Moto Z Force Droid review: Toughened up

Toughened up

GSMArena team, 12 August 2016.

Gallery

The Moto Z Force relies on stock Google apps for viewing photos, video playback, and the music player. The Gallery in question is part of Google's Photos service. If you are familiar with Google Photos, then you'll be quite familiar with the interface.

Camera roll views can be changed with pinch-to-zoom - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Camera roll views can be changed with pinch-to-zoom - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Camera roll views can be changed with pinch-to-zoom - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Camera roll views can be changed with pinch-to-zoom

The stock offering also offers many basic editing features to help you crop, rotate, and adjust basic levels. There's also an "auto enhance" feature which automatically adjusts the photo the way Google's software thinks it should look.

Various photo editing tools - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Various photo editing tools - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Various photo editing tools - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Various photo editing tools - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Various photo editing tools

Video playback is just as simple as the photo viewer. There is also an "edit" button but it only allows you to crop the video's length. Unfortunately, the stock video player doesn't come close to 3rd party video players that you can find on the Play Store with features like additional format and subtitle support.

Video playback: tools - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Video playback: options - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Video playback: editor - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Video playback: tools • options • editor

Google Play Music

The Moto Z Force uses Google Play music as the stock music player which offers a free music streaming service (think YouTube, but for music and ad-supported). These days, it's more common to either subscribe to a music service or stream music from a free service. The days of loading 20GB of music to a microSD card are slowly being left behind in the past.

Album art: Now Playing - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Album art: notification - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Album art: lockscreen - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Album art: Now Playing • notification • lockscreen

Google Music: home - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Google Music: settings - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review Google Music: equalizer - Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review
Google Music: home • settings • equalizer

When using Google Music, you'll be shown a YouTube icon which will take you to that song's music video on YouTube (if it has one). Besides the "Now Playing" screen, album art can be seen in the notification shade (along with music controls) and the lock screen also features the album art in a full-screen version.

Great audio output

Unsurprisingly, the Motorola Moto Z Force Droid matched the audio output of the regular Moto Z almost perfectly. That’s good news too, since it means that the flagship delivers perfectly accurate audio with an active external amplifier and matches them with nicely high volume.

Headphones don’t cause much damage either - nothing besides a well contained hike in stereo crosstalk. Another great performance by the Moto family.

And now here go the results so you can do your comparison.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid +0.06, -0.02-94.094.00.0032 0.0076-94.9
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid (headphones) +0.05, -0.02-94.094.00.025 0.024-76.2
Motorola Moto Z Droid +0.02, -0.05-93.693.60.0046 0.0097-93.9
Motorola Moto Z Droid (headphones) +0.03, -0.04-93.793.60.018 0.019-75.4
Huawei P9 Plus +0.04, -0.01-97.498.90.0040 0.010-96.9
Huawei P9 Plus (headphones) +0.03, -0.38-95.895.90.0055 0.190-63.7
Sony Xperia X Performance +0.01, -0.04-95.290.00.0038 0.011-95.1
Sony Xperia X Performance (headphones) +0.23, -0.17-93.289.30.0078 0.174-64.9
LG G5 +0.01, -0.04-92.692.60.0051 0.0096-93.3
LG G5 (headphones) +0.05, -0.01-92.292.30.0029 0.037-50.7
Xiaomi Mi 5 +0.01, -0.03-95.395.10.0034 0.0065-95.1
Xiaomi Mi 5 (headphones)+0.01, -0.03-95.295.10.0027 0.013-71.5
Samsung Galaxy S7 +0.01, -0.04-92.592.60.0027 0.0078-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones)+0.05, -0.05-91.992.10.0044 0.063-73.4
Apple iPhone 6s+0.03, -0.04-93.593.50.00160.0075-73.2
Apple iPhone 6s (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.06-93.893.90.00300.101-68.2

Motorola Moto Z Force Droid frequency response
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Loudspeaker test

The Droid Turbo 2 (Moto X Force) featured a similar loudspeaker setup as the Moto Z Force does now. There is a single loudspeaker on the front of the phone which also doubles as the earpiece during phone calls. The speaker on the Moto Z Force Droid turned out louder.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
HTC 10 (Theater mode) 61.9 66.0 62.1 Below Average
Sony Xperia X Performance 62.2 62.0 66.7 Below Average
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 65.8 65.1 64.6 Below Average
HTC 10 (Music mode) 63.1 66.7 74.3 Average
Motorola Moto X Force 66.3 66.7 71.7 Average
LG G5 68.7 66.2 73.2 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 70.0 69.1 71.8 Good
OnePlus 3 62.4 71.0 77.8 Good
Lenovo Moto Z Droid 64.5 66.2 81.8 Good
Lenovo Moto Z Force Droid 69.5 68.0 77.6 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 active 72.1 66.3 78.5 Good

The loudspeaker is strong enough to casually watch a video or listen to music. But could potentially struggle to be heard in a crowded restaurant. Although, Motorola made sure the speaker was loud and clear enough for sounds with more upper-mids and treble sounds (which are qualities that most ringtones have). The speaker makes just the right amount of compromise while still making sure that you won't miss any important calls.

While the Moto Z scored just a few dB higher in the ringtone test, the difference between the two loudspeakers is negligible.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Buy bluetooth headphones

  • Hollywood

Moto Force is a great phone...BUT can't stay operable in cold weather. Took it to Yellowstone National park for Snow Mobiling but Phone kept cutting off. Tried to cut back on several times but Lenova boots up then shuts down. Can't find any spec's on...

  • Avoka Joel

I think using Bluetooth headset will do