Lenovo Launches Modular Smartphone and First-ever Google Tango Device

Moto ZLenovo has unveiled a modular smartphone and the first handset powered by Googles Tango sensor technology at its Tech World event in San Francisco.

The Moto Z – being released under the Motorola brand Lenovo acquired from Google in 2014 – will offer a range of interchangeable Moto Mod back covers which can be used to transform the phones functionality. The covers clip onto the handset using high-powered magnets, and come in a variety of designs from partners including Kate Spade New York and TUMI.

The first wave of Mods include the JBL SoundBoost, a set of speakers for improved audio volume and quality; the Insta-Share Projector, which can be used to project a 70″ output; and the Power Pack, an extra-large battery which promises an extra 22 hours of charge.

To encourage the creation of more Mods, Lenovo is setting up a developer program, and a $1m capital fund for the best prototype developed by March next year.


Meanwhile, the Lenovo Phab2 Pro is the first consumer smartphone to incorporate Googles Tango technology, which use sensors and software to map the users surroundings and create AR experiences.

Tango – previously known as Project Tango, but transitioning to a live product with this launch – can be used for more accurate indoor navigation, as well as to overlay virtual objects onto a camera feed in a way that more accurately reflect how they would sit in the space.

Both handsets are set to go on sale this summer.