Lenovo Moto Z2 Force vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Can the new Android beat Apple’s top phone?

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus Moto Z2 Force
Lenovo
Lenovo has finally taken the wraps off the highly-anticipated Moto Z2 Force, a flagship device aimed squarely at those who want a powerful, stylish, and long-lasting phone. Of course, it’s not the only phone option around, and while most have probably decided whether they’re Android or iOS fans at this point, some might be ready for a change or still on the fence.

The iPhone isn’t just well-designed — it’s also one of the most powerful phones out there in terms of raw performance. It was, however, released more than six months ago. That said, does Lenovo’s forthcoming flagship outpace the latest iPhone in terms of power and performance? Or does the iPhone 7 Plus stand the test of time? Below, we pit Lenovo Moto Z2 Force vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus to find out.

Specs and performance

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force

moto z2 force vs play lenovo isolated 2

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

lenovo moto z2 force apple iphone 7 plus isolated 2

Size 155.8 x 76 x 6.1 mm (6.13 x 2.99 x 0.24 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 5.04 ounces (143 grams) 6.63 ounces (188 grams)
Screen 5.5-inch AMOLED 5.5-inch LED
Resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (534ppi) 1,080 x 1,920 pixels (401ppi)
OS Android 7.1.1 Nougat iOS 10
Storage 64GB 32/128/256GB
SD Card Slot Yes, up to 256GB No
NFC support Yes Yes (For Apple Pay only)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Apple A10 Fusion
RAM 4GB 3GB
Connectivity GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
Camera Rear dual 12MP, front 5MP Rear dual 12MP, front 7MP
Video 4K 2,160p
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.2 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Accelerometer, proximity Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer
Water Resistant No Yes, IP67
Battery 2,730mAh 2,900mAh
Charger USB Type-C Lightning
Quick Charging Yes Yes
Wireless Charging No No
Marketplace Google Play Store App Store
Colors Black, gold, grey Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Red
Availability Unlocked, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Price $720 $769+
DT Review Hands-on 4 out of 5 stars

Comparing Android phones with other Android phones is pretty easy, but when it comes to comparing an Android phone with an iOS device, things get a little complicated. That’s because specs alone don’t really give a full picture of performance, and iPhones are notoriously good at baking together specs and software to create a seamless experience.

Still, specs are something to consider. The Lenovo Moto Z2 Force comes with Qualcomm’s chip, the Snapdragon 835. That processor is coupled with 4GB of RAM, which should result in an excellent experience. However, it may not be enough to take on the iPhone. The iPhone 7 Plus comes with the Apple A10 Fusion chip, which is coupled with 3GB of RAM — a little less than the Lenovo device.

So, which is better? Well, it’s complicated. Some benchmark tests award the title to the A10 Fusion chip, while in others, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is the winner.

There’s another thing to consider, and that’s storage. The iPhone 7 Plus comes in 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB configurations, while the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force comes with 64GB. Thankfully, the latter phone also comes with a MicroSD card slot.

This one is too close to call. The two phones will be similar in terms of performance, and while there are more storage options on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Moto Z2 Force has that handy MicroSD card slot for storage expansion.

Winner: Tie

Design, display, durability

Moto Z2 Force back
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone has long been one of the better-designed phones out there, and the iPhone 7 Plus is no different. It features an attractive unibody design that showcases the Apple logo on the back, underneath a dual-camera sensor that sits in the upper-left corner of the device. On the bottom of the front of the phone, you’ll find the Home button, which also flaunts Apple’s Touch ID sensor.

The Lenovo Moto Z2 Force looks good, but it doesn’t push many boundaries. On the front, you’ll also find a fingerprint sensor underneath the display, along with a dual-camera sensor on the back. The phone is clearly designed for use with Moto Mods such as the company’s forthcoming 360-degree camera and the Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod, highlighted by the pins on the bottom of the back of the phone.

Perhaps more important than the design is the display, given it’s what you’ll be looking at when you use your phone. While the iPhone has traditionally offered a top-tier display, in recent years, it has started to lag behind. The Lenovo Moto Z2 Force offers an AMOLED display with 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution, while the iPhone sticks with LCD technology and 1,080 x 1,920-pixel resolution. There’s no getting around it for Apple — the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force offers a better display.

When it comes to durability, things are a little different. Apple has recently made a serious effort to make the iPhone more durable, and the result is a phone that is more than capable of withstanding a few drops and bumps — even if you drop it in water. That’s thanks to its IP67 waterproofing, which basically means the phone can withstand around a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. You won’t want to take this phone swimming, but if you accidentally drop it in the bath, it should be OK. There’s no such waterproofing on the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force, so we’re giving the durability award to the latest iPhone.

While the iPhone is more durable, the Moto Z2 Force offers a better display. This section is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Battery life and charging

Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The battery life on these two phones is actually pretty similar. While the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force offers a battery capacity of 2,730mAh, the iPhone 7 Plus’ battery sits in at 2,900mAh. Not only is the iPhone’s battery a little larger, but it should also last much longer, thanks to the lower resolution afforded by the iPhone’s display.

Both phones offer some kind of quick charging, so based on the slightly larger battery, we’re giving this one to the iPhone.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Camera

Moto Z2 Force 360 cam
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone has offered an excellent camera for quite some time, and the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is no different. This is the first iPhone to offer a dual camera, and Apple has managed to create an excellent user experience in doing so. When it comes to raw specs, you’ll find a 12MP sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, optical image stabilization, and phase detection autofocus. The front-facing camera on the iPhone sits in at 7MP.

The iPhone isn’t the only device with a dual-sensor camera. Lenovo has opted for one in the Moto Z2 Force, though, we don’t know how it will perform yet. The specs on the phone’s camera sit in at 12MP, with an f/2.0 aperture and both phase and laser detection autofocus. The front-facing camera, however, is 5MP, which is slightly lower than the iPhone’s front-facing camera.

We don’t know exactly how the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force will perform when it comes to the camera yet, so this one is a tie for now.

Winner: Tie

Software

Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Software is one of the biggest points of difference when it comes to these two phones. While the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force comes outfitted with the latest version of Android, Android 7.1 Nougat, the iPhone comes with iOS 10.

So what’s the difference between the two? Put simply, iOS is generally a little easier to use, while Android can do a little more. In other words, if you’re looking for a phone that “just works,” then a phone with iOS is probably the way to go. That’s not to say Android doesn’t work — it works great — but it may not be as intuitive to some users. The trade-off, however, is customization. Android is generally a little more customizable, and offers things such as widgets, additional settings, and so on.

There are a few other things to consider, too, like the digital assistant on each phone. The iPhone 7 Plus comes with Siri, while the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force offers Google Assistant, Google’s latest digital assistant. Generally speaking, Google Assistant is considered to be a better assistant, namely because it’s able to understand more commands and is getting better with each update.

Speaking of updates, there’s an advantage to buying a phone made by the company that also makes the software. Whenever there’s an update available for iOS, you’ll get it almost immediately if you have the iPhone 7 Plus. When there’s an update to Android, however, you may have to wait a little, considering the update first has to make it into Lenovo’s hands, so the company can optimize the software for its phones. This can take some time.

Google Assistant is better than Siri, but the iPhone will get faster updates. Usability really comes down to personal preference. This one is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The iPhone 7 Plus has been available for some time now, and you can get it unlocked from the Apple Store, or from any of the major carriers. The device starts at $769, though, you’ll obviously pay more if you opt for more storage.

The Lenovo Moto Z2 Force will be just as available as the iPhone 7 Plus. However, its starting price is a little cheaper, if you buy it from a carrier, and depending which carrier you go with. If you buy it unlocked, it’ll come at a cool $800, but if you go through T-Mobile, you can get it for as little as $750. But the cheapest price comes straight from Motorola’s website, where you can purchase the device for $720. If you want the Moto Z2 Force, its available for purchase at all four major U.S. carriers including Best Buy.

In comparison to the iPhone, you’ll be able to get the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force for a little cheaper — if you go through the right channels,. This one is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Overall winner

This one is extremely close. In fact, the phones tie in every single category except for one — battery life and charging, which makes the Apple iPhone 7 Plus the winner. Still, there’s no denying how close the competition is here, and for many, it’ll simply boil down to the age-old question: Android or iOS.

Either of these two phones is a solid choice, but if you’re on the fence trying to decide between the two, the iPhone 7 Plus seems to be a slightly better choice. If, however, you do end up going for the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force, you won’t be disappointed — it’s shaping up to be an excellent phone.

Now, cast your vote

We’ve outlined why we think the iPhone 7 Plus is the superior smartphone above, but opinions differ. Which device do you prefer? Lenovo’s long-lasting Moto Z2 Force, or Apple’s iconic flagship? Vote below!

Update: Added availability info for the Moto Z2 Force

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