Motorola has revealed that owners of the unlocked Lenovo Moto Z should be expecting their update to Android 7.0 Nougat at some point in February, while those who picked up the mid-range Moto Z Play will have to wait until March. They did not disclose any specific dates or timelines, aside from what months the updates would be dropping. The update will see owners getting an Android Nougat experience not unlike that of their Verizon-bound cousins, but without the Verizon bits, such as Verizon's exclusive preloaded apps and network optimizations for the CDMA carrier. The unlocked Moto Z will instead be optimized for GSM carriers going forward.
Reportedly, upgrades on the unlocked model of the Moto Z will be coming out months after updates to their Verizon counterparts because they have different teams working on them, and they are on different tracks software-wise, mostly due to the discrepancy in their release dates – where the Verizon variant came out in July, with the unlocked model coming out in September. The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, is on mostly the same software track as its carrier variant. Reportedly, the Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z Play will be receiving their update to Nougat at the same time, which means, as is the case with the regular Moto Z, the software experience will largely be the same, with the absence of CDMA optimization and Verizon's built-in apps.
As a reminder, the Moto Z sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors and 4 gigabytes of RAM alongside either 32 or 64 gigabytes of internal storage and a micro SD card slot. The screen resolution is a reasonably comfortable 1,440 x 2,560 on a 5.5 inch screen. The Moto Z (as well as the Verizon exclusive Moto Z Force, leaves out the headphone jack). The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, runs a mid-range Snapdragon 625 alongside 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of internal storage. The Moto Z Play is about as thick as the Moto Z Force, but it doesn't have an unbreakable display. As an upside, the battery life is far better thanks to the lower-end processor, and a larger battery.