Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 2 vs Moto Z2 Force

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel 2 goes up against the Moto Z2 Force. The new Pixel 2 XL and the Moto Z2 Force both have that ‘dated’ look with their larger bezels. The Z2 Force came out in August and the Pixel 2 was available in October – the former is running Android 7.1.1 and waiting for its Oreo upgrade, while the Pixel 2 is already running the newest Android 8.0. The Pixel 2 looks similar to the original Pixel from the front, while Google adjusted the back slightly in the glass to metal ratio. The Moto Z2 Force also looks very much like last year’s Z Force, as it had to fulfill Moto’s promise to stay compatible with the Moto Mods. 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 Pixel 2 and Z2 Force do have a few things in common. Starting with the display, we see that they both use the OLED technology and they both offer different ways to check for notifications – always-on display for the Pixel 2 and waving your hand over the display on the Moto. They both offer screen protection with Gorilla Glass 5 on the Pixel 2 and Moto’s ShatterShield, a 5-layer protection. Both use the Snapdragon 835 processor with an Adreno 540 GPU, as well as 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base 64GB of internal memory. Both offer an excellent camera area with a single sensor on the Pixel 2 and dual sensors on the Z2 Force. The batteries are almost identical in size, both are non-removable, and both offer a fast charging option. The two devices come with Bluetooth (v5.0 in the Pixel 2 and v4.2 in the Z2 Force), WiFi, NFC, a USB Type-C port, and a fingerprint sensor. Neither device offers a 3.5mm headphone jack, but do offer some sort of water resistance.

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. After that, we will look at each device individually 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.

Specifications

Google Pixel 2

Gone are the days when the Google’s smartphones sold to the few Nexus lovers – the new Pixel phones are now able to reach out to the everyday smartphone buyer. The Google Pixel 2 is now a reality, and the second iteration of the Pixel line really deserves your consideration when shopping for a new smartphone. While the Pixel 2 XL can stand its ground with any flagship, even the Apple iPhone, the Pixel 2 that we compare today is still just a little dated looking with its larger bezels and 16:9 display ratio – but then, so is the Moto Z2 Force. Still, the Pixel 2 models do use the best processor/GPU out there and use the AMOLED display technology. The Pixel 2 incorporates an Active Edge that lets the user ‘squeeze’ the sides of the phone to launch Google Assistant without a voice command and Google Lens is another feature that can identify details from photos. Pricing is also a consideration – the standard 64GB model will cost you $650. You can buy them unlocked to work on any major U.S. carrier, but Verizon is once again the exclusive dealer of the Pixel 2 phones, which will allow you to purchase a Pixel 2 device on their payment plan.

The Google Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1,960 by 1,080 pixels with a density of 441 pixels per inch (PPI). Google kept the 16:9 aspect ratio on the smaller Pixel 2, while updating the Pixel 2 XL to the 18:9 ratio. The Always-On display feature, used for notifications, helps save battery life and makes it easier for the user quickly to see their notifications. The new Pixel 2 models use the best Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.35GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU for graphics – the same combo used on the Z2 Force. The Pixel 2 has 4GB of DDR4 RAM, but no expandable memory. It comes with a basic 64GB, although you can also order a 128GB model.

With the new Pixel line, Google has decided that a camera is an important feature on a smartphone and has somehow managed to upgrade the camera to the best in the industry – with a single lens. Both Pixels use a single camera with a 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, and contain EIS and OIS for stability, laser autofocus and PDAF, and a dual-tone flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) used for selfies and video chatting is an 8-megapixel unit with fixed focus and a smaller f/2.4 aperture. There is a small, non-removable, 2,700mAh battery that will make it through an entire day with no issues. When you do need to charge the device, fast charging support will make that process relatively swift.

The Pixel 2 looks are a little dated, but it competes nicely with other flagships when it comes to specs. The drawbacks of owning the Pixel 2 are the smaller display, only an FHD display resolution, and the lack of expandable memory. It has the highest-rated camera on the market and its Camera Lens and Active Edge are attractive, if not too useful. It has no Hi-Res Audio but it does feature stereo speakers on the front. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but a dongle is provided to use headphones via the Type-C port. Google finally added IP67 water resistance this year. The Pixel 2 is running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and will receive the fastest Android updates. The Pixel 2 measures 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It is available in three colors – Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. The Pixel 2 will cost about $650 with 64GB of storage and is available for purchase from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a wireless carrier exclusive through Verizon. If you buy it from Verizon, the company will allow you to finance it over 24 months.

Moto Z2 ForceLenovo’s Moto Z2 Force is the best device they have on the market – a little pricey, but it has the features to back up the price. It starts with a nice-sized P-OLED QHD display (16:9), Moto’s ShatterShield technology, the same powerful processor and GPU that the Pixel 2 uses, a new dual camera, terrific reception, and its ability to use Moto Mods. Moto promised three years of models could use those expensive Moto Mods, so the design is a little stagnant and dated-looking with its larger front bezels. The Z2 Force has an all metal design and large round camera hump on the back that doubles as a stabilizer for the Moto Mods. The device actually looks better when a Moto Mod is attached.

Because the design changed little from its predecessor, the Moto Z2 Force keeps its 5.5-inch P-OLED display with the standard 16:9 ratio. It has a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with a density of 535 PPI. It also allows you to wave your hand over the display for notifications. The Z2 Force uses Moto’s proprietary five-layer ShatterShield to keep the display from shattering when dropped. It works extremely well to protect the display, but you need to use a screen protector to avoid scratching the plastic display.

Moto, like most other flagships in 2017, went with the best processor it had available – the Snapdragon 835 octa-core with a quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz and another one clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU on board to provide 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. A 2,730mAh non-removable battery powers the Moto Z2 Force and comes with Moto’s Turbo Power charger. By purchasing a 2,200mAh Moto Mod battery, you will get more power while also enjoying wireless charging.

Motorola wasted no time in giving the Z2 Force a dual-camera this year. It uses a dual 12-megapixel setup – the primary camera 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 – a wonderful idea for the second lens. There is a 5-megapixel FFC camera with a smaller aperture of f/2.2 and a dual-tone LED flash for selfies and video chatting.

The Moto Z2 Force is truly a ‘force’ to be reckoned with – just remember to use a screen protector to avoid any scratches on the display. Like the Pixel 2, 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 3.5mm headphone port. One of the best features of the Z2 Force is its ability to use Moto Mods – they can be as simple as an add-on battery – that also gives you wireless charging – or as advanced as a high-powered Hasselblad camera. Moto is known for providing great radios, so if you live in an area that is difficult to grab a signal, you may want to try the Z2 Force. 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

It is always difficult to pick over the Google Pixel 2 models, but I am choosing the Moto Z2 Force as the winner of this comparison. True, it does cost about $100 more than the Pixel 2, but I believe you simply get more for your money with the Moto Z2 Force.

The Moto Z2 Force has a slightly larger display and uses the QHD resolution over the Pixel 2’s FHD display. It also has ShatterShield, and it actually works, just make sure you protect it with a screen protector from scratches. It has great reception, dual cameras, Turbo Charging, expandable memory, and the ability to use Moto Mods that allows you to add some great features to your device.

The Pixel 2 has the best camera on the market, but a smaller, FHD display, and no expandable memory. It does have stereo speakers, but no Hi-Res audio. The Google Lens is a nice feature, as is the Active Edges, but both need more development. It’s main claim to fame is that it comes with pure vanilla 8.0 Oreo and will receive that fastest updates possible. If that is your only demand for a smartphone, then the Pixel 2 is for you – however, the Moto Z2 Force seems like a more formidable device.

 

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About the Author
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Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]
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