It's been a long wait for the next phone in the Moto Force series, but it's finally here! Lenovo has announced the arrival of the new generation in the series with the Moto Z2 Force, which replaces the older Moto Z and aims to win over even the most demanding of users.
release date and price
The Moto Z2 Force was announced by Lenovo on August 24. The device hit the market with a price tag of $720 without any Mods, so you might want to look into getting this one through your carrier. The model will be sold in Super Black, Fine Gold and Lunar Grey (this one is only for T-Mobile customers though).
Some new Mods have also been announced and will be sold separately:
- Snap Camera 360: makes videos with 3D audio and comes with an app to edit videos in 360 degrees
- Snap Gamepad: controller with analog and virtual buttons for your smartphone
design and build quality
The Moto Z2 Force is reminiscent of the Z2 Play in terms of its appearance. The body is made of aluminum and the rear camera comes in its trademark circular and slightly protruding module. What impressed me a lot, but which also bothered me a little, was the lightness of the device. In my opinion, such a light weight doesn't convey a feeling of robustness that I would expect from a Moto device. But perhaps this was only because my last reference in the Force series was the Moto X Force, which is 30 grams heavier than this new model.
In terms of ergonomics, Moto Z2 Play seemed pretty solid upon first impressions. Watch out with the black color variant though, because it's an absolute fingerprint magnet and scratches are very visible with this color.
About the camera module: it is identical to the Moto G5S Plus, only slightly thinner. Motorola can't change the size or shape to much, because it must retain its compatibility with Moto Mods.
During the event, it was possible to play a bit rough with the Moto Z2 Force. I looked closely at the screens of three models that were knocked down several times. There were a few scratches, but no screens were cracked or broken. Although the screen was built to be drop resistant, risk of breakage can't be ruled out completely.
The Moto Z2 Force screen is 1,440 x 2,560 pixels and is a P-OLED panel. The difference from this panel to traditional ones of the same technology is flexibility, since the P-OLED is specially developed to be designed in models with curves on the front. It is said to make the ShatterShield structure more resistant to falls with different pressures. We've already talked about ShatterShield technology here on the site, in the review of the Droid Turbo 2.
Basically, it is a layered panel, where the base is made of aluminum, through glass plates and the touchscreen layer, and it comes with scratch protection. With the Moto X Force, Motorola offered a special risk guarantee on it, but nothing has been mentioned so far about the same coverage for the Z2 Force.
The Moto Z2 Force ships with Android 7.1.1, and according to Motorola, it will receive Android Oreo sometime next year. The UI isn’t the same as the Moto Z2 Play, with rounded icons and other questionable changes. The camera app differs a bit, as it has added features having to do with the dual camera.
The Moto Z2 Force for the US market comes with 4 GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 835 processor. There’s 64 GB of internal storage, and everything ran smoothly when I tested it briefly. Just like the Moto Z, the Z2 Force doesn’t have a headphone jack - you have to use the USB Type-C port instead.
The rear dual camera has two lenses, one color and one monochrome. Both are 12 MP, with autofocus, phase detection, and an f / 2.0 aperture. Motorola says that the black and white sensor enhances the sharpness of photos and optimized the dynamic range. The photos taken in this mode left a good impression on me.
Like the Moto G5S Plus, the Z2 Force can take photos with a bokeh effect which can be adjusted according to user preference. This mode worked well during the tests I did, much better than the G5S+, but I still see the need for an update that improves the recognition between the two depths.
The front camera has 5 MP and an f / 2.2 aperture, along with an LED flash. It does a good job, but it’s nothing exciting. The wide angle lets you fit more people into a selfie.
It is somewhat contradictory that a device with 4 GB of RAM and the most powerful processor on the market has only 2,730 mAh of battery. Unfortunately, this is the case for the Moto Z2 Force, which is 800mAh short of the previous generation.
Motorola has chosen to sacrifice battery capacity in its high-end models to make them thinner. Personally, I think this issue goes beyond aesthetics, and it's more about the Moto Mods. Some Moto Mods in this generation have extra batteries, which is evidence supporting my theory.
The Moto Z2 Force is built on the same idea as its predecessor: drop resistance. This generation has support for Moto Mods, a dual camera, and a user-friendly look comprised of aluminum in stylish colors.
In fact, it’s a smartphone with few drawbacks, at least at first glance. What can’t go unnoticed though is the 2,730 mAh battery capacity, which doesn’t match up with the powerful specs.
Our full review of the Moto Z2 Force will be published soon. What do you want to find out about the device?