Lenovo/Motorola has announced the successor of the Moto Z just a couple of days ago – the Moto Z2 Force. The new Motorola flagship looks promising at first sight but once you take a minute to read the specification sheet, you will soon realise the few downgrades over its predecessor.

SPECIFICATIONS & HARDWARE

The specifications for the Moto Z2 are real flagship worthy specs, expect the downgrades and sacrifices Motorola made in order to keep it stylish and slim, but more on that later.

The Moto Z2 force features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.

The device will be sold in the United States, South America, parts of Europe and Asia, so connectivity across the world should not be an issue fortunately.

The Z2 Force supports Bluetooth 4.2 with 5.0 support that is coming in the next major Android 8.0 update as well as USB-C on the bottom. Unfortunately Motorola Moto Z2 Force doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but at least it does bundle an adapter in the box if you happen to need one for your beloved 3.5mm compatible headphones.

NFC is also on-board, so you will fortunately be able to make payments via Android Pay at wireless terminals.

The battery has been reduced by a large 9% over its predecessor. To take that into numbers, the Moto Z had a 3500 mAh battery while the new flagship only has 2730 mAh. A 15W Turbo charger is also included in the box, so topping up the device should not be a major issue. Also, buying a compatible, Qualcomm certified fast charger should also top up the device just as fast, something to keep in mind.

DESIGN

The Z2 Force’s design is nearly identical to last year’s Moto Z2. Motorola made some worthy and much welcome changes to the corners, fingerprint sensor and on the back of the device to make it look more seamless and sleek. These are definitely worthy upgrades for the aesthetics.

But, the slim design at the cost of the battery may not be everyone’s favourite thing to shrink down. Motorola offers extra Battery MotoMods, but they of course cost extra to purchase.

The device has a reinforced 7000 series aluminium body that should not bend and should give a premium feel overall for the device.

Unfortunately, as you can see, the device doesn’t follow the trendy 18:9 aspect ratio that can be found on the LG G6 or the Galaxy S8 devices nowadays, but nevertheless, you still get some goodies packed on the front that you otherwise can’t find on other flagship devices – the question is, do those features matter so much to have the same ‘old’ big bezels on the front of the device? We’ll let you take charge and answer it.

The Z2 Force is also not certified for against water or dust, so be careful when using your device next to a pool or while washing the dishes. Fortunately, the device is covered in water repellant nano coating, so it should at least prevent any damages against rain and drops of water on your device.

DISPLAY

The Display is the highlight of the new device. It is advertised as “Shatterproof” which all on its own should make you feel comfortable against accidental drops. The display contains an extra shatter resistant layer on top of the display to prevent shattering.

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The display is a 5,5″ QHD POLED (~534ppi) display that should (on paper) have great sunlight visibility and produce vivid but realistic colours.

The resolution is large enough at 1440×2560, so there’s a chance that the device might even qualify to be Daydream VR capable in the near future.

The fingerprint sensor can be found right underneath the display. It is finally a rounded fingerprint sensor unlike the square one that can be found on last year’s flagship, we must admit, this one looks and suits the device a lot better than the previous generation one did on the Moto Z.

But the aesthetics of the fingerprint sensor doesn’t mean that it’s improved a lot. The unlocking process takes a whopping 750 milliseconds – this means that other devices in the ‘flagship’ territory are significantly faster. Just a small thing to keep in mind.

SOFTWARE

There really isn’t much to mention here, the software is pure Android with some great built-in Motorola features. The device comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat – the latest version of Android.

The Motorola ‘goodies’ are the same features that could be found on previous Moto devices such as: twist to open the camera, check notifications while the phone is unlocked and not woken up and chopping the phone to turn on the flashlight. These features are great and we are happy to see them on the new flagship.

The Fingerprint sensor can also be used to make swipes and perhaps other gestures to do certain actions.

Check out the features in real-use in the video down below.

Moto Mods

Motorola has a big bet on their own magnetic Moto Mods. We feel like they want to Force you to buy them to make the device function all-in-all together in one piece. (pun intended)

Last year, Motorola has promised that their future devices will be compatible with the Moto Mods they have released last year – and Motorola kept their promise by including a few Mods this year that are 100% compatible with the new Z2 Force. Also, the new Moto Mods will be compatible with last year’s Moto Z devices. definitely a great thing to see!

There are currently two new mods available for the new flagship:

The first one is a GamePad MotoMod that does exactly what it says. It allows you to turn your phone into a GamePad with joysticks and buttons on each side to play driving, shooter and many other compatible games on your device while not covering the screen with your fingers. The GamePad also has a 3.5mm headphone jack port, in case you want to play quietly.

The second MotoMod is a 360 degree camera. The camera can be attached to the phone via the same magnetic connector that can be found on the back, bottom of the device. A slightly large camera can be found on top of the device that will allow you to take photos or videos as well as to stream via the sensors – all while the footage is being processed on the device, even if the footage is recorded in 4K – pretty powerful.

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The Moto 360 degree Mod will cost $299.99 when it becomes available on 10 August in the US.

CAMERA

Motorola has jumped on the dual-camera bandwagon just like other manufacturers did. Motorola has opted for a Huawei like camera setup including one sensor for capturing RGB colours while the other one stays Monochrome. This should produce better depth and better black and white images through the dual 12MP f/2.0 lens setup.

The camera also consists of features such as ‘Portrait mode’ that is called “depth-enabled” feature here. It will give you similar bokeh effects that you can find on the iPhone 7, OnePlus 5 or the Huawei P10.

The camera also has PDAF, Laser Auto Focus and 4K capabilities but unfortunately no OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) We are curious to find out how the Electronic Image Stabilisation will do the job once we get a chance to get a hold on the device.

It’s also notable to mention that the camera sensor sticks out quiet a bit on the back of the device, something to keep in mind also.

The selfie shooter is a 5 megapixel f/2.2 front camera with LED flash mounted above the display, right next to the earpiece.

CONCLUSION

As a conclusion, we like the new aesthetics of the new Moto Z2 Force and the much improved front design and new mods, but certainly not the price and the thin design that cost ‘precious’ battery life.

The phone will be sold in the US, Brazil, Mexico, parts of Europe and Middle East and Africa.

The phone will be available in Super Black and Fire Gold. T-Mobile will have the exclusive Lunar Grey colour available too.

The phone will luckily have support for last year’s MotoMods, and last year’s Moto Z will of course be compatible with the ones released this year, an upgrade over to the new flagship is questionable at this moment.

We like that Motorola is trying out different things that show a really unique phone with some great MotoMods, but it’s questionable if the phone itself and the Mods are priced so excessively. Sacrificing the battery life over a thin device is most probably everyone’s nightmare and if you want to change that, you can most likely only do it by purchasing a battery Mod that make you pay extra for something that should be available for a device that costs $750-799*. (*depending on which carrier you purchase it from, these deals may also include a MotoMod, so be sure to check out the deals from various stores before making up your mind)

We certainly feel like Lenovo/Motorola is going to the bad direction with the changes, but at the same time we are happy to see some great improvements made to the MotoMods in terms of offering more and better mods over time as well as to see the software changes.

You can pre-order the Moto Z2 Force starting today in the US.

What are your thoughts about the new Moto Z2 Force? Let us know in the comments down below!

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