Motorola has made its latest high-end smartphone official.
It’s called the Moto Z2 Force Edition, and its headline feature is a purportedly “shatterproof” display.
Motorola has touted this kind of design with past devices like the Moto Z Force and Droid Turbo 2, and generally speaking it’s done well to keep those phones more durable than usual. You should be able to drop the Z2 Force without having to worry about cracking the screen, though the rest of the device will still likely scuff up.
- A 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a sharp 2560 x 1440 resolution. Being AMOLED means it should have deeper colours than the LED screens of devices like the iPhone, though it’s not the “bezel-less” type of screen you’d find on a Galaxy S8.
- A Snapdragon 835 chip, the strongest in Qualcomm’s series, and 4 GB of RAM
- 64 GB of storage, with up to 2 TB more possible through a microSD card
- A pair of 12-megapixel rear cameras. Motorola says this’ll allow you to play with depth of field effects, similar to those available on the iPhone 7 Plus.
- A 5-megapixel selfie camera
- A 2,730 mAh battery, which is a ways less than the 3,500 mAh unit in last year’s model. There is some level of fast charging, though.
- Instead, Motorola has traded that battery life for thinness. That may not be a popular choice, but the company says the Z2 Force is 13% thinner and 12% lighter than its predecessor. That amounts to 6.1mm. The Galaxy S8, by comparison, measures 8mm — though it’s still hard to call that phone thick.
- Android 7.1 Nougat, which is close to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Motorola has one of the cleaner takes on Android, though it isn’t especially fast at issuing software and security updates since being acquired by Lenovo a few years back.
- No official water-resistance, but Motorola says it will have a level of “water protection” that lets it survive in light rain and the like.
- No headphone jack, just like last year’s Moto Z.
The Moto Z2 Force looks much like other devices in the Moto Z line. That means it has a set of connectors on its back that allows the phone to connect to Motorola’s various “Moto Mod” modular accessories. You can snap on a game controller or wireless charging case, for instance, and have it work with minimal setup.
These Mods tend to work well, but remain iffy values given that they’re tied to one specific set of devices. If you ever want to leave Moto, you leave all the accessories you paid for as well.
Last year’s Moto Z Force was only available on Verizon, but Motorola says it will sell versions of the Z2 Force for all of the major carriers in the US starting on August 10. It won’t come cheap, though: Pricing varies by carrier, but the phone will cost around $US750 either way. On Verizon, for instance, it’s available outright for $US756.
The wider availability could help Motorola get the Z2 Force in more hands, but the company will continue to face stiff competition from Samsung and the rest of an increasingly saturated smartphone market, which will likely include new devices from Apple, Samsung and Google in the coming months. Motorola said last month that it was “on track” to sell three million Moto Z devices within the line’s first year on the market.
Still, if you’re the clumsy type, you might find the Moto Z2 Force appealing. We’ll have a full review soon.