Motorola kicked off the era of Moto Mods last year with the Moto Z and Z Force. The latter was only available on Verizon in the US, but this year the Z2 Force is coming to all US carriers. It’s also the only flagship phone the company is releasing this summer—there’s no regular Z phone at all. That makes the Z2 Force a critical phone for Motorola as it seeks to convince consumers and mobile carriers that Mods are a good idea.
The Moto Z2 Force is designed entirely around Moto Mods, not only in the overall shape and size of the device but in the way this second generation Z phone has changed compared to last year. There are some things to like about the Z2 Force like the capable camera, a clean build of Android, and the overall speed. However, it’s outweighed by an over-reliance on Moto Mods and a fundamentally flawed shatter-proof display.
Motorola’s Z-series phones are recognizable even at a glance; it’s a consequence of giving over the entire back side of the phone to a modular accessory system. The back of the phone is aluminum with the same ultra-smooth finish we saw on the Z2 Play. It feels solid but picks up fingerprints more readily than most aluminum phones. Who cares about that, though? You’re supposed to attach things to the back.
Without a Mod attached, the Z2 Force’s camera module sticks out like all the other Z phones. I think it looks awkward, and the flat back isn’t the most comfortable to hold. Thus, a “Style Shell” is recommended. Motorola never came through with a wide array of shells, but the handful of wood, fabric, and leather covers do look nice. They attach magnetically and make the phone much more pleasant to grip. The Style Shell also covers