Motorola Moto Z Force - specs review


Motorola is back in full force with what seems like a very compelling flagship smartphone - the Moto Z. The Moto Z Force, which keeps it company in Moto's new line-up is a reinforced version with beefier specs and a shatter-proof display that seems to offer the best of Motorola's current technological achievements in a single package. Its bustling spec sheet aside, we have an innovative system of magnetically-attached accessories that upgrade its already stark potential in a variety of ways. Let's check out all the new stuff that Motorola has introduced in its new borderline-indestructible phone!


A beautiful phone with swap-able attachments that's built to last.

The Moto Z Force is made of aluminum and stainless steel. Motorola didn't forget to finish it with the water-repellent nano-coating it has used in previous models like the Droid Turbo – the solution doesn't provide complete waterproofing, but does repel splashes and drops of liquid. Finally, the available color schemes will be Black (with Lunar Grey trim), Black (with Rose Gold trim), and Fine Gold. At 6.99 mm thickness, the Z Force is considerably fatter, but presumably much stronger than the regular Moto Z, and the increased thickness let Motorola stuff a substantially bigger battery inside.

Of course, the biggest surprise is on the back of the Z Force, where users will find a proprietary magnet connector for attaching Moto Mods accessories. We won't discuss the swap-able attachments and their functionality here, but we will point out that accessories developed for the current Moto Z and Moto Z Force are designed to work with future generations handsets as well, which makes for a welcome bit of future-proofing.


A Quad-HD resolution screen that's as tough as it is detailed.

The Moto Z Force features a 5.5-inch Quad-HD resolution AMOLED display that's protected by the company's unique ShatterShield display structure. The display is split in five layers, starting with an aluminum chassis that holds the AMOLED panel and provides structural integrity. On top lie not one, but two touch-sensitive digitizers — if the primary one fails, the second takes over. Moving forth, we discover an "interior lens" – an optically transparent layer that acts as a clear protective shield. This layer is covered by a second, exterior protective lens with a proprietary hard coating to guard against damage.

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With 77% more pixels than a 1080p resolution screen at this size, and at a pixel density of 535 pixels per inch, the Moto Z Force's screen is not only shatterproof, but also exceedingly sharp. Moto also took advantage of the AMOLED screen to implement glance-able discrete previews of notifications and updates. It's not an Always-On feature like the one on Nokia and Samsung handsets. Rather, you must wave at your phone's screen to see new events. In addition, the functionality allows you to play and pause your music without unlocking the phone.


A bustling spec sheet that checks all 2016 flagship smartphone marks.

Motorola wanted the best it could get for its flagship phone, so it splurged on components and didn't spare cash for components shopping. Thus, the Moto Z Force comes tricked out with Qualcomm's reputable Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and up to 64GB of expandable UFS flash storage.

The Snapdragon 820, which features a quad-core CPU (up to 2.2GHz) and a powerful Adreno 530 GPU is in the company of a natural language and contextual computing processors. The latter are used for two convenient features you might have experienced on older Motorola phones. You can use voice commands to ask for directions, search for information, or get answers to your questions without touching your phone. Likewise, Moto Actions is a system for motion and gesture control. In this case, twisting your wrist opens the camera, two chops downward give you a flashlight, and place your phone face down enables Do Not Disturb modes for calls and notifications.

The battery unit which powers the Moto Z Force is a sizable 3500mAh one, which is supposed to be good for up to 40 hours of mixed usage (whatever this means). Moto knew what it was doing and included a TurboPower™ charger that nearly tops up the battery in only 15 minutes of charging. With a battery this big and fast to charge, along with a modern 14nm processor and energy-efficient AMOLED screen, we don't expect any major battery woes with the Z Force.

Other notable parts in the phone's heavyweight spec sheet include a fingerprint scanner on the front panel, an USB Type C port, and four microphones for superior sound reproduction and noise cancelation. That's a lot of hardware packed in this thin shell, but battery capacity isn't the only victim in Moto's quest for finesse. The 3.5mm audio jack had to go, too. To take the edge off from the realisation that your new phone has rendered your favorite pair of buds useless, Motorola sensibly included an USB Type C to 3.5mm jack adapter in the box. Plug in and enjoy the music!


The 21MP rear camera is supposed to focus very fast, while the 5MP front cam features a dedicated flash!

It's often the cameras that separate the men from the boys among smartphones. Thus, Motorola came up with a seriously busy camera setup that promises cutting-edge mobile photography. Its centerpiece is the 21MP rear camera whose bag of goodies includes a wide f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization, phase-detection laser-assisted autofocus, and a color-correlated temperature flash with dual LEDs. Flipping to the front side, the 5 MP selfie cam comes with a wide-angle lens, f/2.2 aperture, and a dedicated flash – one of the very few selfie cameras to have one.

With this camera setup, the Moto Z Force is capable of recording 1080p/60FPS and 4K/30FPS resolution videos, as well as slow motion videos and Video HDR.


Initially, the Moto Z Force will be sold exclusively by Verizon, branded as the Moto Z Force DROID. Sales will begin this summer. A Moto Z Force Unlocked Edition will hit European markets in September, with American availability to follow later. Motorola isn't discussing prices yet, but it's a sure bet that the Moto Z Force will be more expensive than the regular Moto Z.

At first glance, the Moto Z Force checks all marks – fine looks, a big, sharp and shatter-proof display, a cutting edge processor, very powerful cameras, a big battery, and everything else you'd expect from a full-fledged flagship smartphone. Then there's the Moto Mods series of accessories, which will let you enhance the handset's capabilities in various clever ways.

The only smartphone that combines looks, durability, and power like the Moto Z Force is the AT&T-exclusive Samsung Galaxy S7 Active, but mind you, this one doesn't come with an obsessively-engineered shatter-proof screen. So the competition is clearly on – and may the more indestructible of the two win!


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