Motorola’s smartphone with the nearly indestructible screen is back, now it’s on every major US carrier. With flagship specs, and most definitely a flagship price, the Lenovo-owned company has announced the Moto Z2 Force, the successor to last year’s Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Force. If goes on sale August 10th and preorders begin today itself.
Never having to worry about breaking your phone’s screen is a nice relief, as Moto Z2 Force doubles the camera setup and keeps the shatterproof screen alive. The availability of the smartphone is on every (four) carriers in the US.
The Moto Z2 Force is the closest thing to a flagship phone that Motorola has released this year. Specifications-wise, the hardware’s inside is integrated with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It runs Android 7.1 Nougat with a promised upgrade to Android O to come later on.
This version is much thinner when compared to last year’s Z Force phone. The Moto Z2 Force is certainly expensive at around $720. It’s priced even higher on some carriers like AT&T ($810). Also sleeker design comes with a significant sacrifice in battery capacity; the Z2 Force has a 2,730mAh batter compared to the 3500mAh battery on old Moto Z Force.
Fortunately, there is no headphone jack on this new thing either, so be prepared to go wireless or live the dongle life. Three things set the Z2 Force apart from other high-end Android handsets: the screen, the camera system, and MotoMods. While the main selling point is that it’s got a display that won’t shatter or crack from everyday falls. It’s not edge-to-edge, but it’s tough.
Motorola calls this technology used on Z2 Force ShatterShield. The tradefoff of ShatterShield is that since the front layer is plastic, it’ll scratch much easier than other phones. Motorola is said to replace that front “lens” if it gets bad enough; the company let users do this themselves with prior Force phones, but not this year.
The Z2 Force has a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, which Motorola even offers warranty against shattering and cracking of shatterproof display and embedded lens for 4 years. It has a 6.1mm slim body made of 7000 series aluminum to make sure the Z2 Force’s svelte frame won’t buckle or bend under stress.
The smartphone has 12MP dual rear camera sensors, one monochrome and one color that offer blur effect to the background or foreground of images using depth of field. With that said, the Z2 Force’s two 12-megapixel f/2.0 cameras, got phase detection and laser autofocus, though the manufacturer makes no mention of any optical stabilization. The cameras are designed to work together to create higher-quality images than what you’d get from just a single unit.
Similar to Apple’s Portrait mode, Motorola has used to add depth-in-field effects like blurring the object background. There is a “True B&W” mode too, which uses just the monochrome sensor to capture a “true” black-and-white image instead of simulating the look with software. It looks like Motorola finally has something that can hold its own against the Pixel, Galaxy S8, LG G6, HTC U11, and so on. There’s still a flash up front for the 5MP selfie camera.
Now that another hardware key feature of the Z2 Force would be that it works with all existing MotoMods. It seems like Motorola and its carrier partners will be very precise to sell you a battery pack to compensate for that reduced battery size. While the company behind Moto Z2 Force is formally launching its own 360-degree camera MotoMod today, which generally records 3D audio in addition to the usual impressive visual perspective.
Other cons and pros:
Unusually, international models of the Moto Z2 Force have better specs that what US carriers will be selling right now. Outside the US, the phone includes 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Note this that there’s still a dedicated microSD card support, so the storage difference isn’t a big issue. More RAM memory is always nice though.
The color choices are black, white/gold, and lunar gray options that’s exclusive to T-Mobile. The phone ships with Bluetooth 4.2, but Motorola says it will be upgraded to Bluetooth 5.0 when the Android 8.0 O update arrives this fall. Neat!
However, the Z2 Force isn’t water-resistant like the Galaxy S8 or LG G6, but nevertheless, it does have the same “water protection” nanocoating as other Moto phones to gaurd against emergency spills and maybe a light mist of rain. Never, ever take it swimming, and don’t expect it to survive toilet baths.
You’ll get a free Insta-Share Projector MotoMod with purchase for a limited time. That asking price sure does feel huge when you really consider the OnePlus 5 and often-on-sale Galaxy S8.
Update x1: The front layer on this year’s Moto Z2 Force cannot be user-replaced. Keep it in mind!
Finally, the Moto Z2 Force comes in Fine Gold and Super Black colors. Without contract or with $30 per month contract and free Moto Insta-Share Protector MotoMod costs $799. The Moto Z2 Force is available to pre-order from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S Cellular, Verizon, Best Buy and Motorola.com. It will be available for purchase starting August 10th. Next iteration will be in Mexico, Brazil and various countries in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa later in summer.
- Shoot, edit, and share 360° video, audio, and images (with an ultra wide-angle 150° field of view) — right from your phone
- Capture immersive Ultra HD video with 3D sound
- Instantly share or livestream to your social networks
The Moto 360 Camera will be available globally at $299 US Dollars from 10th August, 2017. Share you thoughts.