Do we have a good one for you today – the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra goes up against the Lenovo Moto Z Force. The Ultra comes housed in a new Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy body, and ASUS was clever enough to hide the antenna lines on the side of the device and eliminate those lines on the back of the device. The Z Force also has a metal back that is ready to accept a decorative backing or a Moto Mod. Both devices have a solid build and a nice, clean, design. Let’s look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The ZenFone 3 Ultra and the Moto Z Force have very little in common. The size difference starts us off on the wrong foot. At 5.5-inches, the Moto Z Force could be considered a phablet but with a 6.8-inch display, the Ultra could be regarded as a small tablet – certainly not something you would be comfortable carrying around in your pocket. Besides the screen size, the Ultra uses IPS LCD technology and an FHD resolution, whereas the Z Force uses an AMOLED display and a QHD resolution. Both use a Snapdragon processor and Adreno GPU for graphics, but different models. They both pack 4GB of RAM and offer expandable memory. Both have a great camera area and will satisfy a photo buff and large enough non-removable battery to get you through the entire day…both offer rapid charge. They both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your phone, and the Z Force can authorize mobile sales as well. The usual suspects are there WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.2 in the Ultra and v4.1 in the Z Force,) GPS, and a reversible Type-C USB port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra
ASUS is known for computers, but wisely saw the direction they were headed and had carefully started producing smartphones. For its new line of ZenFone 3 smartphones, ASUS made many improvements. They are a beautiful design with an all-metal body and the antenna lines hidden in the edges of the device. The ‘Deluxe’ model is the actual flagship of the three – the ‘Ultra,’ is so named because of its large 6.8-inch display. The ZenFone 3 Ultra model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS memory is the model we will be comparing today. Let’s take a closer look at the Ultra model and see just how it stacks up against the Moto Z Force.
The ZenFone 3 Ultra is more like a tablet with its massive 6.8-inch IPS LCD display and Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 324 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Ultra is not the size of smartphone you want to carry around all day in your pocket. ASUS went with the mid-range 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor with a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz. ASUS uses the Adreno 510 GPU to handle the graphics. It boasts 4GB of slower DDR3 RAM (a restriction of the processor) and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 memory – like that used in the Z Force – but is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
ASUS really improved the camera area on their new models. The Ultra model has a primary camera with a large 23MP Sony IMX318 (sensor) with a f/2.0 aperture, 6-element Largan lens, and 0.03-second TriTech Autofocus – it uses both Laser and Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF.) ASUS even went with a 4-axis OIS for more stability and then added a dual-tone flash. The ZenFone 3 Ultra gives you an 8MP FFC with a f/2.0 aperture and 85-degree wide-angle lens for selfies and video chatting. A large, non-removable, 4600mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 powers the device.
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, as it has no NFC chip for mobile payments. It has a nice pair of bottom-mounted stereo speakers that will make watching movies and videos more enjoyable. The Ultra arrives running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the newest ZenUI 3.0 running over the top. The Ultra measures 186.4 x 93.9 x 6.8mm and weighs in at 233 grams. It is available in Glacier Silver, Titanium Gray, or Metallic Pink and it will cost you about $480 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory.
Lenovo Moto Z Force
People are just not used to seeing a Moto smartphone with such high specs and camera quality. It has a large battery, the ShatterShield display, a terrific camera, and the ability to add Moto Mods. The Moto Z Force is an all-metal design with a solid build and certainly is a flagship in every sense of the word, and you use it ‘as-is’ or add a Mod. The Mod can be something as simple as a snap-on stylish back or something as complicated (and expensive) as the Hasselblad camera. The Moto Z Force uses an AMOLED display for vibrant colors and a QHD display for a sharp resolution.
The Moto Z Force sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 535 PPI. The screen uses Moto’s ShatterShield technology that is a 5-layer design that protects breakage of the screen. Lenovo grabbed the best processor it could by using the Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz coupled to an Adreno 530 GPU to handle the most intense graphics you can find. The Z Force packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory that is expandable via a microSD card.
The Z Force uses a 21MP sensor for its primary camera with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS. A 5MP FFC with a f/2.2 aperture and a LED flash is used for selfies and video chatting. A large 3500mAh non-removable battery powers the Moto Z Force, and it comes with one of the fastest chargers available. It can charge the Moto Z Force battery up to 50-percent in only 20 minutes. A $90 Moto Mod will increase the battery by 2200mAh and can even add wireless charging capabilities as well.
The Moto Z Force is a Verizon exclusive, which will make some people happy and others cringe. Another thing we need to point out is that the Moto Z Force does not have a 3.5mm earphone jack that could be a real pain for some people. It handles headphones via an adapter (provided with the phone) that plugs into the USB Type-C reversible port to accept earphones. This setup does produce a better sound, but you have to remember to carry around an adapter or switch to using a BT headset. The other significant factor is that it can utilize Moto Mods that can add features to your device as well as covers for the back to help customize its looks. It measures in at 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm and weighs in at 163 grams. It comes in four colors – Black/Gray, Black/Rose Gold, Black/Gold, and White with pricing at $720 exclusively on Verizon.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
As far as specifications go - the Moto Z Force is the clear winner here. It has a better display (AMOLED QHD), ShatterShield screen, much better processor, RAM (DDR4 vs. DDR3), and GPU. The Z Force has NFC for mobile payments, nano-coating, one of the fastest charging systems around, and the ability to use Moto Mods.
The ZenFone 3 Ultra has an 'ultra' large display and dual speakers that make it an ideal device to watch movies or videos. For just under $500, it is quite a buy, but you lose out on many excellent specifications. If you only use the device for watching movies or playing games, then the cheaper Ultra may be the best device for you.
If you want a real flagship with the best of everything, then the Moto Z Force is for you - you may even want to purchase a couple of Moto Modes to expand your experiences.