Much can be said about Lenovo's follow-up to last year's fairly impressive Moto Z Force, and not all those things sound optimistic.
While keen to highlight its high points — the shatterproof screen, the Moto Mods compatibility, overall performance — critics have also penalized Motorola for what looks to be a couple of troubling design issues, the subpar quality of the phone's screen material, and its reduced battery life.
"[Each smartphone upgrade] should be faster, able to take better pictures, and have a battery that lasts longer. But Motorola's Moto Z2 Force is evidence that this isn't always the case."
So where does the Moto Z2 force fall flat? Here's what the critics are saying about Lenovo's latest flagship.
Moto Z2 Force: Shatterproof Screen
For a phone that costs an upward of $720, the Moto Z2 Force sports a screen that feels cheap, perhaps because it's made of plastic. This is a deliberate choice, however, since that allows for its shatterproof quality. Correct: Moto's ShatterShield tech returns, ensuring the phone won't crack or break from the usual mishaps phones typically shatter from.
This comes with a compromise because, again, the screen doesn't feel premium despite being a gorgeous 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display. The Verge says pressing near the fingerprint scanner in some sports makes some plasticky noises, which is "rather annoying" for a phone that costs a premium.
Scratches are a problem too. A major problem, in fact. Android Police writes:
"I've only had this phone for about a week, but there are already several visible scratches on the display."
BGR echoes the same concern:
"After a week of light (and careful!) use, I've already got one tiny scratch on the corner of a screen. It's certainly not a big deal yet, but I'd be worried about what the front of this phone will look like two years down the line."
The Next Web notes how easily the screen is scratched:
"I noticed I was able to scratch the display with just my fingernail when I was trying to remove some gunk I'd gotten on the screen."
It's easy to see that some will be impressed by the phone's shatterproof screen, but they'll most likely be just as disappointed with how easily it collects scratches. For a premium phone, that might be a deal breaker for most.
Moto Z2 Force: Design, Performance, Battery Life
• Performance: Fortunately, there are no qualms about the phone's performance. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip runs under the hood, along with Adreno 540 graphics, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of onboard storage, for good measure.
"Once you're over the invincible screen and get to using the Moto Z2 Force, it's blazing fast," says The Verge, noting its specs sheet represents one of this year's best. "And next to the Google Pixel and HTC U11, you're not going to find a faster and more fluid experience."
• Design: The Moto Z2 Force is generally a better smartphone than its predecessor, but it also represents some questionable design choices from Motorola and Lenovo. It doesn't look bad per se, but when compared with the gorgeous smartphone other companies are coming out with today, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, it feels a little outdated.
• Battery life: The Moto Z2 Force is extremely thin. That means Motorola had to reduce the battery life — from 3,500 mAh down to 2,730 mAh — to accommodate a thinner profile.
"The Moto Z2 Force is no battery champion, it's barely in the race if I'm totally honest. Just about everything else in this class can easily last most users through a day and change, but the Z2 Force is lucky to get to 6pm for anyone but a light user," 9to5Google says.
Moto Z2 Force: Verdict
Critics say the Moto Z2 Force isn't a bad phone. Save for some minor qualms such as the absence of the headphone jack and the phone not being truly water resistant, it's a flagship through and through. It's already an excellent flagship on paper, but Moto Mods elevate it even further.
Still, the critics seem to say that for the asking price, Motorola could have delivered something more — something a tad bit more irresistible because customers will likely look at other phones in the same price range once they find out the Moto Z2 Force has a disappointing battery life and an easily scratched display.
Thoughts about the Moto Z2 Force? Sound off in the comments section below!