Actually, allow us to rephrase that heading. The just-launched Z2 Force is another addition to Motorola's shatter-proof screen army.
It’s the calling card that the brand is playing here and just a quick look around at people's smartphone screens will tell you how dear this feature is to many of us. Maybe, even ALL of us.
Motorola Moto Z2: Design & Build
But it does come at a cost. Literally, and also design wise. Being a patented design, the five-layer 5.5in QHD POLED screen brings with it some compromises like a plastic top layer and thicker borders at the top and bottom, which is so unbecoming of a 2018 flagship.
Of course, you do get rewarded for putting up with the dated aesthetics. The shatter-proof claim is real and we dropped the phone from a height of 5ft on to a hard floor without any drama. The thin body is a result of the battery being reduced in capacity but it makes for a super-svelte back and that could get nicked in the process of being dropped. Such is the slimness of this device that even the headphone jack has been axed and USB-C is all you get. Thankfully an adaptor is bundled in the box if you want to embrace the dongle life. It uses 7000 series aluminium and Motorola claims it’s sturdy enough to endure an apocalypse. Or a coffee shop brawl.
Motorola Moto Z2 Camera: Double the fun
Another curious addition to the back is also the dual-lens camera module which now has a pair of 12MP, f/2.0 lenses for colour and true B&W data. Like a lot of other flagship phones it also lets you manipulate the picture and its content after the shot has been taken. So, for example, you can selectively keep the subject in focus and blur out the background (or vice versa), keep the subject in B&W and keep the background in colour (or vice versa) or simply remove the background from the equation in a cheap version of Photoshop. There’s also a full manual mode that provides more fine control over the settings and can make for some pretty and moody shots. The camera is certainly the best seen on a Motorola phone till now and they have put in a lot of work behind it.
The front cam is a more sedate 5MP but it does take wide-angle selfies that are great for practising a group pout. The Z2 also adds something similar to Google Lens that identifies objects you focus on and presents options where you can buy it from. It’s generally accurate in guessing the object and brand but the exact model is a hit or miss.
Motorola Moto Z2 Software & OS: Mixed bag of tricks
There’s also the Moto Voice assistant, Moto Display and Moto Actions that add a layer of customisation to the phone. There’s a gesture for every major feature and the famed notifications get even better with age and refinement.
It runs on Android 8.0 Oreo and preserves the slickness and swiftness of stock Android. Although, why there are no capacitive back and App drawer buttons is beyond me. You have to swipe left and right from the home button all the way to the edges to activate these controls and since the home button is a bit recessed and sharp edged, it’s never a smooth sensation.
If you buy the Moto Z2 Force, it’ll largely be for the Moto Mods and they have been improved in their gen 2.0 form. Bundled within the introductory price is the Turbo Power mod that adds a whole day of battery life and also supports quick charging. 15 minutes of slapping it on the back of the Z2 can give you about 3 - 4 hrs of power and it’s a great way to get some quick juice. The projector mod is capable of up to 70in of image, the JBL speaker gets loud enough and the Hasselblad zoom mod adds 10x optical zoom. All this is nice and dandy but you get the feeling that the potential is still not fully realised. None of the mods work as stand-alone Bluetooth units so the fear of them becoming redundant if you change the phone in a year is always overbearing and besides the charging TurboPower pack mod that is a ₹ 5999 value, all the others are pricey. The Hasselblad mod for instance is a whopping ₹ 20,000 and it doesn’t do much beside get you closer to the action.
Motorola Z2 Force Initial Verdict
Great in look and feel, the Moto Z2 Force is packed with all the latest flagship specs like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage with room for expansion.
The Mods make for a desirable impression but they might not be compelling enough reason to invest in. What does make for a compelling reason to consider this phone is its promise and deliverance of a shatter-proof screen that looks bright and crisp too and the solid camera performance.
There are a lot of Android contenders at this price point and we can’t think of any other reasons why you would pick this over anything else. But, if you’re clumsy and you want to capture it, this is the one for you!