Motorola Moto X Force first impressions: robust outside, loaded inside

“Along with offering an unbreakable screen, the X Force also boasts top-notch specifications”

Raise your hands if you’ve ever dropped your smartphone. Raise both your hands if your phone’s screen has ever shattered due to the impact of a drop.

Motorola Moto X Force drop test

Well, we ourselves are parties to both the above-mentioned scenarios, and while in the former case, we breathe a sigh of relief if the phone survives, in the latter case, we wonder how awesome it would be if a device is sturdy enough not to break. Well, it seems that Motorola has listened to our prayers with the introduction of the Moto X Force. The phablet, which was launched as the Droid Turbo 2 in the international markets, has just been launched in the country, and true to its name, features a display which is claimed to be unbreakable. While its pricing of Rs 49,999 might be on the expensive side, we think it could be worthy of that with its flagship-level specifications and the promise of a shatterproof display. Our review will give a complete rundown of device’s capabilities, but for now, let’s take a sneak peek at the Lenovo-owned brand’s most expensive offering, the Moto X Force.

Like it or not, phablet-sized screens have become the standard these days (more so for flagship smartphones), and the Motorola Moto X Force also falls in this category. Although it features a slightly unusual screen size of 5.4-inches.

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Thanks to Motorola’s Shattershield technology, the brand is claiming that the display is shatterproof. This is possible due to five layers – a base layer made of aluminium core, the second being the display panel, which is followed by a dual-touch layer, the fourth one being the interior glass and lastly an exterior layer, which is akin to a screen protector. The inclusion of a dual touch layer is also interesting, as it ensures that the touchscreen works with the backup layer in case the first one goes kaput. The last layer can be manually replaced. Sadly, the exterior panel attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges.

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The company is so sure about the screen’s quality that it’s offering a four-year warranty on the same, which means the phone will be replaced if the display breaks during that time.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that the Moto X Force is indestructible, but it’ll surely be able to handle most falls easily, without getting a scratch.

Sadly, with all these layers, the handset is slightly thicker at 9.2mm. However, Motorola must be commended for keeping the weight in check as even at 169g, it doesn’t feel as bulky.

With a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and use of Samsung’s AMOLED technology, the display is incredibly sharp and colours look pleasing too. Although, if you notice closely, then the display doesn’t seem to be as good as other smartphones due to the use of several layers.

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Other design elements on the Moto X Force seem to be similar to its siblings and in a way, it can be considered as the smaller version of the Moto X Style (review). Up front, the screen covers the major portion, with a speaker grille, a few sensors and a secondary camera placed above. The space below features two metallic bars, while the navigation keys are available as part of the software itself, just like all recent Motorola offerings.

Both the power toggle as well as the volume keys can be found on the right, while the left spine is completely devoid of any controls or ports. The audio socket is available on the top along with the ejectable slot for hiding a nano-SIM, whereas the micro-USB port is present at the base. The rim around the sides is made of metal and makes the device sturdy along with lending it a classy look.

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The rear panel sports a textured pattern which is really grippy. The vertical strip in the middle sports the primary camera along with an LED flash and Motorola’s logo in a cavity. Our demo unit was in black, but you can also purchase the phone in white or grey.

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Like its affordable siblings, the Moto X Force also gets a water-repellent nano-coating, making it resilient to minor spills. However, it’s odd that Motorola didn’t go for any IPxx rating with the X Force, since it’s meant for rough-and-tough use.

Under the rock-solid hood of the Motorola Moto X Force lies Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 810 processor. The CPU comes with four high-speed Cortex-A57 cores running at 2GHz, while the four low-power Cortex-A53 cores are tuned at 1.5GHz. While the processor is surely powerful, we are worried about its thermal efficiency as several other devices powered by it are plagued with heating issues. The chipset is complemented by Adreno 430 graphics engine and 3 gigs of RAM. During our brief usage, the smartphone seemed to offer flawless performance, though we will check its true mettle in our review.

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Handling the storage needs is 64GB of built-in flash memory, which leaves around 47.5GB for your personal use after accounting for the space taken up by OS and other resources. The smartphone is also available in a 32 gig storage variant. In case the available storage isn’t enough, then you can also extend it by inserting a microSD card of up to 200GB.

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In the imagery department, the smartphone shares its optics with the Moto X Style and X Play (review) – which means you get a 21-megapixel primary camera accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash. The main camera is capable of recording 4K videos as well. For selfies, the mobile features a 5MP shooter at the front, which also gets an LED flash to help in shooting in low-light environments. We’ve already tested the camera capabilities of its siblings and believe that the X Force would also offer similar experience.

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The Moto X Force comes with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and as one would expect from Motorola’s smartphones, offers a vanilla version of Google’s OS. There are only a couple of features available under the Moto app – display, voice and actions, which are extremely handy. Actions have also received an update, so along with double twist to open the camera and chop-chop to toggle the LED flash, the phone’s display comes on when you reach for the phone. The brand has also promised an update to 6.0 Marshmallow soon.

Ensuring that the device lasts long on a single charge, a beefy 3,760mAh Li-ion battery is packed inside. The Moto X Force supports fast charging, which means you can juice it up quickly with the use of the bundled wall charger. It also supports wireless charging, though you’d need to purchase the wireless charger yourself.

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On the connectivity front, the Moto X Force supports 4G (nano-SIM slot) as well as the usual set of options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. Interestingly, the phone also has an infrared emitter.

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Motorola has slowly and steadily beefed up its entire portfolio of smartphones. While earlier, it only had three smartphones in the E, G and X range respectively, now each of the series offer more than one device targeting different price segments. The Moto X Force sits at the top of the brand’s range, making it which is clear from its pricing of Rs 49,999 (Rs 53,999 for the 64 gig variant) as well. At this price segment, it’s up against some popular options such as the Samsung Galaxy Note5 (review) and Apple iPhone 6s Plus (review), but what instantly sets it apart is its smashproof screen. And that, we think, is a very strong differentiator. 

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