Motorola just applied some Force to its Z2 phone line — the Z2 Force gets dual rear cameras and a shatter-resistant screen. And, actually, a few more key upgrades.
Last year, Motorola’s modular Z phone came in three varieties, and one, the shatter-resistant, was exclusive to Verizon in the US. This year, the shatter-resistant Z Force is cross-carrier, and on paper it looks like the best version of the Z to buy. It’s thin now, and not bulky last last year’s model. In fact, forget the name “Z2 Force,” because this might as well be the straight-up Z2… it feels more like the sequel to the mainstream .
The Moto Z2 Force Edition, as it’s officially called, is also like a new step-up version of thethat launched earlier this year, with a series of improvements. What’s the difference? The Z2 Force has a better processor, better display, better cameras, more RAM and an impact-resistant ShatterShield display covering.
The only thing that’s up in the air is battery life. The Z2 Force has a smaller 2,730mAh battery versus the 3,000mAh Z2 Play, and while it also has fast charging, it might mean a less impressive road warrior between charges.
In the US, the Z2 Force is arriving on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon starting August 10. AT&T’s version will support the DirecTV Now app, and AT&T orders through October 6 will also get a free Lenovo Insta-Share Projector mod — a pretty fun freebie.
Is it worth the upgrade?
The Z2 Play is already a great phone. The Z2 Force should be even better, provided the price is right. Motorola says the Z2 Force will be available for around $30 a month in the US. How much more expensive will it be than the Z2 Play? That’s a little hard to tell at the moment. But it’s definitely pushing the premium. (UK and Australian pricing and availability were not announced.)
The Z2 Force, just like the Z2 Play, works with all existing and upcoming magnetic snap-on. It’s slimmer than the Z2 Play, and that’s probably why it has a smaller battery.
The Z2 Force’s standout feature compared to other Z models is its dual rear cameras, which can be used for depth-of-field effects. One camera’s monochrome and the other’s color, Moto says.
Still, this phone also has all the other perks that the Z2 Play enjoyed, including a snappier “Show Me” shortcut to voice control and Moto’s suite of apps.
A 360 camera mod, too
Motorola also debuted a new snap-on mod: a 360-degree camera, also available August 10 for $300. The camera has 150-degree wide-angle, can shoot 4K video, can sync into Google Photos and can be edited on the phone with Motorola’s own software.
It’s also big. The camera mod is part of a phone-sized snap-on back cover with its own battery, and is significantly larger than the upcoming‘s smaller clip-on camera design.
Stay tuned for hands-on impressions and photos and video later today.
Moto Z2 Force vs. Z2 Play
|Moto Z2 Force||Moto Z2 Play|
|Display size, resolution||5.5-inch; 2,560×1,440 with ShatterShield||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080|
|Camera (rear)||12-megapixel (dual)||12-megapixel|
|Processor||2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 626|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB (varies by region)||32GB, 64GB|
|RAM||4GB or 6GB (varies by region)||3GB or 4GB (varies by region)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Touch area below display||Touch area below display|
|Expandable storage||Up to 2TB||Up to 2TB|
|Water resistance||Nano-repellant (splash)||Nano-repellant (splash)|