Motorola Moto X Force review: A smashing smartphone

A great handset for clumsy clots, Motorola guarantees the Moto X Force's screen against cracks and shattering for four years

25 Nov 2015
4
Price when reviewed 
500

Motorola has a habit of doing this. Occasionally it comes up with a product everyone’s been gagging for, yet no other manufacturer has yet thought to produce. The last time it happened, the result was the Motorola Razr Maxx with its enormous battery. This time, it’s the Motorola Moto X Force.

What makes this phone so different? It’s sheer toughness, that’s what. The Motorola Moto X Force is so rugged, so resistant to drops and screen breakage that a Motorola representative was perfectly happy for me to throw the phone at the floor, stamp on it and smash as hard as I liked on the corner of the meeting-room table when he came in to demonstrate the phone to me.

And it isn’t just individual Motorola reps. Motorola is so confident in its new ShatterShield technology - which it says took three years to develop - it’s guaranteeing the screen for an unprecedented four years against all kinds of accidental breakage. Whether you crack the display by simply dropping it on the pavement from your pocket, or throw it inadvertently in the path of a rampaging elephant, Motorola is confident it will survive - assuming the underlying electronics are still functioning, of course. Read the small print and you’ll discover that the phone isn’t “shock resistant”.

This is a BIG deal, because no matter who you are, how careful you are with your phone, whether you strap a case to the rear or not, you’ve likely broken or smashed it at one time or another. It’s a painful experience - all the more so if you don’t have some kind of insurance to cover you. It’s also nice to know that the Moto X Force is splashproof, and won’t necessarily go to its watery grave if you drop it in the toilet.

It might well pong for a bit afterwards, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Motorola Moto X Force review: Design and practicalities

And here’s another big surprise: the Motorola Moto X Force isn’t ugly. There’s no lumpen protective chassis or bright yellow, building-site colour scheme. If someone handed you a Motorola X Force to you in the shop, or a mate showed it off to you in the pub, you wouldn’t think it was any different from most other smartphones.

My review sample (kindly supplied by the lovely people at Mobile Fun), was clad in smart black “ballistic nylon” at the rear and surrounded by a gunmetal-grey aluminium frame. It isn’t the thinnest smartphone you’ll have ever come across (10.1mm), nor the lightest (it weighs 169g), but it looks smart and feels extremely well made.

If black isn’t your thing, you can customise the look of the phone via the Moto Maker website, where you’ll find five different colour nylon backs to choose from, six “soft grip” rear panels and three different types of “pebbled” leather panel (dark brown, light brown and black), as well as engraving and several choices for various “accent” colours (the speaker grille on the front and the edging around the camera, flash and Motorola dimple on the rear).

In practical terms, there’s plenty else good about the X Force - it’s not all about ruggedness. It has a microSD card expansion slot to complement an already-generous 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage, and although the battery is sealed in and not user-replaceable, its capacity is a cavernous 3,760mAh.

Price when reviewed 
500inc VAT, SIM free, 32GB £534, 64GB SIM free

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