The Motorola Moto Z2 Force Is the Toughest Phone You Can Buy

While it's not as well-known as the Apple iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Motorola Moto Z2 Force should be on your short list for your next smartphone, especially if you care about durability. That's because the Z2 Force (currently $500) emerged as the toughest phone in our first annual drop test of a dozen handsets.

Motorola built the Moto Z2 Force to be tough. It boasts a ShatterShield display that offers five layers of protection, so it's much more durable than your typical Gorilla Glass screen. The phone's body is made of 7000 series aluminum, an alloy generally used in aerospace, and is composed of zinc, magnesium and other metals.

According to Motorola's site, "the display and embedded lens are warrantied against shattering and cracking for four years from the original date of purchase. This phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping." And yet the Z2 Force passed our drop tests with flying colors.

After all of these tests, the only damage to the Z2 Force consisted of a few scuff marks along its bottom edge, from where it landed on concrete. Most other phones, including the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, had screens that were completely shattered. Even the LG X Venture, a rugged phone, saw its screen crack.

Moto Z2 Force (after drop testing)

Moto Z2 Force (after drop testing)

However, although the display is shatterproof, it's not scratchproof; as others have noted, the ShatterShield display is prone to scratches from fingernails.

MORE: We Dropped $18,000 Worth of Phones, and This Is the Toughest (and Weakest)

The final part of our toughness testing involved dropping the phone from a height of 4 feet into a water-filled toilet. Here, the Z2 Force did not do so well. While the phone has a "water-repellent nano-coating," it's designed to protect the phone only against "accidental spills, splashes or light rain," according to Motorola.

Unlike other smartphones, such as the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9, which can be submerged in up to 1 meter (3 feet) of water for 30 minutes, the Moto Z has no such protection. Not surprisingly, then, the phone conked out shortly after falling into the toilet. However, after it dried out, the Z2 started working again, so the damage was only temporary.

MORE: Moto Z2 Force Review: The Galaxy S8 Can't Do This

The Z2 Force is part of a family of phones that work with Moto Mods — accessories such as a camera, speakers, a projector and a battery — that magnetically attach to the back of the phone. It also has a 5.5-inch OLED display, dual 12-megapixel cameras and more than 10 hours of battery life. But, to us, those aren't the most important features.

So, although the Moto Z2 Force isn't the fastest phone, the one with the best camera or the one with the longest battery life, it is the toughest — which means this is one handset that will last.

Credit: Tom's Guide

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.