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TechRadar Verdict

The Moto Z2 Force 2 is here with its guaranteed shatter-resistant glass screen and even more MotoMods, including a 360-degree camera and a Game Pad. You're going to pay a price for the mods, but it's the only modular handset doing it mostly right.


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    Shatterproof screen

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    Exciting MotoMods

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    Great performance

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    Weak battery

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    Not waterproof

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    Average camera

It's becoming hard to distinguish between Android phone in 2017 but the Moto Z2 Force stands out in a way no other phone can. It successfully taps into the exciting world of MotoMod accessories that can instantly upgrade your phone, and marks the return of the Motorola’s shatterproof screen in a refined form factor.

The Moto Z2 force is a combination of last year's ultra-thin Moto Z and the shatter-resistant Moto Z Force that never officially made it to the Middle East. The result is a thin and light phone with fresh specs but one that retains that hard-to-break screen. All MotoMods – new and old – are compatible with the Moto Z2 Force, thankfully.

For this reason, the look and feel of the Z2 Force is consistent to the original phone, but there are subtle differences compared to the Moto Z from last year. It’s slightly thicker, has a bigger battery and features a dual-lens camera for superior photos. There’s also still no headphone jack though.

Price and release date

The Moto Z2 Force was launched during Lenovo's IFA 2017 press conference, but will be available on Nov 1, 2017. That's a date purely for the UAE but we're guessing a Saudi release won't be too far off.

It costs AED 2,699 which is what you'd pay for the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, featuring a larger, elegantly curved screen, but no MotoMods. At that price however, Lenovo is throwing in a mod of your choice as well between the JBL Sound boost 2 Speaker, Moto GamePad or TurboPower.

Design and MotoMods

The Moto Z2 Force measures 155.8 x 76mm and is impressively thin at just 6.1mm. It's also extremely lightweight at just 145g. That makes the Moto Z2 Force easy to manage in your hands.

Its slim design and flat, non-curved back actually serve to make the heft of MotoMods add-ons tolerable. Motorola’s expecting you to magnetically attach MotoMods, whether they’re simple Style Shells or battery packs.

MotoMods now consist of a Moto 360 camera and the Game Controller, in addition to all previous mods such as the Turbo Power battery packs, JBL speakers and the 10x zoom Hasselblad camera. These mods are what makes this phone exciting, and Motorola promises there are more to come.

Moto Z2 Force is thin and light at the base level, but it’s not at all delicate. In addition to the ShatterShield screen, its unibody design has been upgraded to 7000 series aluminum for a more durable frame. In the UAE Lenovo will only release the Super Black color with an attractive brushed metal finish. 

The Moto Z2 Force borrows its one-button navigation from the Moto G5S Plus, which optionally makes sliding right and left on the button mimic on-screen back and recent buttons, and long-pressing it turns the screen on and off. On this phone, it’s a slightly wider sensor pad, which makes a lot of sense given its dual role. That being said, the ShatterShield cutout on the fingerprint sensor has a bit on a sharp edge.

the Moto Z2 Force has a very noticeable camera bump on the back but that becomes a non-issue once a MotoMod is attached. The lack of a 3.5mm jack is unfortunate but Lenovo bundles a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter in the box. Sadly, no upgrade will make this splash-resistant phone waterproof. That remains a Motorola weakness in 2017.

Display and ShatterShield screen

The Moto Z2 Force screen is superb for three reasons. First, its 5.5-inch OLED display looks sharp and saturated with a Quad HD resolution that’s fit for Google Daydream VR duty.

It’s comparable to Samsung’s AMOLED displays, minus the curves. And while LG with the LG V30 and maybe Apple with the iPhone 8 are moving to OLED, Motorola’s screens have been far ahead of this trend.

Better yet, its Moto ShatterShield could save you from a cracked phone thanks to five-layer protection. Motorola guarantees it won’t crack for up to four years; however it’s not scratch-proof, which is a key concern due to the plastic top layer. 

The third reason we like the Z2 Force display is the return of the Moto Active Display, which turns on every time it senses motion via its infrared sensors. It lights up a limited portion of the screen to display the time, date and interactive notification icons.

New this year is the ability to quick-reply and take other actions by tapping on these notification icons – before you could only open the relevant app by flicking the icon up or dismiss it by flicking it down. You can do a lot more without ever lighting up the screen.

This is Motorola’s unique, interactive spin on an always-on display, and it's just like the phone itself. There’s nothing out there like it.

Matt Swider is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Formerly TechRadar's US Editor-in-Chief, he began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the age of 14. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 1m+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University.