Do we have a good one for you today – the Moto Z Force goes up against the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017). Both devices use an all-metal backing and share a solid build quality. The Moto Z Force can enhance its abilities by accepting Moto Mods, or it will accept different backs to personalize its looks. Those Mods or backings take away from the large camera that protrudes out of the back. Both devices are high quality, well-built, and a delight to use. 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 Samsung Galaxy A7 have very few things in common. The display on the Galaxy A7 is only 0.2-inches larger, which makes their physical size almost identical. Even though they are virtually identical in size, the Galaxy A7 weighs only 141 grams compared to the Z Force’s 163 grams. The displays use the same AMOLED technology but are different resolutions. They both use a different processor, GPU, different amounts of RAM, but do have a 32GB variant and expandable memory via a microSD card. The primary and front-facing cameras (FFCs) areas are different, but both deliver great photos with the nod going to the Z-Force. Both have a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments, and both have a large, non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities. They both come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Z Force and v4.2 on the Galaxy A7,) GPS, NFC, and both use the newer 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.
Lenovo Moto Z Force
Lenovo came out with their new Moto Z series, which includes the top Moto Z Force, followed by the Moto Z and finally the Moto Z Play. The Moto Z-Force packs a Quad HD AMOLED display with an exclusive ShatterShield screen. They did not skimp in the camera area with a 21MP camera, threw in a large battery, and it comes with the Moto Turbo Charger. The Moto Z Force is a sturdy all-metal design with a solid build and a thin stature with a protruding camera and metal contact points on the back. All three of the Z family devices can use the Moto Mods that easily allows you to increase the functionality of the smartphone by ‘snapping’ one onto the back, held on with magnets and stabilized 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 custom ShatterShield is exclusive to the Z Force model and adds a 5-layer protective shield over the display to help prevent breakage or shattering of the screen. Lenovo tapped the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. They coupled it with an Adreno 530 GPU to handle any graphics you can throw at it. The Moto Z Force packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory that is expandable 256GB via a microSD card.
Lenovo uses a 21MP sensor on the Z-Force’s primary camera with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone flash, and OIS. The FFC uses a 5MP lens with a f/2.2 aperture and even includes a LED flash for selfies and video chatting. The Moto Z Force uses a large 3500mAh non-removable battery that comes with a Moto Turbo Charger, one of the fastest chargers available. An $89 Moto Mod will increase the battery by size by 2200mAh and adds wireless charging capabilities.
Please note: the Moto Z and Moto Z Force do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The standard Moto Z is understandable since it is simply too narrow for the jack, but the Moto Z Force is broad enough to handle a 3.5mm jack. You could reason that Lenovo was going for consistency; however, they included the jack on the Moto Z Play. Lenovo provides an adapter 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 look to purchase Bluetooth headsets. A prominent feature of the Moto Z Force is the ability to utilize Moto Mods that can add features to your devices such as an extended battery with wireless charging, JBL speakers, and a Hasselblad camera attachment. If you chose, one could also add customized covers to the back to help personalize its looks. The Moto Z Force is part of the Droid series that is exclusive to Verizon, but unlocked version is available to use on other networks. It has an IP53 certification for water resistance, but it is not 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 around $700.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung’s new Galaxy A7 (2017) could not be mistaken for anything but a Samsung device. It has the typical rounded corners, speaker grate at the top with the Samsung name under it, and an oval home button at the bottom for scanning your fingerprint. The Galaxy A7 has an all-metal aluminum body designed to fit comfortably in your hand whereas the higher priced Galaxy S series uses a glass backing. It also includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, and it should, for its rather high price at $530. The Galaxy A7 also includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and has a new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let’s see just how this new Galaxy A7 mid-range holds up against the Moto Z Force.
The Galaxy A7 sports the same size display as the Galaxy S7 Edge – a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 386 PPI. Samsung added the ‘always-on’ screen on the Galaxy A7 to help save battery life by allowing you to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. The Galaxy A7 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The Galaxy A7 uses a 16MP lens for its primary camera along with a large aperture of f/1.9 and includes autofocus and a LED flash. Samsung added a big 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7’s FFC that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture as the primary camera. This large FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The Galaxy A7 comes packing a large non-removable battery of 3600mAh and features rapid charging.
The Galaxy A7 comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow as the OS, although word is out that Samsung is working on Nougat. The device is already available in some Asian markets and in early February it will launch in Europe – there is no word on when or if there will be a US release. To listen to tunes or to use as a speakerphone, the Galaxy A7 has an unusual side-mounted speaker. With the inclusion of an NFC chip, Mobile purchases are available through both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow A7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung included IP68 certification against dust and water. The Galaxy A7 measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
Even with its higher price tag, I have to pick the Moto Z Force as the winner of this comparison. It has better specifications all around, add to that the Moto Mods and custom backs, and the Z Force has more functionality than the Galaxy A7.
The Z Force sports a QHD display with ShatterShield protection, a better processor, GPU, more RAM, a better primary camera, already has its Android 7.0 Nougat, runs almost vanilla Android, and it can be used on all major US carriers.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 does have IP68 water and dust protection and can use Samsung Pay as well as featuring an 'always-on' display, but for $530 we should expect more performance and features.