Phone Comparisons: Moto Z Force vs OnePlus 3T

Cory Comp Dec 20th


Do we have a good one for you today – the Lenovo Moto Z Force takes on the new OnePlus 3T. The metal-bodied Z Force with its Moto Mods goes up against the new and improved all-metal OP3T that now has a North American model for US Carriers. Both the Moto Z Force and the OnePlus 3T are receiving some very favorable reviews. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.

The Moto Z Force and the OP3T do have a few things in common. The displays are the same 5.5-inches and both use AMOLED technology; however, OnePlus sticks to their Full HD resolution while the Z Force moves on to the Quad HD resolution. This makes them close in physical size, and even their weight is only 5 grams apart. They both use a Snapdragon processor – the 820 in the Z Force, and slightly improved 821 in the OP3T, along with the same Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. They both offer a 64GB variant of internal memory – the Moto Z Force is expandable, but the only option for the OP3T is to purchase a 128GB model. The main camera areas are very similar, and both take excellent photos. They both have a non-removable battery with the Z Force enjoying a slightly larger one with the ability to expand the battery 2200mAh with a Moto Mod. They both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 in the Z Force and v4.2 in the OP3T,) GPS, NFC, and a new Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.


Please take a thoughtful 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.



Moto Z Force

Motorola-Lenovo-Moto-Z-Force-AH-NS-performanceThe Moto Z Force is not cheap, but don’t let that scare you off as it has some great specs to back up the price. It comes with a large battery and very quick charger, a QHD AMOLED display, exclusive ShatterShield screen, a terrific 21MP camera, and the ability to add Moto Mods. The Moto Z Force is an all-metal design with a solid build, and thin design. Its looks have been called into question by some, but it will grow on you. The Moto Mods allows the smartphone to stay intact as the Moto Mods ‘snap’ onto the back with magnets and are assisted by the protruding camera ring.

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.) Moto’s ShatterShield improved over last year, is a 5-layer design that helps prevent breakage or shattering of the screen. Lenovo went with the Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz, and it works with an Adreno 530 GPU to handle the most demanding graphics. 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 uses a 21MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS. For its front-facing camera (FFC) it uses a 5MP lens with a f/2.2 aperture and even includes its own LED flash for selfies and video chatting. The Moto Z Force uses a large 3500mAh non-removable battery but comes with one of the fastest chargers available – a Turbo Charger – it can charge the Moto Z Force battery up to 50-percent in only 20 minutes. You can also purchase an $89 Moto Mod that will increase the battery by 2200mAh and it even adds wireless charging capabilities.

The Moto Z Force lacks a 3.5mm earphone jack. The Moto Z is so thin that they would have trouble fitting a jack in place, and while the Z-Force is broad enough to hand the jack, Lenovo decided to be consistent with both devices. A provided adapter 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 look to purchase Bluetooth headsets. The Moto Z Force can utilize Moto Mods that can add features to your device as well as customized covers for the back to help personalize its looks. The Z Force is part of the Droid series that is exclusive to Verizon. It has a nano-coating for water resistance, but it is a shame they didn’t take it further and make it a sealed phone. 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 at Verizon.

OnePlus 3T


oneplus-3t-ah-ns-05The OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are identical looking except for a subtle color change to a Gunmetal color, a slightly faster processor (10-percent), a larger battery (3000mAh to 3400mAh), an improved scratch-resistant lens cover on the primary camera, and changes in memory storage capacity. These are certainly welcomed changes over the original OP3, but it is unusual for a manufacturer to upgrade a model in the middle of the year. Maybe OnePlus wanted to beat the holiday sales rather than wait until the usual spring launch date. It has our curiosity up as to what OnePlus has in store for the spring. We are looking at an all-metal device that has excellent build quality, but how does it hold up to the Moto Z Force?

OnePlus shies away from QHD displays and the OnePlus 3T does not deviate from the path, coming with a Full HD display. It does sport the OnePlus 3T’s new 5.5-inch FHD Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 401 PPI. Although OnePlus used the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor for their OnePlus 3 that is used in the Moto Z Force, they decided to up the stakes here on the OnePlus 3T to include the new Snapdragon 821 with the same sized dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz and running an Adreno 530 GPU for excellent graphics. OnePlus then packed in a full 6GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 non-expandable internal storage, although you can now order 128GB of internal memory.

OnePlus has done a great job upgrading the camera area on its original OnePlus 3 and the new OnePlus 3T. It still uses the same parts and pieces but does have a more scratch-resistant sapphire lens with a new 16MP sensor from the OnePlus 3, with fast PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and OIS for extra stability. The FFC camera increased from 8MP to a whopping 16MP with a f/2.0 aperture for terrific selfies and video chatting. The OnePlus 3T has a non-removable battery that increased to 3400mAh in size that includes their rapid charge they call Dash Charge that will give you up to a 60-percent charge in only 30 minutes.


OnePlus is finally playing in the same league with the Samsung and LG devices by including both a fingerprint sensor and NFC chip on their OnePlus 3T. This will allow the device to make mobile payments and Android Pay purchases with a swipe of the finger. It runs mostly stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with OnePlus’ OS called OxygenOS on top with the promise of Nougat to come. The OnePlus 3T measures 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weighs in at 158 grams. It will cost you about $440 USD for the 6GB/64GB model and about $480 for the 6GB/128GB model. There is a choice of Gunmetal now, and Soft Gold is to come out in December.

…And The Winner Is…



The Final Word

I chose the Moto Z Force as the winner of this comparison because it is more technologically advanced, but it does come at a high price of $720. You get a better display, ShatterShield technology, the ability to expand internal memory, one of the fastest charging batteries, and the ability to use Moto Mods to increase battery life, add wireless charging, add a Hasselblad camera, JBL speakers, and more.

The new and improved OnePlus 3T is exactly how it is advertised. It is a solidly built device with no bells or whistles, but it offers an AMOLED display, albeit only Full HD, a processor that adds a 10-percent increase in speed, 6GB of RAM and no means to expand its 64GB or 128GB of memory. It has a decent camera, but no better than the Z Force, and they finally have a North America model coming out that will work on all US carriers, and it will cost you $450.


If money is a real problem, then you will be very pleased with the OP3T – however, if you want a device that can expand its features and the ability to use the Moto Mods, there is only one way to go and that is the Moto Z.

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