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Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: What's The Difference?

Know Your Mobile logo Know Your Mobile 18-06-2016 Paul Briden
Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: What's The Difference?© knowyourmobile.com Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: What's The Difference?

We're still not used to referring to Moto devices as Lenovo Moto instead of Motorola Moto, although we're pretty sure both firms would rather it was simply "Moto Z" or "Moto Z Force" instead of tacking the OEM name on the front and turning it into a tongue-twister. Still, whoever you attribute them to, the duo was announced in June 2016 at a Lenovo event following many months of rumours, leaks, and speculation. The pair are both premium-grade handsets taking over from the Moto X line-up, which last year brought us the Moto X Style and Moto X Play. Just as with the previous generation, the new Moto Z family share a broadly similar feature set and design ethos, but there are a few precise tweaks in places to make these two distinct devices. Let's take a look shall we?

Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Specs

Moto Z

Dimensions: 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm, 136g

Display: 5.5in AMOLED 1440 x 2560 pixels (~535 ppi pixel density)

OS: Android Marshmallow (Stock)

Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820

Memory: 4GB

Storage Options: 32GB/64GB

SD-Support: Up to 256GB

Primary Camera: 13 MP, f/1.8, OIS, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash

Secondary Camera: 5MP, f/2.2, LED flash

Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 2,600 mAh battery

Moto Z Force

Dimensions: 155.9 x 75.8 x 7 mm, 163g

Display: 5.5in AMOLED 1440 x 2560 pixels (~535 ppi pixel density)

OS: Android Marshmallow (Stock)

Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820

Memory: 4GB

Storage Options: 32GB/64GB

SD-Support: Up to 256GB

Primary Camera: 21MP, f/1.8, laser & phase detection autofocus, OIS, 1.12 µm pixel size

Secondary Camera: 5MP, f/2.2, LED flash

Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3,500 mAh battery

Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Design & Display

On the whole both the Moto Z and Moto Z Force carry the same design language; they have the same slightly rounded-off shape with a somewhat Nexus-like appearance, the same end-capped and patterned back panel aesthetic, and are both made from the same "aircraft-grade" aluminum and stainless steel with Gorilla Glass 4 on front and back. There's a VERY good reason for these similarities quite apart from simple brand cohesion, and that reason is MotoMods. We'll go into more detail on MotoMods later, but to summarise these are clip-on accessory panels which attach via magnets to the phone's back. The most basic are simply aesthetic accessories allowing you to personalise your phone from a range of colours and finishes, but the 16 little dots on the rear of both handset models do serve a purpose, and that's so that the functional MotoMods can do magical things like boost your battery life, incorporate a projector, or give you a set of stereo speakers. Naturally, for the MotoMods to be compatible with both devices they had to follow more or less the same design and proportions - the only real difference on the outside is in device thickness; the Moto Z is easily the thinnest smartphone on the market right now at a mere 5.2mm, while the Moto Z Force comes in at a more standard 7mm round the waist. The reason for the added girth? Twofold; one for a bigger battery cell, and two for an additional layer of screen protection with ShatterShield tech on top of the Gorilla Glass 4.

Both handsets also feature identical display panels; a 5.5in AMOLED with a QHD resolution at 535 pixels-per-inch (ppi) for sharp visual quality, as well as good colour and contrast.

Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Hardware

Like the exterior, most of the interior specs are identical between these two handsets. They both pack Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM, come in 32GB and 64GB storage flavours, offer microSD support, and utilise the new Type-C USB port. The key difference is in the battery department, where the regular Moto Z has a 2,600mAh cell the Moto Z Force has a significantly larger 3,500mAh setup which should offer you much more use-time on a charge. Both battery setups are non-removable though.

Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: Camera

Another major differentiator, the Moto Z has a respectable 13MP sensor with a super-wide f/1.8 aperture, optical stabilisation (OIS) dual-LED two-tone flash and laser autofocus. At time of writing we haven't seen the performance of this first hand but it has all the trappings of a decent shooter.

However, the Moto Z Force ramps things up by quite a few notches. The sensor is a 21MP unit with the same aperture size, and OIS and flash modules. It also has the laser autofocus but on top of this feature phase-detection autofocus for even faster focus and capture speeds.

Moto Z vs Moto Z Force: MotoMods

The coolest feature of both phones is that all of the above can be augmented by the user via the MotoMod modules. At present there is a limited selection of official mods from Lenovo/Motorola, but the technology is open to third parties to develop whatever they see a market for, so looking ahead you could see some really crazy accessories being created for the Moto Z series.

The most appealing and obviously useful MotoMod is the "Incipio Offgrid", a massive battery pack that boosts the Moto Z or Moto Z Force's internal battery capacity by an additional 2,200mAh; that's 4,800mAh or 5,700mAh respectively!

Another nice option is the JBL Soundboost fitted with a pair of 27mm, 200 Hz - 20 KHz, 3W stereo speakers, a kickstand, and its own 1,000mAh battery pack, turning your Moto Z or Moto Z Force into a mini stereo system.

Other options include a Pico Projector and a specialised camera module is believed to be in the works. 

ALSO SEE (PHOTOS): Battle of specs - OnePlus 3 vs the competiton

OnePlus 3 vs LG G5 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 and others: Specifications battle: OnePlus 3, the new flagship by Chinese technology start-up OnePlus, is finally out. It goes for a fresh look and ditches the sandstone body we saw in the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. OnePlus 3 is one of the few flagships to come with 6GB RAM, joining the likes of Le Max 2, which was recently launched in India. OnePlus 3 will compete with high-end flagships like Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 in India. It is also the direct competitor to LeEco Le Max 2, and Xiaomi’s Mi 5 in India.Here is how the OnePlus 3 stacks up against Le Max 2, Mi 5, LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 in terms of specs. Read more here OnePlus 3 vs LG G5 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 and others: Specifications battle

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