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Motorola Moto X Force review: Handle without care

Introduction

Tired of handling your smartphone with care? Want to have a flagship with all the bells and whistles but you’re not good at keeping an expensive piece of equipment out of trouble? Motorola to the rescue. The Moto X Force is a shock and water-proof flagship, with high-performance hardware, an impressive camera and a clean Android experience.

The Moto X Force is the true heavyweight in the Moto X lineup. It has a 5.4″ Quad HD AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 810 chipset with 3GB of RAM, a 21MP camera with PD-AF, a massive 3,760mAh battery, and stock Android Marshmallow.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Motorola has always tried to meet two popular market demands: a clean Android OS with on-time updates and protection against the elements.

There are plenty of water-proof phones on offer and this isn’t the path Motorola chose for the X Force. Instead, it’s covered against a different, but equally likely, accidents such as cracking the screen or putting a dent in the case. In addition to the shatter-proof screen, the Moto X Force’s internals feature a water-repellant nano-coating, which means it is more likely to survive accidental dips than an average handset.

Let’s explore the Moto X Force in details.

Key features
5.4″ AMOLED display of QHD (2560 x 1440px) resolution; 540 ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset; quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 15 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Adreno 430 GPU; 3GB of RAM;
32/64GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot (up to 200GB)
Launched on stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with no bloatware, Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow already available
21 MP main camera with f/2.0 aperture; phase detect autofocus; dual-tone LED flesh; gesture controls
4K video capture @ 30fps; 1080p video capture @ 30fps; slow-motion video capture
5MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture; LED flash
Cat. 6 LTE support; 802.11a/g/b/n/ac + MIMO; Bluetooth 4.1 LE; NFC; GPS; IR blaster
3,760mAh battery; TurboPower quick charging; Wireless charging
Internals with water repellent nano-coating
Shatter-proof display

Main disadvantages
The battery is not user-replaceable
No fingerprint sensor
Snapdragon 810 is no longer Qualcomm’s best SoC, and it makes the phone heat up under pressure
Single color option

The Motorola Moto X Force omits the fingerprint scanner, which has been steadily making its way into the midrange, but is a feature most people can probably live without in a rugged phone. The battery sounds beefy enough even for that QHD screen, so the fact you can’t swap it is at least somewhat mitigated.

Motorola Moto X Force review

The important thing about the Moto X Force is it doesn’t need to be handled with care and that probably lets it get away with more things than most phones would. That said, most phones are not the Moto X Force’s target anyway. This one will need every bit of shatter-proofing it’s got because it’s really going against the flagships. What are its chances? We begin to find out right after the break.