- MotoMods add further to price
- Poor low-light camera performance
- ShatterShield display prone to scratches
- No headphone jack
Moto’s Z-series continues to redefine mobile phones with their modular add-ons and exclusive features. Their latest release is more refinement than revolutionary. So after a few generations on the market, is the Moto Z2 Force showing Moto hitting their stride?
Reviewers have had a few weeks with their phones. Let’s see what they think!
Due to supporting previous MotoMods, the design of the Moto Z2 Force is similar to its predecessors. However, reviewers were quick to point out how thin the phone is and how comfortable the rounded edges rests in the hand.
With an aluminum chassis, the phone is also light and appears sturdy.
Some reviewers felt this lightness was more problem than benefit. Chipchick said, “… without a Mod on the back, the exposed back feels cheap, and the phone feels so thin and light that sometimes it felt like a strong gust of wind would rip it out of my grasp.”
As with previous designs, you’ll also find the MotoMod connector at the bottom of the phone’s backplate.
Heading around front, you’re greeted by a 5.5-inch 1440p OLED display. The screen received ample praise with Android Police describing as, “beautiful to look at with accurate colors, [with] better viewing angles than last year's Force, and enough brightness to be visible outdoors.”
It also features Moto’s ShatterShield technology. This plastic coating makes the phone resistant to cracking due to falls or drops.
Yet, reviewers found that the coating also made the phone prone to scratching. Business Insider noted, “You do not want to put this phone in the same pocket as your keys. Again, in trying to solve one problem (in this case, breakable glass), Motorola has created an even bigger one.”
Reviews take an upswing again for performance. With a 2.35Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor and 4 to 6GB of RAM (depending on your region), the phone goes toe to toe with 2017’s biggest releases.
Android Authority described performance as, “fluid and responsive with fast app load times, smooth scrolling, and a seamless multitasking experience.”
The phone ships with Android 7.1 Nougat. With 64 to 128GB of internal storage (again, depending on your region), there’s plenty of room to keep your favorite apps and media on-hand.
However, some reviewers noted an abundance of bloatware. Many review models included as much as 17GB of software pre-installed out of the box.
If you need to expand your storage, support for microSD cards up to 2TB makes it cheap and easy.
If you’re looking to take pictures with your phone, reviews are mixed. The 12MP dual-lens rear camera takes good shots in well-lit situations, but has issues as lighting drops. Android Authority attributes this to a lack of optical image stabilization. Some reviews also had issues with slow shutter speeds occasionally.
While the 5MP front-facing lens received high marks, the beautification mode was hit or miss for many reviewers.
On paper, the Moto Z2 Force appears to take a significant hit in battery life compared to its predecessors. Fortunately, reviewers found that even with a smaller 2,730mAh battery, the phone lasted a full day for most. However, many were quick to recommend a spare charger for heavy phone users.
If you should find yourself low on power, the included TurboCharge adapter saw full recharges in around an hour with a substantial top-off available in as little as 20 minutes.
Despite these points, reviewers had trouble recommending the phone. Most of their concern related to price. While adding MotoMods allows the phone to compete with other flagships on camera, battery life and other aspects, they add to the cost. When the phone is already priced similar to top tier offerings before accessories, the value is questionable.
ChipChick summed up opinions well, saying, “It’d be wrong to say the Moto Z2 Force is a bad phone — it’s an exceptional performer, the camera is at least satisfactory, and the lightweight UI is pleasant to use. But, [at its price], it’s just not good enough to compete with every other Android phone at that price.”