Incipio Moto Z cases review: A couple of solid protection options for your Moto Z/Z Play

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The Incipio DualPro case or Co-Molded Bumper and Back Plate offer two very different protection options for your Moto Z or Moto Z Play.

We’ve reviewed Incipio smartphone cases in the past and our Incipio Moto Z cases review takes a look at a couple options for your Moto Z or Moto Z Play smartphone — both of which have once again received our Top Pick of 2016 Award.

Design

We’re actually looking at three different options, but based on how one would normally use their Moto Z or Moto Z Play, I’m going to break it into two options: the Incipio DualPro case as the first and the Incipio Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate combination as a second.

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From L-R: Incipio Co-Molded Bumper, DualPro for Moto Z, DualPro for Moto Z Play, and Back Plates.

Incipio DualPro Case

The Incipio DualPro cases for the Moto Z and the Moto Z Play don’t differ from past DualPro cases that we’ve reviewed here at Techaeris. The DualPro cases feature a hybrid design with a shock absorbing dLST TPE inner core and a lightweight, rigid Plextonium polycarbonate outer shell. Combined, these two layers offer a decent level of scratch and impact protection without bulking up your phone too much. In fact, the Moto Z felt more like a “real” phone with the added thickness.

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The Incipio Moto Z DualPro case doesn’t add too much thickness while offering great protection.

In addition, the premium soft-touch coating on the DualPro case is really nice to the touch and comfortable to hold. The buttons are covered by the inner layer but are easily accessible and responsive. The cutouts for the USB Type-C port, and in the case of the Moto Z Play the 3.5mm audio jack, are positioned well. The Incipio logo is pretty subtle and is visible through a small cutout in the outer shell on the back of the case.

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The Incipio Moto Z and Moto Z Play DualPro cases.

The DualPro case fits nice and snug on both the Moto Z and Moto Z Play, however once installed you can’t use any of your Moto Mods without taking off the case completely which can take some time due to the tight fit of the case.

Incipio Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate

The Co-Molded Bumper looks much nicer than the clear plastic bumper that comes by default with the Moto Z and actually feels like it offers a more cushioned barrier for your smartphone. Like the DualPro case, the volume and power buttons are covered by the bumper but once again are just as responsive as they are without a case covering them. The cutout for the USB Type-C port is well positioned and there were no issues using the USB cable with the bumper installed.

Our review sample was a light grey with a white center line and button covers. The darker grey with black center line looks much nicer in my opinion but Incipio is currently out of stock on that one. The Incipio logo is on the lower left corner of the bumper in the white middle area. The nice thing about the bumper is that it is Moto Mod compatible, and that’s why I’ve included the Back Plates with the bumper as a second solution, primarily for the reason that without a Moto Mod on your Moto Z or Moto Z Play you’re going to want a Back Plate on to cover the Moto Mod connectors.

The Back Plates themselves fit as expected, although I did notice a very slight bow in the middle when placed on a flat surface or the back of the Moto Z. This didn’t affect anything, but if you are using one on your Moto Z without a bumper, then you may get some dust and dirt inside this. We were sent the Gunmetal and Camo Black Back Plates to review, and both looked pretty decent on the Moto Z — in fact, the Gunmetal Back Plate almost matched the metal frame of the Moto Z exactly.

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The Incipio Gunmetal and Black Camo Back Plates.

When used together, the Co-Molded Bumper and Back Plate offer nice protection while being easily removable to use your Moto Mods. While the Co-Molded Bumper is compatible with Moto Mods, you still need to remove it completely to remove the Back Plate and attach one of your Moto Mods. After the Moto Mod is attached, you can re-attach the Co-Molded Bumper from the Moto Mod side of the phone and the bumper forms a bit of a seal over the edge of the Moto Mod, unlike the included plastic bumper with the Moto Z. While you might think it’s a pain to have to remove the bumper each time you want to use a different Moto Mod, it takes very little time and when you put it back on with the Moto Mod, the bumper acts as a bit of extra insurance by helping to keep the Moto Mod in place — not that I’ve ever had any issue with a Moto Mod coming loose unintentionally from my Moto Z.

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If you look close, you can see that the Co-Molded Bumper wraps over the Back Plate slightly.

Installation

Incipio DualPro Case

The Incipio DualPro Case is easy to install. Simply separate the two layers and place your Moto Z or Moto Z Play into the inner TPU layer. Once that is done, I found that sliding the long left edge (without the power and volume buttons) into the polycarbonate outer shell and snapping the right edge into place was the easiest. To remove the case, it is easiest to start with the bottom corner near the Incipio logo. Hold on to the outer cover while pushing on the Incipio logo to pop off the corner of the outer shell. You’ll still need to carefully work your way around the rest of the phone to remove the outer shell completely, but using the logo gets you started.

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The DualPro cases come with two layers.

Incipio Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate

When using the Incipio Co-Molded Bumper with a Moto Mod or Back Plate, place the mod or Back Plate on first. Next, hold your phone with the screen up and slide the top of your Moto Z or Moto Z Play into the Co-Molded Bumper. In other words, the Co-Molded Bumper installs from the back of your Moto Z smartphone. To uninstall the bumper, I found the easiest way was to work one of the corners off and the rest follows relatively easily.

Protection

Incipio has drop tested the DualPro case from a height of 12 feet, and while we didn’t test it from that height we definitely had a few accidental drops from between 3 to 4′. Each time the Moto Z came away unscathed to our relief. Based on the material and fit, I wouldn’t go throwing my phone around while in the DualPro case, but it definitely fits the bill for protection under heavier day-to-day smartphone use.

The Co-Molded Bumper offers less protection than the DualPro case when used by itself, but when coupled with the Back Plate it offers ample protection against moderate drops, bumps, and scrapes. it doesn’t have the benefit of the dual layer protection but should get you by with normal day-to-day use.

Price/Value

The DualPro case and Co-Molded Bumper both retail for $29.99USD, while the Back Plates have a retail price of $14.99USD each. If you’re not planning on using Moto Mods often, the DualPro case is an excellent value at the retail price. If you do use Moto Mods a lot, the Co-Molded Bumper is a bit pricey as it costs the same as the DualPro case does. If you’re like me and tend to leave the Incipio offGRID Power Pack on your Moto Z most of the time, you can get away with just the Co-Molded Bumper, but if not then you’re looking at around $45USD if you purchase a Back Plate as well. While the Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate offers less value in this sense, it does add value in the fact that you can use your Moto Mods with the bumper.

Wrap-up

These are just two case options that Incipio offers Moto Z and Moto Z Play smartphone users. As mentioned above, the DualPro case offers great protection for those who don’t use Moto Mods that often, while the Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate combination offers ample protection for normal daily use while still allowing you to easily use your Moto Mods.

Incipio DualPro Case

Incipio DualPro Case
4.9 Out of 5
Nailed it
Excellent fit, easy to install, great protection, comfortable and non-slippery to hold. Doesn't add much bulk to your phone.
Needs Work
Must completely remove case to use Moto Mods.
Bottom Line
The Incipio DualPro case offers great protection for those who don't use Moto Mods that often.
Design4.75
Installation5.00
Protection5.00
Price/Value5.00

  Purchase for Moto Z  Purchase for Moto Z Play

Incipio Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate

Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate
4.8 Out of 5
Nailed it
Easy to install, allows you to use your Moto Mods. Offers an extra level of security in keeping your Moto Mod in place.
Needs Work
Still have to remove the bumper to swap out Moto Mods.
Bottom Line
The Co-Molded Bumper/Back Plate combination offers ample protection for normal daily use while still allowing you to easily use your Moto Mods.
Design4.75
Installation5.00
Protection4.75
Price/Value4.75

  Purchase for Moto Z  Purchase for Moto Z Play

*We were sent samples of the Incipio DualPro cases for the Moto Z and Moto Z Play, the Incipio Co-Molded Bumper for the Moto Z and Back Plates for the purposes of this review.
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