Moto Z2 Force Review: The Unbreakable Display, Smooth Android Experience Makes Up for the Late Arrival

Motorola has finally come up with its latest handset for the Indian subcontinent. The Moto Z2 Force which was launched in the USA approximately six months ago in August 2017, is apparently priced at Rs 34,999. Previously the Moto phones have gained a lot of popularity based on their phenomenal and sturdy build quality besides providing very good features in a smartphone at a very competitive price point. With the Moto Z2 series, Motorola has taken the design aspect even more seriously and concentrated in making them slimmer than the competition.

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Surely, the Moto Z2 Force arrived a bit late to the Indian market and it’s expected that the Snapdragon 845 powered OnePlus 6 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S are expected to land in India very soon. However, the Z2 Force competes with the likes of the last year’ smartphones such as the OnePlus 5T, Nokia 8 and more. I have been using the smartphone for a while now and here’s how it fared in our usage.

Build and Design
Lenovo is expected to suffer from a lack of attention for the Moto Z2 Force because of its dated design which almost seems ancient when compared to the likes of OnePlus 5T and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 which is a design brilliance. In a time where companies are gearing up for battle on the grounds of bezel-less designs, the Moto Z2 Force fails to make its mark. But we should agree the fact that the Z2 Force was launched at a time when 18:9 display smartphones started picking up the pace.

The phone is extremely slim at 6mm and also sports a metal finish. The lack of bezel-less design hurts the smartphone real bad, but a special mention should go for Motorola on how it managed to keep the device thinner.

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Being a Moto Z series smartphone, the Moto Z2 Force is a modular smartphone and to avoid the criticism of bringing the device this late to the Indian market, the company is bundling a Moto TurboPower Pack. To the rear side, there’s a camera bump as well, but Motorola has taken utmost care in designing the smartphone. Usually, a smartphone with camera bump when placed on a flat surface will tend to misbehave, but that’s not the case with Z2 Force as it sits just as a normal smartphone.

To attain this thickness, the Lenovo owned brand has also ignored the battery by putting in a 2730mAh power source, which speaking from today’s standards is very less. The real-life scenario is a bit different though, which we will discuss in the battery department.

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The fingerprint scanner is placed to the front of the phone, which is quick in unlocking the device. On the whole, the Moto Z2 Force falls short of the competition with its 16:9 aspect ratio, but the slim profile of the phone is something which will appeal a lot of consumers.

Display
The phone sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD display which is a durable P-OLED screen. This screen which is known for its hard protection against screen shattering is going to prove worthy for someone who is a careless handler, besides that, the screen does attract a lot of scratches for which we recommend buying a good scratch guard. The colours on the phone are well produced and are deep and dynamic.

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The USP of the Moto Z2 Force is the ShatterShield display, which is unbreakable as per Motorola. And the claims are true as we took the device for a spin and it came out impressive. The Z2 Force’s display is unbreakable, which is something several other smartphones lack.

Software and Performance
In terms of processing power, the Moto Z2 Force is driven by the Snapdragon 835 SoC which is accompanied by 6GB RAM. This immense amount of RAM with the high processing power, gives enough room for the games to run easily on the device and the rest of the UI also faces no lag at all. The software on the smartphone is free of any sort of bloat and come with the stock Android experience of Android 8.0 Oreo with the exception of a few gesture functionalities which can be used to start up some applications.

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The sound on the Moto Z2 Force is pretty good however the 3.5mm has been done with which makes the phone a very sceptical buy for a lot of people. The calls on the smartphone are also very clear and smooth. The Moto Z2 Force remains a dual SIM device and can take in two nano SIM cards.

Camera
The Moto Z2 Force comes with a dual camera setup on the rear which houses two cameras with both featuring the 12MP lens. The optical zoom is a missing feature in this camera setup which might be a bit disadvantageous to the users of the phone as the secondary sensor is a monochrome one. The overall camera quality of the phone remains decent despite lacking Optical Image Stabilisation. The phone performs well in both low light and daylight conditions by rendering clear images with a lot of details and less noise. The monochrome sensor also aids the Moto Z2 Force in snapping quality black and white shots and also in the bokeh/portrait mode. The 4K video shot the phone also renders pretty well.

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The Moto Z2 Force coming with the stock Android ships very less clutter in the camera app as well. However, users might feel slightly disappointed while using the camera on the smartphone because of the lag in focusing despite the presence of good processing power, laser autofocus and phase detection autofocus. The front camera on the device which is a 5MP shooter also lags behind in terms of image quality although it comes with a front-facing LED flash.

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But Motorola has now pushed a revamped camera application which has improved in a lot of ways- the shutter speed is faster, the Portrait mode is better, and the options are nearly toggled now. So finally, Motorola has revamped its camera application, but still the camera app doesn’t match with that of Google Camera application, which can be sideloaded onto the device to take the full advantage.

Battery
The Moto Z2 Force packs an underpowered 2730mAh battery, which sounds very small on paper. Motorola has optimised the software perfectly allowing the device deliver a day’s worth of battery life. On top of that, Lenovo is pushing the phone into the markets with the TurboPower battery mod which can charge the phone from 0 to 85% in 90 minutes and there is also a second mode for the pack which can maintain the battery at 80%. And the best part is the battery pack is free.

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Verdict
Wrapping up, the Moto Z2 Force is an excellent buy at Rs 34,999; especially it makes more sense for people looking for a 16:9 display smartphone in the era of 18:9 display devices. The unbreakable nature, slim profile, buttery smooth user experience, capable cameras, acceptable battery life are the highlights of the smartphone. Yes, there are some negatives such as the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, camera bump, but the negatives list is very small compared to the positive list.

What surprised me the most is the device’s performance. I used the device for more than one month, and during the entire period, it didn’t lag at least once, and the battery life was stable too from the day one. This is something which we saw with the earlier Moto phones such as the Moto G3, and it takes me to a conclusion: Is Motorola making to make a comeback into the market where it lost the ground to HMD Global? Well, we’re not sure about that at the moment, but the Moto Z2 Force impressed me to the core and justifies the asking price.

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2 Comments on "Moto Z2 Force Review: The Unbreakable Display, Smooth Android Experience Makes Up for the Late Arrival"

 

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Prithvi
April 9, 2018 9:54 am 9:54 AM

Nice review. Thanks! Motorola manufactures more or less very good quality devices – both in terms of hardware & software BUT HMD Global, as you rightly pointed out, is spoiling their party.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
April 9, 2018 3:01 pm 3:01 PM

Unless and until HMD works on camera they won’t win customers from India!!!!!! People bought Nokia 8 after the huge price drop, but disappointed with Camera!!!!! It’s nowhere near flagship level!!!!! One Plus and Honor did better than Nokia last year!!!!!! I am expecting to improve that this year with Nokia flagship with Snapdragon 845!!!!!But they need to compete well on all front!!!!! One Plus and Honor and Samsung dominates everything in flagship category in India atleast!!!!!!

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