Yesterday Lenovo made the Moto Z official, but with that they also confirmed that it would be exclusive to Verizon Wireless for several weeks. Both the Moto Z and Moto Z Force will launch on Verizon this Summer, with an unlocked model coming in September. Sadly however, that unlocked model won’t work with Verizon.
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On just about any other phone, this wouldn’t be surprising at all as most unlocked devices only support GSM carriers. However since this device is following up on the Moto X Pure Edition and Nexus 6 before it, this change is pretty unexpected as both of those devices supported all four major US carriers, GSM and CDMA both.
A Motorola representative said to Droid-Life that an unlocked Moto Z would be “available on GSM networks starting September” when asked if the device won’t support all carriers as those previous devices did.
While this isn’t the end of the world, there are a few downsides to being forced to buy a Verizon-branded version of the phone. The design is of course the same, but you’ll have a bit of DROID branding on the back up near the camera module. A bigger issue however is software updates. Verizon doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to updating their DROID phones, and there’s no reason to expect anything different this time around.