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The Force is weak with this one: Motorola seems to have given up on flagships

The Force is weak with this one: Motorola seems to have given up on flagships


Don’t expect a high-end Moto phone any time soon

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Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Motorola hasn’t been competing in the flagship Android arena for a couple of years now, not since the Moto Z2 days. Instead, the company has put its focus on its Moto Mods initiative and the midrange and budget models in its Moto Z and Moto G lines.

But some fans may have been holding out hope for a revival of the Force line, the high-end variant of the Moto Z that hasn’t seen a proper release since 2017. Unfortunately, Motorola is outright squashing hopes for a Moto Z4 Force, after the Z4 was officially unveiled earlier this week.

“We will not be announcing additional Moto Z devices this year,” writes Motorola US on Twitter this afternoon, in response to a user’s request to be informed when a Z4 Force would be made available. It’s not too surprising; we didn’t get a Z3 Force last year, and the Z4 is just an incrementally updated version of that midrange phone.

Given the current state of the high-end phone market, where Apple is struggling to sell iPhones due to saturation and four-digit price tags, it’s not surprising to see more Android phone makers put their focus in the midrange and prioritize features like battery life over newer components and higher-end materials. Google recently introduced the Pixel 3A, priced starting at $399, precisely because it saw lower-than-expected sales of its flagship Pixel 3.

By all accounts, the Moto Z4 has everything you’d want out of a $499 phone: strong battery life, a decent processor, and the ability to work with Verizon’s 5G network thanks to the companion 5G Moto Mod. The standout selling point of the Force line was its shatterproof screen, but it looks like that’s not a good enough reason to want to make a pricier variant when it has to go head-to-head with newer Galaxy, iPhone, LG, and Pixel devices.