A modular phone lets you connect accessories to add new features make it even better. Here are the best choices right now.

Best Overall

Moto Z2 Force

See at Verizon Wireless

There can be no doubt that Motorola has built the most successful modular platform to date with its Moto Mods, and the phone these snap-on enhancements shine the brightest is on the new Moto Z2 Force. Motorola took the "shatterproof" design it has been perfecting for the last couple of years and continued its evolution into this phone. It's thinner, yet somehow also more durable than its predecessor. This makes it so you don't need a case for the phone, which means mods can be swapped at will.

It's also a pretty great phone on its own, with specs that easily rival phones in the same price range, but combining the $750 Moto Z2 Force with Moto Mods creates an experience you can't get anywhere else.

Bottom line: Moto does modular support right, with some really interesting and useful mods, and an easy mechanism for swapping them in and out.

One more thing: There's no headphone jack, so you'll need to use a USB-C dongle to connect most headphones to the Moto Z2 Force. #donglelife

Why the Moto Z + Z Force are the best

Modularity done right.

Without the mods, the Moto Z2 Force might have been yet another decent high-end smartphone. But the mods change all that, allowing Moto to build out meaningful functionality in a series of surprisingly great accessories. If you just want to add some visual flair to the phone, Moto's Style Shells are for you. There are a couple of great battery mods available, including wireless charging options. Even the seemingly ludicrous pico projector mod could be useful for road warriors, or the Alexa Mod for when you want an Amazon Echo that follows you around the house.

This is hardware personalization the likes of which have never been possible with a phone before. Who says smartphones are becoming boring?

Best mid-range

Moto Z2 Play

See at Amazon See at Verizon Wireless

The Moto Z2 Play is what you get if you take the central idea of the Moto Z2 and re-engineer it as a really solid mid-range Android phone. It uses Qualcomm's slightly more capable Snapdragon 626 chip, paired with 4GB of RAM and admittedly disappointing 3,000mAh battery, delivering just enough for a full day without a mod. The 5.5-inch AMOLED display gets bumped down to 1080p, but still looks great. And the glass back from the previous generation has been replaced with the more premium metal feel from the more expensive Moto Z2 Force.

Fortunately, the Z Play uses the same ecosystem of mods as the regular Moto Z, so you can expand its functionality just as much as other phones in the series. For $499, you're getting access to an incredible hardware ecosystem.

Bottom line: The Moto Z2 Play is a decent mid-range smartphone even without the mods, but those accessories really elevate the experience.

One More thing: Where the original Moto Z Play was all about the battery, the shining star on the Moto Z2 Play is its camera.

Best non-Moto

Essential PH-1

See at Essential

Essential is a new company and its Freshman effort had a lot of kinks to work out in the first couple of weeks after it launched, but now that time has passed there's no denying what a capable and powerful phone this is. The Essential PH-1 packs a gorgeous edge-to-edge display with a sturdy titanium body and solid battery life. Its camera is just alright most of the time, and you can easily say the same about the speakers. Its a decent phone that will blow your friends away when they see the screen, but using it will quickly reveal it's well worth the reduced $499 price tag.

Along the top corner of this phone there are a pair of attachment pins for modular accessories. Essential claims to have big plans for this accessory slot, but for now the biggest thing you can do is add on a 360-degree camera or drop the phone into a charging dock. This is a healthy start, especially when you see how small and capable the 360-degree camera is, so there's hope more will be available soon.

Bottom-line: Essential has a lot or work to do to be anywhere near as capable a modular setup as Moto's, but it does boast a nice camera and a more hand-friendly form factor.

One more thing: The Essential PH-1 comes in two beautiful colors now, with two more expected to be available soon.

Conclusion

Motorola has taken modular smartphones beyond a mere concept, and shown how you can build out modularity in a way that's easy to use, and adds value. The Moto Z2 Force will both give you the best modular experience available, thanks to snap-on accessories that are simple to attach, and do a bunch of cool stuff. Beyond that, they're just good, enjoyable phones to use in their own right.

Best Overall

Moto Z2 Force

See at Verizon Wireless

There can be no doubt that Motorola has built the most successful modular platform to date with its Moto Mods, and the phone these snap-on enhancements shine the brightest is on the new Moto Z2 Force. Motorola took the "shatterproof" design it has been perfecting for the last couple of years and continued its evolution into this phone. It's thinner, yet somehow also more durable than its predecessor. This makes it so you don't need a case for the phone, which means mods can be swapped at will.

It's also a pretty great phone on its own, with specs that easily rival phones in the same price range, but combining the $750 Moto Z2 Force with Moto Mods creates an experience you can't get anywhere else.

Bottom line: Moto does modular support right, with some really interesting and useful mods, and an easy mechanism for swapping them in and out.

One more thing: There's no headphone jack, so you'll need to use a USB-C dongle to connect most headphones to the Moto Z2 Force. #donglelife