Moto Z4: Release date and specs for the $500 5G ready phone

After rumors, leaks and a premature shipped device, Motorola's $500 Moto Z4 is finally official. The midrange phone, available June 13, is no foldable Razr, but that's not to say it lacks appeal. In addition to the more affordable starting price, the new aluminum Z4 features an updated design complete with a near-notchless 6.4-inch OLED display.

Other specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, 4GB of RAM with 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD to 2TB) and Android 9.0 Pie, with Motorola promising an update to Q in the future.

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o improve photography Motorola has added what it calls "Quad Pixel technology," which uses pixel-binning to allow for 48-megapixel shots with the rear lens, following a trend of other recent higher-end midrange phones including OnePlus' 7 Pro. Around front is a 25-megapixel shooter which takes advantage of the same "Quad Pixel" tech.

Motorola says both sensors should offer improved details and colors as well as better low-light performance. The company has even added its own rival to the Pixel 3's Night Sight called Night Vision.

In some brief hands-on time with the phone, the phone feels more premium than the rival cheaper Pixel 3a, which starts at $399. Videos looked sharp on the OLED display and the Night Vision did a solid job of enhancing images taken in a dark room. Whether the Z4 can rival the Pixel 3A's camera or if its cheaper price can top the value of $669 OnePlus 7 Pro's performance remains to be seen.

An optical fingerprint sensor is built into the display, similar to the technology used on OnePlus' 6T and 7 Pro. As with the OnePlus phones, setup was seamless and unlocking was responsive during our brief use of the phone.

Wireless charging isn't present nor is IP-rated water resistance (Motorola says the phone can withstand spills and rain). In a bit of good news, however, the 3.5mm headphone jack has returned along the bottom of the phone after disappearing on last year's Z3 and Z2 Force.

The Z4 will also support Moto's existing "mods" for attaching accessories such as a 360-degree camera, battery pack, camera, gamepad or projector.

While the Z4 is a 4G LTE phone, it will support the 5G moto mod that adds support for Verizon's 5G network (Motorola also revealed that the Z2 Force will be able to use the 5G mod this summer).

The phone will be available in "flash gray" from Verizon on June 13, with a "frost white" color arriving on June 27. New Verizon users will be able to snag the phone for $240 ($10 per month for 24 months) with the 5G mod dropping to $200 for a "limited time," allowing you to get a 5G-ready Z4 for $440 (Samsung's more powerful Galaxy S10 5G, which has 5G built-in, runs $1300).

Verizon will also be waiving the $10 5G add-on fee for those who purchase the 5G mod and have one of the provider's Above or Beyond unlimited plans.

An unlocked version will be available from Best Buy, B&H and Amazon for $500, with Motorola bundling its 360-degree Moto Mod with those purchases.

Stay tuned to CNET for a full review.