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Motorola Moto Z2 Force Review

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Motorola Moto Z2 Force Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • Shatterproof and bright 5.5-inch display
  • Latest Snapdragon processor
  • Incredible dual-lens 12MP camera
  • Incredible 64GB internal storage capacity
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Compatible with various moto mods
  • Incredibly slim

Overview

After a successful year with modular phones that were introduced with the Moto Z series, Motorola has yet again introduced a new modular phone to the market. The Moto Z2 Force is the newer sibling Moto Z Force Droid and the Moto Z Droid, which were 2016 Motorola flagships. While the two previous flagships were incredible, they proved that modular phones can also make it to flagship status. The Moto Z2 Force is a replacement for the two flagship gadgets and it tries to blend the best of their specifications into one.

For once, we have an Android phone with a shatterproof display, which is arguably one of the best features of the Moto Z2 Force. Similarly, to other 2017 flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Moto Z2 Force ships with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and Adreno 540 GPU. Let's dive into the review.

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Unboxing

The Moto Z2 Force is available from US CellularVerizon Wireless, Sprint Wireless websites, and a GSM unlocked version from Motorola website. When I got my package, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. Opening the box, I was greeted with the beautiful Moto Z2 Force. Just like the Google Pixel 2, I noticed the phone did not have a headphone jack, luckily Motorola offers an adapter to take care of that.

What's in the box?

  • One Moto Z2 Force
  • SIM ejector tool
  • A turbocharging wall adapter plug
  • USB Type-c cable
  • USB-C to 3.5-millimeter headphone jack adapter
  • USB-C to standard USB cable adapter
  • Quick reference guide
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Design

'Incredibly Thin Device' has apparently become the motto of Motorola. Looking at their previous Z series phones, the Moto Z2 Force follows in their form factor with an incredibly thin profile. Coming in at only 6.1mm, the phone is 1mm thinner than its 2016 sibling, the Moto Z Force. Despite being a 5.5-inch device, the phone fits perfectly in hand hence easy for one-handed operation. It's also light, weighing only 5.04 oz. The phone is available in three colors: Super Black, Fine Gold, Lunar Grey.

Unlike last year's glass bodied Moto Z Force, the Moto Z2 Force takes a metal unibody design. The back is made from a 7,000-series aluminum hence extremely tough and durable. The rear panel has a hairline finish giving the device an attractive finish. The back-panel design is typical of Z series gadgets. The 16-pin magnet panel for attaching Moto Mods sits on the bottom end of the back cover. The top of the back cover has the dual-lens camera and the flash, with a slight hump which is forgivable because of the phone's thin profile.

While most 2017 flagships are running away from bezels, the Moto Z2 Force has some slightly thin bezels to the left and right edges. The top bezel has enough room to hold the front camera lens, the proximity sensor, and the LED flash. The bottom bezel has the multi-functional fingerprint scanner as well as your microphone. The right edge has the volume rockers as well as the power button. The bottom edge has the USB-C port while the top edge has the SIM/microSD tray. The phone lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Camera

The biggest highlight of the Motorola Moto Z2 Force is the dual-lens 12MP camera on the back. So far, the dual lens camera setup has been a trend of the recent flagships as seen in the Galaxy Note 8. The two lenses combine to shoot high resolution and quality images. One of the sensors is equipped with a new depth effect that allows you to take portrait photos with a blurred background. In the camera app, this feature is referred to as Portrait Mode. The camera app remains unchanged, and since this phone runs stock Android, it's pretty easy to get your way around the app.

The camera shoots videos up to 4K at 30fps. It can also shoot 1080p videos at 120fps. The videos come out bright on the Z2 Force with a great color reproduction. Pictures are also very bright with no noticeable amount of saturation.

The front shooter is a 5MP with a f/2.2 aperture sensor that does the job incredibly well. Unlike most phones, the Moto Z2 Force has a LED flash on both front and back cameras. This makes taking selfies in low light conditions a smooth process. 

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Display

The Moto Z2 Force boasts a shatterproof 5.5-inch AMOLED screen. The major highlight is that this screen is not glass but a thick layer plastic with Shattershield technology hence completely shatterproof. The screen is a quad high definition with a resolution of 2560 X 1440 and pixel density of 535ppi. It packs typical characteristics of an AMOLED display which include the deep dark blacks, vibrant colors, and excellent contrasts.

It's extremely responsive to touch and works well when watching content on YouTube, video apps, browsing the web, or playing games. The bezels around it allow for better grip. It's visible even in bright sunlight hence making the phone perfect to use in whatever lighting condition. A 360-degree Moto mod camera is also available to enhance your picture and video capture experience, although sold separately.

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Battery

Working to get an extremely slim device, meant a sacrifice had to be made somewhere. The sacrifice falls on the battery. While last year's Moto Z Force has a 3500mAh, the Moto Z2 Force packs only 2700mAh. The Moto Z2 Force may not go two days like it's sibling, but it can achieve a full workday with light usage. Luckily the phone supports turbocharging which will give several hours of use with less than 30 minutes of charge. The available battery pack Moto Mod, although sold separately, can give you double the battery life hence a welcome idea.

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Storage

The Moto Z2 packs incredible memory options. An internal storage of 64GB means you can store all your necessary files and songs without worrying about running out of storage. But in case 64GB is not sufficient, the phone has a microSD card that surprisingly supports a memory card of up to 2TB. While I am only operating with the internal storage, having an option to increase it to 2TB feels great. This means you can have as many video files and games installed as possible.

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Performance

Regarding performance, the phone is a beast. Shipping with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, there's literally nothing the phone won't handle. It has the best graphics processor, Adreno 540 that will play all intensive games include the virtual reality ones without stuttering.

Coming with stock Android 7.1 Nougat, the software experience on the Moto Z2 Force can be compared to that you get on Google Phones. The experience is pure with no bloatware, save for a few Sprint or Verizon Wireless apps.

With the latest processor and the incredible RAM, the phone performed incredibly well: apps launch faster, multi-tasking capabilities are incredible, and I didn't notice any lagging even with so many apps open in the background.

Another impressive feature of the Moto Z2 Force is the appropriately placed fingerprint scanner, on the bottom bezel, just below the display. It's easily accessible and super-fast in unlocking your phone. While there are floating navigation buttons embedded in the Operating System, a setting is available to make the fingerprint scanner carry out the navigation function. This totally impressed me.

The Moto Z2 Force is compatible with all Moto Mods. I tested the Moto 360 camera Mod and it was thrilling. The gadget has the USB-C port, as typical of all 2017 flagships, which is incredibly fast in copying data. 4G LTE has become a standard on flagship and even midrange phones. This paired with Verizon's fast internet, the Moto Z2 Force download speeds were blazing fast.

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Specifications

  • Wi-Fi /GSM /HSPA /4G LTE.
  • 5.5-inch P-OLED capacitive touchscreen.
  • Android 7.1 Nougat.
  • Back Camera: Dual: 12 MP (f/2.0), laser & phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash.
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, dual-LED (dual tone) flash.
  • Battery: 2730mAh Non-removable Li-Ion.
  • Internal storage: 64GB.
  • RAM: 4GB.
  • Processor: Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo).
  • Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835.
  • GPU: Adreno 540.
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), proximity, gyro, accelerometer, compass, barometer.
  • GPS/A-GPS.
  • USB Type-C.
  • NFC.
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Motorola Moto Z2 Force Accessories