(Pocket-lint) - The Motorola Moto Z launched in 2016 as Motorola's first crack at a modular mobile, brought in to replace the flagship X series. Now, in 2017, Motorola appears to be looking to reintroduce the X series, but the Z range remains at the top of the family tree.
The company has followed up the recent release of the Moto Z2 Play with another Z model - the Moto Z2 Force. This device takes precedent as the flagship Moto so here is everything you need to know about it.
Motorola Moto Z2: Design
- Compatibility with Moto Mods
- Slim build at 5.99mm, no 3.5mm headphone port
- Glass front with premium aluminium build
The Motorola Moto Z2 Force is designed as the high-end model in the Z Series. It also marks the end of the "standard" Z model, with the company claiming your choices will be between the Z2 Play and the Z2 Force.
As its name suggests, the Z2 Force is all about toughness. It has a unibody design built from 7000 series aluminium, which is claimed to make it 80 per cent stronger than the first generation of Moto Z, and it also offers next-generatation ShatterShield glass on its display.
As you would expect from a Moto Z device, the Z2 Force has attachment pins on the rear for compatibility with Moto Mods. It also offers a super slim design at 5.99mm, meaning when the Moto Mods are attached, the device still doesn't look too bulky.
The signature Moto "M" can be found in the centre of the rear, though it is not indented as it has been on some previous Moto devices, delivering a premium finish, while above the "M" sits the circular camera housing.
The camera housing on the Moto Z2 Force is raised and offers dual lenses with a LED flash beneath it, while the Moto Z2 Play alternative also has a raised housing but only one lens. There is also no headphone jack on the Moto Z2 Force as there is on the Moto Z2 Play.
On the front of the Moto Z2 Force, you'll find a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor, while USB Type-C for charging is present at the bottom and individual volume buttons are positioned on the side. The Z2 Force is weather resistant, but Motorola has provided no IP rating.
Motorola Moto Z2: Display
- 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display
- No Mobile HDR
- 16:9 aspect ratio
The previous generation of the Moto Z smartphone had a gorgeous 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad HD AMOLED display, which offered a pixel density of 534ppi and the new Moto Z2 Force follows suit.
Both the size and resolution remain the same as the "standard" Z predecessor, though as we mentioned previously, Motorola has moved to the next generation of ShatterShield glass protection on the display compared to the original Moto Z Force.
The aspect ratio remains at 16:9 though and there is no Mobile HDR compatibility, meaning while the Z2 Force is flagship in many ways, it doesn't tick all the same boxes in terms of display as the likes of the LG G6 or Samsung Galaxy S8.
Motorola Moto Z2: Camera
- Dual-rear cameras
- Both 12MP in resolution, one colour, one monochrome
- 8MP front snapper (tbc)
As the rumours predicted, the Moto Z2 Force features dual rear cameras. Housed within the raised circular module we mentioned previously, Motorola takes the same direction as the likes of Huawei with its P10 Plus, offering one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor.
Both sensors are 12-megapixels in resolution and they offer features including selective focus, selective black and white, post-shot depth control and background replacement functions.
In terms of aperture, both lenses are nice and wide at f/1.7, which is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. The front-facing camera is thought to sit at 8-megapixels with a dual-LED flash on board too.
Motorola Moto Z2: Hardware
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
- 4GB or 6GB of RAM, region dependant
- 2750mAh battery capacity
As the Moto Z2 Force is Motorola's flagship device, flagship specs were expected and delivered. The device features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform under its hood, coupled with either 4GB or RAM or 6GB of RAM, depending on the region.
There is a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of onboard memory, depending again on the region, though both of which have microSD support, and there is also 2750mAh battery running the show.
Thanks to the SD835 chip, the Moto Z2 Force will deliver the fastest possible data speeds at 1Gbps LTE 4G and Wi-Fi 801.11 a/c. NFC is on board too so the fingerprint sensor on the front of the device can be used for mobile payments.
Motorola Moto Z2: Software
- Android Nougat 7.1 with Google Assistant
- Likely to get quick update to Android O when it arrives
- First device to feature Moto Key
Motorola devices feature less bloatware than some of their competitors, with the company sticking to an almost raw Android experience and the Moto Z2 Force is no different, launching on Android Nougat 7.1.
Google Assistant is on board, along with the pre-installed Moto app, where Actions can be accessed to make physical motions deliver outcomes, such as switching on the torch with a "karate chop". This includes Moto Voice and Moto Display - the former acting like Moto's own version of Google Assistant, using the "show me…" command.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, What3Words CEO, and Withings Sleep Analyzer reviewed - Pocket-lint podcast ep. 65
There is also a new addition called Moto Key, which is a security and password manager that debuts on the Moto Z2 Force, but on the whole, the interface is pretty close to vanilla Android.
Motorola devices tend to get quick updates to the latest software builds thanks to their reduced bloatware, so we'd expect Android O on the Z2 Force before the end of 2017.
Motorola Moto Z2: Release date and price
- Unveiled on 25 July
- Pre-orders start in US straight away
- Other countries release dates yet to be detailed
Motorola announced the Moto Z2 Force at an event on 25 July, alongside the 360 Camera Mod. Pre-orders will begin immediately in the US, with the Moto Z2 Force available from 10 August starting at $30 per month.
The smartphone will be available in Super Black and Fine Gold colours but Motorola has yet to announce a UK price or release date. We will update you when we know more.