Price (RRP): $599
How many people do you know with a nasty crack in the screen of their phone? Motorola’s big push on the Moto X Force mobile phone is that it’s immune to such concerns. It doesn’t mince words on the matter, saying the Moto X Force features “Moto ShatterShield the world’s first shatterproof smartphone display, so it won’t let you down even when it falls!”
I’m going to talk about other features and its performance as well, but I suspect some readers are thinking: “you had me at shatterproof”!
Now I don’t believe anything glass can be shatterproof (unless it bends instead, but let’s not go there). So let’s say the proverbial grand piano falls out of a second floor window onto your phone and ShatterShield’s abilities are exceeded. What happens then?
Why, you just make a warranty claim. As Motorola says, “The display and embedded lens are warranted against shattering and cracking for four (4) years from the original date of purchase”. So either your screen doesn’t crack, or it does and gets replaced for free. Sounds good to me. But do note: “scratches or other damage to the protective lens is not covered by this warranty”. Furthermore, the “phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping”.
Got all that? When the grand piano falls, you might get a new screen, but if the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2GHz Octa-core CPU or its 3GB of RAM get ground into dust, or the motherboard to which they’re attached fails, then tough.
Still, it’s rare for a dropped phone to break anywhere other than on the screen. So just continue to treat the phone with respect and all should be fine.
So, the other stuff. This is a large Android phone running 6.0.1 and I must say I was surprised by the range of advanced features in a mid-priced ($599) phone. Cutting to the chase: the only obvious omission is fingerprint unlocking.
What you do get is a large 5.4 inch screen in high resolution QuadHD (1440 by 2560 pixels), delivered using AMOLED technology.
I’ve mentioned the processor. There’s also Adreno 430 graphics processing. The phone has 32GB of storage built in, and provision for a microSD card with up to two terabytes more storage to be added. I loaded it up with a 128GB card. It’s nice not to worry about how much music you can fit in, or how many photos or how much video you can shoot.
That’s especially the case since the camera can shoot up to 21 megapixel shots, although it also has a wider 16 megapixel mode. Likewise it can shoot 1080p and UltraHD (aka 4K) at 30 frames per second. That stuff chews through memory.
The camera has a maximum f/2.0 aperture, phase detect auto focus, High Dynamic Range shooting, burst mode and a panorama function. Not RAW though. The twin-LED flash has something called “Colour Correlated Temperature”, which is designed to give more natural lighting than is usual for flashes.
The selfie camera is a five megapixel unit with a wide angle lens and a display flash – that is, the screen shines on you when needed.
There’s an oversized battery storing 3760mAh which Motorola says is good for 48 hours of mixed usage (your and my mileage may, indeed certainly will, vary). You can charge the phone wirelessly (QI and PMA both work). The quick charger can add eight hours worth of charge in fifteen minutes when the battery’s mostly discharged. The battery cannot be removed.