Do we have a good one for you today – the Moto Z Force goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy S8. The devices differ quite a bit in their design and materials – the Z Force uses an all-metal backing, and the Galaxy S8 now uses a metal frame that holds a Gorilla Glass 5 front and back together – but both share a solid build quality. The Moto Z Force can increase its functionality or customize its looks by accepting Moto Mods on the back of the device. Those Mods or backings use the large camera that protrudes out of the back and magnets to make their connection. The Galaxy S8 is a non-conventional looking device with very small top and bottom bezels and a new Infinity Display that goes curved edge-to-curved edge with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This makes the display slightly taller and narrower, but allows for two perfect squares for multi-window tasking. We are looking to find out which device offers the best specifications and performance. Let's compare what they have in common first and then we will look at each device in more detail to pick the winner in this comparison.
The Moto Z Force and the Samsung Galaxy S8 have a few things in common. The display on the Galaxy S8 is 0.3-inches larger, but the Moto Z Force is larger in physical size and weighs 8 grams heavier at 163 grams. The displays both have QHD (QHD+ on the S8) resolutions and they both use the AMOLED technology. They both use a Snapdragon processor and an Adreno GPU, but different models. They both use the same 4GB of DDR4 RAM and expandable memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas are different, but both take great pictures. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments – the Z Force's is on the front and the S8's is located on the back. They both have a large, non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities and both offer water resistance, although the Z Force is strictly a nano-coating while the Galaxy S8 is IP68 certified. They both come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Z Force and v5.0 on the Galaxy S8), GPS, NFC, and both use the newer reversible Type-C 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
Lenovo's Moto Z series includes the Moto Z Play and the Moto Z that can be purchased as unlocked devices for all networks while and the top Moto Z Force is found exclusively on the Verizon network. The Moto Z Force is the only model that packs a QHD AMOLED display with an exclusive ShatterShield screen that includes several layers with a top layer of plastic that helps to prevent the screen from cracking/shattering when dropped. Moto put great cameras in its 'Z' series, but the best is the 21MP primary camera in the Z Force, and then they threw in a large battery, and a Moto Turbo Charger. The Moto Z Force is a sturdy all-metal design, a solid build, and a surprisingly thin stature with a protruding round camera and metal contact points on the back to secure the optional Moto Mods. All three of the Z family devices can use the same Moto Mods that quickly grab onto the back with magnets and are stabilized by the protruding camera ring – quite an ingenious idea. There is no need to shut down the phone when adding or removing a Mod as the device automatically adjusts.
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). It includes an exclusive ShatterShield that adds a 5-layer protective shield over the display to help prevent breakage or shattering of the screen. Lenovo grabbed up the best processor at the time of the Z Force's release – the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. It is teamed up with an Adreno 530 GPU to handle any difficult movie or gaming graphics you may encounter. The Moto Z Force packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory with expansion capabilities to 256GB via a microSD card.
The Moto Z Force uses a 21MP sensor for its primary camera along with a large aperture of f/1.8, laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-tone LED flash, and OIS. The front-facing camera (FFC) uses a rather pedestrian 5MP lens with a f/2.2 aperture but Moto threw in its own LED flash for selfies and video chatting. The Moto Z Force has a large 3500mAh non-removable battery that comes with a Moto Turbo Charger included in the box. If you have an extra $89 to spend, you can purchase a Moto Mod that adds an additional 2200mAh battery and wireless charging capabilities.
The ability to utilize Moto Mods allows you to add features to your device such as an extended battery with wireless charging, JBL speakers, a Hasselblad camera and much more. The Moto Z-Force comes with a decorative back cover in the box, but you can also add other customized covers to the back to help personalize its looks. We must point out that the Moto Z Force does not have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, although Lenovo provides an adapter that plugs into the Type-C reversible port to accept earphones. While you may get a better sound going through that port, you have to remember to carry around the dongle or look into purchasing Bluetooth headsets. The Moto Z Force is part of the Droid series that is exclusive to Verizon. 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 $720.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung needed something big and made some major changes to their Galaxy S series this year. The Galaxy S8 eliminates the flat display found on the Galaxy S7 and rather than have a separate Edge model, they just added a Galaxy S8 Plus. Samsung simplified their flagship with one design theme used on both models as Samsung introduces us to their new Infinity Display. Gone are the left and right bezels replaced with curves on both sides, making it look completely different from its predecessor. Samsung made the top and bottom bezels so small they did away with their staple physical 'Home' button, which is now located on the lower part of the display that has 3D Touch capabilities – there you will find the Back, Home, and App keys. Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back near the camera lens. Knowing this was probably not the best place to put it, Samsung added easier ways to unlock the device by way of facial recognition or an iris scanner. The physical appearance of the Galaxy S8 may be enough to win you over, but did Samsung upgrade the specifications enough, and just how does it stack up to the Moto Z Force.
The Galaxy S8 sports a much larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display with Super AMOLED technology with a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that makes it taller, slightly narrower, with a QHD+ display resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels with 570 PPI. This new display takes up 83.6-percent of the front of the phone and goes edge-to-edge, right-to-left, with very small bezels on the top and bottom. Samsung keeps the 'always-on' display to help save battery life and to make it easier and quicker to check notifications. Samsung uses the newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the front and back of the device. The Galaxy S8 uses the 10nm technology found in the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and Samsung's excellent Exynos 8895 octa-core. The SD 835 uses four cores clocked at 1.9GHz and four cores clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU rounding out the model coming to the US. The other countries will use the Exynos 8895 with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and a Mali-G71 MP20 for graphics. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 expandable memory via a microSD card.
Samsung used the same excellent camera from the Galaxy S7 and decided to concentrate on making advancements to their imaging software, and by all accounts, the picture quality looks excellent. The Galaxy S8 uses a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.7, a 26mm lens, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung upped the FFC by enlarging it from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor and gave it autofocus, and kept its wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 continues to be IP68 certified against dust and water resistance. It retains its heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor and the new Samsung Health that replaces Samsung's S-Health. The Galaxy S8 comes with a new Samsung Connect feature that allows you to control Samsung's appliances, SmartTVs, thermostats, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Samsung introduces Bixby, its own personal assistant – you can either ask Bixby simple questions or get the camera involved by pointing it at a historical building, and if Bixby recognizes it, you will receive some facts regarding the structure. If you aim the camera at a sign written in a foreign language, Bixby will translate it for you. Samsung added a DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to give you a near desktop experience. You can use Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which allows Galaxy S8 users more freedom to make mobile purchases. The Galaxy S8 will arrive with Android 7.0 Nougat, followed by a quick upgrade to 7.1. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for purchase at major retailers.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
As big a fan as I am of the Moto Z Force, I have to give the nod to the Samsung Galaxy S8. It has a larger display, better processor and GPU, more base memory (32GB vs 64GB), a smaller footprint, more security, IP68 certification, a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor. It has the excellent Samsung Health, Samsung Connect, Samsung DeX, and Samsung Pay that really increases your chances for mobile purchases. Don't even get me started on the looks of the device – the Galaxy S8 looks futuristic compared to the more conventional looking Moto Z Force.
The Moto Z Force is a formidable smartphone, but it uses the older Snapdragon 820 processor and last year's Adreno 530 GPU – both are excellent pieces of technology, but time moves on. The Moto Z Force does have the ShatterShield display, an excellent camera, a Turbo Charger, and the ability to use Moto Modes. However, it is a Verizon only device and when you consider that both cost the same, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the winner with many more innovations and features.