Moto Z2 Force vs OnePlus 5 (Smartphone Showdown)

Two Snapdragon 835 phones pitted against eachother

This week Lenovo and Motorola unveiled the Moto Z2 Force – their latest flagship effort. In what follows we’re going to take a look at the key specification and highlights of the new Moto and compare it to another contender to the throne of smartphones, the OnePlus 5.

Design

Like the OnePlus 5, the Moto Z2 Force hasn’t adhered to the edge-to-edge display trend this year. Instead, it stuck to a more standard design reminiscent of the previous Moto Z Force, while retaining compatibility with the existing set of Moto Mods (but also new ones).

But even if the Moto Z2 Force is not too unique when it comes its outwardly appearance, it includes other features that recommended it as a great buy.

The Moto Z2 Force has been built to last coming with a 7000 series aluminum unibody that’s 80% stronger than its predecessor and a ShatterShield “drop-proof” display. For its part, the OnePlus 5 – which is considered by most critics a blatant iPhone 7 Plus lookalike –  is quite sturdy itself coming with a full metal body, but also a really thin frame of 7.25mm.

But the Moto Z2 Force is even skinnier than that, boasting a 6.1mm profile. It’s also very light tipping the scales at just 143 g, while the OnePlus 5 weighs 153 g. The Moto does not include a 3.5 mm headphone jack, but the OnePlus 5 does.

Both handsets include a physical home button which also dubs at as a fingerprint scanner. But in the case of the Moto Z2 Force, it also allows users to control navigation.

The new Moto is splash resistant, while the OnePlus 5 is unofficially water-resistant.

Display

The Moto Z2 Force includes a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, while the OnePlus 5 offers the services of a 5.5-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. Actually, the phone takes advantage of the same display panel as the OnePlus 3T.

Thanks to the ShatterShield technology which uses several layers of screen, Motorola claims the Moto Z2 Force’s display won’t shatter or crack when dropped from a short distance.

Performance

Both Moto Z2 Force and OnePlus 5 rely on the same Snapdragon 835 processor clocked at a max of 2.4GHz.

But the two models differ in terms of RAM and storage options. In the US, the Moto Z2 Force will be sold with 4GB of RAM + 64GB of internal storage. Luckily the phone also carries a microSD card slot for memory expansion.

As for the OnePlus 5, it is offered with either 6GB of RAM + 64GB of internal storage or with 8GB of RAM + 128GB of internal storage. In this case, there’s no microSD card slot option.

Cameras

The Motorola and OnePlus flagships are followers of this year’s dual-camera trend. The Moto Z2 Force includes two 12-megapixel sensors on the back with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection and laser-assisted autofocus and a front-facing 5-megapixel self-portrait camera.

The main camera on the Moto Z2 Force lets users apply selective focus to shots in the vein of the iPhone 7 Plus’ portrait mode. They can also shoot in true black-and-white.

The OnePlus 5, on the other hand, pairs a 16-megapixel main sensor with f/1.7 and a 20-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.6. A 16-megapixel selfie shooter with f/2.0 adorns the front.

DxOMark scored the OnePlus 5’s main camera with 87 points, which puts it on par with the snappers of the Huawei P10, Moto Z, and Sony Xperia XZ.

DxOMark praises white balance, colors, detail preservation in bright light and fast auto focus as standout features while pointing out that occasional strong loss of details outdoors, fine details lost in low-light scenes and ghosting effects in some outdoor conditions, might also occur.

Software

The Moto Z2 Force runs Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and comes with the Moto app pre-installed. It also includes a new Moto Key which doubles as a security and password manager.

As always, Motorola keeps bloatware to the minimum on its devices, so you’ll get to experience a near-stock version of Android.

As for the OnePlus 5, it runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat with OxygenOS on top – which is a slightly more customizable but clean-looking version of Android.

Battery

The Moto Z2 Force relies on a 2,750 mAh battery this year although its predecessor boasted a 3,500 mAh fuel cell, while the OnePlus 5 includes a 3,300 mAh power house with Dash Charge technology.

This year, Motorola slimmed down the Moto Z2 Force at the expense of battery, but the good news is that if you need more juice you can simply snap on a battery Mod. Although it’s going to cost you extra to buy one (for example the Kate Spade Power Pack Moto Mod costs $79.99).

Pricing

Moto Z2 Force will cost you more, coming with a price tag of $750 and up. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5 with 6GB of RAM + 64GB of storage is $479 and the 8GB of RAM + 128GB of storage is $539.

So what should you get? It depends on your individual tastes and needs. But to summarize a bit, the Moto Z2 Force is the sturdier option that offers QHD resolution and a microSD card slot, while the OnePlus 5 has more RAM and storage, a larger battery and a more affordable price.