We have a great matchup for you today – the OnePlus 5 takes on the Moto Z2 Force. Both devices are very 2015-looking with their large bezels, front-facing fingerprint sensors, and their 16:9 aspect ratios. Both are niche devices with strong followings for both the OnePlus and Moto brands. The OnePlus 5 came out in June and the Moto Z2 Force arrived in August – both running Android 7.1.1 Nougat and still waiting for their Android 8.0 Oreo upgrade. These two devices also have a big price difference of close to $300, with the OnePlus 5 being the cheaper device. Which one of these phones has what it takes to win this comparison? These questions and more are what we hope to answer here. Before we look at each individual device, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
The OnePlus 5 and the Moto Z2 Force do share a few items, starting with the 5.5-inch display size. They also share the OLED technology and both have protected screens; the OnePlus 5 uses a more tradition glass cover and the Moto Z2 Force uses a proprietary ShatterShield layer. Both devices use the same SoC and both have 64GB of base memory, although the Moto is the only one with expandable memory. With the OnePlus 5, you must purchase a 128GB model if you want more memory. Both have a dual-camera setup for taking excellent pictures in all kinds of conditions. These two devices also have non-removable batteries with quick charging support. Physically, they are almost identical in size, with the OnePlus 5 weighing only 10 grams more, most likely due to its larger battery. The OnePlus 5 and Moto Z2 Force unsurprisingly both have Bluetooth support (5.0 on the OnePlus 5 and 4.2 on the Moto Z2 Force), a USB Type-C port, NFC, and a front-mounted fingerprint sensor. Both are running Android 7.1.1 and are set to be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo in the near future.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two devices stack up against one another on paper. After that, we will look at each handset 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 its specs and overall execution of design and functions.
OnePlus fans eagerly awaited the improved OnePlus 5. The OnePlus 5 has a large top and bottom bezel, giving it a somewhat dated look, same as the Moto Z2 Force. The OP5 is a well-built device that comes with cutting-edge technology under its dated Full HD display. OnePlus designed the body out of anodized aluminum and gave it a curved back that makes it easier to grip and less prone to catching fingerprint smudges. The side bezels are small enough, but the top and bottom bezels are rather large, taking some of its inspiration from the iPhone 7. OnePlus even included a layer of ceramic over the responsive front-mounted fingerprint sensor to prevent scratches. One of the OnePlus 5’s greatest assets is the value it provides – the base 6GB/64GB model costs only $479 and even the 8GB/128GB model is only $539, provided that you can still buy either phone from some reseller. Still, just how well does the OnePlus 5 stack up against the much more expensive Moto Z2 Force?
The OnePlus 5 carries on the tradition of using only a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and its 5.5-inch display will give you about 401 pixels per inch. This does help keep the cost down a bit, but most are willing to pay more for the QHD resolution; it is not as if the battery could not handle it. On the ‘Plus’ side, it does use an Optic AMOLED display that offers a very good viewing experience. There is no secondary display for notifications, so you must wake up your device to view any notifications. The OnePlus 5 uses the same processor as the Moto Z2 Force– the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with a quad-core cluster clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core configuration clocked at 2.45GHz. Qualcomm added the Adreno 540 GPU to the processor for superior graphics. The device comes in two configurations – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable memory and another with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.
So many manufacturers are turning to a dual-camera arrangement these days and OnePlus decided to use that setup on the OnePlus 5 as well. The primary camera, used to take most of your photos, is a 16-megapixel sensor manufactured by Sony with a large f/1.7 aperture to let in more light. This helps in those low-light situations when no flash is desired. It also packs EIS, PDAF, a 1.6X optical zoom, and a dual-LED flash. The secondary camera uses a larger 20-megapixel sensor paired with a much smaller f/2.6 aperture and a telephoto lens. This camera is great for sports pictures or close-ups, depending on your preferred type of photography. The OnePlus 5 comes with a large 16-megapixel sensor for the front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and Auto-HDR. A 3,300mAh non-removable battery that includes OnePlus’s Dash Charge feature supplies power to the flagship.
The OnePlus 5 is on the right track as it includes cellular connectivity with support for 34 different frequency bands – meaning it should work on your GSM carrier – the most up-to-date Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0. It is great that OnePlus gives you 6GB of standard RAM, but it would be nice to have expandable memory as there are some people that just do not want to use the ‘cloud’ for storage. You will find the lightning fast, front-mounted fingerprint scanner on the large bezel at the bottom of the OnePlus 5. The device supports NFC, Android Pay, and includes a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer. Unlike the Moto Z2 Force, the OnePlus 5 also sports a 3.5mm headphone jack. The OnePlus 5 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box with an OxygenOS overlay and a path to an Android 8.0 Oreo update in the future. The device measures 152.2 x 74.1 x 7.3mm, weighs in at 153 grams, and comes in Midnight Black or Slate Gray, starting at $479, though it's not available for purchase directly from OnePlus anymore.
Moto Z2 Force
Motorola is stepping out with the ‘big boys’ and issued its most expensive smartphone to date in the form of the Moto Z2 Force priced at around $756 to $800. However, it may also be its most feature-laden device to date. It sports a nice-sized P-OLED display, Moto’s ShatterShield technology, a powerful processor and GPU, a new dual camera, and continues to use Moto Mods. The design is a little dated-looking, but Moto promised three years of models could use those Moto Mods, so the design must stay similar for a while. The Z2 Force has an all-metal design with a large round camera hump on the back that doubles as a stabilizer for Moto Mods. Personally, I think the device looks better when it is sporting a Mod, even if it is just a decorative cover. The Moto Z2 Force keeps its predecessor’s 5.5-inch P-OLED display with the standard 16:9 ratio, a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, and a density of 535 PPI. Rather than using Gorilla Glass 5 for protection, the Z2 Force uses Moto’s proprietary ShatterShield. This five-layer overlay helps to keep the display from shattering when dropping. On the downside, you need to use a screen protector to avoid scratching the plastic display.
The Lenovo-owned company pulled no plugs when it came to choosing its processor and went with the best processor it had available – the Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC with a quad-core cluster clocked at 1.9GHz and another one clocked at 2.35GHz. This processor is teamed up with the Adreno 540 GPU for terrific graphics, be it movies or gaming. The Moto Z2 Force packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of memory that is expandable via a microSD card by up to 256GB.
Motorola wasted no time in giving the Z2 Force a dual-camera this year. It is a dual 12-megapixel setup – the primary one has an aperture of f/2.0, both laser and PDAF focusing, and a dual-toned LED flash. The secondary camera has a monochrome sensor to capture some great black and white photos. There is a 5-megapixel secondary camera with a smaller aperture of f/2.2 and a dual-tone LED flash. A 2,730mAh non-removable battery powers the Moto Z2 Force and comes with Moto’s Turbo Power charger. This is much smaller than the 3,500mAh battery touted in the original Moto Z Force. You can purchase a 2,200mAh Moto Mod battery and slap it on the back for more power while also taking advantage of wireless charging.
The Moto Z2 Force is a formidable device with many great qualities. However, you must be careful not to scratch its ShatterShield display – it is made from plastic, not glass. I would remiss if I did not remind you that the Z2 Force lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, even though the device is thick enough for one. Moto does supply a dongle that plugs into the Type-C port and converts it to a traditional audio port. The most exciting feature of the device is its ability to use Moto Mods – they can be as simple as an add-on battery or as advanced as a high-powered Hasselblad camera. While they do cost some money, they really do add a lot of value to your Moto Z2 Force. Moto is known for providing great radios, so those that must go outside and stand on the southeast side of the porch to get a signal may want to give the Z2 Force a test ride. The phone measures in at 155.8 x 76 x 6.1mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in three colors – Super Black, Fine Gold, and Lunar Grey with pricing ranging from $756 to $800 depending on where you purchase the device.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This was a tough decision as both devices have many things in common, including looks and specifications. On one hand, you have the Moto Z2 Force with a QHD display and Moto Mods, but on the other hand, we have the OnePlus 5 with great specs at a great price. It is this pricing that makes all of the difference and that is why I am selecting the OnePlus 5 as the winner of this comparison.
The OnePlus 5 may not have all of the Moto Z2 Force’s features but what a bargain it is at $479, though buying one brand new today may prove to be a challenge. The display size is the same across the two handsets and both use the same OLED technology, the OnePlus 5 has more RAM for multitasking, a great dual-camera setup, an impressive front-facing camera, a larger battery, Bluetooth 5.0, Hi-Res audio, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
That is not to say that the Moto Z2 Force is not a great device; it is, and if you don’t mind spending the extra money, you will not be disappointed. The Moto Mods are not a party trick, but add real value to your device, provided you're willing to pay for them. The ShatterShield display does work, but can scratch easier than glass. It takes excellent pictures and comes with the Moto Turbo Charger, thus being an extremely unique offering that's unlike any other high-end smartphone out there.