2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Motorola.
Ever since its acquisition by Lenovo, Motorola’s turned into a company that’s not shy about releasing a lot of different phones each year. This allows for a lot of choices, but it can also make trying to pick the perfect phone a bit headache-inducing. No matter your opinion on Motorola’s release cycle, however, there’s no denying that 2018 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for the company.
Our friends at Droid Life recently got their hands on full device renders of Motorola’s 2018 lineup, and while we can’t yet verify if any of this is legit just yet, some of what we’re seeing lines up nicely with another leak that came out before these.
In any case, here’s what we might see from Motorola in 2018.
Moto Z3/Z3 Play
Kicking off this list, let’s talk about Motorola’s highest-end and most premium phones for 2018 – the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play.
Just like last year, we’re expecting Motorola to release two entries in its Z-series in 2018. The regular Moto Z3 will be the most powerful of the two, whereas the Z3 Play will come with slightly lower specs and a more affordable price tag. Specifications for these two phones are mostly up in the air, but what does seem like a sure bet is slimmer bezels.
Both the Moto Z3 and Z3 Play will supposedly come with 6-inch FHD+ displays, and like we saw through a lot of 2017, bezels surrounding these panels are going to be cut down considerably. The Z3 (pictured below) has the slimmest bezels of the two, but the Z3 Play still looks a lot more modern when compared to the Z2 Play.
Something that’s got our attention with these two renders is the lack of a physical fingerprint sensor. It’s possible that Motorola will be opting for one that lies underneath the display like we saw with Vivo at CES 2018, a facial recognition system, or a combination of the two. It’s too early to say for certain, but we’ll likely see at least one of these things make an appearance.
Along with showing off the phone itself, the image of the Z3 also reveals a new Moto Mod. It may not look like anything at first glance, but the “5G” branding near the bottom suggests that this Mod will allow the Z3 to get 5G data speeds. Furthermore, the monthly data allotment page is taken right from the Project Fi app and could be a hint that more Moto phones will find their way to Google’s MVNO.
If you’re not about the Moto Mod life but still want a quality phone from Motorola, the X series has proven to be the way to go. Our first look at the Moto X5 shows a very similar design compared to the X4, but there are a couple key differences.
Just like the Z3/Z3 Play, we’re looking at a tall display with slim bezels on all sides. However, unlike those two phones, the X5 appears to have a notch near the top just like another phone with an X in its name. This is one trend I was really hoping wouldn’t catch on, but if it has to make its way into one Moto phone, so be it.
The screen on the X5 is said to measure in at 5.9-inches with a FHD+ resolution, there are dual cameras on the front and back, and there’s also mention of “Moto’s Smart AI.”
Also, like the Z3/Z3 Play, there’s no visible fingerprint sensor. Our guess about the under-display module or facial recognition remains the same, but once again, it’s too early to say for certain.
Moto G6/G6 Play/G6 Plus
Motorola’s G-series has been its most popular (and profitable) since the very first Moto G that came out in 2013, and this year’s entries are shaping up to be the best we’ve seen yet. There will be three G-series phones in 2018, including the Moto G6, G6 Play, and G6 Plus.
Moto G6 Play
All G6 handsets are adopting the Moto X4’s glass design, and it adds a nice premium touch to the budget lineup. Looking first at the G6 Play, there will be a 5.7-inch FHD+ display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, large 4,000 mAh battery, and Motorola dimple that doubles as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The phone will be available in Dark Charcoal, Deep Blue, and Gold colors, but other specs are still a mystery.
Moto G6 (left) and Moto G6 Plus (right)
The G6 and G6 Plus will both adopt a new 18:9 aspect ratio, with the G6 offering a 5.7-inch FHD+ display and the G6 Plus going for a 5.93-inch one with the same resolution. The G6 will come with a Snapdragon 450 processor, 3,000 mAh battery, 3GB/4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, 12MP + 5MP rear cameras, and a 16MP front-camera. The G6 Plus ups the processor to the Snapdragon 630, will offer up to 6GB RAM, and feature 1.4um pixels on the rear camera. All its other specs are shared with the G6.
Pricing isn’t mentioned for the G6 Play, but it’s said that the G6 will cost $240 and the G6 Plus will go up to $330.
Last but not least, we’ve got the Moto E5. The Moto E4 proved to be a truly excellent phone for $129 (or cheaper) in 2017, and based on what we’ve seen from the E5 so far, it looks like we’ll have a similar situation this year.
I’m expecting the phone to stick with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, but even so, it looks like we’ll be getting rounded corners to help give it a little modern flair (and don’t forget about the rear fingerprint sensor that’s part of the Moto dimple). Exact price and specs are still unknown, but if you’re going to be in the market for an affordable phone this year, this will probably be one that you’ll want to have on your shortlist.
Updated January 18, 2018: Added new renders for Moto G6, G6 Play, and G6 Plus.