Lenovo’s new Moto Z and Moto Mod accessories are a basic take on the modular phone idea, letting you expand the phone’s capabilities with magnetic snap-on backs. If that’s your idea of a cool smartphone and you want to be the first to get your hands on a Moto Z, you’ll have to be a Verizon customer, as the phones will be exclusive to the carrier for the first few months of their availability.
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be sold as Droid Editions on Verizon when they launch this summer, making Verizon the only carrier in the world to offer the devices. An unlocked version of the Moto Z will be available in the US and other countries in the fall, but the Moto Z Force will remain an exclusive to Verizon.
It’s often not a good sign when a device is a carrier exclusive — it frequently means that other carriers weren’t interested in offering the device to their customers. Last year’s Moto X Pure Edition wasn’t sold by any US carriers, but it was available unlocked direct from Motorola. That wasn’t enough to make it a hit, however, as the X failed to make much of a dent in the saturated smartphone world last year. We’ll have to see if the Z suffers the same fate, but being tied to one carrier in one country — even if it is a big carrier with a large marketing budget such as Verizon — certainly isn’t a good way to start off.