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Moto X Force Review - Camera and Verdict Review


Moto X Force – Camera

Taking care of photos on the Moto X Force is the same 21-megapixel camera that Motorola used in both the Play and Style handsets. It features phase-detection autofocus – as opposed to a laser-assisted system – and a dual LED flash.

Just like the other two devices, the Moto X Force has a good knack for taking strong daylight photos. Thanks to the high megapixel count, shots are full of detail even when you zoom right in. Colours are accurate; it doesn’t over expose light sources; and the autofocus is spot-on.

Things deteriorate somewhat with moving subjects – this can probably be put down to the lack of OIS –  and trying to capture sports is tough.

s 5Well-lit shots look supremely detailed

In lower-light conditions the camera struggles to find focus and then repeatedly spews out less than impressive shots.

Most of the detail that made the daylight photos so strong is lost, with plenty of blurring and blown-out lights. It’s a shame, and while I could forgive such performance on a cheaper device, for £500 I want something more complete.

s 1But things get worse when it’s dark

My other major annoyance is still the stock camera app. While it’s nice to be able to open it with a quick shake of the wrist, the fact that instead of tapping to focus it’s tap to shoot is infuriating.

s 7Light sources are easily blown-out

Video can be captured at either 1080p, slow-mo at 720p and 4K, and they all look decent. Note that the latter does suffer from the odd dropped frame and some stuttering, however. On the front of the Force is a 5-megapixel selfie lens that’s fine, but it pales in comparison to the one included on the Nexus 6P.force 7

Should I buy the Moto X Force?

If you want a phone that can go the distance and won’t shatter after a close encounter with a pavement then you could do a lot worse than take a serious look at the Moto X Force.

But, it’s not for everyone. It may be powerful, but it’s also chunky, wide and in many ways more difficult to hold than your typical flagship. Even though the screen is smaller.

I’m also not completely convinced by the display. Yes, it’s shatterproof and managed to survive be thrown around constantly for about an hour. However, the actual panel is recessed to such a level that there’s a noticeable gap between it and the outer-layer.

While I could cut Motorola some slack for the less than perfect camera on the Moto X Style, that was of course a £350 phone; it’s harder to stomach on a handset that costs £500. Especially when cheaper phones such as the Nexus 6P and Samsung Galaxy S6 offer much better optics.


Strong, fast and very long-lasting, the Moto X Force delivers something different for a flagship – and for the most part it works.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Performance 8
  • Camera 7
  • Design 7
  • Battery Life 9
  • Usability 8
  • Value 6
  • Features 7
  • Software 8
  • Calls & Sound 8
  • Screen Quality 7

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