Motorola Moto X Force review

Forceful in more ways than one

Motorola Moto X Force review

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Undoubtedly the Motorola Moto X Force's key feature, and the one that inspires its name, is its formidable strength – more specifically the strength of its display.

Thanks to Motorola's Moto ShatterShield technology, the Moto X Force is virtually impervious to normal drop damage.

Motorola provides the example of a drop from five feet onto a tiled floor. In our own tests, the techradar team sent the Force X bouncing down a flight of (uncarpeted) stairs, with no resulting damage.

Motorola Moto X Force review

This Moto ShatterShield screen technology is comprised of five distinct layers. At its foundation there's that rigid aluminium chassis. Then there's the Moto X Force's AMOLED display; AMOLED technology is flexible, which obviously means it's far more resistant to breakage.

Next up is a dual touch layer, followed by an interior lens. This is topped off with an outer ShutterShield lens – essentially a rugged screen protector that can be manually replaced if it becomes worn down the line.

So confident is Motorola that you won't be able to break the screen under 'normal' circumstances that it's guaranteed for four years.

Still, Motorola is keen to stress that the Moto X Force isn't a 'ruggedised' phone in the mould of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active – you shouldn't take it rock climbing and expect it to come away unscathed.

Motorola Moto X Force review

But what we have here is arguably more valuable to the vast majority of people. It's a phone that's essentially life-proof, stubbornly resistant to the everyday knocks, drops, and spills that most phones experience several times a year.

I found that this granted me a peculiar sense of serenity in day to day use. I tend to treat my own phones, and those I receive for review, with kid gloves, being sure to lay them down carefully on soft surfaces, screen-up and away from edges.

With the Moto X Force I had no such qualms. I didn't chuck it around, but nor did I give it undue care, because I was confident I couldn't damage it easily. It felt oddly liberating.

Meanwhile, a water-repellent coating protects against spills of a different nature.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Another standout feature of the Moto X Force is common to the rest of the range, albeit to varying degrees – Motorola's Moto Maker customisation facility.

Order your Moto X Force directly from Motorola and you can specify a couple of design elements. Don't like that 'Ballistic Nylon' rear cover? You can opt for an alternative 'Soft Grip' or 'Pebbled Leather' (which includes an engraving option) material instead at no extra charge, and in a selection of colours to boot.

You can also customise the colour of the front section and metal rim, with a choice of white with light silver or black with dark grey. You can even change the 'accents' – the colour of the trim around the camera module and the earpiece bar.

Moto Maker isn't a new feature by any stretch, but it continues to lend a degree of personalisation which no other manufacturer has managed to match – and it's nice that Motorola hasn't compromised in this area just because the Moto X Force is supposed to be tough.