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The mid-tier flagship segment in India’s smartphone market is a rather unchartered territory – for want of competition, OnePlus has had a free run here with its feature-rich smartphones with top-tier specifications. However, the new Moto Z2 Force, from the house of Lenovo-owned Motorola, looks set to end that monopoly. With top-tier innards, packed inside a premium shell made of premium 7000-series aluminium, the Moto Z2 Force has a metal unibody back that looks plush. But the protruding camera, 16-pin connector for MotoMods and grey antenna lines on edges look a little out of place. The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch quadHD plastic-OLED screen covered by a shatterproof five-layer glass that is durable enough to take accidental hits without any damage to the screen. However, the flip side of having plastic properties covering the protection glass is that the smartphone scratches easily. For a 2018 flagship, the phone features an outdated 16:9 aspect ratio screen, which leaves huge bezels on the top and bottom. There is a fingerprint scanner placed in the bottom bezel area. It supports gesture-based navigation and actions but does not work as a default home button. What this means is that the fingerprint scanner button can be tweaked to trigger certain actions like twist for the camera, slide for flashlight, etc, but it does not bring you back to home screen like other smartphones. Coming to the operating system and user interface, the Moto Z2 Force boots Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box with no bloatware installed.
The user interface offers vanilla Android experience, which is smooth throughout and shows no sign of lag or stutter, thanks to a proper optimisation. The Z2 Force features Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC), coupled with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. There is a dual hybrid SIM slot, which supports microSD card up to 2TB. In terms of imaging, the Moto Z2 Force sports dual 12-megapixel shooters on the back and a 5MP one on the front. The camera sensors on the back feature an RGB lens, coupled with a monochrome lens –similar to what we earlier saw in Huawei and Honor phones. In daylight conditions, the Moto Z2 Force captures detailed shots with good colours. However, the images turn out a little soft, especially on the edges, in low-light conditions. The 5MP selfie camera uses a wide-angle lens, coupled with a dual-tone LED flash for low-light selfies. The front camera, though it looks limited in terms of megapixels, has a good output. Verdict Motorola has managed to bring all goodies together in a phone that cannot break, even if you throw it. The durable build, top-tier innards and compatibility with MotoMods make it a power-packed device to take on the OnePlus 5T, Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 in the sub-Rs 35,000 price bracket. Overall, the phone has a lot to offer in terms of utility for of 34,998 – only if you can live with bezels around screen and do without a 3.5mm audio jack.