as expected for a high-end device versus a mid-tier smartphone with the Vector Thin getting 32 GB of storage while the Vertex gets 16 GB or an upgrade to 32 GB. The Vector Thin will get a slightly lower megapixel camera, 13 MP versus 16 MP, but it will get optical image stabilization to go along with the laser autofocus system that both units will receive.

Another item that will vary significantly is the battery with the Vector Thin only getting a 2,600 mAh unit whereas the Vertex will get a 3,500 mAh battery. The reason for the difference has to do with space as the Vector Thin is reported to only be 5.2 millimeters thick, putting a space constraint on the size of the battery.

No doubt the presence of modules for these new Moto devices will have us comparing them to the LG G5. If recent updates are correct, that may happen sooner rather than later as Lenovo is apparently on track to launch these new devices on June 9th at their Lenovo Tech World event.

source: VentureBeat


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.