When Motorola first launched the tough smartphone, Force Moto X, this was a big surprise, at least with my staff colleagues at Expert Review. Its durable and durable housing makes it one of our favorite smartphones by 2015, but last year's follow-up, Force Moto Z failed to reach the British shores.
Blighty has not been forgotten this year. Oh no; Force Moto Z2 is here and it looks to reinforce the original quality that can not be destroyed, with the latest internal and a pair of rear rear camera is interesting.
Moto Z2 Force review: What you need to know
The new Moto Z2 Force (effectively the third-gen Moto tough phone) keeps the shatterproof screen from the Moto X Force, slims itself down and adds the ability to snap on Motorola’s wide range of mods, just like the Moto Z2 Play.
It has a 5.5in display, 1,440 x 2,560 on the front and is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage, can be upgraded up to 1TB via microSD. There are also a pair of 12 megapixel double cameras on the back.
Moto Z2 Force review: Price and competition
At that price, the Moto Z2 Force is knee-deep in flagship territory, competing with the likes of the iPhone 8 (£700) and the 128GB Pixel 2 (£729). Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S8 Plus can be picked up for around £630.
Unlike its precious predecessors, the Force Moto Z2 is not the mid-range wonder we expected. Z2 Force is expensive and will set you back the wallet-wilting £ 719 when it appears in UK shops.
Moto Z2 Force review: Design
The Moto Z2 Force cuts a familiar figure. Its brushed metal exterior might look identical to Moto’s previous efforts, but – like the Z2 Play – there are a handful of subtle (and welcome) changes on closer inspection.
For starters, unibody aluminum Z2 Force is only 6.1mm thin (13% thinner than last year) and weighs 143g. The back of the rubber has been lost, for the sake of the end of the gun that is easily touched on the fingerprint.
You'll see the volume rocker and power buttons on the left edge, with a Type-C USB port at the bottom, but no 3.5mm headphone jack next to it, which is embarrassing. The protrusion of the camera on the back reappears, tracing 2.7 millimeters from another device, which means the phone is not a friendly phone.
Surprisingly, given its formidable credentials, Motorola still adds decent waterproofing - the Moto Force Z2 only has a waterproof coating.
Moto Z2 Force review: Mods
Love them or loathe them, Motorola’s wide-range of smartphone modifications are here to stay, it seems. These Moto Mods offer a bunch of extra add-ons and connect to the back of the phone via a series of magnetic connector pins.
As it stands there is a good choice to choose from. You'll find the Moto Turbopower package, which complements the extra 3.490mAh battery; Moto Gamepad with joystick and mini-style buttons Nintendo Switch; and a Moto 360 camera that, as the name suggests, adds a 360-degree camera to the phone.
Moto Z2 Force review: Display
The Moto Z2 Force screen is not the last word in the forefront but does the job. It is 5.5 in diagonal, with 1,440 x 2,560 resolution and uses P-OLED panel, just like Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Like Z2 Play, you can choose any Standard or Vibrant display mode in settings. The latter produces very dirty colors, while the Standard is not so pretty on your face.
There is no accurate color. In Standard mode, our X-Rite color dye returns an average Delta E of 3.06 (perfect 0) with the screen struggling to reproduce colors in the palette. Maximum brightness is not very impressive, it only reaches 355cd / m2 - you may have to shade the screen with bright light to read it.
Mind you, considering this is a P-OLED panel, perfectly effective contrast ratio, which means both movies and photos benefit from many levels of pop perception and are felt really great.
Moto Z2 Force review: Performance and battery life
Initially, the first phone enthusiast may be disappointed to learn that the slimmer chassis and electronics needed to accommodate mods necessitate a reduction in battery size and capacity. The new Moto Z2 Force has a 2.730mAh battery while its original size is 3,500mAh.
You would expect the battery life to be cut short, but that's not the case. Force Moto Z2 reaches 16hrs 40mins in continuous video playback test before running flat, where Force Moto X lasts 15hrs 12mins. The Z2 army went up quite well against other 2017 aircraft carriers as well.
There are many other things that are liked here. There is a new 835 octa Snapdragon core chip, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, expandable via microSD. As expected, Z2 Force is fast. Here's how in a series of CPU tests demanding Geekbench 4, which measures the overall performance of multi-core and single-core:
As for the performance of the GPU, Moto Z2 does not perform well. The high resolution screen is to blame, and unlike the Galaxy S8, there is no way to knock down the display resolution to improve the graphics performance.
Moto Z2 Force review: Camera
The Z2 Force’s new 12-megapixel dual-camera setup on the rear allows for post-shot and real-time selective focus, along with image background replacement and selective black-and-white editing.
In testing outdoor scenes didn’t pose the camera too much of a problem. In fact, the Moto Z2 Play picked up plenty of rich colours and crisp details in sunny conditions, particularly in hard-to-capture areas like foliage. Flicking on HDR did a tremendous job at lifting the shadows, too.
Moto Z2 Force dual camera is struggling in low light conditions. Simply put, the two lenses are not enough light - the f / 2.0 aperture is not the brightest - and I find that the photo taken in low light has no detail and is full of noise. The embarrassment, especially since the cheaper Moto Z2 Play does a great job in producing sharp and rich detail-rich images in low light.
Moto Z2 Force review: Verdict
With Motorola ensuring the five-layer ShatterShield screen will not crack for four years, Z2 Force will see you through the next phone upgrade in 2021, and possibly as a holiday backup for several years after that.
And it makes the tough Motorola phone a tempting alternative to the fragile beauty crowd we usually see in stores. If you're bothered with a case of butter fingers, the Force Z2 Moto offers peace of mind that no other smartphone is bringing to the table.
The only thing that keeps me pausing in my recommendation is the price, which means £ 719 means not enough strength to count beforehand.
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