Introduction

This year, Lenovo had the honor of unveiling Motorola’s newest flagship offerings. These flagship offerings are the Moto Z, which aims to succeed the Moto X, and the Moto Z Force, which is a bigger and badder version of the Moto Z.

The Moto Z Force is aimed at succeeding last year’s Droid Turbo 2 (exclusive to Verizon in the US, Moto X Force in worldwide markets). Both the Moto Z and Z Force are identical in height and width, and their thickness is the only way to tell the two apart.

The other difference with the Moto Z Force is the significantly larger battery, the added girth that comes with a larger battery, a higher resolution 21MP camera, and the shatter proof screen that will survive drops of up to 5 feet onto flat surfaces. These specs make the Moto Z Force a worthy competitor to the recently reviewed Samsung Galaxy S7 active.

The Moto Z Force will remain as a Verizon exclusive model in the US and for now. As of this review, there are currently no plans to release the Moto Z Force outside of the US. Making it like the Samsung Galaxy S7 active which remains as an AT&T exclusive and is not available anywhere else in the world.

Key features

  • 5.5″ AMOLED screen, QHD (1440×2560 / 535 ppi), Gorilla Glass
  • Water-resistant nano-coating (splash-proof but not submersible)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 – dual-core 2.15 GHz Kyro & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kyro w/ Adreno 530, 4GB of RAM
  • 32 or 64GB of internal storage, microSD expandable up to 2TB
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Moto Enhancements (Moto Voice, Moto Display, and Moto Actions)
  • 21MP camera, f/1.8 aperture, 1.12 micron pixels, OIS, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED flash. 1080p video @ 30 or 60fps, 4K @ 30fps.
  • 5MP front-facing camera with wide angle, front-facing LED flash
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • (U.S. Version) – CDMA: 850, 1900MHz, GSM/GRPS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz), UTMS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100MHz), LTE Bands
  • 3,500 mAh battery, 30W Moto Turbo Charger via USB-C
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Main Shortcomings

  • No USB transfer cable included (charger and cable are single piece)
  • No standard 3.5mm audio jack (USB-C adapter is included)
  • Moto Mods aren’t cheap
  • Exclusive to the US market via Verizon

The Moto Z Force is a worthy competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S7 active as they are both play fine with water (Moto Z Force is splash resistant only), they both offer shatter-proof displays, and they both are touted as ultra-durable devices with large batteries.

We’ve already reviewed the Moto Z, but the Moto Z Force is aimed at a slightly different consumer, but mostly the power user. Paired with the US’ best (although, most expensive) carrier, the Moto Z Force Droid also carries a $96 premium over the Moto Z Droid when purchasing from Verizon.

Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Front - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Rear close-up - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Rear - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Side - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Combo view - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Moto Z in Black & Rose Gold: Front • Rear close-up • Rear • Side • Combo view

The Moto Z Force takes on the Moto Z by offering a larger batter, higher resolution 21MP camera, and the aforementioned shatterproof display. We are curious to see if Lenovo has changed the recipe for creating their shatter-proof display. The previous iteration of this screen, which we saw in the Droid Turbo 2 and Moto X Force had diminished viewing angles, and the plastic-based display lens was more prone to light scratches.

The Moto Z Force works with the same Moto Mods as the Moto Z. Both it and the Moto Z Force have otherwise identical hardware on the exterior, except for the thickness. The Moto Z Force is 25% thicker than the razor thin 5.2mm Moto Z, but it’s still quite thin.

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Camera performance with the Moto Z was decent, and we are expecting the 21MP camera found in the Moto Z Force to be even better.

Follow us onto the next page to see what’s inside the Moto Z Force’s retail package.