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Lenovo launches Moto Z modular phone

Competing with the likes of Google's Ara, Lenovo calls the Moto Z the world's thinnest premium smartphone and a "game-changing product."

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Lenovo on Thursday unveiled Moto Z and Moto Z Force, a pair of modular phones that Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing called "definitely a game-changing product."

Billed as the world's thinnest premium smartphone, the Moto Z was launched at Lenovo Tech World, along with the initial set of snap-on products called Moto Mods. The standard Moto Z rusn on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and features 4GB of RAM. It has a 5.5-inch, quad HD AMOLED display and up to 30 hours of battery life. Withut the Mod accessories, it's just 5.2mm thick. It comes with a high-resolution 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, as well as a front-facing 5MP camera that includes a wide-angle lens.

The Moto Z Force features the second generation of Moto ShatterShield technology, preventing the display from cracking or shattering when it's dropped. The Z Force gets up to 40 hours of battery life, and it has a 21MP camera.

See also: Lenovo unveils Phab 2 Pro, a Tango device, for just $499 unlocked

Both phones will be available in the U.S. with Verizon this summer, while the Moto Z will be available unlocked in the fall. The Moto Z will be available globally in September.

The phone competes with other modular devices like Google's Ara, and Lenovo touted its interest in developing a wide variety of Mods. It rolled out examples like the SoundBoost Mod that acts as speakers and the Insta-Share Mod that projects a 70-inch image from the Moto Z.

CNET: Motorola's new Moto Z ditches the headphone jack | Shatterproof Moto Z Force has a bigger battery, better camera | Lenovo Phab2 Pro: World's first Google Tango phone | Lenovo Phab2 Plus: A jumbo-screen phone with dual rear cameras | Motorola Moto Z and Moto Z Force vs. Samsung Galaxy S7, Nexus 6P and iPhone 6S

The company trotted out celebrity Ashton Kutcher to announce the Moto Mods developer program. Lenovo announced that Kutcher would join Lenovo executives to judge a contest for the best Mod prototype. The winner, whether it's an individual or a company, will win $1 million.

Kutcher said the Moto Z is "thinner and lighter without compromising performance" and that the Moto Mods "ensure flawless integration... they work in a snap, every time."