Moto Z2 Force review

This year, in the second generation of Moto Z smartphones no separation on the Z and Z Force line. Motorola significantly cut the thickness of Z Force and positions it as a top modular smartphone. Will this decision right?

Your attention is offered an overview of the smartphone from Phonearena from August 3, 2017. Original can be found here

Introduction

Do buyers like smartphones have a large selection? Up to a certain extent is like this: the choice allows you to buy the best smartphone and reduce the risk of unsuccessful purchase. When the company produces the device in two different sizes, it is considered a plus. Some can buy compact 5-inch apparatus, other larger with 5.7 inches screen.

However, if we are talking about modular smartphones, the presence of different models is not so justified. For example, you can look at last year's Moto Z devices from Motorola : Then a very thin Moto Z was released and more imaginary Moto Z Force with a larger battery.

If the hardware characteristics of the smartphone are final at the time of exit from the factory, such a difference makes sense, but in the Moto Z rule you can always buy more thin Smartphone and add to it External battery using the MOTO MODS connector.

It is so users and came. This year comes out the second generation of Moto Z smartphones and the difference between the new Moto Z and the new Moto Z Force is no longer. The latter has become much thinner and represents the best modular apparatus of this year.

Is this the right decision? Did Moto Z2 Force got the best features of two lines? Let's get a look.

Package contents

  • Moto Z2 Force smartphone;
  • Turbo Power Adapter;
  • Cable USB-C > USB-A;
  • USB headphone adapter;
  • User Manual;
  • Warranty;
  • Safety booklet;
  • SIM eject tool;

Design

The new Moto Z smartphone has many similarities to previous models. Support for modules means the need to produce devices of a certain size and shape. To keep the modules compatible with the ever-increasing number of smartphones, a variety of looks has to be sacrificed.

For this reason, the Moto Z2 Force is similar to both last year's Moto Z models and to the recently released Moto Z2 Play. It is with the latter that the maximum similarity is, since both devices have the same elongated fingerprint scanner under the 5.5-inch screen, with which you can control the interface with gestures. However, there is a difference, since the new smartphone is noticeably thicker.

Last year's Moto Z was only 5.19mm thick. The first Moto Z Force raised this figure to 7mm. This year Motorola decided to take an intermediate value: the thickness of the Moto Z2 Play is 6mm, and the Moto Z2 Force is 6.1mm.

On the one hand, this consistency is a positive thing, allowing you to choose between two smartphones based on price and functionality, not appearance. At the same time, it's disappointing, especially since the Moto Z2 Force doesn't have what the Z2 Play offers. The thicker handset doesn't have a headphone jack, although the Moto Z2 Play does. Also, a thinner smartphone has a 10% higher battery capacity. We will talk about the consequences of these decisions below, but from the point of view of appearance, they do not make sense.

These controversies aside, this year's thinner Force has shed an extra 20g. Weight can increase when modules are installed, so without them, the smartphone should be as light as possible.

Another design difference from last year's model is the edges, which are now gently rounded with a slight curve from front to back. In the model of the first generation there was a decent peak in the middle of the edges, which could be used as a capture point. Now it is not that it does not prevent conveniently hold the housing in the hand.

The Moto MODS interface is located at the top, the back of the rear cameras is located at the top. Their placement is familiar to Moto Z devices, but the difference here is the use of a double rear chamber. The device is made in an aluminum monolithic case, the rear surface is smoothly polished, there is no relief coating.

Motorola again uses a nano-coating to protect the chains inside the case from water, but does not protect the device from water from entering the water. As a result, there is no protection rating IP68, which would allow immersing the smartphone into water for half an hour, as the devices Galaxy S8 or LG G6. Despite this, the internal components must survive a small squirrel.

Thus, the design is no special design, you can only call the lack of a headphone connector. This model looks less inspirational than flagship smartphones Moto 2016.

Screen

Like other representatives of the Moto Z lineup, the novelty has a 5.5-inch screen with a suitable flagship Resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. The main thing is not the size and density of pixels, but impact resistance.

Like the original Moto Z Force, Z2 uses plastic in its OLED screen, made using the Shattershield technology, as a result of which the panel should not be cracked when dropping. It sounds like a big advantage compared to competing smartphones.

The screen quality is at a high level. The image is clear, the colors are saturated, at least in one of the operating modes. By default, this ViBrant mode is set.

The color rendition is at a good level by measurements AMOLED, where saturation is always high. Here users will see intensive shades, but not so that it was impossible to use the screen.

The brightness is a more controversial parameter. The maximum value exceeds 500 yars, but only with automatic adjustment. Approximately half of the smartphones also behave, but here the maximum value with manual brightness is very low. Similarly, last year's Moto Z and Moto Z Force behave.

In general, the screen is excellent: let it not be perfect, but not inferior to other flagship apparatus. Impact resistance is its advantage. ShatterShield technology will protect the screen when the plastic uses instead of fragile glass. This is done at the expense of a price that may be too high for many buyers.

There's a reason many smartphones are protected by glass, that reason is durability. In case of strong impacts or falls from a great height, glass can break, but it tolerates minor damage better than plastic. It is worth briefly vilifying the Moto Z2 Force in your pocket, as scratches begin to appear on the screen. Their appearance is inevitable, even if you use your smartphone very carefully.

In addition, the plastic coating results in a loss of aesthetic quality. Usually the glass screen displays everything around as a mirror. In this case, the reflections are distorted. The plastic does not look well suited to the front of the smartphone and when you press on different points, you can hear a characteristic crackle and see the deformation. Of course, it's better to bend than break, but the feeling is not what you expect from a smartphone priced over $700.

Interface and functionality

As usual with Motorola devices, a close to clean version of Android is used. Also, traditionally, advanced control using gestures is offered here. By learning them in the Moto app, you can master the interface more conveniently.

Gestures allow you to perform a variety of actions, from turning on the flashlight to getting rid of the Android on-screen buttons and transferring their functionality to the fingerprint scanner. It will take a couple of days to remember which gesture means "Back" and which one opens the application list.

Moto Display allows you to check notifications without having to wake up your smartphone. The device can automatically detect when the hand is close to the screen, and is highlighted in advance, after which the smartphone does not have to be touched. This is done using ultrasonic sensors, resulting in a cleaner appearance than when using infrared sensors.

It's not the first time Motorola has used Moto Voice, but it brings something new every time. Now you can use the spoken language to ask your smartphone to show the weather or calendar. The implementation is not yet the most elegant, you will have to learn how to issue commands by memorizing half a dozen phrases. There is a noticeable amount of time after you have spoken a phrase before the smartphone responds. You can wait, but I would like to see an indicator that the command is recognized.

Processor and Memory

Although the modules, a shockproof screen and voice commands themselves are capable of becoming reasons for buying this device, he still turned out to be The fastest Android smartphone. Synthetic benchmarks can not show the whole picture, but in this case the device is stably leading in different tests. Moto Z2 Force is ahead of other smartphones on the processor SNAPDRAGON 835, such as Galaxy S8 and HTC U11.

The amount of memory here is 4/64 GB, supported microSD. Such a volume of RAM is now far from the biggest, so it is not clear that it gives the smartphone such an advantage in performance.

It is noticeable and in everyday use in real conditions, which, taking into account the high thickness and weight of the smartphone, is particularly nice. Sometimes the interface is shown in the interface, therefore additional software optimization is required.

Communication

Since this is a flagship apparatus, with support for communication standards there is no problem. It can work in networks LTE, connect to Wi-Fi 802.11 A / B / G / N / AC, there is Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC and USB type C.

It is usually unknown, to wait from the new smartphone in the photograph plan. Easy to predict the processor, screen, memory, but the camera can always present a surprise.

Last year, Moto Z used the main chamber of 13 MP, on Moto Z Force 21 MP. In both cases were optical stabilization, the f / 1.8 lights allowed to collect a lot of light. Now the developers decided to offer a double chamber.

Two Sensor for 12 MP are used, the pixel size has grown compared to last year's, one sensor removes the color image, another black and white. We have already seen such a combination before, it looks less flexible than two full color chambers with a different focal length, but are able to issue impressive photos.

Image quality

The first Moto Z was an excellent camera, although the cameras were not claimed on the title of the best in 2016. It did not bother them without effort to issue high-quality photos.

Despite the lack of optical image stabilization, the same MOTO Z2 Force makes the same. Here we see well balanced exposure, natural colors and a clear focus. At the good level there are images with weak lighting, for which you need to thank the monochrome sensor and its ability to capture additional brightness.

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The best photos are obtained by automatically using the mode HDR, which perfectly manifests itself with landscaped shooting, exciting objects as on Earth, so and clouds. This feature has limitations, it cannot be used with black and white shooting.

Double chamber allows you to apply some photographic effects, including blurring background. As in other smartphones, the effect is impaired.

besides tricks with a distance, you can use a selective color system. The background can be left black and white or removed at all.

Video shoot

No optical stabilization is a minus, but two chambers of 12 MPs provide good details, and the electronic stabilization is responsible for the lack of shaking. All this works even when shooting in 4K or 1080p format at a frequency of 60 frames per second, which is not on all smartphones.

On paper opportunities in terms of shooting video at Z2 Force, good, but in practice there are several problems. Stabilization helps to align the video when driving, but the recording itself comes out of the dörgan, especially if the shot is black and white. The video resolution seems smaller than it actually looks blurry.

The advantages include good sound quality when shooting video. If we talk to the camera, the voice comes out clear and intelligible, even if there is noise.

Multimedia

As already mentioned, the screen has a lot of advantages, not counting the scratches on it. He is clear, pretty bright and gives saturated colors. All this is useful when watching a video, which also contributes to a good sound.

Like other Moto smartphones, this one has a single front speaker that is part of the ear shell. This allows you to reduce the number of hardware components and make the smartphone thinner, but it negatively affects the sound quality. As usual in smartphones, there is not enough bass depth, the same problem exists in Moto Z2 Play.

The solution would be to install a JBL SoundBoost 2 module, but this will make it impossible to install another module, so I would like to get a quality speaker initially. It's nice to see the speaker from the front, but if Motorola can't improve the sound quality, it's better to mount it on the bottom.

Also not to mention the lack of a headphone jack. A USB type C adapter is included in the package, but this does not excuse the lack of a connector in the flagship and such a rather thick smartphone, despite the fact that the thinner Moto Z2 Play has it.

Call quality

Although there is no headphone jack, the device is not inferior to the Moto Z2 Play in terms of phone call quality. The quality is at a very good level. If there is any concern, it is not because of the speakers and microphone, but because of the size of the device. The smartphone is wider compared to flagships with 18:9 aspect ratio, so it's less comfortable to hold near your ear.

Battery life

The most obvious consequence of the thinner casing was the reduction in battery size. Last year's Moto Z Force had a 3500mAh battery, while the Moto Z had a 2600mAh battery. Now, despite the word Force in the name, Moto Z2 Force has a battery of only 2730 mAh.

Battery capacity is not the only parameter that matters for runtime. The energy-efficient Snapdragon 835 processor also helps.

In tests, the smartphone with the screen on was able to work between 7 and 8 hours. This result is on par with the Galaxy S8 and outperforms the original Moto Z Force. Of course, it would be even better to have a 3500 mAh battery, but it turned out relatively well.

An additional advantage is a very short recharging time, with the included Motorola Turbo Power adapter, the smartphone charges from zero to maximum in 80-110 minutes. There is no wireless charging here, but an additional module allows you to expand the battery capacity.

At the time of the announcement of the smartphone, the developers said that they were not interested in providing a battery life of more than one day, since users plug the smartphone into the outlet at night anyway. With a large battery, Moto Z2 Force is able to work out a day, so, taking into account high performance, users should not be unhappy.

Modules Moto MODS

The smartphone supports all available modules, in this review we are interested in the latter. Moto 360 Camera module was presented with the smartphone.

This is a double wide-angle chamber, which resembles Samsung Gear 360 or LG 360 CAM. Video and photos can be removed by one or two lenses at the same time and combine to get the image by 360 degrees.

The composition of this module includes two chambers of 13 meters and an array of four microphones to record sound at different angles. There is also a physical shutter button that is hidden in the Motorola logo.

The functionality is approximately the same as in the Gear 360. In addition to shooting photos and video, you can conduct direct broadcast through social networks. The method of interaction with the module is different from working with manual cameras with an angle of 360 degrees, at least due to how it is attached to the smartphone.

On the one hand, it greatly simplifies the setting and saves the battery charge, since it is not necessary to rely on the wireless connection for streaming video in real time between devices. This makes the Motorola camera less flexible in terms of accommodation. I would like to see any Stand on the back of the module, now you need to keep it in your hands.

The work of Motorola software leaves a mixed impression. Editing video 360 degrees is quite simple, you can cut unnecessary areas. Requires the option of exchanging content, the camera application 360 starts longer than the standard camera application. You can switch between two cameras, but by default the program is always returned to the camera 360. You can leave the module connected when you do not use it, but if you take a lot of simple photos, it is better to remove it.

Moto 360 Camera is a good alternative to the Gear 360, but the price of $ 300 will become too high for someone, especially with regard to the SAMSUNG proposal for $ 230. At a price twice, this module could be boldly recommended, but now it will buy it only the most devoted fans of Motorola devices and shooting 360 degrees.

Conclusion

Motorola acted boldly and the Moto Z2 Force did not become a full copy of the Moto Z and the original Moto Z Force. The result could have been a complete failure, but the developers were able to find an acceptable balance of the best characteristics of these models and were able to convince that the Moto Z line was enough with one flagship. At the same time, someone Moto Z2 Force can be very disappointing. The main problem is the screen with its ShatterShield technology. The concept looks good, but the screen is covered in scratches as a result. Dropping smartphones on asphalt is relatively rare, but it comes into contact with various objects in your pocket, bag and other places all the time.

Also, don't forget about the lack of a headphone jack. This loss is especially hard to come to terms with, given that the connector is in the Moto Z2 Play released this year. The functionality of expensive smartphones should expand, not shrink.

Flagships have changed since last year and the most popular devices now have screens with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Because of them, traditional devices with 16:9 screens began to seem outdated. Due to Moto Mods, Motorola will not be able to change the size of smartphones, leaving competitors with an advantage.

The Moto Z2 Force is a well-equipped, powerful machine with good battery life, fast charging times, and decent cameras. Moto Mods further expand its capabilities. A little more, and this smartphone would be truly fantastic. It is necessary to buy a protective film for the screen and a couple of modules, otherwise the purchase of this model will not be justified.

Pros

  • Top performance
  • Slim and light body
  • Battery life and recharging time
  • Promising camera (which will not be hindered by software improvements)

Cons

  • Need a screen protector
  • Unstable recording quality video
  • A significant decrease in battery capacity compared to last year

Rating: 8.3