Last week, Motorola and Polaroid introduced the new Insta-Share Printer moto mod. The snap-on modification will turn your next-gen Moto Z into a retro camera printer that automatically gives you a physical version of photos you’ve just taken. It costs $199.99 and it comes out this week with limited availability.
The announcement comes just as the Moto lineup starts to fade in the background after the continuous release of new smartphones that follow design trends rather than include functional features. Moto mods have been a long-standing bet for the Lenovo subsidiary, as it continues to struggle to stay relevant.
Following their separation from Google, Lenovo took the reigns over the prized mobility hardware company. Once a bearer of gold banners in terms of design and software, the new lineups by the company fall short of the competition in most aspects.
— Motorola US (@MotorolaUS) November 15, 2017
How does the Insta-Share printer work?
Much like other modular add-ons for the Moto Z, the Insta-Share Printer by Polaroid works fast and simple. All it takes is for you to clip it onto the back of your device, and then take a picture. Once you have your shot, you can choose to print it directly from your phone, which it does instantly.
In a very Polaroid fashion, the instantaneous pictures that come out from the printer keep all the fun from the old days, meaning you can peel the adhesive back to stick them on your fridge, your door, or wherever you wish. You can also print pictures you have on Facebook and Instagram.
Due to the fact that this moto mod needs to maintain the portability of the Moto Z, the pictures it prints are 2 x 3 inches in size. The Insta-Share Printer uses Polaroid Premium ZINK Zero Ink Paper, which you can buy in packs but sells separately from the add-on.
Are Moto Mods able to keep phones relevant?
One of the challenges of going against the flow is that you risk everything. Motorola has significantly reduced risks by keeping Moto Mods limited to one compatible device, while continuing to manufacture normal flagships and phones that don’t support the modular modifications.
Of course, it would be great for the Chinese giant if the Moto Z and the family of Moto Mods managed to break even and turn a profit. That way, there could be long-term sustainability to produce more interesting, advanced, and useful add-ons for their entire smartphone catalog.
Nevertheless, it seems both the industry and the public are reluctant to disruptive technologies. The two sides like the idea, since tech giants have toyed with it and consumers have expressed their content with mods. However, that has yet to translate into paper with concrete sales numbers that prove Motorola right.