Moto Z Force Droid Review

Our full thoughts on the Moto Z Force Droid for Verizon.

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Moto Z Force-7_1

The new Moto Z line represents the first flagship that was made under Motorola after Lenovo purchased the company. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force Droid Edition are both exclusive to Verizon for the time being. The Moto Z Force Droid is the higher end of the two with only a few differences.

cannot The regular Moto Z is around $100 cheaper. Is the Moto Z Force Droid Edition worth it with a thinner build, sharper display, and better camera.

Design

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Lenovo and Motorola went with a unique design that might leave you asking a few questions. For starters, the Moto Z Force Droid is thicker and heavier due to an increased battery and stronger display. The front and back are glass while the sides are metal.

The metal part is a mix between lighter and darker shades of grey, while the glass is black. The weirdest part of the design is that Motorola put the volume rocker and power buttons way to close to each other. Leaving the entire left-hand side and bottom right-hand side empty. It makes getting used to the button placement quit difficult, and if you have small hands, it will be a reach to use them.

While you might think it is, the fingerprint sensor below the display does not act as a home button and doesn’t scan all that quickly. The fingerprint sensor does feature haptic feedback, similar to the Nexus 6P.

Above the display is the earpiece that doubles as a front facing speaker. Similar to previous Samsung and Apple devices there is a larger camera hump on the back. This is more pronounced, but when you put a style shield or mod on the back, the surface becomes level. The Moto Style Shields will not provide much protection but allow for personalization.

Hardware

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When releasing a flagship device in the summer, hardware manufacturers realize that they need to hit certain goals to make sure their devices can compete with what else is coming.

A big difference between the Moto Z is that the Moto Z Force Droid has a shatter shield display. Specifically a 5.5-inch 2560 X 1440 AMOLED QuadHD display with second generation shatter shield technology. This a five layer glass setup that ensures the glass will not break, although you should not purposely drop your phone. This is how Motorola competes with Corning Gorilla Glass, but the technologies are quite similar to each other.

I do have to say that the display is one of my favorite features of the Moto Z, it is very sharp and vibrant. While the shatter shield screen does make the build thicker, it does not hurt the picture quality. The display on the Moto Z Force Droid is one of the best of the 2016 smartphones.

Powering both the Moto Z Force Droid and Moto Z is the 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM. This processor is paired with an Adreno 530 GPU, and it performs incredibly well. In our real life testing, the Moto Z Force Droid did not disappear. You can quickly open the camera with a gesture. Navigating the user interface was quick and switching between applications went well.

On Geekbench the Moto Z Force Droid scored a 2337 single-core and 5541 multi-core scores. Put simply, the Moto Z Force Droid is a very fast smartphone and doesn’t slow down easily.

The upgraded 21-megapixel camera on the back of the Moto Z Force Droid does not fare all that well. While you can get a good photo, many images have a yellowish tone to it and appear too bright. While much of this can be fixed with editing, it would be good for the device to get it right. With that being said, it does about the same as the regular Moto Z.

The last upgrade between devices is the battery. The Moto Z Force droid features a large 3,500mAh battery that can get you through a few days. In the Geekbench battery test, which leaves the screen on in a dim mode for an extended period, the device lasted ten hours. However, in real life testing, I got around three days on a charge, even with some heavy usage.

Software

The Moto Z Force Droid resembles previous Motorola devices in that experience is similar to clean Android. It is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with a few minor customizations. There is also the Moto application on board.

This allows you to use several gesture actions– You can flick the phone and have the camera application launch or chop twice to turn on the flashlight. The voice commands that originally appeared on the Moto X are on-board as well.

As this is an exclusive device for Verizon, there are several pre-loaded applications. Many of them can’t be removed but can be hidden– It would be nice if Verizon could learn from other carriers and eliminate some of these applications or at least provide away to remove them fully.

Moto Mods

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Motorola and Lenovo’s take on a modular smartphone are not Project Ara, but it is much better than the LG G5. The big issue I have with Moto Mods is the current lineup of them and the price. The projector mod gets the most attention and is a great party trick, but is not much more especially with the $300 price point.

However, the battery pack mods and speaker mods are more affordable at under $100. The use cases for these are realistic and come in handy. There are also several Style Shields too choose from, and these are similar to Moto Maker for the original Moto X. Out of the box, you get a dark bamboo Style Shield.

The way the Moto Mods attach are nice, but if you do not have a mod or shield on the back, the pins and connectors can be a bit of an eye sore. Moto Mods are an exciting feature of the Moto Z family.

Conclusion

The Moto Z Force Droid Edition is an excellent device, but at the price, you have truly to need a shatter shield display and large battery. You have to remember Moto Mos also work on the Moto Z, and it has almost an identical display with a thinner build. The Moto Z Force Droid is solid, but at $720(full retail) or $30 a month on a device payment plan, you are better off with the cheaper Moto Z if you do not need the upgraded features.

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