We’ve been tracking some of the reaction to the durability of the Moto Z2 Force’s ShatterShield screen (no spaces, mind us) from colleagues across different publications. As the cover isn’t made from brittle glass, but softer materials, the panel does live up to its brand name. But it comes at a cost of being more susceptible to scratches.
Ryan Whitwam of Android Police best sums up the horror show of scratches he’s seen:
On the Z2 Force, a fingernail is enough to scratch the display. This is not true of last year’s Z Force. I can’t think of any reason Motorola would downgrade the materials, but that’s what it did.
As a matter of fact, the feature was a carry-over from said predecessor and originally seen on the DROID Turbo 2, a Verizon exclusive. The Turbo 2’s ShatterShield, back when it was a first-gen product, was also an easy scratcher. But in the case of the Z2 Force, it seemed as though the top plastic layer of this multi-layer system wasn’t adhering to its neighbor plastic layer properly — it created an air bubble and made room for noise to be made. That reeks of poor craft.
We had some questions ourselves on this issue, so we asked Motorola about it. This is the company’s statement in full:
Shatterproof does not mean scratchproof, and scratches can subjective. Motorola encourages the use of a third-party screen protector for added scratch resistance. Over the three generations of ShatterShield, we’ve continued to evolve the design. This year, we’ve switched to a 3D design which makes it more competitive with other flagships, and we have test results that show it is just as durable as last year’s version. That being said, we will continue to evolve the design for continuous improvement. The unit you received was one of the very first production units and we do have an improvement in the works that consumers will see shortly after launch.
Consumers can get the top liner replaced by contacting the service center at their carrier or Best Buy.
Ah, the dreaded 3D curvature that’s been trendy since forever and appreciated since never. Well, the fact that we’re surely reviewing pre-consumer goods won’t help our editorial findings apply to the real world, but it’s good to know that there are ameliorating factors at play. In fact, Motorola has consistently offered replacement top liners through its retail partners for ShatterShield products, so that expectation was already in place.
Update: Motorola has told Pocketnow that it is actually not offering replacement top-layer ShatterShield liners.
Alas, when the manufacturer of a shatter-proof is pushing its customers to get third-party screen protectors, doubt does start to creep in. We’ll stay on top of this topic, post launch. Until then, we’ll have to be mindful of which pocket we put the keys in.