Moto Z and Moto Z Force (DROID) review
With a couple of tricks up their sleeve, are the new Motorola flagships the phones to beat? We find out, in this Moto Z and Moto Z Force review!
Motorola Moto Z
While it’s take on ‘the future’ needs to further prove itself, the potential of the new Moto Z line could take already pretty great smartphones to a whole new level.
What we like
-Design makes way for massive customization
-Moto Display adds to an already great Quad HD screen
-Camera is responsive, worthy daily shooter
-Moto Mods are a great idea executed well, so far
-Moto software additions bolster a mostly stock Android experience
What we don’t like
-New metal design is more Lenovo than Moto
-Smaller battery hinders the Moto Z
-Less detailed photos from the Moto Z
-Somewhat shoddy processing in photos, exacerbated by low light
-Moto Mods need to further prove their usefulness
Motorola Moto Z
While it’s take on ‘the future’ needs to further prove itself, the potential of the new Moto Z line could take already pretty great smartphones to a whole new level.
Moto is back with another iteration of their flagship line, moving from X, jumping Y, and going straight to Z. With a couple of tricks up its sleeve and parent company Lenovo plainly strewn on its box, is this the next innovation in smartphones? Let’s find out in our comprehensive review of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force.
We are dealing with two different versions of Moto’s new flagship device, but the differences are not vast, nor are there many. With that in mind, we will mention where the differences are and comment on them where applicable.
The Moto Z Force is the larger of the two devices, with a couple of more millimeters of thickness and a significant increase in heft. While it packs a little bit more in its body as a result, credit goes to Motorola for making one of the thinnest devices out there in the Moto Z proper, with it being only about 5 mm thick, and weighing less than plenty of devices that have similarly sized screens.
A textured power button is easy to find, and is low enough on the phone for easy access. Though the flatter Moto Z is smoother all around the sides, the extra heft adds a chamfer on the Z Force. You may also notice that there is only one port on the phone, the USB-C type connector that sits alone, without there being a headphone jack.
Overall, there’s something very Lenovo-esque about these new Motos, which isn’t all that surprising, but is definitely noticeable. The all metal bodies have a distinct shine that is both eye-catching, and magnets for fingerprints. Also, the silver-lined camera package really sticks out, something that is once again eye-catching, but not particularly ideal, we think. While some might like these less subtle changes to the Moto formula, others will probably prefer to employ the included remedy.
Magnets at the top and lower thirds of the backing are accompanied by connector pins, and the Moto Mods use these to attach and connect. From a purely design-focused perspective, this is how Moto Covers can be slapped onto the back of the phones. There are also, of course, the Moto Mods, but we’ll get to them later. A dark wooden Cover came with our devices, but plenty will be made available to add further customization. It covers up the fingerprint-heavy backing, covers up the connectors, and makes the camera flush. We wouldn’t be surprised if users put their Cover on and said, “that’s more like it.”
The covers add about 30 grams of weight to these devices, making the Moto Z feel more conventional, and the Moto Z Force feel like a brick. There are a couple advantages to having the Moto Z Force however, like the larger battery, and the mere fact that when a phone is that heavy, it feels more secure in the hand. Overall handling with these 5.5-inch screens is about where one would expect, though a large bezel at the top and bottom portions of the phones can make reaching up and down a bit tough.
As you may learn in this review, there are a lot of ideas and a lot of roving parts to the Moto Z packages. They do seem more like Lenovo devices than before, but with that canvas comes a lot of room for possibilities.
Both phones come with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 535 ppi. As far as displays go, there is little to complain about here, especially considering the higher saturation that AMOLED provides. Colors all look good, but can be toned down for users who find it a little too much. Text is easy to read and media consumption is enjoyable across the board, especially in our time playing games like Final Fantasy 7 and Pokemon Go.
The Moto Z Force, however, does come with the Moto ShatterShield, which keeps the display safe from cracks and shattering due to accidental drops. It is a multi-layer system that adds that little bit of protection, and so, even if this phone isn’t all that rugged, it will withstand a bit more than your average phone.
One returning feature from previous Moto devices is the Moto Display, which is an ambient display that allows for quick looks at notifications, and certain actions to be performed upon them. A sensor at the top of the device brings up the information, at which time users can tap and hold on the circles in the middle, and either swipe up to wake the phone in the app or swipe down to dismiss it. It’s still a useful Moto feature that benefits from the AMOLED screen.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and the Adreno 530 GPU are at the helm of either device, providing the kind of performance any flagship should have. Even with the Verizon bloatware, the phone hasn’t skipped a beat and provides a smooth, snappy experience. Credit can also be given to the iteration of Android here, which is closer to stock Marshmallow than most other phone skins. For all accounts, apps performed without any drops and few stutters even when multitasking, which is helped along by the 4 GB of RAM.
Before we get into the Moto Mods, let’s FOCUS on what the phones already possess without any of those additions. Connections across the board are included, and both phones benefit from Verizon’s network. Though these phones might only be available on the CDMA Verizon network, at least for now, it is pretty well known that Verizon is one of the fastest and most reliable networks. That doesn’t much help the pain of waiting for GSM capable versions of these phones coming to the US, however.
32 GB or 64 GB are the on-board storage options that are available, but microSD cards, allowing for up to an additional 256 GB, can help make sure that you never run out of space.
The fingerprint reader found below the display is a great performer. It is easy to set up, and responds in no time. It’s an easy way of waking and unlocking the device, as always, but there is an extra function programmed into it as well. By holding down on that area while in the phone, the phone will lock. This is a nice touch, no pun intended. It took some time for us to stop pressing the sensor because it seems like a home button, but it is hard not to when the on-screen navigation keys slide out of view in certain full screen situations.
Audio is a bit of a mixed bag with the Motos, but it starts off on a good note during calls. There are 4 microphones strewn about the device, and all of them help not only with the Moto Voice activations, but outbound audio on calls end up sounding really clear. Inbound sound is also good, though the speaker on these phones is found in the earpiece, anyway. That said, the speaker benefits from being front facing, but there isn’t a particularly loud or rich sound coming out of it.
Which brings us to what has already been a polarizing detail in this new line of Motos, the lack of a headphone jack, which might end up being a hard adjustment to make for some. As prevalent as Bluetooth may be, it isn’t everyone’s ideal solution for audio playback. An adapter from USB-C to headphone jack is included in the box to help this transition, but even then it is another piece of kit that could easily be lost in a bag, or just lost in general. It might be easier to just keep the adapter connected to the headphones at all times. Even then, what if one wants to listen to content and charge the phone at the same time? That all said, the listening experience is still fairly standard, and is not any better or worse than most other phones. It’s good that there is a way to still use existing headphones, but this is a change that will take some time to normalize.
The Moto Z Force has the larger battery at 3,500 mAh, while the thinner Moto Z fits a 2,600 mAh unit. Battery life has been, for the most part, pretty decent. With pretty heavy usage days that included camera usage, YouTube viewing, and gaming, the Moto Z was able to give me about 3 and a half hours of screen on time while the Z Force managed close to 5 hours. The Z Force was able to go a full day without making me feel antsy, but the Moto Z would just barely make it after the power saving mode kicked in at 15%.
Thankfully, powering up doesn’t take much time at all. There is a trade-off between both of these phones, in that the Moto Z comes with a 15 W charger, while the Z Force has a more powerful 30 W charger. Both are USB-C chargers that are tethered to the bricks, meaning that one has to use them in order to achieve the very fast charging times that Motorola claim. They are indeed fast, as I was able to get to 50% of battery in half an hour, using the correct chargers for either phone.
Further, if you are really hurting for battery, the Moto Mods will help. These are Moto’s move into the future of smartphones, and while this is not quite modularity, it is easy to throw that term around with these phones. Instead, we will keep to just calling them mods, easily connected to the back of the phone via the magnets.
A more in-depth look at the three Moto Mods currently available can be found here, but for now it should be fairly obvious that the most useful of the bunch is the Incipio OffGrid Power Mod. This 2,200 mAh capacity battery slaps right on, and essentially makes the Moto Z a 4,800 mAh phone, and the Moto Z Force a 5,700 mAh device. Power is drained either regularly to keep the phone as charged as possible, or in an Efficiency Mode, that does enough to keep the phone at 80%. In terms of screen on time, these batteries got me about another hour, to and hour and a half, when slapped onto the phone at single digit percentages.
The other two Moto Mods are the Insta-Share projector add-on and the JBL SoundBoost speaker. In a nutshell, they are definitely convenient, and make the Moto Z family quite fun to use, but are still lesser performers than standalone solutions, like a Bluetooth speaker or a separate Pico projector. Also, they are quite expensive, especially the projector.
If modularity, and in this case, mods, are the future of smartphone experiences, then Motorola have done a great job in showing us a functional, accessible, and most of all fun way of doing it. They require no changes in the hardware or software of the device, and are quite literally the definition of plug and play, or rather, attach and play. The battery case is the most practical of them all, but we hope to see even more good ideas become reality in the world of Moto Mods.
Differences between the Moto Z and Moto Z Force start with the battery and essentially end with the cameras. The Z Force has the more powerful camera, with a 21 MP shooter, while the Moto Z proper utilizes a 13 MP sensor. Pretty much everything else remains the same, including the f/1.8 apertures, the inclusions of OIS and laser autofocus, and secondary cameras that are 5 MP, with wide angles of view and f/2.2 apertures.
The apps are fairly simple to use and don’t get too much in the way of the user, unless you get into the Professional Mode, where toggles and sliders can get a little out of hand pretty quickly. When in the regular modes, it is simply a matter of tapping on a subject to put it in FOCUS, shifting the exposure slider accordingly, and snapping. The conjunctive team of contrast, phase detection, and laser autofocus, ensure that focusing on subjects is quick and easy. A very small delay will occur if HDR is being used, but even then, the camera app is snappy and responsive.
Before we get into the analysis, we should mention that the different megapixel counts basically mean that the Moto Z Force captures more detail overall. As you can see in the pictures, cropping into the same areas simply means that there is more data in the 21 MP photos, which isn’t a surprise. Thankfully, shooting modes, video modes, and general processing all remain the same, so the cameras aren’t so different that the gap of choice between them turns out huge.
We start off with self portraits, which include a Beautification mode, which is a first for Moto, but not a first for Lenovo at large. It mainly enhances clarity and colors while smoothing out lines on the face, to varying degrees of success. A front-facing flash makes a welcome return, and proves useful for darker situations or when you need to lighten up your face in front of a bright backdrop.
Modes on the main cameras include 4K video recording, which benefits from the optical image stabilization and some software stabilization, that results in somewhat unnatural looking movements. It seems like the video mode supports the panorama mode too, as the viewfinder seems to go into a similar mode, so the user simply has to sweep across the landscape. Panorama on the Moto Z phones, then, is actually really easy to do, but suffers in lower light situations due to the required slow shutter speeds used to provide adequate exposure.
HDR can be on auto when shooting in the normal photo mode, and it does a good job of enhancing the photo. The effect is pretty noticeable in the heightened shadows, the higher clarity, and the punched up colors. Especially when used in the right situations, HDR here is a viable tool.
Moto Z camera samples
Overall, pictures look pretty good with accurate colors, meaning that the saturation is not really overdone. The majority of pictures keep from looking too dull, but if a bit more punch is needed, throwing on the HDR mode is always an option. We notice a bit of noise reduction happening, making the finer lines of a photo look quite smudged out, especially in low light situations. However, taken as they are ,and especially in bright situations, the pictures that come out of the Moto Z and Z Force are pretty pleasing to the eye. In dark situations, it can be rather difficult to get a sharp picture, because the night shooting mode requires a very steady hand with the shutter being open for longer periods of time.
Moto Z Force camera samples
A steady hand will go a long way to making low light shots better, but in all other situations, the Moto Z line does a good job at being a photography companion.
On the software side of things, we have Android 6.0 Marshmallow powering this version of Android, and thankfully, Moto keeps their version pretty close to stock. That basically means that all of the basics are there, with any Moto extras found when you dig deep enough. Contrary to how some other OEM skins tend to be, the additions in this version of Android are really useful.
Moto features are found in the app drawer, under an app called Moto. This is where users can toggle and customize the Moto Actions, Display, and Voice. There are a number of different gestures that can be used, including a double chop to easily activate the flashlight, and a double twist motion that opens the camera app. There is also a gesture to make the entire display easier to navigate with one hand.
We already mentioned Moto Display, where a minimal ambient display will show notifications and music controls that can be utilized even when the phone is locked. Users can also add dark hours to the Moto Display, typically to when there is no need for it.
Finally, there is the Moto Voice, the customizable way of getting the phone to unlock and go straight into a Google Voice Search. Setting it up requires a quiet room and a few repetitions of the recorded phrase, but in the end it is a great way to get a search done on the phone from start to finish, just using one’s voice. syllables mean that typical speech patterns won’t accidentally trigger Moto Voice. You might remember that I used the phrase “X, activate” on my Moto X. Well, with the Moto Z, I use the phrase “Zero, help me out.”
Moto manages to keep the good times rolling in their version of Android that will undoubtedly satisfy Android purists, but will also please those who need a little more from their operating systems. This is because the Moto additions are useful but generally are out of the way.
Moto Z2 Force vs. Moto Z Force: Battle of the superpowered modular phones
Last year’s Moto Z Force stuffed a large battery into Lenovo’s top-of-the-line modular smartphone. While it gave the device some added heft, it also made it one of the longest lasting on a charge. Add in the company’s proprietary Shattershield technology and an ever-growing range of Moto Mods, and you had a tank of a flagship built to withstand anything, without skimping on power. So it would seem the new Moto Z2 Force has quite a bit to live up to. How does it compare to its predecessor? Read on to find out as we pit Moto Z2 Force vs. Moto Z Force.
Specs and performance
The gap between the Z2 Force and Z Force is a generational one, with the newer phone sporting an improved Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, rather than last year’s Snapdragon 820. In the United States, both feature 4GB of RAM, and both come with 64GB of storage — though the Z Force started with 32GB, and the higher capacity was optional. Outside of the States, 128GB will be available too, and some regions will even see 6GB of RAM.
Qualcomm’s previous high-end chip was fast, but the 835 improves upon it in every dimension. Some benchmarks show performance gains up to 40 percent, while the newer chipset’s 10-nanometer construction translates to better power efficiency. The Snapdragon 820 is no slouch, and 4GB of RAM is plentiful in either application — but all else being equal, the 835 in the Z2 Force makes it the one to have.
Winner: Moto Z2 Force
Not much has changed in terms of the way these phones look and feel, and for good reason. Lenovo had to keep the same design, so that the Moto Mods already on the market would be compatible with the new model. Both devices support the full range of attachments available now, like Hasselblad’s TrueZoom camera mod, JBL’s SoundBoost 2 speaker, as well as the recently-released Moto TurboPower pack.
While the Moto Mod issue has limited any sort of interesting new design touches, the first Moto Z was an attractive device, and so too is this one. The similarities are most apparent from the front, where the only notable change can be observed in the Z2 Force’s roomier, more rounded fingerprint sensor. Around the back, Lenovo has used a slightly different mix of materials — though whatever you see will likely be covered up with a Moto Mod, or at least one of the interchangeable Style Shells.
You’ll also notice the Z2 Force is a bit thinner than its predecessor. Whether the trade-off of a few millimeters justifies the reduction in battery capacity (more on that later) will be a matter of personal preference. But in every other respect, you’d have a difficult time telling these phones apart unless you knew what you were looking for.
There doesn’t appear to be a significant change in the display department either, with the Z2 Force retaining the 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 5.5-inch dimensions of the AMOLED panel in last year’s model. The AMOLED technology and proximity sensors on the surface of the device work in tandem to support Moto Display — a feature where you can glimpse at notifications simply by waving your hand above the phone. We were satisfied with the screen on the Z Force, and have no reason to think it will disappoint this time around.
Battery life and charging
Lenovo has made a controversial choice with the Z2 Force, and that’s the decision to slim down the battery from last year’s model. While that phone had a large 3,500mAh battery, the Z2 Force only has room for a 2,730mAh unit. This would be frustrating for most devices — but it especially hurts the Z2 Force, given that longer life was such a huge part of its predecessor’s appeal. The Z2 Force’s battery is barely larger than the 2,600mAh one in the standard Moto Z from 2016. Thankfully, both phones feature TurboPower technology, providing eight hours worth of juice in 15 minutes of charging.
The Z Force managed about two days on a charge when we reviewed it. While the more power efficient processor could help the situation somewhat, we don’t expect the Z2 Force to compare favorably, as it lacks nearly a third of the capacity. It’s possible that Lenovo’s strategy is to convince consumers to justify buying a TurboPower pack. However, given that the company currently sells a 130 phone packing a 5,000mAh battery, it’s difficult not to feel disappointed.
Winner: Moto Z Force
One of the other few areas in which these phones diverge is in the photography department. Lenovo has jumped aboard the dual camera train with the Z2 Force, trading last year’s 21-megapixel single lens for a pair of 12-megapixel ones, each with an f/2.0 aperture. The Z Force had the capability to capture decent shots, but was badly hampered by an app that was incredibly slow to FOCUS and produce photos. In terms of the front-facing cameras, both phones feature 5-megapixel shooters for selfies.
We’re expecting an improvement across the board with the Z2 Force, and the tricks that many phones with dual lenses employ — like depth-of-field for portraits, which we’ve seen in devices like the iPhone 7 Plus or OnePlus 5 — should make the experience a little more interesting. For example, one of the Z2 Force’s cameras shoots exclusively in monochrome, for true black-and-white photography. If Lenovo can deliver better low-light performance and less sluggish FOCUS, the Z2 Force will be much better as a camera compared to its predecessor.
Winner: Moto Z2 Force
Both the Z2 Force and Z Force run the latest version of Android, version 7.1.1 Nougat. The Moto brand is known for keeping the operating system as close to stock as possible, with no dramatic changes or layers tacked onto the experience.
The Z Force, however, was sold only in the U.S. as the Verizon-exclusive Z Force Droid — and so it inherited all of the carrier’s apps, as well as a heap of bloatware that could not be uninstalled, only disabled. Thankfully, the Z2 Force will arrive on other networks this go-around, meaning there could be fewer unnecessary apps to put up with depending on where you go to buy your phone.
Winner: Moto Z2 Force
Pricing and availability
The Z2 Force is available at Motorola for 800. Meanwhile, the carriers are charging a bit less, at least at launch.
Verizon has listed the full price for the Z2 Force at 756. However, customers who enroll in a two-year contract with the carrier will be able to snag one for less, at 15 per month over 24 months. Meanwhile, Sprint’s Z2 Force runs 792, with the option of 33 over 18 months. Finally, T-Mobile is charging 750 outright, or 30 over 24 months. Some carriers are sweetening the deal with a free Instashare projector Moto Mod, which typically runs 300.
Ordinarily, it’s not a bad idea to spring for last year’s model when buying a new phone, to save a little cash. In this case however, the Z Force Droid’s Verizon exclusivity means many customers will have no choice but to buy the newer phone if they’re on a different carrier. Furthermore, at the time of writing, Verizon has not reduced the price of the outgoing device, which sits at 720. Without a discount, there’s really no incentive to pass over the newer flagship.
Winner: Moto Z2 Force
While the Z2 Force doesn’t represent quite the same leap forward for Lenovo that last year’s range did, it features a number of key improvements that will make it the better phone for most people. Though the reduction in battery size is unfortunate, the more powerful, efficient processor, state-of-the-art dual cameras, and expanded availability should make up for it. Real-world testing will offer more definitive details, but in the meantime you can read our hands-on impressions while you wait for the upcoming full review. For now, the Z2 Force wins on paper.
Moto Z Force
The Motorola Moto Z Force Droid combines several hot trends into a worry-free, expandable smartphone for Verizon Wireless users.
TechSpot is supported by its audience. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
- Its modular accessories are useful and easy to attach
- Shattershield keeps the screen in one piece
- MicroSD card slot
- Great battery life
Reviewers Didn’t Like
- You can only buy the Force in the US. On Verizon
- ShatterShield display is easily scratched
- Chunkier than the Moto Z
- Lacks headphone jack
Competitors and Related Products
Our editors hand-pick these products using a variety of criteria: they might be direct competitors targeting the same market segment, or they could be devices that are similar in size, performance, or feature sets.
Sony Xperia Z3v
Expert reviews and ratings
Think of the Moto Z Force as the Moto Z’s big brother: It offers the same premium performance as the regular Z, but adds a larger battery, a camera that performs better in most situations, and a screen that resists damage. All of this makes the Z.
The Moto Z Force is one of the best smartphones Motorola’s ever made, though it’s best without any mods attached to.
Moto has a really interesting pair of phones here. The Moto Z represents a solid flagship, but if we were pressed to pick between the two, we’d probably side with the Z Force over the Z. Shopping these phones on Verizon, we’re looking at 624 for.
The Moto Z Force Droid sounds better on paper, but the thinner, cheaper Moto Z is the one we actually want to use.
The Motorola Moto Z Force Droid combines several hot trends into a worry-free, expandable smartphone for Verizon Wireless users.
But this is a pretty bad time to buy a new smartphone, with the Galaxy Note 7, a new iPhone, and new Nexus devices all slated to arrive within the next few months. And truthfully, these phones aren’t any better than existing options from Samsung, Huawei, HTC, or LG. If Lenovo’s goal was to stray from the pack and do something a little different, it succeeded. The Moto Z and Moto Mods are unique. They’re fun. They’re a little gimmicky. But they’re definitely different.
I really like how progressive the Moto Z and Z Force feel. Both phones feature a refreshing function-first approach to design. The standard Moto Z pushes the boundaries of smartphone thinness, while the Z Force comes with an even sharper camera, longer.
Share Tweet Google Plus Share ShareSend email.
When it comes to flagship smartphones, consumers certainly don’t suffer from a lack of choice, but on the flip side, with so many great options available, it is quite difficult to select which device is best suited for you. In today’s comparison, we pit.
It just might be the future of smartphones: modularity. Though there are a number of different ways to look at this new technological step, we have here the first two phones to bring the concept to users’ hands. In one case, it is an involved process of.
When it comes down to it, these aren’t bad phones. They aren’t great ones, either. I don’t think that I can recommend the Moto Z or Moto Z Force in their current state, especially when you consider the pricing. You’re looking at 624 for the Moto Z and.
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force are Lenovo’s first crack at the high-end smartphone market since acquiring Motorola, and they’ll likely be a make-or-break phone for Lenovo’s chance at being a big player in the premium U.S. market.Both phones are touted as.
Motorola has some thoughts on this whole “modular” thing. Instead of dismantling your phone into a series of puzzle pieces, the company is tackling the idea in a much more elegant way. With MotoMods, you just attach the accessory to the back of the Moto.
The Moto Z first comes to us as Verizon’s “Droid” models. And ignoring things like Verizon’s bloatware and a ridiculous proper name of “Moto Z Droid Edition” and “Moto Z Force Droid Edition,” there’s a lot to like here. Powerful internals pair with.
Motorola Moto Z Force review (2nd Gen): Hands on with Motorola’s shatterproof modular smartphone
Vaughn Highfield Associate EditorKnown as the tallest man in tech (something he’s never personally claimed to be), Vaughn writes about a broad range of technology, from VR worlds to startup culture and the best gadgets on the market. While he’ll happily talk your ear off about anime, video games and all things Japan, he also pursues more regular interests such as frequenting East London hipster drinking establishments and overpriced eateries. His Mancunian accent is practically non-existent, but he still wears the term “Northerner” as a badge of honour. Read more August 31, 2017
Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) review: UK price, release date and specifications
- Screen: 5.5in 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB with up to 1TB microSD
Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) review: Design, features and first impressions
The second-generation Motorola Moto Z Force is, in many ways, a timely update of the already impressive Moto Z (2nd Gen).
Compared to the Moto Z Play, the Force features a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and up to 64GB of storage. It also benefits from a 12-megapixel dual-camera setup with advanced features that allow for real-time and post-shot selective FOCUS, along with image background replacement and selective black and white editing.[gallery:5]
It retains the aluminium unibody design found on all Moto Z models, and comes with support for the entire range of Moto Mods. The Moto Z Force (2nd Gen)’s party piece, however, is its claim of a totally “shatterproof” screen. Yes, that means you can drop it and the screen won’t crack, ever.
I didn’t get the chance to fling the Moto Z Force around the hands-on space at IFA, but Motorola claims it won’t break from drops or objects dropping on it.
Alongside the general topline specs, Motorola claims the Moto Z Force has an “all-day battery” with TurboPower enabled for when you do have to top it up quickly. It also has a water repellant coating – not water resistant.[gallery:12]
During the Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) announcement, Motorola said it would be bringing two new Moto Mods to Europe as well: the Moto 360 Camera and the Moto Gamepad.
Featuring the same branding as Lenovo’s gaming range, the Moto Gamepad turns the Moto Z into a handheld console that runs Android games. It snaps on via the Moto Z magnetic connection and all compatible games run without fuss. This mod appears to be one of the better mobile gamepads on the market, turning your phone into a Nintendo Switch-like device in the process. The buttons feel a little too sticky and clunky for my liking, and they’re a tad small to press, but ultimately it seems to be perfect for avid smartphone gamers.[gallery:15]
Meanwhile, the Moto 360 Camera Moto mod is fantastic. Capable of recording video or taking still pictures at up to 4K resolutions, it’s easily one of the best 360 cameras I’ve ever used with a mobile. Lower light shots do appear slightly grainy, but in a properly lit environment it makes a compelling case for having a personal 360 camera in your It’s also surprisingly good at stitching both of its camera images together, with almost zero blind spots or immediately noticeable stitch lines.
Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) review: Early verdict
The Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) looks to be another excellent Moto phone from Motorola.[gallery:18]
My chief concerns revolve around just how shatterproof its “Shatter Shield” display is, and if people are prepared to pay €799 for a Motorola phone. According to Motorola’s press release, the Moto Z Force (2nd Gen) will come bundled with the Moto 360 camera for that price point, but there’s currently no clarification on UK pricing and if that same bundle will come to Britain.
There is also currently no confirmed UK release date for the Moto Z Force, but we do know it’ll arrive before the year is out.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: What’s the difference?
Motorola has announced a second Moto Z device in the form of the Moto Z2 Force. It joins the Moto Z2 Play as the tougher and more premium device and with it marks the last of the Z devices being announced this year.
That means there will be no “standard” Moto Z replacement. At least that’s what Motorola has said for now. With that in mind, we have compared the Moto Z2 Force to its predecessor, the Moto Z Force, as well as last year’s Moto Z. Here is how the three devices stack up against each other.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Design
- Moto Z2 Force is lightest, Moto Z is slimmest
- All three have Moto Mod compatibility
- USB Type-C on all three, no headphone jack on any
The Motorola Moto Z2 Force has a unibody built from 7000 series aluminium, claimed to be 80 per cent stronger than the Moto Z. It measures 155.8 x 76 x 5.99mm and hits the scales at 143g.
The Moto Z is a little smaller, slimmer and lighter, measuring 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.19mm and weighing 136g, while the original Moto Z Force is around the same size as the new model but heavier at 155.9 x 75.8 x 6.99mm and 163g.
All three models offer compatibility with Moto Mods, which are additional accessories that can be attached to the back of the devices via the pins at the bottom to enhance certain features, such as battery or camera. None of the phones offer an IP rating for waterproofing, though they are water repellant.
The three devices all offer a circular raised camera housing on the rear too, but the Moto Z2 Force introduces two lenses into this housing while the Moto Z and Moto Z Force both only have one.
The Moto Z2 Force also has a new pill-shaped fingerprint sensor on the front, while the Moto Z and Moto Z Force both have square-shaped fingerprint sensors. None of the three models being compared here have a 3.5mm headphone jack and all three are charged via USB Type-C.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Display
- All three have 5.5-inch, Quad HD, AMOLED displays
- Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z Force hace ShatterShield display protection
- Moto Z2 Force has next-gen ShatterShield
The Moto Z2 Force, Moto Z and the Moto Z Force all offer a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, with a Quad HD resolution. That means 2560 x 1440 pixels, resulting in pixel densities of 534ppi.
That’s sharp, meaning all three devices should handle content well, offering that typical AMOLED pop for nice vibrant colours. They should also all deliver a similar experience as there are no extras like Mobile HDR or a different aspect ratio, even on the new Moto Z2 Force, as we’ve seen on other flagships.
The Moto Z is topped with Gorilla Glass, which is pretty common, but the Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z Force, as their name suggests, are extra-protected with Moto’s ShatterShield display.
This is designed to be incredibly tough, so you don’t break your phone when you drop it and the Moto Z2 Force has the next-generation of the ShatterShield protection so it should be handle drops even better than its predecessor.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Cameras
- 5MP front snappers on all three
- Dual-rear camera on Moto Z2 Force, one RGB sensor and one BW
- Moto Z Force has higher resolution single sensor than Moto Z
The Motorola Moto Z2 Force has dual-rear cameras, as we briefly mentioned previously. Arranged in a horizontal format, they are 12-megapixel f/1.7 sensors within the circular camera housing, one of which is a coloured sensor, the other a monochrome sensor.
The front facing snapper on the Moto Z2 Force has yet to be detailed, but it is thought to be 5-megapixels with an aperture of f/2.2 and a dual-LED flash. The Moto Z and the Moto Z Force both offer a 5-megapixel front camera with flash for selfies, so that’s pretty much the same if the Z2 Force information is accurate.
In terms of rear snappers, both the Moto Z and Z Force have singular cameras rather than dual. The Moto Z settles for a 13-megapixel rear camera, with optical image stabilisation and laser autofocus.
The Moto Z Force on the other hand, swings in with a 21-megapixel sensor, again offering OIS and laser autofocus, but also adding phase detection autofocus to the mix too.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Hardware
- Moto Z2 Force more powerful hardware
- Moto Z Force has largest battery
- All thee have 32GB or 64GB storage and microSD
The Motorola Moto Z2 Force features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, supported by either 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM, depending on the region.
Internal storage model options are 32GB or 64GB, both with microSD support, and there is a 2750mAh battery running the show.
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, coupled with 4GB of RAM. They are both offered in 32GB and 64GB internal storage options and both models have microSD for storage expansion.
The Moto Z has a 2600mAh battery, while the Moto Z Force has a larger 3500mAh battery. All three devices offer TurboPower charging.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Software
Motorola tends to keep bloatware to a minimum with its devices so the software experience is close to vanilla Android with a couple of pre-installed Moto apps.
These three devices will therefore offer a very similar interface and experience, though the Moto Z2 Force offers a new addition to the Moto app called Moto Key, which is a security and password manager that debuts on the device. Aside from that and perhaps a couple of features here and there, the software on the Moto Z2 Force, Moto Z Force and Moto Z will be familiar across the board.
Motorola Moto Z2 Force vs Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Conclusion
The Motorola Moto Z2 Force offers a tougher build compared to the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, as well as more powerful hardware and dual-cameras. It has the same size and resolution display as the other two models, though it does move to next generation ShatterShield for better screen protection.
Despite a battery decrease on the Moto Z Force, the Moto Z2 Force offers a number of improvements, especially when compared to the Moto Z. Pricing for the UK has yet to be announced but it is at least thought to be coming, unlike the Moto Z Force.