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The Motorola Moto X Force is a true original, offering top-level specs and a fluid stock Android OS in an uncommonly tough body.

If you want a flagship phone that can stand up to the knocks and scrapes of everyday life without compromising too much on looks or performance, it's a very strong choice.

We liked

We have to hand it to Motorola: its Moto X Force appears to be as tough a nut to crack as advertised. This is a phone that will resist pretty much all of those clumsy instances that lead to cracked screens.

Despite this, the Moto X Force is a reasonably attractive, easy to live with phone with strong performance and a fluid stock Android UI.

Just as the Moto X Force's display can stand up to day to day life without flinching, so its battery will see you through better than many of its rivals. This phone has stamina in more than one way.

We disliked

The Moto X Force's top-of-the range specs and unusually tough display come at a price – it's the most expensive phone in the range.

Considering this, it can be tough to overlook the aesthetic compromises that have been made, such as the visible outer screen layer and the somewhat functional mono speaker.

Meanwhile Motorola's use of AMOLED display technology, while decent, isn't up to the standard of top rival Samsung's best efforts.

Final verdict

The Motorola Moto X Force is a quietly impressive smartphone that handles its high-end business with restrained aplomb, before knocking you out with a single killer hook.

It's a true flagship phone, but you won't feel obliged to wrap it up in cotton wool (or a protective case) despite its considerable price tag. Motorola's shatter-proof display is a truly impressive achievement, and one that seems to provide a viable solution to a long-standing smartphone problem.

This isn't the prettiest flagship smartphone on the market, nor is it the nicest to use; but it's fast, long lasting, and it even takes good pictures.

And the best thing is, you know that none of that is going to change when you accidentally drop it.

First reviewed December 2015