Although Motorola has been slow to roll out Android 10 to most of its devices globally, the company is at least keeping developers happy with steady kernel source releases. Over the past few weeks, Motorola has released updated source code packages for most of its phones, accelerating the creation of custom ROMs and recovery partitions.
Ever since Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, the brand's update strategy hasn't been the same. The original Moto X used to receive the Android 4.x updates almost as fast as the Nexus devices, but Lenovo seems to have different priorities. As such, the Moto Z4 is receiving Android 10 only now, half a year after it was first released to Google's Pixel lineup.
Motorola promised at least three years of Mod compatibility when it announced the first Moto Z phones in 2016, and we're about to go beyond that with the new Moto Z4. Good on Motorola for sticking with it and giving consumers some confidence their Mod purchases would not be in vain. Although, Mods still don't seem like a worthwhile purchase, and even Moto is phoning it in with the Z-series. This is the first Moto Z that doesn't even attempt to be a flagship device—Motorola has essentially merged the Z Play and flagship Z-series. It would be easier if the Moto Z4 were an objectively bad phone, but it isn't.
This may shock you, but the Moto Z4 is the latest phone from Motorola. Yes, you probably already know that after Amazon accidentally launched the phone early, but it's official now. This device represents the merging of the Z and Z Play lines with its Snapdragon 675 SoC, a step down from the 800-series chips used in past Z-series phones. There's a strong Verizon tie-in here, but it's not exclusive to Big Red.
Unless you're really into the Moto Mod ecosystem, the Moto Z4 doesn't have a lot going for it. After all, it's a mid-range phone priced close to a OnePlus device. However, the Z4 does have one interesting feature that Motorola hasn't publicized at all — support for active styluses, like the Microsoft Surface Pen.
The main draw to Motorola's 'Z' devices is the attachable modules, but with the Moto Mod ecosystem being what it is, it's not clear why the company is still clinging to the dream of a (partially) modular phone. Leaks of the Moto Z4 began earlier this year, and now the phone has unceremoniously appeared on Amazon.