Trending February 2024 # 5 Best Force Feedback Racing Wheels # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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5 best Force Feedback racing wheels [Thrustmaster, Logitech]

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Racing wheels have been around for a very long time, almost since the first racing games appeared. They evolved and eventually incorporated technologies that further help simulate the feeling of you actually driving a real racecar.

One such feature is called Force Feedback, and it is the racing wheel’s ability to vibrate and move whenever you hit something during the game. This lets you feel every bump on the road and every collision you make.

Because there are plenty of them out there, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best racing wheels that feature Force Feedback that you can buy today.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.

Realistic steering and pedal action for the latest racing titles

Durable solid steel ball bearings, stainless steel pedals, and hand-stitched leather wheel grip

Dual-motor force feedback

Easy-access game controls

Responsive floor pedal unit

Pedal piston sleeves: Polyoxymethylene thermoplastic (POM)

The occasional quality control issues

Check price

If you want to experience your PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and select PC racing titles in a way that you never did before, the Logitech G29 racing wheel is the right thing for you.

It is made to emulate all the aspects of real racing, from the steering controls to the dual-motor Force Feedback that will make you feel every mile you go on the racetrack.

Realistic steering and pedal action for the latest racing titles

Durable solid steel ball bearings, stainless steel pedals, and hand-stitched leather wheel grip

Dual-motor force feedback

Accelerate, brake, and change gears with the feel of an actual car

Issues with PC connectivity

Check price

If you want to feel the rush of going 200MpH without ever putting yourself in danger, then the Logitech G920 is a steering wheel that will provide you with that exact feeling.

It has realistic steering and pedal action for the latest racing titles, making them feel more immersive than the developers ever intended them to be.

900° force feedback base

Mixed belt-pulley and gears system, metal ball-bearing axle.

Xbox One certified embedded software

Also compatible with PC (Windows 10/8/7/Vista) ensured thanks to the Thrustmaster drivers

Large, optimized pedal set

Customer support isn’t reliable in case of issues with the product

Check price

Expert tip:

The realistic controls and force feedback will make collisions and sharp turns feel more real than ever, elevating your gaming experience to the rank of extreme sports.

Full-size racing wheel and pedals optimized for authentic racing simulation

270-degree turn radius with adjustable output options

Mount security with sturdy clamp system

The product is not compatible with Xbox 360 and Windows PC

Check price

When talking about racing wheels for Xbox One and PCs, you probably expect the best.

The HORI Racing Wheel Overdrive is not a let-down as far as realism is concerned, as it will make PC and Xbox racing games feel like you are actually in the driver’s seat.

Thankfully, it is solid and sturdy enough to hold in case you go overboard with enthusiasm.

Official Racing Simulator for PS4 and PS3

1080 degree force feedback racing wheel

Built-in PS4/PS3 sliding switch

The large pedal set included

PlayStation4-certified embedded software and PS4/PS3 sliding switch

Some issues with the brake pedal that comes in the package

Check price

If you prefer the PlayStation console and not the Xbox One or PC, then you may like to hear about the Thrustmaster T150. This is the official racing wheel for the PlayStation, and it will elevate your racing game to a whole new level.

It features 1080 degree force feedback, making sharp turns and even U-turns feel like they are nothing.

Those of you that play console games are probably used to the vibration feedback that the controllers provide in the tensest moments.

If you too know that feeling, then try to imagine that Force Feedback is exactly that, allowing you to feel and not just see your favorite racing game.

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Feedback: Bostonia Fall 2023 Issue

Preventing a Repeat of the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions

A FABULOUS ARTICLE about Joseph Albanese (Questrom’92) and recovery from the Merrimack Valley gas explosions (“It Was a Suburban Disaster. Questrom Alum Joseph Albanese Led a Military Recovery.” Summer 2023), but nothing is said about preventing a repeat. Columbia Gas was not solely responsible for the gas explosions. The government of the commonwealth of Massachusetts bears some serious responsibility for a poorly drafted law on the books. If I want to replace a stove in my home, I have to use a licensed plumber or gas fitter. If Columbia Gas wants to replace gas mains in the street, they do not have to use licensed plumbers and gas fitters. This statute is beyond belief.

In Defense of Trump’s Immigration Policy

IT’S SAD THE AUTHOR of this article (“Paving the Way to Citizenship,” Summer 2023) would write that President Trump is hostile toward immigrants and making it harder to apply for citizenship. In fact, President Trump totally supports legal immigration and a pathway to legal citizenship.

I FIND THE SENTENCE “With President Trump’s hostility toward immigrants and his recent policy proposals that would make it harder to apply for citizenship—and the fear his administration has sown among green card holders as well as those who are undocumented…” highly partisan, divisive, and misleading, if not hateful. I was admitted to this country in 1977 as a “Refugee, conditional entrant,” received my green card in 1979, and was naturalized at Faneuil Hall in 1982 with my wife and three children. After my wife passed in 2006, I remarried, to a Hungarian woman. She obtained her green card and subsequently became a naturalized US citizen this year.

Her Hungarian friends told her in November 2024 that “Trump will kick you out of the United States because he does not like immigrants,” or something similar. What really happened was that our Trump yard sign was stolen. These things are the result of anti-Trump sentences like the one in your article.

I did not find Trump hostile toward me, my family, or now toward my immigrant wife. My wife had no fear as a green card holder, her citizenship application was straightforward—we did it on our own. The process was completed in less than nine months. President Trump’s policies are designed to maintain law and order in this country. Congress’ role is to make or change immigration laws, open the borders, and give documents to those undocumented if it so decides in our democracy.

I am proud of my MBA from BU, sent one of my sons to BU, and wish that Bostonia magazine would remain fair and truthful.

Swimming with Sharks Props from Our Readers

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE changes to the most recent Bostonia. I usually skip around to read various articles, but when this issue arrived I was hooked on the first article and then read every article cover to cover. Thank you for making Bostonia a very enjoyable read!

I JUST WANTED to share how much I have enjoyed the past two alumni magazines, Winter–Spring 2023 and Summer 2023. I have always been a proud Terrier, but this year I have been reading Bostonia with awe and appreciation—cover to cover—to learn what our wonderful University is putting out into this world. I’m so proud. I love BU—now and always. Bostonia is a must-read. Keep it up.

Write to Bostonia, 985 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Email letters to [email protected], or submit on the web. Letters are edited for clarity, style, and length. Please include your full name and address. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Zte Axon 11 5G Phone Specs And Feedback

ZTE is a Chinese based multinational telecommunications company with three business units namely carrier networks, terminals, and telecommunication. Prominent among their products and services is the ZTE mobile phones that have been in the market since 2005. Last year ZTE kept its promise of a 5G network by gracing us with the Axon 10, Pro 5G making it the first of its kind in ZTE. However, this product was met with less enthusiasm by users than expected by their developers. In March 2023, ZTE made good on its promise by delivering a better version of the latter which is Axon 11 5G.

However, instead of chasing the latest Snapdragon 865 flagship silicon, it chose to go with Snapdragon 765G and with good reason I hope. The mobile supports sub-6Ghz and maybe mm-Wave as that is yet to be tested.

Specifications

According to Specs-tech, the new ZTE Axon 11 5G phone has an 8MP ultra-wide snapper, 64MP primary camera, and 2MP depth sensor, which delivers a quad rear camera setup. Most users, however, are leaning towards its predecessor, the Axon 10 Pro. The camera quality, although good, is less than the latest 2023 phones.

The ZTE Axon 11 5G supports GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE  and of course 5G networks with a speed of  HSPA 42.2 / 5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (3CA), 5G (2+ Gbps DL). It was launched on 23rd march 2023 despite the entire corona pandemic and comes with a sleek size of 6.27 × 2.89 × 0.31 inches. It also weighs about 168 grams with hybrid dual sim ports. The colors being shipped are black and white at the moment. The screen resolution is also top-notch with 1080× 2340 pixels screen resolution.

The prices vary according to their internal storage and ram. The one with a ram of 6GB and 128GB internal storage is sold at 378 US dollars while the one with 8 GB ram and 128GB internal storage is sold at 410 US dollars. There is also one with 8GB Ram and 256GB internal storage and it is sold at 476 US dollars. Due to the current global lockdown, this mobile phone is currently only available in China but it is expected to hit the global markets in the nearest future. The camera is a water drop-notch display with quad camera.

The ZTE Axon 11 5G runs on the latest version of Android, Android 10 with a Qualcomm SDM765 Snape Dragon 765G (nm 7) chipset. The CPU speed is 8 core (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver) and a graphic processor Adriano 620 It supports external hard disk (memory card) and has a ram of 6GB or 8GB.  The front camera has a camera quality of 20 megapixels with a Li-Ion Battery 4000 Mah non-removable battery

It supports Sensors Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity, gyro, compass sensors. The back camera has 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP and the display is 6.47-inches. The latest ZTE phone however has no telephone shooter which is a big deal to most users and the camera quality is way lower than its predecessor

Feedback

When it comes to most products, people expect the successors to be superior to the predecessor.  On its own, the ZTE Axon 11 5G is a nice smartphone with great features and functionalities. But most users that have used the ZTE Axon 10 Pro are not sounded very pleased with the upgrade. Most of them feel that many features in ZTE Axon 10 pro are much better than the features in ZTE Axon 11 5G.

Some users that are using the series for the first time are not disappointed as one user stated that the phone was “Basically the P30 Pro and iPhone 11 PM (Pro Max) merged” and another user stated that the phone was as “If Huawei P30 Pro and Huawei Mate 20 Pro had a baby, and ZTE stole it”

Others have however said that the phone was ok, but not worth that price as it is roughly expected to be around 400 to 600 US dollars. Some users have resolved to wait for the pro version, confident that it would be everything that the ZTE Axon 11 5G is not.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the phone scores an 8.4. Taking a critical look at its features, users gave it the following scales. Both the design and camera got an 8 out of a ten, the display and connectivity was rated 9 out of ten. The phone was also rated very usable with 9 out of 10. Although the battery is 4000Mah, it is not so strong since the phone specifications are so high. It got 8 out of 10. The ZTE Axon 11 5G overall performance was rated 8 out of 10. There is much room for improvement for the newest ZTE Axon 11 5G and most users are already waiting for the pro version.

Can A Computer Predict Greyhound Racing Results?

Greyhound racing and betting has a long history in the United Kingdom and was a big part of betting culture in Britain in the 20th century. Over the last couple of decades modern technology has changed the way that some people bet on the sport.

Rather than making a guess based on their knowledge of previous races or picking a name at random, some spectators use specialist software to predict dog race results. Such technology would be of great interest to those who bet on greyhound racing as it could improve their chances of winning, however there is some debate over how reliable these predictions are.

When did greyhound racing first become popular in the UK?

The first official greyhound race in the United Kingdom took place in 1926 at Belle Vue in Manchester, and in less than a decade more than 200 tracks were built around the country.

The greyhound racing industry boomed during the 1920s and early 1930s and while it isn’t as popular as it once was, there is still significant demand for the sport.

Traditionally an urban working-class sport, in the early days, spectators were drawn to the grounds looking forward to a vibrant and exhilarating, perhaps slightly chaotic, evening of entertainment. Unlike any activity they had experienced before, a trip to the races was a new and fun way to socialise with friends. 

While betting would always happen in person back then, more options became available as technology developed over the decades. First there was betting over the phone and then later on betting on computers and smartphones became possible.

So, can a computer predict racing results with greyhounds?

One technique that can be used for predicting results on the races is known as web scraping. Web scraping is used to work out probability and probability indicates how certain it is that a specific greyhound could win the race.

Race organisers share certain information online about each of the greyhounds competing in the races. This includes race details such as the venue, date and time, as well as stats including previous race performance, name, trainer’s name and position.

As a greyhound performs in more races there are certain patterns and correlations that begin to occur. Using the web scraping method, an individual can collect this information and organise it into data tables and other readable formats.

These insights are then utilised to predict future results and help the user to decide which dog has the best probability of winning and who they should bet on.

If you decide to try out the web scraping method, there are certain stats that you should focus on. A dog’s career history is a very important one, this should include the number of wins and how recent those wins were.

Trainer stats give good insight as the quality of training can have a big impact on the results. Weather conditions on the day of the race could be an interesting one to investigate as poor track conditions could impact some dogs.

Age is another important factor as younger dogs are likely to be in peak performance while older dogs may be slowing down as they near retirement. Starting box can be considered in scraping data.

What about machine learning?

Machine learning has many different applications and betting predictions is an excellent example. Using machine learning, you can analyse your web scraping data and make improved predictions.

Rather than relying on past data, using machine learning the user can use a model that algorithmically selects and analyses data in a short amount of time. Web scraping date is used in this case to train the machine learning model to allow it to make its own predictions.

While technological savvy people may be happy to experiment themselves and try to make their own custom model, there is plenty of software available online for making betting predictions that are more accessible to everyone.

The 5 Best Linux Games

If you want to play all of the latest and greatest computer games, then your only real option is Microsoft Windows. Even macOS, which is gaining in popularity, only gets a few choice titles each year. 

For Linux users, the choices have been more sparse over the years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of games to play. Let’s highlight the best Linux games you can play today.

Table of Contents

A Note on Non-native Linux Games and Linux Exclusives

In our article on Linux Gaming, we highlighted how easy it is to play games that were made for Windows in Linux. In particular, Steam has an incredibly robust conversion system known as “SteamPlay”, where Windows games are wrapped in special software that makes a title work in Linux.

In this article we aren’t going to include Windows games that work on Linux using systems like SteamPlay. If we did, the list would pretty much look like a Windows game list. Instead, we’ll only include the best Linux games that have a native Linux port.

The Metro series of games are based on popular novels telling the tale of a post-apocalyptic Russia where survivors have taken shelter in the subway tunnels. Tough, scary and very fun to play, the Metro games are masterpieces in their own right.

This Redux Bundle contains both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light. The latest game in the series, Exodus, sadly does not have a native Linux port at the time of writing.

These are the “Redux” versions of the games and, as such, they have been remastered with improved graphics and features. They also come with a less hardcore difficulty mode, but you can ignore it and play the games as originally intended as well.

If you like more realistic, gritty horror survival shooters, there aren’t many that can stand toe-to-toe with the Metro games. Having native Linux ports of these titles is simply fantastic.

The latest in Sid Meier’s incredibly popular turn-based strategy games has a native Linux version. Even better, this is a game without particularly high system requirements. So many laptop systems are going to run it just fine.

This is by far the most polished Civ game, with beautiful Pixar-like cutscenes and animation, beautifully detailed tiles and graphics and oodles of atmosphere.

The point of the game is to develop your civilization to its pinnacle, which comes in the form of various achievements. Whether through war, diplomacy or technological supremacy the future of your people is in your hands.

Civ is still as addictive as ever and honestly, do you even need another game on your Linux system? Where would you even find the time to play anything else?

This should not be confused with the very first Hitman game, instead this Hitman game represents a reboot of the series. It brings unparalleled sandbox-style gameplay to the assassin-for-hire that made these games famous in the first place.

This game was originally released in an episodic format, with a new, dense, self-contained mission. This Game of the Year edition includes all of the content made for the game, so you don’t have to wait to enjoy everything Hitman has to offer.

Hitman has immense replayability, beautiful graphics and an intriguing story. As Agent 47, you’ll have to work out the best way to get your target, stick to the mission parameters and make it out in one piece. The best players will do all this without anyone ever knowing they were there. 

Agent 47 can use a variety of weapons, gadgets, disguises and the environment to accomplish his goals. Hitman is an amazing amount of fun and a must-play title for anyone who likes stealth puzzle gameplay.

The first Borderlands game set the bar for the “looter shooter” genre that now has juggernauts such as Destiny within its stable. Grab some friends, pick your character class and set out into the weird world of Pandora depicted in spectacular cel-shaded graphics. Borderlands took the action-RPG mechanics of Diablo and combined it with solid first-person gunplay. The final ingredient is the series’ signature humour and bonkers sci-fi story.

Borderlands 2 takes everything that made the first game great, and improves upon it. Although there have been two Borderlands games since the release of number 2, the second title is still the pinnacle of the series, with pitch-perfect jokes and incredibly balanced gameplay.

This edition comes with all the downloadable content released for the game over the years. There’s an astounding amount of game here for you and your buddies to plough through. Don’t be discouraged if you’re more of a lone wolf however. Unlike the first game, Borderlands 2 is a very enjoyable solo game.

Rally games are incredibly underrated titles in the video game racing genre. Sure they don’t have the same pizazz as track racing games where you face off against other cars. In most rally formats, you’re racing against yourself, but that’s not any less pulse-pounding! Especially when you’re racing across multiple surfaces, incredibly technical courses and driving an insane all-wheel-drive monster with horsepower coming out its ears.

Of all the rally games you could play, Dirt Rally and the series that’s lead up to it is one of the best. This is a Codemasters title. The people behind Colin Mcrae Rally and various other top-notch racing sims. Not only does Dirt Rally look absolutely astounding the racing experience is second to none.

The game includes more than 40 real world cars modelled with incredible accuracy. There are over 70 stages spread across six rallys. Once you’ve mastered those, you can make your own custom rallys by mixing and matching stages. If you’re a tinkerer, the game also offers systems where you have to repair, tune and modify your car. It’s a dirt lover’s dream and with a game this realistic, you’ll feel like you really have to pick dirt and bugs from your teeth.

Linux Can Game!

While Linux is still not the first choice of operating system for PC gaming, it’s hardly the most distant choice anymore either. Between these excellent native ports and the many Windows games that now work thanks to projects like Steam Play, there’s no reason to stick to boring old work on your Linux computer. 

Moto Z2 Force Review: Frankenstein’s Modster

Our Verdict

As a software experience, the Moto Z2 Force is excellent. But the Moto Mod ecosystem means you’re spending a hell of a lot on accessories that are only useful for the lifetime of the device. It’s also far too expensive, even before mods. Practically every other smartphone manufacturer sells a flagship device for less, and sometimes considerably less.  If money is no object and you love the idea of mods and like the reassurance of an unbreakable screen, the Z2 Force will be the phone for you. For everyone else, there are cheaper high-end phones out there from Samsung, Google and OnePlus with better battery life and better cameras.

Moto says you can’t smash the screen of the Z2 Force. I’ve dropped it a few times, a few definitely on purpose and the thing is still intact. Knowing you can’t smash your phone screen is a great thing.

I snapped a battery mod on the back of it and it lasted for well over two days of use away from a plug. I took 360 photos with the awesome 360 camera mod. I gamed on the train with the game pad.

It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed using it all.

But these were review sample devices that I didn’t have to fork out for. Moto sent me well over £1,000 worth of kit to test including the Z2 Force itself, which costs £719. That makes it more than pretty much every competing flagship phone in the UK.

Can you see where I’m going with this? The Moto Z2 Force with its optional (but essential) mods are unquestionably excellent. But they pose a serious problem to consumers when the combination immediately prices itself out of the market.

Moto Z2 Force price and availability

The Moto Z2 Force costs  £719 unlocked from direct from Moto in the UK. At the time of writing, it’s not available on contract from any provider. This only adds to the issue of its high price as you’ll have to stump up the cash up front to get it.

Without labouring the point, the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, Huawei P10, HTC U11 and iPhone 8 all retail for less. That’s a tough crowd for Moto to take on, particularly when it doesn’t always offer a free mod when you purchase the phone.

Mods range anywhere from a simple style shell for £9.50 up to the sky-high £239 for a 360-camera mod. 

Moto Z2 Force design and build

Even before you’ve considered its cost, the Moto Z2 Force is a phone that you will either love or hate. I personally really like the design, even though its thicker than the ridiculously slim Moto Z from last year.

That phone was criticised for having no headphone jack before even Apple did the same on the iPhone 7. Moto has made the Z2 thicker to cram in more battery, but it still lacks the 3.5mm jack, even though the Z2 Play is a mere 0.1mm thinner and manages to have one.

The modular design means the back of the phone is an acquired taste, with its exposed magnetic pogo pins towards the bottom of the device. It’s complemented by the purposefully jutting camera bump.

This back is has an attractive subtle wood-like grain to it, but feels smooth. This makes it a tad slippery in the hand and is a fingerprint collector of the highest degree. The simple material style shell that the phone comes with clips on easily and gets around this, but adds bulk to the phone.

On other phones it is a frustration, but on the Z2 Force acts as a circular feature to secure the mods in the correct position, so I’ll let it slide. It’s a dual camera too, another upgrade.

The display has Moto’s so-called ShatterShield technology, which it ensures you cannot smash. It achieves this by fusing a plastic protective layer over the 5.5in pOLED display. You can’t remove it.

Being plastic, it means that it picks up surface scratches much easier than a normal unprotected glass display. And because you can’t replace it, you’re stuck with the scratches.

None that my review unit collected in my time with it impeded my use of the phone, but it’s a bit of an annoying aspect of such an expensive phone – even if it is supposedly unbreakable. The scratches are quite noticeable from day one. It could be a trade-off you want to make for peace of mind, though.

The frame of the phone is made of 7000 series aluminium, which is high strength but picked up some dinks from light use on my black review unit. The front of the phone has pretty big bezels top and bottom and is practically visually indistinguishable from the £379 Z2 Play. 

Those bezels hold a front facing flash, a rarity on a smartphone of any price, and a front mounted fingerprint sensor that is pleasingly larger than the odd tiny square of the older Moto Z.

The phone is also available in gold with a white facia, but I think the black is the best-looking one. It feels less premium than the Galaxy S8, but the Z2 Force is not about designer good looks, it’s all about the promised functionality of the modular add ons.

It’s a phone I personally like the design quirks of, but to another eye it looks unfinished and oddly bulky in width despite its thin profile.

Moto Z2 Force features and specifications

Like most flagship Android smartphones in 2023, the Moto Z2 Force runs the Snapdragon 835 with 6GB RAM and Moto’s attractive close-to-stock version of Android Nougat. Oreo can’t be far off when the experience is this close to Google’s, and Moto has confirmed that it’ll be getting it ‘starting this fall’.

The phone absolutely flew through anything I threw at it, using it as my main phone for well over a week. I had practically every app I use open at the same time and didn’t notice any lag in performance. I found it great to use in split screen mode, and liked how the UI encourages you to use it when you tap the recent apps button.

For a £719 phone, there’s no water resistance and no wireless charging. The latter I can live without, particularly as the Turbo Charge charging on the Z2 Force is excellent, but for the price it’s a shame there’s no waterproofing. This appears to be a pay-off for modular connectivity.

Screen

The display is a 5.5in 2560 x 1440p pOLED that produces a colour palette that I enjoy; not too bright and over-saturated, with crisp whites and dark, dark blacks. Its befitting of the stock-style software.

It’s a responsive screen despite the ShatterShield. This is a subtle plastic layer on top of the display, so you’re not interacting directly with glass. Thankfully the oleophobic coating is good enough, but means this premium priced phone feels ever so slightly plastic day to day, which is an unavoidable downside to the undeniable upside of it not smashing when you drop it.

I also noticed a very slight jelly effect when scrolling on the phone similar to the OnePlus 5. When scrolling you notice the screen continue to scroll and bounce back when your thumb or finger stops rather than accurately and immediately obeying the touch input.

It’s subtle, but once I noticed it I couldn’t help but be bugged by it. It spoiled my enjoyment of the device like it did for me on the OnePlus 5 – it feels like a fault, even if it doesn’t hamper day to day use of the phone. If things like that bother you, steer clear.

Cameras

The large camera bump holds two 12Mp sensors with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus and a dual-LED flash. To cut to the chase, these cameras are perfectly serviceable in 2023, but they are far from the perfect article. Auto HDR worked accurately in my testing.

The Google Pixel 2 has the best camera on any smartphone I’ve ever used, and the iPhone X is bound to be just as excellent. The Z2 Force struggles with its headline feature of depth enabled images (portrait mode) in most situations during my testing.

Where the iPhone 8 Plus uses two lenses to apply ‘true’ depth to portrait images, so should the Z2. But it struggles to identify the subject and blurs in patches, often in the wrong places.

The two iPhone lenses works very well, and the Pixel 2 has managed to achieve better results with just one lens. The saving grace for the Z2 Force is that it also has a dedicated monochrome sensor like on the Huawei P10, bringing two uses of the dual cameras where most other phones only have one.

The depth effect blur is so, so off here. The cameras can’t find the edges of the subject

The level of detailing and handling of light and colour is excellent here however

The black and white photos are excellent, with crisp reproduction and decent handling of light. In fact, the regular auto mode on the Z2 is great for most photo situations and I got some good-looking images from it.

But the problem is Moto has shot for the two dual camera features without refining them, and doesn’t add optical image stabilisation. This is pretty criminal on a £700+ phone, and coupled with the fact there’s also no optical zoom – only digital – it becomes hard to recommend despite the upsides such as excellent light handling in bright daylight.

The front-facing camera is 5Mp but perfectly adequate, with f/2.2 for a slightly wider angle and a notable LED flash for those night-time selfie group shots.

There are also two cool features that I can’t quite call AI but are clever, in object and landmark recognition. The former is pretty clever, using machine learning to decide what you’re pointing your camera at.

The results weren’t quite as consistent as Google Lens, but it is quite good at recognising what objects are compared to places, where Lens is better (Lens is currently only found on the Pixel).

Video recording is also decent and includes electronic image stabilisation. This means the ability to record in what is approaching steady 4K Ultra HD @ 30fps is actually very good.

Benchmarks

Benchmarking phone speeds in 2023 has proven slightly futile at flagship level. Bar the iPhone 8 in these results, all the other (Android) phones run either the Snapdragon 835 or the Huawei (Kirin) or Samsung (Exynos) equivalent. Real world use is practically class leading, and identical.

The Z2 Force more than holds its own in the performance department and I can’t fault it apart from a slight camera shutter lag. 

Battery life

Battery life is better than the old Moto Z as the capacity is up to 2730mAh from 2600mAh. But given the Z2 Play fits in 3000mAh (and a headphone jack) in practically the same form factor it’s a tad disappointing. I got over 48 hours of power from the combination of a fully charged phone and a fully charged 3490mAh Moto TurboPower mod that retails for $79.99 in the US and is coming to the UK soon for £55. 

On its own, the Z2 Force lasted me through each working day but often was struggling down at around 10% by about 11pm. You’ll definitely need to charge it at some point if you’re a heavy user, and screen on time for me never beat three hours between charges.

Moto Z2 Force and Moto Mods

The battery pack turned out to be my favourite of the mods I tested. I also got to use the game pad, which I found largely needless given mobile games are designed with touch input in mind and the JBL Soundboost 2, which is merely fine and more useful as a kickstand than a speaker you’d actually want to use – for £89 I’d rather buy a Bluetooth speaker that I can use with other devices. 

The most expensive mod by far is the 360 camera, and the results are excellent. As with every other mod, when you clip it to the back of the phone you get a splash screen that knows what you’ve attached and guides you through any necessary set up.

The camera gives excellent, versatile shots but they aren’t any different from say Samsung’s Gear 360 – and that smartphone 360 camera isn’t restricted to a Moto Mod compatible phone.

I used the projector mod on last year’s Moto Z and it remains a favourite alongside the battery pack. But it costs £150, and this remains the issue. If I decided I wanted a Moto Z2 Force, battery pack and nifty projector, I’d have to fork out £925 (as I can’t buy it on contract in the UK).

The curse of the mods is that they make themselves necessary. I don’t recommend buying the Z2 Force if you don’t want any mods, but at the same time I don’t recommend spending the earth on accessories whose lifetime is dictated by the lifetime of the phone

If you want a phone with better battery life, buy another phone. Ditto speakers.

Moto also sent us two new Mods in 2023, the Instashare Polaroid printer and an Amazon Alexa speaker. I’ll keep it brief; the printer is expensive and the speaker is a waste of money.

The printer – if you want to spend  £149 – is actually quite cool, and despiute the Polaroid branding prints photos onto Zink (zero ink) paper, so it’s not a real Polaroid.

Results are good though if a little washed out, and the option to print from Google Photos, Facebook and Instagram is good, as well as using the camera.

On the other hand, the £99 Alexa speaker is not good. According to the companion app, the Mod is not compatible with TuneIn or Spotify for radio and music, so our options were all out for enjoying the benefits of the speaker.

You can use Amazon Music with it, but that’s not made clear. And when we asked it to show a map of where we were, Alexa proudly said she’d done it, before presenting us with a blank screen.

If you want a speaker Mod, buy the JBL one and use Google Assistant on the phone for free. The Alexa speaker is a waste of money.

Moto Z2 Force software

The only thing I tweaked was the the text size and display size, as Moto’s defaults for these render text comically large. You can adjust to your tastes easily.

Moto’s skin adds stuff like the prompt to use multi-window when you tap recent apps, the subtle redesigning of core app icons and a useful home screen information widget that plays nice with mods.

I reviewed the phone on Nougat 7.1.1 and feel confident that Oreo will suit it no end, whenever it arrives. There’s not a lot else to say as the software is so unchanged and so uncluttered. You’ll enjoy its purity, though this is at odds with the Frankenstein nature of the modular system the hardware forces you to buy into.

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