The Moto Z2 Force is sort of a mixed bag. In some areas, there are notable and significant improvements to last year's design. In others, there are a few questionable changes that can sour the experience. Despite the high asking price, the Moto Z2 Force is still a solid smartphone alternative to the titans like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel.
Preferring to borrow from its competitors' successes and innovate little on its own part, the Z2 Force is an exceptional, albeit uninspired, handset that will please the average cell phone user.
Thinking of purchasing a Z2 Force? Let's walk through some of the key features.
Standing tall and just over 6", the Moto Z2 Force is a large handset that comes packed with several system improvements, cosmetic tweaks, and a suite of customizable MotoMods. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8, the bezels are still apparent at the top, bottom, and sides, bringing the screen size to a respectable 5.5" Quad HD display. It's slimmer than most flagship handsets, however, that's canceled out by the chunky, often obtrusive magnetic MotoMods.
However, the device is extremely lightweight at only 5 ounces, and the flat, non-curved back make the heft of the phone with add-ons attached quite manageable.
The most notable part of the Z2 Force's exterior is its shatterproof design. Coupled with a durable aluminum unibody, the Motorola guarantees you won't get a cracked screen for up to four years. Despite this, the Z2 Force is not scratch-proof, waterproof, or shock resistant. And if you're looking for a headphone jack, you won't find one here. However, Motorola does pack a USB-C to headphone converter in the box.
On the front, the Z2 Force comes with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display boasting a resolution of 2560x1440 that results in a pixel density of 535 ppi. The AMOLED screen brings all of the usual characteristics that you would expect like vibrant colors, deep dark blacks, and excellent contrast. The display works wonderfully for browsing the web, playing games, and watching videos. In most situations, it looks fantastic, but it does become tough to read under direct sunlight.
Under the hood, you'll find that the Z2 Force is a beastly smartphone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor easily handles launching multiple web pages or the most intensive apps and makes multitasking a breeze. It comes with 4GB of RAM which makes each touch, tap, and swipe snappy and responsive. The 64GB of internal storage lets you store more of your favorite apps, games, and videos, and includes room for more with a microSD card.
The Z2 Force runs on the Android Nougat OS, and the Motorola skin adds some extra apps and features you can toy around with. The Verizon version comes with additional bloatware and apps we'll never use, which unfortunately cannot be uninstalled, just disabled.
Motorola has jumped on the popular smartphone trend of adding an additional rear camera. The two 12 MP shooters pack a lot of editing and sharing features, and the photos are color accurate and detailed. Images do come in slightly blurry and soft in low-lighting or with slight movement, however, due to a lack of optical image stabilization. The biggest issue with the rear cameras is the insane shutter lag between tapping the button and the device actually taking the picture. It doesn't always happen, but it's frequent enough to hinder the experience. Frankly, modern smartphones this powerful (and expensive) should have zero shutter lag.
When it comes to MotoMods, not much has changed following the Z2 Force's predecessors. There's a lot of variety here, such as Style Shells, battery packs, projectors, and cameras. Unfortunately, they're all fairly expensive, and often unused.
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