Motorola has made its latest high-end smartphone official.
It’s called the Moto Z2 Force Edition, and its headline feature is a purportedly shatterproof display.
Motorola has touted this kind of design with past devices like the Moto Z Force and Droid Turbo 2, and, generally speaking, it has done well to keep those phones more durable than usual. You should be able to drop the Z2 Force without having to worry about cracking the screen, though the rest of the device is still likely to scuff up.
- A 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a sharp 2560 x 1440 resolution. AMOLED means it should have deeper colors than the LED screens of devices like the iPhone, though it’s not the bezel-less type of screen you’d find on a Galaxy S8. A Snapdragon 835 chip, the strongest in Qualcomm’s series, and 4 GB of RAM. 64 GB of storage, with up to 512 GB more possible through a microSD card. A pair of 12-megapixel rear cameras. Motorola says this will allow you to play with depth-of-field effects, similar to those available on the iPhone 7 Plus. A 5-megapixel selfie camera.
- A 2,730-mAh battery, which is less than the 3,500 mAh unit in last year’s model. There is some level of fast charging, though. Instead, Motorola has traded that battery life for thinness. That may not be a popular choice, but the company says the Z2 Force is 13% thinner and 12% lighter than its predecessor. That amounts to 6.1 millimeters. The Galaxy S8, by comparison, measures 8 mm – though it’s still hard to call that phone thick. Android 7.1 Nougat, which is close to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Motorola has one of the cleaner takes on Android, though it isn’t especially fast at issuing software and security updates since being acquired by Lenovo a few years ago. It’s not officially water-resistant, but Motorola says it’ll have a level of “water protection” that lets it survive in light rain and the like. No headphone jack, just like last year’s Moto Z.
The Moto Z2 Force looks much like other devices in the Moto Z line. That means it has a set of connectors on its back that allows the phone to connect to Motorola’s various Moto Mod modular accessories. You can snap on a game controller or wireless-charging case, for instance, and have it work with minimal setup.
These Mods tend to work well but are iffy values, given that they’re tied to one set of devices. If you ever want to leave Moto, you leave all the accessories you paid for as well.
Last year’s Moto Z Force was available only on Verizon, but Motorola says it will sell versions of the Z2 Force for all the major carriers in the US starting August 10. It won’t come cheap, though – pricing varies by carrier, but the phone will cost about $750 either way. On Verizon, for instance, it’s available outright for $756.
The wider availability could help Motorola get the Z2 Force in more hands, but the company will continue to face stiff competition from Samsung and the rest of an increasingly saturated smartphone market, which will most likely include new devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google in the coming months. Motorola said last month that it was “on track” to sell 3 million Moto Z devices within the line’s first year on the market.
Still, if you’re the clumsy type, you might find the Moto Z2 Force appealing. We’ll have a full review soon.