Do we have a good one for you today – the new Moto Z Force takes on the new LG V20. Both devices are encased with a metal back and are built as solid as you can get in a smartphone. Truth be told, I would probably give the nod to the LG V20 in the looks department, although the Moto Z Force can be somewhat customized with a snap on back or Moto Mod. Lenovo and LG really changed up this year’s design of these two devices over their predecessors, but one would have to agree the results are astonishing. The devices do share many of the many of the same internal parts and specs, but the overall feel of the devices are quite different. Let’s take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.
The Moto Z Force and the LG V20 do have quite a few things in common even though they are targeted at different audiences – or are they? Both devices are almost identical in physical size, although while the Z Force is slightly thinner (7mm vs. 7.6mm) the LG V20 weighs 9 grams more than the Z Force. The displays are close in size – 5.5-inches vs. 5.7-inches – and both are using the QHD display resolution but use different technologies. They both have a kind of ‘always-on’ technology – you can touch or move the Z Force to see your date, time, and notifications while the LG V20 uses a small display on top of the primary one that informs you of this information. Both devices use the Snapdragon 820 processor and Adreno 530 GPU. Both have 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and both have a 32GB UFS variant that is expandable via a microSD card. Both devices offer an excellent camera area – the Z Force uses a single 21MP sensor, and the LG V20 uses a 16MP and an 8MP wide angle sensor, and the both use a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chats. They share the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 in the Z Force and v4.2 in the LG V20), GPS, NFC, fingerprint sensor, rapid battery charge, and a USB Type-C reversible 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.
Lenovo Moto Z Force
The first thing people notice about the new Moto Z Force is the bright and beautiful AMOLED display, but then they quickly notice the price tag of $720. People are just not used to seeing a Moto 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 stylish back or something as complicated as the Hasselblad camera.
The Moto Z Force sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 535 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The display uses Moto’s ShatterShield that is a 5-layer design that protects breakage of the screen. Lenovo grabbed the best processor it could – 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 primary camera on the Z Force uses a 21MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS. It uses a 5MP FFC with a f/2.2 aperture and even throws in a LED flash 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.
We want to remind you that the Z Force is a Verizon exclusive – a pleasure or pain for some people. Another reminder, the Moto Z Force does lack 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 Type-C reversible port to accept earphones – it does produce a better sound, but you have to remember to carry around an adapter or switch to using BT headsets. 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.
The new LG V20 switches from stainless steel to aircraft grade aluminum to maintain its durability and lighten its load. The design is smoother and more refined, although many LG V10 admirers loved that stainless steel look. They moved the silicone from the back to the top and bottom of the LG V20 as ‘bumpers’ for added safety if dropped. The V20 kept the same sized 5.7-inch display and smaller secondary display over the top. The LG V20 is aimed at those interested in experimenting with photography or that want a device with great sound.
The LG V20 sports two displays – the primary is the typical IPS Quantum QHD display measuring 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 513 PPI. The secondary display, near the top of the device, is a 1040 x 160-pixel display that is also 513 PPI. The secondary display is like an always-on display – to function while the primary display is locked. This secondary display helps to save battery life. This year LG seriously brightened the display making it easier to see your notifications. The LG V20 uses the same processor found in the Z Force – a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores running at 1.6GHz and dual cores running at 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of faster DDR4 RAM and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage with room to expand by an additional 2TB.
The camera area uses a 16MP sensor, but LG added another 8MP wide-angle lens that operates independently for those times when you need a wider view. LG added laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a large f/1.8 aperture (f/2.4 for the 8MP), OIS and a dual-tone LED flash. Then, LG decided to go back to the single 5MP FFC with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. The LG V20 packs a 3200mAh removable battery that should last through the day, and Quick Charge 3.0 makes charging faster.
I am not sure what LG thought when they gave all of these great sound specs to the LG V20, yet it has only one speaker on the bottom of the device? The LG V20 includes four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Convertors) to improve the sound quality. They also provided an excellent EQ with left/right balance controls that is B&O Play certified. The LG V20 is built so ‘soundly’ (yes, pun intended) that it has achieved the MIL-STD-810G certification. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs in at 174 grams – cost should be around $700. The LG V20 is available in the colors Titan, Silver, and Pink. Last, but certainly not least, the LG V20 will be running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This comparison was another tough one to choose as they both have so many of the same specifications. The LG V20 does have a more 'complicated' camera area, but the Z Force takes great pictures. The LG V20 has the 'dual' displays for notifications, but the Moto Z Force does the same thing with its Moto Display feature on its AMOLED display. The LG V20 does have a better sound system while the Moto Z Force doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you have to carry around an adapter.
The Moto Z Force has an AMOLED display, ShatterShield display, customization of looks with snap-on backs, and snap-in-place Moto Mods that can extend your battery, add wireless charging, add JBL speakers or a projector, as well as a Hassleband camera with 10X optical zoom, and is nano-coated for slight water resistance.
These devices cost the same amount of money, so that does not factor into the decision – the fact that the Moto Z Force is a Verizon exclusive may be a factor for some. So pick your poison – if you like the idea of Moto Mods then get a Moto Z Force, but if you like the idea of playing around with photography and listen to a lot of headphone music, you may want to jump on the LG V20 bandwagon. For me, my horse and wagon are hooked up with the Moto Z Force.