Moto Z Force Droid Edition's ShatterShield survives drops, phone still dies

I now have a zombie Moto Z Force Droid Edition. No, it's not the name that killed it. It was the drop test. And while I'm normally not a fan of killing a phone just to watch it die, we had good reason this time. Moto's ShatterShield.

This is the multiple-layer system that it put in the Droid Turbo 2 — and now in Verizon's Moto Z Force — to keep the phone's screen from shattering should it be dropped. That doesn't mean it's a rugged phone. That doesn't mean you should repeatedly drop it onto concrete. That means should the phone take a spill — like all phones do at some point — the screen should survive.

Yes, there's fine print. (There's always fine print.) And it reads thusly (opens in new tab):

The display and embedded lens are warranted against shattering and cracking for four (4) years from the original date of purchase; scratches or other damage to the protective lens is not covered by this warranty, but should always be in place to prevent scratches and other damage to the underlying components. This phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping. All other warranty exclusions, including scratches and other cosmetic damage, intentional damage or abuse, normal wear and tear and other limitations apply.

So I wasn't surprised after one-two-three-four-five drops that the screen quit working. ShatterShield isn't meant for the sort of abuse I subjected it to. (The phone still boots, actually. It still works. It's just as if the display became detached.)

But it did not shatter. It looks beat to hell — because it was. But ShatterShield did its job.

57 Comments
  • The screen not breaking is one of the things i like most about this phone. I'm strongly considering picking one up for my wife because our two kids (4 & 6) are much more likely to pick up her phone than mine and accidents can happen and if this thing can survive 2-3 accidents that'd be worth it. I passed on the Droid Turbo 2 because it looked like crap and the screen was really, really, really bad to where it was almost unusable. All reviews so far say this is much better.
  • Did you ever replace the outermost layer? It is essentially just a screen protector
  • Moving foward, shattershield on all phones Posted via the Android Central App
  • This ^^^^^^^^ Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • Never broke a screen accidentally so why would I need one with cheap plastic. Especially not on a premium device that might never be updated.
  • Not plastic. The shatter shield on the S7 Active is Gorilla Glass with a shatter shield over it that doesn't distort at all. I didn't even know it was on there at first. Screen clarity is just as good as on the S7 Edge I had before it. I'm fairly certain it's similar on this Droid. You may have never broken a screen before but odds are good you will at some point. Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • Moto used a plastic screen instead of glass last version doubt they changed it on this version. Don't drop your active in water. It isn't water proof or even resistant. It's just a device aimed at Samesungs lemmmings to constantly upgrade their devices two to three times a year. Funny thing is Gorilla glass 5 is very resistant to breaking. The plastic cover is just redundant.
  • LOL, I've been to many pools and a Waterpark this summer and the S7 Active joined me the whole time. Submerged many times. No water damage. I've been all over the forums discussing and reading about those that have had problems with water damage but my device is just fine.........and in the event it does suffer water damage in the future, Samsung has gone on record that they'll repair or replace it. Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • Thanks Mr Negative
    Glad you know everyone buys a Samsung for the same reason Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks for speaking for all of humanity
  • I've never broken a screen, neither has anyone else in my family. I prefer glass over plastic.
  • I had broken almost all my phones except the present one coz it's just one month old lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hadn't either until 2 weeks ago. Was cleaning up at a lake after fishing and my GS7e fell out of my pocket and landed on some shore gravel. Even with a screen protector on the screen shattered. It's still usable though, probably due to the screen protector, but the spot where it landed on one piece of gravel is a half inch eyesore
  • Did you have any kind of protection on it? Just wondering because I have a UAG case on mines and need to know if it'll save it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • He did say twice he was using a screen protector, a case wouldn't have helped in this scenario. A good case makes a phone more durable, but not invulnerable. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It won't if it lands on the wrong spot. I had a UAG or my SUPCASE (don't remember which) on my S7 Edge when the screen broke. Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • Give yourself a bell
  • Moto Z Force Droid ... Just rolls of the tongue!
  • Moto Z Force Droid edition* Even better Posted from outer space on my Moto X Style
  • Open her up and check the screen cable connection. Good to hear it boots up. Posted via the Android Central App
  • X-Force sounded much better but that is due to the comic book at least. Posted via the Pokemon Central App
  • In my three years plus since leaving the world of flip phones for smart phones, I have owned two phones. They are a Nexus 4, and a 2014 Moto X PE. My Nexus 4 (an all glass phone) is as pristine as the day I got it, and I have used it often without a case. Same with my Moto X. My secret? I take care of my stuff. I don't treat them like garbage, then whine when they break after falling out of my hand or pocket for the 100th time. I liken it to other things like cars. Some buy cars, then proceed to trash them inside and out. Maybe a little care will go a long way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mostly agree, but accidents due happen. You're right about some people just being completely careless with their belongings. I think a lot of that changes when Mom and Dad don't flip the bill anymore, though some people just don't care. Kudos on keeping the Nexus 4 pristine. Glad I had it insured cause I walked out of my car with it on my lap once!
  • I agree. Alot of people i know don't care about "stuff" as it's an object that can be replaced. I see it as well, if you take care of that "stuff", it will last twice as long. I agree again. We told our daughter now that you're 18 and graduated, you will now have to buy your own phone. We will pay the bill, but you buy the phone.....it's now a coincidence that she babies it like no other....lol
  • Ooooh that was painful to watch. Something about watching someone faceplant a new phone on concrete makes me feel uncomfortable lol. Pretty cool that the screen survived though Blackberry Priv
    Nvidia Shield "Portable"
    Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • "starting to get gross, I'm wiping my sweat on it (swipe)". Phil you have an awesome J.O.B.! Brotha! Lol. Nice cons btw I came from the gutta, now it's all butta
  • It's SO DAMN HOT down here right now!!!
  • Perhaps on future "drop" tests, have the phone record a video of itself as it falls terra firma. Perspective is important.
  • I totally meant to do that!
  • Forcing a phone to record its own demise? You sadistic *******! ...I like it.
  • It would have been cool (and fun) to see.
  • Super cool idea, how come no one thought of doing it until now Posted via the Android Central App
  • "It was the sudden stop at the end." Better known as sudden deceleration trauma
  • So true.
  • The laws o' physics be a harsh mistress! Posted via the Android Central App
  • ShatterShield doing what it should. Posted via the Android Central App on the Moto X Pure Edition
  • I remember seeing the Droid Turbo 2 surviving a 100ft drop from a drone. Let's put this one through the same test.
  • Yup. And the S7 Active survived a 400 foot drop from a drone. https://youtu.be/jAW8Ym2izBM Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • V10 died from 275 meters :( https://youtu.be/5bzatqBWF7g Want see that test with the Flex 2 Posted via the Android Central App
  • The shatter shield is very cool , I just like the feel of glass on the screen , I put a glass screen protector on my turbo 2 to make it feel more smooth. I also keep my phone in like new condition because I pay the bill !
  • Now if only they could do that without the screen being plastic.
    Hmm, wonder if the display panel failed like Samsung's do most of the time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The S7 Active survived 50 drops and never broke so they stopped trying: https://youtu.be/1Gdx37VDbmA The screen is not plastic but has a shatter shield over the Gorilla Glass. Unfortunately since that screen overlay is plastic it scratches easily so I had a Zagg Glass protector installed over it. Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • I saw that video on the day it came out, and the thing is, it was never dropped on the screen. It was dropped facing down, but the only thing contacting the concrete was the protective lip around the screen. This is the way it should be, and I would have designed that phone the same way. I am impressed that there were no internal failures in that test, as all of Samsung's phones failed that, except the Active. Matter of fact, I'm on my second S7 Edge after the first screen failed. My two year old M8 which has had serious impacts (it dented a WALL) is still rocking along :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why put a shatter proof screen through a test?
    Its shatter proof
  • Why put an active phone claiming to be water resistant to a water test? To see if it does as it claims to. Posted via the Android Central App
  • We know its shatter proof. It's made the same way as the Turbo 2 which was shatter proof and Moto already tested it. Anyone else testing is just redundant.
  • Yet the phone still failed at the 5th drop. I'd call the test worthwhile since it led to a finding that can be useful to the consumer. That makes this test the opposite of redundant. Posted via unlocked S7 Active on T-Mobile
  • And Motorola (or any other company) wouldn't lie just to sell phones, now would they? Posted via the Android Central App
  • People think if the screen is impossible to shatter, the phone will survive war. No. There are delicate internal parts, OIS and lenses, all sorts of things that can be jostled or damaged in a fall. Unless the internals of the device are specced to survive a fall (along with the screen) dropping it is still a huge risk.
  • Cool breeze78 - Agreed. Seems like we need a phone with a Shattershield screen and HTC internals... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I fail to see the point of all these drop tests. I have never broken a screen although I have dropped a phone or two. OK it's is shatter proof .... Move on
  • Good thing you're the only person in the world using a smartphone. I've never broken a screen either, but lots of other people have, and it only takes one piece of bad luck for me or you to not be able to say that anymore. Honestly at least. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They should make the front screen out of durable black concrete, or whatever colour the back is.
    Us Irish have THE best ideas!
  • You should hook it up to an external screen to see if it still works normally and its just the screen that's dead or disconnected. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ha, I managed to break the power button on my work Droid Turbo II from a drop but the screen is still flawless and the phone otherwise still works perfectly. I'm using the two-finger swipe-down in Nova Launcher to put it to sleep, and I can wake it up just by waving my hand over it. The only thing I can't figure out how to do is actually restart/fully power it down. ShatterShield is real, but the rest of the phone is still just a phone. Can't wait to see what SS Mark II looks like.
  • I believe that's not possible without root.
  • I just dropped mine for about the 10th time tonight and although it didn't shatter, I cant get the screen to come on. I can see here it power up, and feel it respond to my touch. I wonder if I can get a new screen put on without a factory reset. The other thing I am wondering is this, I made the mistake of setting the operating system 4 digit pin code that needs to be entered on start up. I know what it is. but I cant locate the numbers on the screen without a picture of the screen to reference the location of those numbers and the "enter" button. If someone could send me or post a picture of the system start up unlock screen, that might help me greatly. This is not the standard screen unlock screen, its the OS start up unlock screen.