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Motorola Moto X Force: A good performer, at a premium

Rahul R
Sr. Technology Reporter
Editors Rating

Motorola released the Moto X Force during late 2015 not long after it outed the Moto X Play and the Moto X Style. The Moto X Force grabbed our eyeballs considering the fact that it was positioned, by Motorola, as a flagship falling into the category of Samsung’s new Galaxy devices and even the modern Apple iPhones. But theoretically its tech-specs indicate that the Moto X Force is more of a pure mid-ranger than a proper flagship. This got us to procure the handset and conduct a full hands-on review.

Here is how the Motorola Moto X performed in our tests:

Design and Display

Upon unwrapping the Motorola Moto X Force, the design came across as being similar to its predecessor; the Moto X Style and the Moto X Play.

Upon feeling the handset, the curvature of the handset can dominantly be felt. The outer structure of the Moto X Force is made up of metal (rather than plastic). During our testing, we could easily grip the Motorola Moto X Force in our hands, more so with one hand. The phone sat perfectly in our hand even when on the move.  The Moto X Force is also undeniably light-weight as it weighs in at 170 grams. The outer frame is comparatively wide with dimensions of 149.8 x 78 x 9.2 mm with 9.2 mm representing the thickness of the smartphone.

A USP of the Motorola Moto X’s outer design is the fact that its back is more than sturdy which should effectively add a layer of scratch resistance. The power and volume keys are located at the right of the handset which is an added advantage as far as one-handed usage is concerned.

Another major factor is that the obvious fingerprint scanner is conspicuous by its absence. As far as the actual display is concerned, the Motorola Moto X Force has a comparatively smaller 5.4-inch display having resolution of 1440 x 2560 with pixel density of 540 ppi. Motorola has incorporated an AMOLED display, which is a diversion as far as the LCD displays of Moto X Play and Style are concerned.

During our testing, the Motorola Moto X Force rendered the desired level of brightness when we used it in full sunlit outdoor conditions. The display is protected by the ShatterShield technology that protects the phone’s display from damage. We actually dropped the smartphone off a table (albeit lightly) from approximately 2 feet and found that the Moto X’s display continued to function as normal with only light scratches.  This factor is a clear USP in comparison to modern flagship smartphones.

Processor and Memory

Under-the-hood, the Motorola Moto X Force incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC comprising of a 1.5 GHz quad core Cortex-A53 and a 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57 CPU. A 3GB RAM also works in tandem with the processor.

When we tested out the Motorola Moto X Force, by running high-end games, like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2, there were no lags at all. Multitasking seemed a pleasure even when we had to work with multiple apps at once.

Video streaming also takes place fairly faster, credits to the 3 GB RAM within the smartphone. Instruction processing by the CPU was also on expected lines. Foe memory, two variants of the Motorola Moto X Force based on internal storage viz 32 and 64 GB editions are available and all these have 3 GB RAM within. The internal storage can be expanded up till 256 GB via an external microSD card. This should offer users, preferring to store and watch multimedia content within their phones, lots to cheer about.

Camera

There is a 21 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash. We could capture fairly good shots of nature and wildlife in daylight. Low-light photographs captured also had fairly less external noise and pixellation was also minimum.

Even the 5 MP front camera (for the selfie generation) captures good snaps but these are restricted to daylight conditions (where there is plenty of light).With the rear camera, it is possible to record 1080p videos at 30 fps.

Software

The Motorola Moto X Force runs Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) operating system, the phone is eligible to receive Google’s more recent Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) firmware update in the near future.

We felt that the dual-twist gesture input worked well; this is used to launch the camera even when the Motorola Moto X Force is in sleep mode. We could also launch Google Now, with just a swipe towards the right.

However, the biggest advantage that the Motorola Moto X Force is that it is free of bloatware. The gesture functionality is also intuitive. We could view all the menu contents, within Settings, in a tabbed view format reducing on-screen clutter.

Battery

The Motorola Moto X Force is driven by a fixed 3760 mAh Lithium-Ion battery. During our testing, we could view videos (stored within the handset’s external memory) continuously for more than 14 hours. High-end gaming naturally depleted the battery life substantially; upon restricting the usage to calls and basic internet we obtained battery life that lasted for more than a day which is impressive. In our opinion, the Motorola Moto X Force is better considered as a pure mid-range catering to the general everyday users rather than for those users looking at investing their ill-gotten money on buying a smartphone.

Finally, another USP of the Motorola Moto X Force is that it comes with Qualcomm Quick Battery Charging technology which we found charged up the battery quite quickly. Wireless Charging is also incorporated within the Moto X Force; however, this functionality did not perform as expected.

Final Verdict

After our testing, we found the Motorola Moto X Force pleasant to use. Also, on usage, the smartphone is worth its investment. Even the sturdiness of the Moto X Force impresses.

Pricing

In the UAE, the Motorola Moto X Force is priced at AED 2800. This pricing is comparable to some of the flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Edge handsets and multiple Apple iPhones.

Positives

Sturdy display, battery life

Negatives

Outer design can take more reforms, comparatively higher price tag.