Notebookcheck

Motorola Moto Z2 Force Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Martin Jungowski), 01/19/2018

Bulletproof? The Motorola Moto Z2 Force high-end smartphone is the latest member of the Moto Z family and is, as expected, compatible with Moto Mods upgrades. In addition, it is equipped with ShatterShield: a display technology that is supposed to make the display completely shatter-proof.

Motorola has added yet another smartphone to its Moto Z family. From the outside, the Moto Z2 Force is almost identical to the Moto Z2 Play (which, incidentally, is also 5.5-inches large) but it is equipped with much faster hardware. This would explain the much higher asking price of roughly $800. In return, you get what can only be described as proper upper-class hardware: a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, an Adreno 540 GPU, 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 64 GB of storage. As such, the Moto Z2 Force plays in the same league as the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, the HTC U11, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the LG V30, or the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It is also just as expensive as these competitors.

However, there is one feature that all other competing smartphones lack and that is still very uncommon on smartphones even today: according to the manufacturer, the Moto Z2 Force is completely and 100% shatter-proof. Like any member of the Moto Z family it can be upgraded with Moto Mods, such as extra cameras, batteries, or speakers that connect to the smartphone magnetically and are able to improve its functionality.

Let us find out how well the Moto Z2 Force fared against its competitors, shall we?

Motorola Moto Z2 Force
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel 534 PPI, QHD 1440p Super AMOLED display, ShatterShield, OLED, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 64 GB 
, 46.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: 3,5-mm headset jack via USB-C dongle, Card Reader: microSD up to 2 TB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: fingerprint reader, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ultrasonic, audio monitor, 2x2 MIMO, USB-OTG, Moto-Mods
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2 (Android 7.1.1), 5.0 (nach Upgrade auf Android 8.0), GSM (850, 900, 1,800, 1,900 MHz), UMTS (850, 900, 1,900, 2,100 MHz), LTE (B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 46), Download up to 1000 MBit/s, Upload up to 75 MBit/s, Nano-SIM, head SAR 0,405 W/kg, body SAR 1,450 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 5.99 x 155.8 x 76 ( = 0.24 x 6.13 x 2.99 in)
Battery
2730 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix f/2.0, IMX386, color + 12 MP, f/2.0, IMX386, b/w, 1.25 µm, depth perception and field of depth effects, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), laser autofocus, color-compensation dual LED flash (CCT), videos up to [email protected]
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/2.2 aperture, 85° wide angle lens, automatic night mode, image enhancement software
Additional features
Speakers: front-facing speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, USB-C to USB-A cable, USB-C to 3.5-mm audio adapter, 15 W charger (5V, 3A), quick start guide, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
143 g ( = 5.04 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
799 Euro

 

Case

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The Z2 Force’s unibody aluminum chassis is incredibly rigid and warp resistant. Given its official thickness of just 6.99 mm (~0.28 in), it is certainly on the slimmer side for a smartphone. However, we found the official thickness to be overly optimistic, and the Z2 Force did not seem particularly slim when placed right next to other smartphones. The answer to this riddle is the magnetic rear cover made of slightly roughened seemingly cheap plastic that can be easily removed; the actual case with its Moto Mods ports sits right underneath. After uncovering this trickery, it is of little surprise at this point that Motorola seems to have “forgotten” the fact that the rear-facing 12 MP camera bump protrudes around 2 mm (~0.08 in) from the case, but oh well.

The phone is available in “Super Black” and “Fine Gold” and equipped with a 5.5-inch Super-P OLED panel with WQHD resolution (2560x1440). The display itself is equipped with a technology referred to as ShatterShield by Motorola. This fully integrated layer within the panel renders the display completely shatter-proof: according to the manufacturer, the display is never going to shatter or even break. This promise is good for 4 years after purchase but it does not make this a ruggedized smartphone just yet. Warranty exclusions specifically mention that the smartphone is neither shock proof nor able to resists all sorts of drop damage.

The only real disadvantage is this protective layer’s susceptibility to scratches. After a few days of usage, during which we handled the Moto Z2 Force with the same care as every other smartphone, we noticed fine scratches on the display that could not be wiped clean with a microfiber cloth. The case is also not fully waterproof, but only water-resistant.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The Z2 Force is equipped with 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64 GB of storage, of which 46 GB is user accessible out of the box. In theory, it can be upgraded with microSD cards of up to 2 TB capacity, although as we speak the largest microSD card available is just 400 GB in size. Moving apps to SD storage is not supported by the Moto Z2 Force, and accordingly the extra space can only be used for storing media files. The hybrid dual SIM slot supports either two Nano SIM cards or one Nano SIM and one microSD card.

The USB-C port at the bottom of the Z2 Force supports USB 3.1 and therefore fast data transfers from and to the device. Unfortunately, the smartphone lacks a 3.5-mm headphone jack for hooking up headsets and headphones. A USB-C to 3.5-mm adapter is included in the box, though. Wireless communication support includes Bluetooth 4.2 (Android 7.1.1) or Bluetooth 5.0 (Android 8.0 Oreo) as well as NFC. The fingerprint reader is located underneath the display. It is slightly recessed into the case and therefore easy to locate.

left: no connectivity
left: no connectivity
right: power button, volume rocker
right: power button, volume rocker
top: hybrid dual Nano SIM / microSD slot
top: hybrid dual Nano SIM / microSD slot
bottom: USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port
bottom: USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port

Software

Out of the box, the Z2 Force runs an almost stock Android 7.1.1. The only additions are some apps by Motorola, including one to manage Moto Mods, one to better understand the smartphone and get help, and the Moto App to manage fingerprint reader, gestures, and voice control.

An update to Android 8.0 Oreo has not only been announced by the manufacturer, but Motorola has also started rolling it out in select countries. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with the new OS during the review period just yet. Android security patches were up-to-date (November 2017).

Communication and GPS

The Z2 Force supports a multitude of frequencies. In addition to GSM (850, 900, 1.800, and 1.900 MHz) and UMTS (800, 900, 1.900, and 2.100 MHz) it supports LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, and 46. During our tests we had no problems on Germany’s Vodafone network in a rural setting. The correct data plan provided the Moto Z2 Force supports Gigabit LTE speeds with downloads of up to 1.000 MBit/s and uploads of up to 75 MBit/s.

The Z2 Force’s Wi-Fi reception was exceptional, thanks to support for MIMO. In our tests connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router, it managed transfer speeds of just under 600 MBit/s for both, transmit and receive. As such, it was on a par with the slightly faster transmitting yet slightly slower receiving Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Only two of its competitors were even faster: the LG V30 and the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, which still sits seemingly unbeatable at the top of our scoreboard with 914 MBit/s.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
914 MBit/s ∼100% +60%
LG V30
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
657 MBit/s ∼72% +15%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
573 MBit/s ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
503 MBit/s ∼55% -12%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
394 MBit/s ∼43% -31%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
338 MBit/s ∼37% -41%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG V30
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
703 MBit/s ∼100% +20%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
653 MBit/s ∼93% +11%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
639 MBit/s ∼91% +9%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
587 MBit/s ∼83%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
374 MBit/s ∼53% -36%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
225 MBit/s ∼32% -62%
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception indoors

Supported location services include GPS, AGPS, BeiDou, and GLONASS. Outdoor accuracy is around 3 m (~10 ft), indoor accuracy around 10 m (~33 ft).

The Moto Z2 Force did very well during our 4.4 km (~2.7 mi) long bicycle tour, pitched against a professional Garmin Edge 500 GPS. It turned out to be very accurate overall, despite occasional hick-ups in which it placed us several yards from our actual position. In all fairness, we do have to admit though that the same thing happened with the Garmin Edge 500 that day.

Motorola Moto Z2 Force: overview
Motorola Moto Z2 Force: overview
Motorola Moto Z2 Force: intersection
Motorola Moto Z2 Force: intersection
Motorola Moto Z2 Force: turning point
Motorola Moto Z2 Force: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: intersection
Garmin Edge 500: intersection
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: turning point

Telephony and Call Quality

The phone uses Google’s default telephone app, which is easy to use and offers all the features we could ask for. Call quality was decent, and phone calls to both landlines and other cell phones were clear and easily understandable. Speakerphone worked as expected.

Cameras

main camera HDR photo (12 MP, 4:3)
main camera HDR photo (12 MP, 4:3)

The Z2 Force’s main dual-lens camera features a 12 MP Sony IMX386 sensor with an aperture of f/2.0. Each photo is recorded by both sensors, one color and one b/w, and multiplexed and combined into a single image afterwards. According to the manufacturer, the dual camera should work well, even under poor lighting conditions, and it allows for interesting photo effects such as depth of field or selective black and white.

The optional Moto Mods Moto 360 camera goes several steps further and supports 360 degree photos (19 MP) or videos (4K or FHD). Once the Moto Mods camera is detected, the camera app automatically displays the corresponding 360 degree features and settings, such as spherical view or simultaneous display of main and secondary image.

front-facing camera HDR photo (5 MP, 4:3)
front-facing camera HDR photo (5 MP, 4:3)

Photos taken in proper daylight were sharp, colorful, and very lively. Unfortunately, photos taken in low-light conditions were not particularly good, despite Motorola’s claims to the contrary. When compared directly with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s dual camera the low-light photo (scene 2) is much more detailed on the latter - take a look at the Notebookcheck writing to see the difference. 4K video recording at 30 FPS is supported, and video quality is decent.

The front-facing 5 MP camera is okay overall. It features an LED flash and can record FHD videos at 30 FPS.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

As expected, color accuracy and realism were not very high on Motorola’s agenda when developing and fine-tuning the Moto Z2 Force’s camera. Instead, the focus has been shifted towards lively high-contrast photos, which is why colors are slightly oversaturated by default, resulting in photos and videos that are very nice to look at. Our test chart proves that photos are in focus up to the very edges and the camera does not struggle with gradients or geometrical patterns at all.

ColorChecker. Reference color in the bottom half of each square.
ColorChecker. Reference color in the bottom half of each square.
reference card
reference card
reference card (zoomed in)
reference card (zoomed in)

Accessories and Warranty

The box includes a 15-W quick charger (5 V, 3 A), a USB-C to USB-A cable, a USB-C to 3.5-mm dongle, a quick start guide, and a SIM tool. Phone and accessories are covered by a 2-year limited warranty.

Accessories are a big thing for the Z2 Force. Since it supports extra hardware through Moto Mods, there are a total of 12 additional enhancements available through Motorola's website. Among others, these include stereo speakers, a mini projector, a gamepad, an extra battery, and a 360 degree camera. We have been provided with three optional mods for review: the 360 degree camera ($225), the gamepad ($60), and the smart speaker with Alexa ($115). These three are discussed in further detail in the camera, speaker, and gaming sections.

Moto 360 camera
Moto 360 camera
Moto gamepad
Moto gamepad
Moto smart speaker with Amazon Alexa
Moto smart speaker with Amazon Alexa

Input Devices and Handling

Subjectively speaking, the Moto Z2 Force is an incredibly snappy and smooth phone. Neither starting up, nor having many apps open at the same time or switching between these apps caused any noticeable slowdowns whatsoever. The three physical buttons at the right-hand side were also quite fast. The power button’s surface is slightly rippled, which makes it easy to locate and distinguishable from the nearby volume rocker.

The fingerprint reader is located underneath the display and serves as an additional input device. If you enable one-button controls in the Moto Action app, the fingerprint reader replaces the three standard Android buttons. Pressing acts as home, swiping left acts as back, and swiping right opens the multitasking view of all currently open apps.

The Moto Action app supports additional gestures as well, such as a double-shake for turning on the flashlight or lifting the phone slightly during an incoming call to mute all sounds and switch to vibration only. Voice controls are supported, and the phone reacts to natural sentences such as “show me” to initiate actions such as displaying the calendar, the weather forecast, or launching an app. The default keyboard on the Moto Z2 Force is Google’s GBoard.

keyboard in portrait mode
keyboard in portrait mode
keyboard in landscape mode
keyboard in landscape mode

Display

subpixel geometry
subpixel geometry

The Z2 Force’s 5.5-inch WQHD (2560x 1440) OLED display is adequate for an upper-class smartphone, and the resulting pixel density of 534 PPI is impressive; everything is razor-sharp! Other smartphones featuring an OLED display with a resolution higher than FHD are the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30. The Moto Z2 Force does not support HDR10.

Thanks to its OLED panel, the display can turn off individual pixels entirely, thereby creating a true black resulting in a theoretically infinite contrast ratio. Accordingly, colors truly pop on this display. The maximum display brightness with enabled ambient light sensor is an impressive 526 nits. It is limited to 348 nits with the ambient light sensor disabled. The APL50 test with evenly distributed bright and dark areas yields a maximum brightness of 580 nits.

Brightness distribution is only 88% and thus comparatively weak. That said, the uneven brightness patterns are only barely noticeable and require large uniform areas. Consequently, while we did see them in our lab, we failed to notice anything in everyday real-world use. Nevertheless, we strongly suggest inspecting the display before purchasing the device or making any purchasing decisions: it flickers at 245 Hz, which can be quite bothersome for some users.

507
cd/m²
512
cd/m²
532
cd/m²
508
cd/m²
511
cd/m²
538
cd/m²
521
cd/m²
533
cd/m²
573
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 573 cd/m² Average: 526.1 cd/m² Minimum: 8.91 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 511 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.3 | 0.8-23.34 Ø6.4
ΔE Greyscale 3.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.7
Gamma: 2.11
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
OLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
OLED, 2160x1080, 6
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 6.3
HTC U11
Super LCD5, 2560x1440, 5.5
LG V30
OLED, 2880x1440, 6
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Screen
29%
16%
11%
-15%
27%
Brightness middle
511
629
23%
530
4%
482
-6%
432
-15%
559
9%
Brightness
526
636
21%
536
2%
472
-10%
428
-19%
538
2%
Brightness Distribution
88
94
7%
93
6%
90
2%
87
-1%
90
2%
Black Level *
0.33
0.38
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.3
1.7
60%
2.6
40%
3.2
26%
4.18
3%
1.3
70%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.7
2.4
35%
2.7
27%
2.2
41%
5.3
-43%
1.8
51%
Gamma
2.11 114%
2.15 112%
2.04 118%
2.22 108%
2.33 103%
2.25 107%
CCT
7075 92%
6337 103%
6206 105%
6581 99%
7487 87%
6797 96%
Contrast
1461
1471

* ... smaller is better

The device supports two color modes in software, “Standard” and “Intensive”. We have used our spectrophotometer and the CalMAN software in both modes, and found a slight blue tint in both of them. It was more pronounced in “Intensive” (color temperature: 7340K) and almost negligible in “Standard” (color temperature: 7075K). The ideal color temperature would be 6500K. DeltaE deviations were also slightly above the ideal value of less than 3 in both modes. The bottom line: “Standard” offers a more accurate color representation while “Intensive” has a higher color space coverage.

color accuracy Standard (P3 color space)
color accuracy Standard (P3 color space)
color accuracy Intensive (P3 color space)
color accuracy Intensive (P3 color space)
color space Standard (P3 color space)
color space Standard (P3 color space)
color space Intensive (P3 color space)
color space Intensive (P3 color space)
grayscale Standard (P3 color space)
grayscale Standard (P3 color space)
grayscale Intensive (P3 color space)
grayscale Intensive (P3 color space)
saturation Standard (P3 color space)
saturation Standard (P3 color space)
saturation Intensive (P3 color space)
saturation Intensive (P3 color space)

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 245.1 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 245.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 245.1 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9024 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
4.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2.4 ms rise
↘ 2.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 2 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
5.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2.8 ms rise
↘ 2.8 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 2 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.3 ms).

Outdoors the Z2 Force benefitted immensely from its bright display and high contrast ratio. The display remained readable even at very high levels of brightness, and its viewing angles were superb. Only at extremely acute angles did colors distort ever so slightly producing the green bloom so very common for OLED displays.

outdoors
outdoors
viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

Equipped with 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, Qualcomm’s high-end SoC Snapdragon 835, and a fast Adreno 540 GPU, the Moto Z2 Force leaves nothing to be desired. It is easily on a par with other high-end smartphones, such as the HiSilicon Kirin 970 equipped Huawei Mate 10 Pro or the Exynos 8895 equipped Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Both the HTC U11 and the LG V30 are powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.

As expected, almost all smartphones offer virtually identical performance in our synthetic benchmarks. Only the iPhone 8 Plus is much faster than all of its Android competitors in AnTuTu and GFXBench but in return falls behind in 3DMark.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
179595 Points ∼79%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
177341 Points ∼78% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
173997 Points ∼76% -3%
HTC U11
175032 Points ∼77% -3%
LG V30
173749 Points ∼76% -3%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
218158 Points ∼96% +21%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6998 Points ∼68%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
6932 Points ∼67% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
5096 Points ∼49% -27%
HTC U11
6828 Points ∼66% -2%
LG V30
5603 Points ∼54% -20%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
8553 Points ∼100%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
8439 Points ∼99% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6084 Points ∼71% -29%
HTC U11
8295 Points ∼97% -3%
LG V30
6854 Points ∼80% -20%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
1300 Points ∼77%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1234 Points ∼73% -5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
1235 Points ∼73% -5%
HTC U11
1221 Points ∼72% -6%
LG V30
1009 Points ∼59% -22%
Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6144 Points ∼66%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3657 Points ∼40% -40%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6121 Points ∼66% 0%
HTC U11
5976 Points ∼65% -3%
LG V30
5949 Points ∼64% -3%
Memory (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3652 Points ∼83%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4142 Points ∼94% +13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3095 Points ∼70% -15%
HTC U11
2085 Points ∼47% -43%
LG V30
2091 Points ∼47% -43%
System (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
5918 Points ∼58%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
5244 Points ∼51% -11%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
5308 Points ∼52% -10%
HTC U11
5570 Points ∼54% -6%
LG V30
4238 Points ∼41% -28%
Overall (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3625 Points ∼96%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3147 Points ∼83% -13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3338 Points ∼88% -8%
HTC U11
3034 Points ∼80% -16%
LG V30
2702 Points ∼71% -25%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
8572 Points ∼95%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
8310 Points ∼92%
HTC U11
8281 Points ∼92%
LG V30
8016 Points ∼89%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6711 Points ∼27%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
6792 Points ∼27% +1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6744 Points ∼27% 0%
HTC U11
6443 Points ∼26% -4%
LG V30
6078 Points ∼24% -9%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
10558 Points ∼42% +57%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
1911 Points ∼32%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1898 Points ∼32% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2028 Points ∼34% +6%
HTC U11
1906 Points ∼32% 0%
LG V30
1900 Points ∼32% -1%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
4263 Points ∼72% +123%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
2986 Points ∼97%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2871 Points ∼93% -4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2346 Points ∼76% -21%
HTC U11
2841 Points ∼92% -5%
LG V30
2931 Points ∼95% -2%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2109 Points ∼69% -29%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3991 Points ∼74%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2844 Points ∼53% -29%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2661 Points ∼49% -33%
HTC U11
3883 Points ∼72% -3%
LG V30
3903 Points ∼72% -2%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
3069 Points ∼57% -23%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3713 Points ∼96%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2850 Points ∼73% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2584 Points ∼67% -30%
HTC U11
3590 Points ∼92% -3%
LG V30
3635 Points ∼94% -2%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2781 Points ∼72% -25%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
3071 Points ∼100%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2896 Points ∼94% -6%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2342 Points ∼76% -24%
HTC U11
2832 Points ∼92% -8%
LG V30
2808 Points ∼91% -9%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
6035 Points ∼78%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3353 Points ∼43% -44%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3928 Points ∼51% -35%
HTC U11
5877 Points ∼76% -3%
LG V30
5895 Points ∼76% -2%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
4969 Points ∼100%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3239 Points ∼65% -35%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3414 Points ∼69% -31%
HTC U11
4744 Points ∼95% -5%
LG V30
4738 Points ∼95% -5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
21239 Points ∼29%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22629 Points ∼31% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
22829 Points ∼32% +7%
HTC U11
20140 Points ∼28% -5%
LG V30
14601 Points ∼20% -31%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
25641 Points ∼36% +21%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
55485 Points ∼12%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
34008 Points ∼7% -39%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
36807 Points ∼8% -34%
HTC U11
55725 Points ∼12% 0%
LG V30
55271 Points ∼12% 0%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
113380 Points ∼24% +104%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
40848 Points ∼20%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
30590 Points ∼15% -25%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
32399 Points ∼16% -21%
HTC U11
40014 Points ∼20% -2%
LG V30
34139 Points ∼17% -16%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
64405 Points ∼32% +58%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
105 fps ∼8%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
112 fps ∼8% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
105 fps ∼8% 0%
HTC U11
91 fps ∼7% -13%
LG V30
113 fps ∼8% +8%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
166.9 fps ∼12% +59%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
60 fps ∼13%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
60 fps ∼13% 0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
59 fps ∼13% -2%
HTC U11
58 fps ∼13% -3%
LG V30
60 fps ∼13% 0%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
119.4 fps ∼26% +99%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
54 fps ∼10%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
54 fps ∼10% 0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
51 fps ∼9% -6%
HTC U11
51 fps ∼9% -6%
LG V30
59 fps ∼11% +9%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
71 fps ∼13% +31%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
36 fps ∼10%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
56 fps ∼15% +56%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
38 fps ∼10% +6%
HTC U11
29 fps ∼8% -19%
LG V30
35 fps ∼10% -3%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
79.2 fps ∼22% +120%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
40 fps ∼10%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
37 fps ∼9% -7%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
42 fps ∼10% +5%
HTC U11
33 fps ∼8% -17%
LG V30
40 fps ∼10% 0%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
49 fps ∼12% +23%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
22 fps ∼13%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
38 fps ∼22% +73%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
23 fps ∼13% +5%
HTC U11
15 fps ∼9% -32%
LG V30
19 fps ∼11% -14%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
56.4 fps ∼32% +156%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
25 fps ∼7%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
21 fps ∼6% -16%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
25 fps ∼7% 0%
HTC U11
24 fps ∼7% -4%
LG V30
24 fps ∼7% -4%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
15 fps ∼0%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22 fps ∼1% +47%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
13 fps ∼0% -13%
HTC U11
13 fps ∼0% -13%
LG V30
13 fps ∼0% -13%

Legend

 
Motorola Moto Z2 Force Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei Mate 10 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
HTC U11 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
LG V30 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Plus Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)

It is always interesting to see how well these synthetic benchmarks translate into real-world usage and looking at our browser benchmarks we have to admit that the iPhone 8 Plus practically wiped the floor with its Android competitors. No other device came even close to the Apple smartphone. This does not mean that the Moto Z2 Force (or the other competitors, for that matter) were slow in any way, just not as blazingly fast as the iPhone 8 Plus. In other words: their base performance was so high that in real-world usage, the differences between the fastest and the slowest smartphone in our test group were completely imperceptible and thus irrelevant.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
223.5 Points ∼100% +235%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
69.57 Points ∼31% +4%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
69.51 Points ∼31% +4%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
66.689 Points ∼30%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
56.63 Points ∼25% -15%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
52.9 Points ∼24% -21%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
35209 Points ∼100% +172%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
13265 Points ∼38% +3%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
12929 Points ∼37%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
11781 Points ∼33% -9%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
10506 Points ∼30% -19%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
10406 Points ∼30% -20%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
3630 ms * ∼100% -14%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
3590.6 ms * ∼99% -13%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
3175.3 ms * ∼87%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
2760.3 ms * ∼76% +13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
1876.8 ms * ∼52% +41%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
719.7 ms * ∼20% +77%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
362 Points ∼100% +125%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
162 Points ∼45% +1%
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (Chrome 63.0.3239.111)
161 Points ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
159 Points ∼44% -1%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
158 Points ∼44% -2%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
138 Points ∼38% -14%

* ... smaller is better

Motorola does not fully disclose the exact storage memory specifications for the Z2 Force. The only thing we can say for sure is that its 64 GB of on-board storage is on a par with UFS 2.1 memory that every other competitor save for the iPhone 8 Plus is equipped with. And that is about as fast as it gets for the time being. Reading from and writing to microSD card did not even get close to our Toshiba Exceria Pro M500 reference card’s maximum values of 270 and 150 MB/s, respectively. Nevertheless, performance was adequate.

Motorola Moto Z2 ForceHuawei Mate 10 ProSamsung Galaxy Note 8HTC U11LG V30
AndroBench 3-5
25%
-16%
-11%
-30%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
54.67 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
59.27 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
8%
46.25 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-15%
47.2
-14%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
77.37 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
67.87 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-12%
68.82 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-11%
62.8
-19%
Random Write 4KB
78.62
164.45
109%
14.55
-81%
79.97
2%
10.21
-87%
Random Read 4KB
148.76
132.27
-11%
122.48
-18%
91.45
-39%
78.17
-47%
Sequential Write 256KB
213.61
208.72
-2%
205.85
-4%
206.41
-3%
193.22
-10%
Sequential Read 256KB
696.35
732.46
5%
796.96
14%
717.33
3%
669.48
-4%

Gaming

Current Android games run very smoothly on the Z2 Force, and the gyroscope and motion sensors worked flawlessly. For avid gamers, the Moto Mods gamepad is definitely worth a closer look as it turns the entire smartphone into an arcade-style game station with two joysticks, a d-pad, and four buttons. It also contains an extra 1035 mAh battery which, according to Motorola, combined with a fully charged smartphone should provide enough energy for up to 8 hours of gaming. Using the gamepad is as easy as using any other Moto Mod: plug in and enjoy! The gamepad worked flawlessly with all games that we had the possibility to test it with.

The phone was so powerful that even at maximum details we struggled getting the frame rates to drop below the respective maximum for the games tested. In both “Asphalt 8: Airborne” and “Dead Trigger 2” it only happened occasionally during extremely computationally intensive hectic scenes. Still, after performing the entire benchmarks, both games ended up running at 30 and 60 FPS respectively. Neither game will run any faster since they are both limited to these frame rates.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high60 fps
in comparison
Motorola Moto X Play (min)
 615 MSM8939, Adreno 405
20
   ...
Lenovo Moto Z
 820 MSM8996, Adreno 530
60
Huawei P9
 Kirin 955, Mali-T880 MP4
60
   ...
Motorola Moto Z2 Force (max)
 835, Adreno 540
60
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench Manhattan battery test
GFXBench Manhattan battery test

The device remained very cool overall, with idle surface temperatures only barely managing to cross the 23 °C (~73 °F) threshold and never rising above 35.4 °C (~96 °F), even after a full hour of maximum load. Unfortunately, we did notice some internal throttling under load while running the demanding GFXBench Battery Test Manhattan benchmark 30x in a loop. The first drop occurred around the fourth iteration, and the performance continued to decrease continuously throughout the entire test. It was, however, so subtle and minor that performance was still more than plentiful even after the phone had started to throttle, and the less demanding T-Rex benchmark was performed without any throttling at all.

Max. Load
 31.8 °C33.5 °C34.5 °C 
 32.1 °C33.9 °C34.8 °C 
 32.1 °C33.9 °C35 °C 
Maximum: 35 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
34.9 °C34.2 °C32.8 °C
34.5 °C34.2 °C32.6 °C
35.4 °C35 °C33.4 °C
Maximum: 35.4 °C
Average: 34.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  23.9 °C | Room Temperature 20.2 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

speaker characteristics
speaker characteristics

The Moto Z2 Force’s single speaker sits at the front of the device and is thus not muffled if the phone is placed face up on a table. At 84.4 dB(A) it gets comparatively loud, and the soundscape was fairly balanced and even somewhat spatial despite its complete lack of base. The speaker is more than sufficient for watching YouTube videos or listening to music. A headset, which incidentally is not included, will produce much better and fuller sounds. Due to the fact that the Moto Z2 Force does not have a 3.5-mm headphone jack you will need to use the included USB-C to 3.5-mm dongle.

For improved sound performance Motorola offers two different speakers on their Moto Mods website: a smart speaker equipped with Amazon Alexa for $115 and a JBL SoundBoost speaker for $60. We were provided with the former for the review, and ended up liking it a lot. Not only was it significantly louder and of much higher quality than the smartphone’s integrated speaker, but it also produced a noticeable amount of bass.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.245.92532.943.63137.237.84031.746.75039.643.66328.333.38027.334.810026.931.112526.733.11602439.220020.946.425020.949.531519.55440018.561.450017.567.963017.570.680015.770.6100015.870.3125016.671.9160015.873.9200015.475.5250015.57431501672.5400015.872.350001672.9630016.372.4800016.372.91000016.274.31250016.473.31600016.465.9SPL28.684.8N1.161.7median 16.4Motorola Moto Z2 Forcemedian 70.6Delta2.18.935.237.832.934.237.235.631.737.139.64028.327.927.32626.924.326.723.72433.420.941.220.951.919.551.218.560.317.55617.555.915.755.115.865.716.669.515.874.215.47715.574.91673.315.870.41670.816.373.116.372.916.273.516.468.816.455.828.684.41.154.7median 16.4Huawei Mate 10 Promedian 65.72.110.831.631.325.427.225.326.132.925.133.624.531.62628.4242728.220.828.22234.521.348.320.852.321.257.619.460.119.563.917.767.117.965.517.868.617.372.117.474.616.776.217.278.418.281.117.977.417.672.817.775.417.877.917.970.918.167.118.258.13086.91.369.1median 17.9Samsung Galaxy Note 8median 67.11.310.7hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Motorola Moto Z2 Force audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (1.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 3% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 29% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Mate 10 Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 50% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 72% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 30% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 59% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (checkboxes above selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Z2 Force was very thrifty when it came to power consumption. With just 0.84 W (idle average) and 2.71 W (load average) it wiped the floor with its entire competition, which gobbled up around 60% more energy on average. The LG V30 was the second most efficient smartphone in our test group, but was nowhere near the Z2 Force’s modesty. Combined with its 2730 mAh battery life should be insanely good.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.21 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.52 / 0.84 / 0.85 Watt
Load midlight 2.71 / 7.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
2730 mAh
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3300 mAh
HTC U11
3000 mAh
LG V30
3300 mAh
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2691 mAh
Power Consumption
-43%
-46%
-77%
-41%
-99%
Idle Minimum *
0.52
0.85
-63%
0.73
-40%
0.73
-40%
0.72
-38%
0.72
-38%
Idle Average *
0.84
1.15
-37%
1.44
-71%
1.96
-133%
1.37
-63%
2.45
-192%
Idle Maximum *
0.85
1.23
-45%
1.53
-80%
1.98
-133%
1.41
-66%
2.52
-196%
Load Average *
2.71
4.12
-52%
4.56
-68%
4.82
-78%
3.46
-28%
3.84
-42%
Load Maximum *
7.2
8.42
-17%
5.09
29%
7.15
1%
7.83
-9%
9.02
-25%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Strangely enough, battery life turned out to be just good and not as exceptional as we would have expected based on the Z2 Force’s low power consumption. Still, it performed admirably and outlasted the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the HTC U11, and the Apple iPhone 8 Plus but was in return beaten by the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the LG V30. Compared with its sibling, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play, our review unit did not stand a chance.

The included 15-Wh charger supports quick charging and took only around 1:15 hours to recharge the battery from near empty to 100%. The 50% threshold was crossed after 30 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 51min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
13h 31min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 54min
Motorola Moto Z2 Force
2730 mAh
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3300 mAh
HTC U11
3000 mAh
LG V30
3300 mAh
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2691 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
22%
-23%
-24%
10%
1%
23%
Reader / Idle
1630
1744
7%
1134
-30%
1250
-23%
1914
17%
2085
28%
1589
-3%
H.264
811
929
15%
662
-18%
498
-39%
822
1%
733
-10%
946
17%
WiFi v1.3
531
818
54%
474
-11%
560
5%
774
46%
657
24%
749
41%
Load
354
398
12%
246
-31%
212
-40%
267
-25%
211
-40%
477
35%

Pros

+ very high performance
+ shatterproof displaty
+ upgradeable and enhanceable thanks to Moto Mods
+ Android 8.0 update announced
+ very fast Wi-Fi speeds
+ bright WQHD OLED display
+ decent camera
+ remains comparatively cool
+ decent quality speaker
+ long battery life
+ quick charge

Cons

- display scratches very easily
- case isn't waterproof
- audio jack only via adapter
- hybrid dual SIM slot
- poor camera performance under low-light conditions
- PWM flickering
- throttling under maximum load

Verdict

In review: Motorola Moto Z2 Force. Review unit courtesy of Lenovo Germany.
In review: Motorola Moto Z2 Force. Review unit courtesy of Lenovo Germany.

No doubt, the Moto Z2 Force is an exceptional high-end smartphone with many pros and a few cons. First things first: gaming and application performance, Wi-Fi transfer speeds, its bright WQHD OLED display, and the shatterproof display are outstanding. Android 8.0, which is already available in some select countries, is an expected update and is going to future-proof this smartphone even further.

Just like the entire Moto Z family, the Moto Z2 Force also benefits from the Moto Mods that are easy to use and can add some incredibly useful features. Granted, third-party accessories are often cheaper, but a Moto Mod’s ease of use is absolutely stunning. And unlike many other manufacturer-made accessories, the Moto Mods are not model-specific, but can be used on a wide variety of Motorola smartphones. If you already own a number of Moto Mods and are looking for a new smartphone to use them with, why not take the decently equipped and much cheaper Moto Z2 Play mid-range smartphone into consideration as well? 

The virtually indestructible Motorola Moto Z2 Force offers a phenomenal level of performance. Of all things it is the display protection with its susceptibility to scratches that troubled us the most.

Unfortunately, we cannot recommend the Moto Z2 Force without issuing at least a few warnings. Most annoyingly, the one feature that makes this smartphone exceptional - the shatterproof display protection - is also its biggest weakness: it scratches very easily. Unlike some of its competitors, such as the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the Z2 Force lacks an IP67 certification and is thus neither water nor dust-proof but only water-resistant instead. The camera performed very well under ideal lighting conditions, yet it was not able to impress us under low-light conditions despite its dual sensor that was supposedly designed specifically to improve upon low-light photography.

Motorola Moto Z2 Force - 01/15/2018 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
74 / 75 → 99%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
47 / 60 → 78%
Weight
93%
Battery
93%
Display
85%
Games Performance
64 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
71 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
73 / 91 → 80%
Camera
81%
Average
81%
89%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Motorola Moto Z2 Force Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2018-01-19 (Update: 2018-01-21)