The Moto Z2 Force has a lot going for it, but a 16:9 display in 2018 is a non-starter.
The Moto Z2 Force made its debut over six months ago, and the phone is now finally launching in India for ₹34,999 ($546). The first-gen Moto Z Force never made it to India, making this the first time Motorola’s ShatterShield tech is available to customers in the country.
As a refresher, ShatterShield is a thin film that is applied to the Moto Z2 Force’s display, making it immune to drops and tumbles. Motorola even offers a comprehensive four-year warranty against screen breakage resulting from falls. The screen itself is a 5.5-inch QHD P-OLED panel, and while there’s nothing wrong with the display itself, the fact that it is a 16:9 panel makes it a non-starter in the country.
With even budget phones switching to the 18:9 form factor, the Z2 Force will have trouble attracting buyers. That said, there are a few areas where the device excels: powered by a Snapdragon 835 and offering 6GB of RAM under the hood, the Z2 Force is one of the fastest phones I’ve used.
With a thickness of just 6.1mm, it is also one of the thinnest. Because of the svelte profile, Motorola had to get rid of the 3.5mm jack, so you’ll have to use Bluetooth audio or choose the dongle life if you’re interested in connecting your wired audio gear.
Motorola offers the Z2 Force with 4GB of RAM in North American markets, but in India the standard variant comes with 6GB of RAM. The powerful hardware combined with the bloat-free user interface puts the Z2 Force on par with the Pixels when it comes to sheer performance, and Motorola’s thoughtful additions with Moto Display and Moto Voice augment the user experience.
Other specs include 64GB of internal storage, microSD slot, dual 12MP rear cameras with a primary RGB sensor augmented by a monochrome sensor, 5MP front camera, water-resistance nano coating, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and 2730mAh battery with Turbo Charging. On the software front, it comes with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
I initially dismissed the paltry 2730mAh battery as being too low for the QHD panel, but I’m having no trouble getting a day’s worth of usage from the phone, with screen-on-time averaging four hours. And if you’re running out of battery, all Z2 Force purchases in India are bundled with a Moto TurboPower pack, which has a 3490mAh battery.
All you need to do is attach the battery pack mod to the back of your phone, and it’ll start charging the device. The best part about this particular Moto Mod is that it delivers the same amount of charge as a TurboPower wall charger, allowing you to get a few hours’ worth of usage after charging for a few minutes — up to 50% in just 20 minutes. The downside is that the phone gets uncomfortably hot, and gets fairly bulky with the mod attached.
The aggressive pricing certainly makes the Moto Z2 Force an enticing option — particularly when you consider that the 4GB model launched in the U.S. for $720 — but the 16:9 panel and the underwhelming cameras are the major drawbacks. In India, Motorola is setting up the Z2 Force as a competitor to the OnePlus 5T, which costs ₹32,999 ($516).
I’ll share more about the Z2 Force in my full review next week, and see how it fares next to the OnePlus 5T, which has also picked up the Oreo update. If you’re interested, the phone will be going up for sale from later tonight at Flipkart for ₹34,999. What are your thoughts on the Moto Z2 Force in India?
February 14, 2018 at 10:05PM