Motorola Moto X Force Review – Let’s be honest: a cracked phone display could happen to all of us. Careful as most of us might be with our digital devices (well, some of us more than others) accidents happen and all it takes is a momentary lapse of concentration for a smartphone to slip out of your hand and the irreversible damage to be done. You can minimise the chances of that happening by applying a chunky case and a screen protector, but if you’re the type of phone owner who likes to ‘go commando’ then you’ll just have to accept the risk… and the extra responsibility.
Or at least, that’s the conventional wisdom. Motorola is hoping to change all that — and also to woo fumbleprone users looking to avoid a cracked display — with its latest Moto X smartphone, aptly named ‘the Force’. Its key feature is a five-layer display that Motorola claims is shatterproof — and the company’s even backing that up with a four-year warranty against cracks or breaks in the glass — although that doesn’t include simple scratches, general wear and tear or deliberate misuse.
It’s not just the display that’s a selling point either. Motorola hasn’t neglected other areas, with lots of crowd-pleasing features woven throughout the design. That includes a bigger-than-average 5.4-inch AMOLED display at a 1440p resolution (matching most competitor’s flagships in terms of pixel count), 32GB of onboard storage, plus a microSD card slot (so you shouldn’t be let wanting for space) and a comparatively huge 3,760mAh fast-charging battery, which means there’s enough juice to back up that big display.
The core is admittedly a slight step down from flagships like the Galaxy S7 in terms of CPU and GPU grunt. Technically, the Force uses previous generation parts (a Snapdragon 810 CPU and Adreno 430 GPU), albeit ones taken straight from the top-shelf. Not that you’d really notice in practice — with Motorola’s minimal customisation of Android, the Force lies in general use; it feels quick, even compared against newer and faster devices.
What’s perhaps most surprising about the Force is how affordable it is. When it launched overseas late last year, it cost around US$630, or over AU$910 when you factor in GST. Instead of that (rather optimistic) number, however, in Australia, Motorola is pricing it at just $599, knocking around a third of the RRP. And frankly, that makes it a whole lot more appealing a proposition.
Mind you, that shatterproof guarantee is a must-have in some respects: this is a big phone in the hand and despite having a heavily textured back, the Force is still a little slippery to hold. Also on the cons list is the fact that it’s only running Android 5.1 — that’s now two whole versions behind what Google’s Nexus devices are on — and that the phone’s most recent security update is from way back in December of last year — ie. before it was even technically released. This is definitely a phone you’ll want to run a security suite on.
While its rugged-ish looks obviously won’t suit everyone’s tastes — it definitely has a more masculine feel than most of the iPhone-lookalikes you’ll usually find at this price point — but if you like the style, this one’s a surprisingly good deal. It gets about 80% of the way to a true 2016 flagship device and only costs around half the price. We’d say that’s a fair trade of.
Motorola Moto X Force Specifications
- Android 5.1.1
- octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
- Adreno 430 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB storage
- microSD slot (up to 256GB)
- 3,760mAh non-removable battery with fast charging
- 21MP/5MP rear/front cameras