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Motorola Moto X Force Camera Review

We review the Motorola Moto X Force’s 21-megapixel camera to see how good it is at shooting photos and recording video in a range of conditions.

Like the Moto X Style and Moto X Play, Motorola’s new super-tough Moto X Force packs a 21-megapixel snapper around the back and a 5-megapixel selfie camera at the front to shoot your mug. I took the Force out and about to test the optics and here’s my full thoughts and a collection of photo and video samples.

Motorola Moto X Force camera interface and experience

As usual, Motorola’s camera interface is one of the most streamlined and simple-to-use around. On the screen you’ll see just two buttons: one to shoot video and another to swap between the front and rear-facing cameras. Want to take a photo? Just tap anywhere else on the display and the Moto X Force takes a shot almost immediately thanks to the fast autofocus.

If you want to fiddle with the camera settings, just drag a finger from the left edge of the screen. This pulls out the settings menu, which allows you to toggle the flash, HDR mode, panorama mode, Low Light mode, timer and geo-tagging. You can also bring up the manual focus wheel, which can be dragged around the screen to override the autofocus.

For the most part, that autofocus works well. Occasionally it can struggle to focus on your subject, although that’s usually only an issue when you get up close and try to shoot a complex macro photo. In these cases, you can flip on the manual focus wheel and drag it to a precise area to keep it sharp. This solved the problem every time for me, although it does mean you spend longer getting a shot ready.

Motorola Moto X Force camera samples

That f/2.0 aperture lens does a decent job of adjusting to most conditions, capturing bright and detail-packed shots. Low light shots came out better than expected, producing a bright, clear photo even when the environment is very dark.

However, in high contrast situations, the darker areas of my photos were very murky and lacking in detail, even with HDR mode turned on. Using the manual focus wheel seemed to help, thankfully – especially as you can adjust the exposure levels this way.

Here’s a gallery of example photos taken on the Moto X Force, including some selfie shots with the 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which also boasts a flash.

Motorola Moto X Force video recording samples

The Force can also capture 4K and 1080p video, as well as SloMo 720p footage. Here’s my test footage, shot out on a busy London street during a typically overcast day.

First up, some Moto X Force 1080p HD footage…

And now some Moto X Force 4K footage…

As you can see, the sample footage is packed with detail and the lens copes well with changes in exposure levels as well as focus. Shifting suddenly from a far to near focal point, the lens only needs a second to adjust. There is also some digital image stabilisation in play, even with the 4K footage, which helps to cut some of the shake when walking. Overall, impressive stuff.

Verdict

With the Moto X Force, Motorola once again proves its mettle when shooting everyday photos and videos. Images are crisp and packed with detail, while only the occasional exposure and focus stumble detracts from an otherwise highly competitive and beautifully streamlined snapper.

Read next: Full Motorola Moto X Force review

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