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Moto Z2 Force release date, news and rumors

The Moto Z2 Force is set be Motorola’s next flagship phone, combining a tough screen with high-end specs.

It’s been all but confirmed by the company already, and a full announcement is expected just days from now, so you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on it.

But if you can’t wait even that long we’ve got you covered, because an assortment of leaks and rumors have seemingly revealed almost everything there is to know about this hardened handset. Read on below for everything we’ve heard so far about the Moto Z2 Force.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next tough flagship from Motorola
  • When is it out? It’s being announced July 25
  • What will it cost? A lot

Moto Z2 Force release date and price

Hottest leaks:

  • A July 25 announcement

Motorola is holding an event on July 25 in New York and it’s heavily hinted that we’ll see the Moto Z2 Force there, as a teaser says to “get ready to shatter your expectations”, accompanied by an image of smashed smartphone screens.

One of the key features of the Moto Z Force is its tough, shatter-resistant screen, and we fully expect that to be making a return for the Z2 Force, making that the logical phone that Motorola would be hinting at.

You won’t necessarily be able to buy it straight away, but a July 25 announcement at least is looking almost guaranteed.

Price-wise all we can do for now is look at the Moto Z Force, which launched for $720 (around £555/AU$910), so the Moto Z2 Force is likely to cost at least that much SIM-free.

Moto Z2 Force screen

Hottest leaks:

  • A 5.5-inch QHD screen
  • ShatterShield technology

A high point of the Moto Z Force was its ShatterShield screen, which is designed to prevent the screen cracking or smashing when dropped from heights of around 5 feet or less. 

We’d expect to see that again in the Moto Z2 Force, and indeed a leaked presentation slide mentions exactly that.

Credit: Evan Blass

Whether ShatterShield will have been improved for the Z2 Force remains to be seen, but in other ways the screen sounds very similar to its predecessor, with VentureBeat reporting (based on marketing material that it’s obtained) that the Moto Z2 Force will have a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED screen with ShatterShield technology.

That same size and resolution has been listed in a benchmark, albeit one referring to the ‘Moto Z2’, rather than the Moto Z2 Force.

On paper that spec sounds exactly the same as the original Moto Z Force, but it’s still a flagship spec.

TechRadar’s take: It doesn’t look like there will be much change to the screen for this year’s model, so expect it to be 5.5 inches, sharp and tough.

Moto Z2 Force design

Hottest leaks:

  • A slim metal shell
  • No headphone port

We have a very good idea of how the Moto Z2 Force will look, as various images have leaked and they all match up with one another.

Most recently there’s the shot below, which shows a phone that looks a lot like the previous Moto Z Force, but with some tweaks.

Credit: VentureBeat

It seems to be made of metal, with a slim build and a textured back, while a narrow band around the edge is likely there to help strengthen your signal.

There’s the Motorola dimple in the middle, a dual-lens camera jutting out near the top, a Moto Mods connector near the bottom, and a home button likely housing a fingerprint scanner below the screen. 

And notably, like its predecessor, there’s no 3.5mm headphone port.

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We’ve seen the same design in the images above, shared by Android Authority and OnLeaks, and in yet another leaked shot.

In fact, it’s a design that’s even been shown off by Motorola itself in the image below, which was briefly posted to Motorola’s Chinese website.

We’ve also heard that while the phone won’t have an ingress protection rating for water resistance, it will at least be covered in a water-repellent nano-coating, which is likely to mean it can survive a splash, but not much more.

Leaks have shown the Moto Z2 Force in gold and black (likely to be called Fine Gold and Super Black according to VentureBeat), while a Lunar Grey shade will apparently be exclusive to T-Mobile in the US. The same source says it will be almost a millimeter thinner than the 7mm Moto Z Force.

TechRadar’s take: A similar design to the Moto Z Force is looking likely, with the images above almost certainly being accurate, given that we’ve now seen so many of them.

Moto Z2 Force camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A dual-lens 12MP camera
  • A 5MP front-facing camera
  • OIS and improved low light skills

We know from all the leaked images that the Moto Z2 Force is likely to have a dual-lens camera, which is a big change, as the Moto Z Force has just a single-lens one.

As for the specs of it, the latest leaks suggest it will have two 12MP sensors, along with a 5MP front-facing one (which we can see from pictures has an LED flash).

That lines up with earlier information from leaker @Ricciolo1, who claims the Moto Z2 will have a lower megapixel count (the original Z Force was 21MP) and that it will have larger pixels, a laser autofocus and optical image stabilization (OIS), as well as enhanced low light skills.

However, he didn’t actually refer to Force here, rather the Moto Z 2017, which could be an entirely different phone.

The battery meanwhile is going to be 2,730mAh according to VentureBeat. That would make it 22% smaller than the 3,500mAh juice pack in the Moto Z Force. A surprisingly big drop then if true.

TechRadar’s take: Dual-lens cameras are the in thing and the leaked images we’ve seen all show one, so that’s very likely. The drop in battery size is more of a surprise, but if Motorola really is slimming the phone down even more, as has been rumored, it might be necessary.

Moto Z2 Force OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • A flagship Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage

The latest leaks suggest the Moto Z2 Force will have a Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with either 4GB of RAM (in the US) or 6GB of RAM (everywhere else). Apparently it will also have 64GB of storage, unless you’re in China, which gets 128GB.

However, all models are said to have a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 2TB, and the phone will supposedly run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, with an Android O update planned when it’s available.

Those specs line up with a Geekbench benchmark labelled as the ‘Moto Z (2)’, which lists a phone with a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM and Android 7.1.1. And another benchmark (this time labelled Moto Z2) has also popped up with the same assortment of specs, along with 64GB of storage.

The Snapdragon 835 was also hinted at by a leaked presentation slide, which mentioned the Moto Z2 Force would support gigabit LTE. 

That means you can get faster mobile data speeds (if your network is up to the challenge) and the Snapdragon 835 is the only Qualcomm chip which supports that.

TechRadar’s take: A Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM are the flagship standard this year, so we’d fully expect to see that on the Moto Z2 Force. Given that 4GB is the standard, 6GB of RAM outside the US seems less likely, but possible.

Moto Z2 Force other features

Hottest leaks:

  • Moto Mods are sure to feature

The Moto Z2 Force is sure to support Moto Mods, as most mid-range and above Motorola handsets do, and as leaked images we’ve seen show a connector for them.

These are accessories which attach to your phone to add or improve a feature, and there are a number of them around, such as a projector, an optical zoom lens and a battery pack (which could be especially useful here, if the Moto Z2’s battery really is as small as rumored).

TechRadar’s take: We don’t know what if any new features the Moto Z2 Force will have, but we’re almost certain it will continue the support of Moto Mods.

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