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Motorola Moto X Force
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  • This Mobile runs on Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop) powered with Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57.
  • This Mobile has 21 MP, 5248 x 3936, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash and has 5 MP, LED flash Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 5.43 inches inches display Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable 3760 mAh battery
  • This Mobile has Nano-SIM - IP68 certified - dust and water resistant up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes - MIL-STD-810G certified - salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock resistant sim
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2019

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Review: Updated: Motorola Moto X Force

Introduction and features

The Motorola Moto X Force arrives mere months after the Moto X Style and Moto X Play hit the shops. And while you might think Motorola's flagship duo are tough acts to follow, they're not half as tough as the Moto X Force.

If the Style is Motorola's classy party trick, and the Play its accessible all-rounder, then the Moto X Force is its safe pair of hands.

Known in the US as Moto Droid Turbo 2, the Moto X Force is the most expensive phone in the range, with prices starting from £499 (around US$750, AU$1,050) for the 32GB model. The 64GB variant, meanwhile, will set you back £534 (around US$800, AU$1,150).

Motorola Moto X Force review

This places the Moto X Force in some serious company. It's around the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S6, and it's not far off iPhone 6S territory.

However, the Motorola Moto X Force isn't that easy to pigeonhole. It might be priced like smartphone aristocracy, but it's a phone that's best suited to the daily grind – a willing workhorse that won't scuff or crack under the strain of modern living.

Design

You can tell from the first glance that the Moto X Force belongs to the same family as the Moto X Style and Moto X Play. It has a familiar outline, with straight sides and a gently curved top and bottom.

It has a familiar metal frame, which surrounds a customisable rear cover. My test unit's back is finished in a material Motorola calls 'Ballistic Nylon', which looks and feels a bit like a solid speaker grille. It feels a little cheap, and there are alternatives available, but it's undeniably grippy.

Motorola Moto X Force review

The camera placement is identical to its siblings too: top and central, and embedded in a lozenge-shaped metallic plate above a fondle-worthy Motorola badge indentation.

Button and port placement is the same as well, with the volume rocker and pleasingly textured power/sleep button located two-thirds of the way up the right-hand edge, and the headphone jack and microUSB port situated on the top and bottom edge of the phone respectively.

At 149.8 x 78 x 9.2mm, the Moto X Force is a little shorter and slimmer than the Moto X Style, although chunky screen bezels make it a little wider. It's a whole 10 grams lighter than that more fashion-focused handset too, at 169g.

Motorola Moto X Force review

The reason the Force is generally more compact than the other Motos is because its display is the smallest, at 5.4 inches. Despite this, it retains the 5.7-inch Style's QHD resolution.

Packing 2560 x 1440 pixels into a smaller screen makes for the sharpest display Motorola has ever produced – we're talking 540ppi here.

Unlike the Style and the Play, which sport LCD displays, Motorola has gone back to using AMOLED panel technology, as it did with some of its 2014 phones.

Generally speaking, AMOLED displays allow for more vibrant colours and deeper blacks. Motorola's use of AMOLED tends to be a little behind that of rival Samsung though, and while the Moto X Force's screen doesn't suffer from the pronounced yellowy-red tint of last year's Moto X, it still has a slightly warm tone that might be off-putting if you're used to the chilly whites of Apple's or Sony's LCD displays.

Motorola Moto X Force review

In light of this, it's a shame that Motorola continues to omit the facility to adjust the screen temperature, as Samsung does.

Still, with the brightness cranked up past half way, I found the Moto X Force's screen to be perfectly pleasant to use. It doesn't quite have the pop that the very best phones from Samsung and Apple tend to have, though – and that's because of the Force's key feature.

We'll discuss the Moto X Force's toughened display in more detail in the next section. Suffice to say for now that it utilises multiple layers, and this approach has a slightly adverse effect on picture quality.

It's not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but Force's screen lacks that 'painted-on' quality of the Galaxy S6, which could almost convince you it was a static sticker rather than a live picture as you pass it in a phone shop display.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Motorola's implementation of these extra layers is hardly seamless, either. The edge of the outermost layer is visible around the front speaker grilles, rather like one of those cheap after-market screen protectors some people apply to their new phones.

Talking of speaker grilles, Motorola has altered the symmetrical design of previous models, and not for the better. You still get the metal-bar ear speaker at the top of the phone, but for media playback you get a couple of cheap-looking speakers along the bottom of the device. And yes, that means no stereo sound.

Display

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.

Interface and performance

This is a high-end Motorola phone, which means it's automatically one of nicest phones to use on the market.

In truth, I could have written such positive impressions of the Moto X Force's interface before I even opened the box, because Motorola is one of precious few manufacturers to consistently offer us a pure Android experience.

Right now that means Android 5.1.1, so it's not the very latest version, but the interface is still head and shoulders above any non-stock Android effort in my view. The lack of adornment also means that an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow will come to the Moto X Force much faster than to most of its customised rivals.

Starting up the Moto X Force for the first time is deeply refreshing, coming off a string of Android phones with customised UIs as I was. There's none of the bloatware, the inessential and just plain confusing duplicated apps, or the garish bespoke menu layouts.

Android 5.1.1 is a crisp, fluid, modern OS, and it runs just peachy on the Moto X Force.

Google Now is a rightward swipe away, providing its contextually sensitive and personalised snippets of information in bite-size fashion, while the app drawer pushes recommended (typically frequently used) apps to the top of the pile.

Motorola Moto X Force review

That's not to say Motorola has had no input with the Moto X Force's software. As with the Moto X Style and Moto X Play, there are a couple of discrete Motorola apps tucked away in the aforementioned app tray in the shape of Connect and Moto.

Connect can be used if you've got a Motorola-branded peripheral to use with your Moto X Force, such as the attractive Moto 360 smartwatch. It's pretty inessential, and probably won't be touched by most people.

The Moto app is far more useful. Through it you can set up Motorola's voice assistant, as well as manage gesture shortcuts and lockscreen notifications.

The voice component is nothing special in these days of Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, but it's handy that it can work even when the screen is off. I did have some trouble setting it up and getting it to recognise my launch phrase, however, and I hardly have an unusual accent.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Marginally more useful, I found, were Motorola's gesture commands. Twisting the phone twice reliably jumps to the camera from sleep, while a 'double karate chop' will initiate the torch – although it might also enable you to test out that unbreakable screen if you're not careful.

While these gestures are neat, I still prefer the sureness of the Galaxy S6's double home key press camera shortcut, or even the iPhone 6S's control centre shortcut for torch control.

The gesture I liked the best by far, and used multiple times every day, was Moto Display. This is enabled by default, and simply shows you the time and reveals the unlock command when your hand is near the display.

Motorola Moto X Force review

It's also another way in which the Moto X Force's AMOLED display technology is put to good use, because it only lights up the necessary pixels for the task. This saves power, and ensures that your whole bedroom isn't lit up when you check the time in the wee hours of the morning.

It also means the phone is always primed and ready for your swipe-to-unlock motion without you having to fumble for the power key or double-tap the display to wake it.

All of this runs extremely fluidly on the Moto X Force, and that's not just down to the laudable lack of needless software tinkering on Motorola's part.

Performance

This is the fastest phone in the 2015 Motorola fleet. Whereas the previous champ, the Moto X Style, ran on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 CPU, the Moto X Force is powered by the more capable Snapdragon 810.

There isn't loads in it, and the two chips are closely related, but the Snapdragon 810 has two additional cores for low-intensity tasks, and it has the definite edge in performance terms.

Like the Style, the Force features 3GB of RAM, which is pretty much the standard for a high-end Android phone in 2015 (although it should be noted that some have started including 4GB).

Motorola Moto X Force review

Anecdotally, playing complex 3D games like Dead Trigger 2 and Need For Speed: No Limits didn't hamper the Moto X Force's performance at all. Admittedly that's the case with almost any mid-range Android phone these days, but remember that the Force has a QHD display to drive – that's a lot of pixels to push around.

More scientifically, the Moto X Force scored an impressive 4757 on techradar's Geekbench 3 multi-core benchmark tests. That's exactly 1200 more than the Moto X Style with its Snapdragon 808 managed, and is pretty much on a par with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its impressive custom CPU.

Perhaps that 'Force' moniker is more than a reference to the phone's toughness – it could well be a nod to its impressive power too.

Camera

Motorola has made massive strides with its smartphone cameras of late, and the Moto X Force continues that fine work.

It comes packing the same 21-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera that found their way into the Moto X Style.

As I've touched on elsewhere, Motorola has attempted to make taking a picture with the Moto X Force as easy and quick as possible, with mixed results.

Motorola Moto X Force review

For example, there's the dual-twist gesture shortcut for jumping straight to the camera app from sleep. It's a nice idea, and it's reliable enough, but it simply doesn't feel as instinctive or easy as some of its rivals' button shortcuts.

Motorola also goes with a tap-to-shoot interface for taking pictures, which instantly focuses and takes a snap wherever you touch the screen. This can lead to you capturing moments very quickly, but it doesn't make for the most consistent results.

I much prefer the standard practice of hitting a virtual shutter button to take the snap, tapping to focus if necessary. It's simply more considered, and leads to you getting the precise shot you want more often, but there's no such facility here.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Fortunately, there is an alternative option that I enjoyed using much more than the default, which sees you dragging a focus reticule around the screen and tapping outside it to shoot. This mode also enables you to quickly adjust exposure by adjusting a little sun dial around the focus point.

This alternative shooting mode is accessed through the Moto X Force's camera app menu, which you access by dragging in from the side of the screen. It's a pretty limited menu, with none of the fine manual control options of the Samsung Galaxy S6 or LG G4.

For your average user this won't matter, of course, but for those who want to take time constructing their shot it might – and given how good the actual camera tech is now, Motorola is going to start attracting such people.

Motorola Moto X Force review

The Moto X Force comes with many of the key features we've come to expect from modern high-end smartphone cameras, but it also omits one. It's got a fast f/2 aperture and Phase Detect Auto-Focus, for example, but it lacks the Style's optical image stabilisation (OIS).

The latter omission is a shame, but overall the Moto X Force is capable of taking some fine shots. Photos taken in low light do exhibit noise, as is normal with such small cameras, but I was impressed with the general balance of the shots. Colours appeared accurate, and the auto HDR feature worked quietly and efficiently in trickier scenes where there was a big contrast between dark and light.

Like its flashier brother, the Force's main camera also features a two-tone flash, which Motorola calls a 'Colour Correlated Temperature' (CCT) flash. This provides more natural-looking extreme low-light shots, detecting the ambient lighting temperature and outputting the appropriate flash tone.

Motorola Moto X Force review

I can't say that it completely transformed my indoor shots – I'd still prefer not to use the flash at all – but the snaps I took didn't exhibit any overly washed out or bizarre tones.

Arguably of more consequence these days is the presence of a flash for the 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Combined with a wide-angle lens, it means your selfies should be better lit and more inclusive than ever.

In general usage, then, the Moto X Force didn't quite match up to the likes of the iPhone 6S for sheer dependability or ease of use. Nor did I feel it matched the Samsung Galaxy S6 of the LG G4 for fine-tuned shooting control. But it's still a good camera that can bag you some great shots.

Camera samples

Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Motorola Moto X Force review

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Battery life

Motorola has addressed one of the key issues with the Moto X Style by fitting out the Moto X Force with a hefty 3760mAh battery.

That's a good 25% bigger than the power pack found in the Style. Given that both phones run pixel-packed QHD displays, such a sizeable battery is arguably necessary.

The Moto X Force also benefits from Motorola's TurboPower charging technology, which means you can get 13 hours of battery life out of a 15-minute charge. It's a great trick, and one we far prefer to wireless charging.

Motorola Moto X Force review

That's not to say that the Moto X Force is lacking on that front, either. While Motorola doesn't exactly shout about the fact, its tough new phone supports Qi wireless charging out of the box, although as usual you'll need to purchase the necessary charging dock separately.

So how does the Moto X Force battery perform? Very well, as it turns out. I was routinely able to get through a full day of moderate usage – which might involve 15 minutes or so of 3D gaming, a few brief YouTube videos, a couple of calls, several web browsing sessions, and some texting and emailing – with 30% or more to spare.

On lighter-use days, that figure would stretch to 40% or even 50%, thus achieving Motorola's claim of two-day battery life.

The Moto X Style, by comparison, would be in single digits by the time you climbed into bed at the end of a moderately taxing day.

Battery lifeMotorola has addressed one of the key issues with the Moto X Style by fitting out the Moto X Force with a hefty 3760mAh battery.That's a good 25% bigger than the power pack found in the Style. Given that both phones run pixel-packed QHD displays, such a sizeable battery is arguably necessary.The Moto X Force also benefits from Motorola's TurboPower charging technology, which means you can get 13 hours of battery life out of a 15-minute charge. It's a great trick, and one we far prefer to wireless charging.PIC: Battery 1–3That's not to say that the Moto X Force is lacking on that front, either. While Motorola doesn't exactly shout about the fact, its tough new phone supports Qi wireless charging out of the box, although as usual you'll need to purchase the necessary charging dock separately.So how does the Moto X Force battery perform? Very well, as it turns out. I was routinely able to get through a full day of moderate usage – which might involve 15 minutes or so of 3D gaming, a few brief YouTube videos, a couple of calls, several web browsing sessions, and some texting and emailing – with 30% or more to spare.On lighter-use days, that figure would stretch to 40 or even 50%, thus achieving Motorola's claim of two-day battery life.The Moto X Style, by comparison, would be in single digits by the time you climbed into bed at the end of a moderately taxing day.This improvement is confirmed when running the standard techradar battery test. This involves running a 90-minute 720p looping video with the display brightness cranked right up to max.PIC: NyanAt the end of these runs I found that the Moto X Force had lost just 11% of battery life on average. Compare that to the 30% loss of the Moto X Style in the same test, and you'll see the obvious strides Motorola has taken through the simple inclusion of a bigger battery.Motorola Moto X Force review

This improvement is confirmed when running the standard techradar battery test. This involves running a 90-minute 720p looping video with the display brightness cranked right up to max.

At the end of these runs I found that the Moto X Force had lost just 11% of battery life on average. Compare that to the 30% loss of the Moto X Style in the same test, and you'll see the obvious strides Motorola has taken through the simple inclusion of a bigger battery.

Even the Moto X Play, with its less demanding 1080p display and only slightly smaller 3630mAh battery, couldn't quite match the Moto X Force, losing 15% of its power over the same test.

Music, movies and gaming

You can get the Moto X Force with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, and it also features a microSD card slot for up to 2TB of expanded storage.

As a side note, the microSD slot can be filled with a second micro SIM (the SIM slot and the microSD slot are one and the same), so you can run two mobile numbers from the one phone.

The reason we love our storage, of course, is because of all the lovely media there is to consume out there. And the Moto X Force makes for a very good way to watch movies, play games, and listen to music.

Music

As I mentioned earlier, one of the joys of Motorola's phones is the lack of extraneous bloat, and that's evident when considering its media offerings.

There's just one music app here, and it's a good one. Google Play Music has turned into a formidable music service, combining a Spotify-like subscription service (if you sign up) with a traditional MPS3 store and a free cloud-based repository and media player for your existing MP3 files.

Motorola Moto X Force review

Whatever the source of your music, the Moto X Force outputs it expertly. You don't get the dual front-facing speakers of the Moto X Style, but that doesn't actually have much of an effect on music playback.

After all, who plays their music out loud over their smartphone speakers? Jerks do. And you're not a jerk, are you?

Hook up a decent set of headphones and the Moto X Force is as good a music player as any other phone.

Movies

Where those sub-optimal speakers aren't so hot is when it comes to video playback. This is where decent speakers and stereo sound come in handy, so the Moto X Force's mono setup is a bit of a downer.

Don't get me wrong – they're loud and clear enough –but they lack the balance of the Moto X Style with its stereo sound.

Still, stick a set of headphones in and the Moto X Force is as good as the Style for watching movies, and possibly better. Its display isn't quite as large, but 5.4 inches is still plenty big enough for a decent experience.

Motorola Moto X Force review

The Force's QHD resolution ensures that HD and 2K content looks fabulous, while its AMOLED screen ensures that blacks are deep, and that colours pop.

It could be argued that Motorola's bare bones approach to Android leads it into trouble here, as there's no dedicated video player. So if you transfer a bunch of videos you own to the Moto X Force's storage you'll have to access them through the Gallery app, which has a Video section tucked away in its menu.

It's far from a glaring issue, but it's also far from ideal.

Gaming

Where the Moto X Force really excels on the media front is when it comes to gaming. Put simply, it's the best gaming phone Motorola makes.

Speakers aside, it has the ideal hardware to make games sing. There's that powerful Snapdragon 810 CPU, which as we've discussed, runs advanced 3D games beautifully.

Motorola Moto X Force review

It also has that QHD AMOLED display. Colourful, sharp games of both 2D and 3D varieties like Horizon Chase, Beneath The Lighthouse and Monument Valley look stunning here.

That curiously sized 5.4-inch display seems nicely balanced for games too – plenty big enough to take in all the detail while remaining wieldy when stretching for virtual controls.

Competition

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

Galaxy S6 Active

As noted, the Moto X Force isn't a rugged smartphone. Still, its closest mainstream competitor with a similar mixture of high-end performance and physical robustness is the decidedly rugged Samsung Galaxy S6 Active.

The Samsung is at another level of toughness, though, with a reinforced plastic shell that has reportedly passed 'military specification testing'.

But you pay a price for that ruggedness. The Galaxy S6 Active is ugly and bulky, and simply isn't the everyday pleasure to use that the Moto X Force is.

LG G Flex 2

LG G Flex 2

Another high-end phone that's tougher than it looks is the LG G Flex 2. Among this banana-shaped smartphone's quirks is a self-healing skin that covers over nicks and scrapes.

The Flex 2's flexible nature also makes it more resistant to drops than most phones.

However, its screen isn't as downright unbreakable as the Moto X Force's, and its display isn't as pixel-packed. You also have to put up with LG's overbearing UI, which is the polar opposite of what's on offer with the Motorola.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Sony pays more attention than most to the robustness of its smartphones, but in a different way to the Moto X Force. The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium sports a waterproof and dust-tight design, earning it an impressive IP68 rating.

While you'd back the Sony over the Motorola if dropped into a pool, however, the Force would stand up way better away from the wet stuff – while Sony has reinforced the corners, it continues to go with a brittle dual-sided glass design.

The Sony out-specs the Moto X Force in a couple of ways though, with a full 4K display and a fingerprint sensor. However, that display is also the phone's Achilles heel, routinely bringing the phone's battery to its knees within a day.

Verdict

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.










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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE
Sim Nano-SIM - IP68 certified - dust and water resistant up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes - MIL-STD-810G certified - salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock resistant
Announced 9/9/2015
Status Rumored. Exp. release 2015, December
BODY
Dimensions -
Weight -
DISPLAY
Display Size 5.43 inches
MultiTouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot microSD, up to 128 GB
Internal 32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Blue Tooth v4.1, A2DP, EDR, LE
NFC Yes
USB microUSB v2.0
CAMERA
Camera Primary 21 MP, 5248 x 3936, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Camera Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, auto-HDR
CameraVideo 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, HDR
CameraSecondary 5 MP, LED flash
FEATURES
OS Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
CPU Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57
Sensors yes
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
Java No
Colors Black
Others - Fast battery charging - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic - MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA player - MP4/H.264/WMV player - Photo/video editor - Document viewer
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable 3760 mAh battery
MISC
Hands-on review: Motorola Moto X Force

Hands on: Motorola Moto X Force review

The Motorola Moto X Force is the firm's new flagship smartphone, coming in above the Moto X Play and Moto X Style, and boasting a smashproof screen.

Yes, you've read that right: Motorola reckons you can't break the display on the Moto X Force (through accidental drops, not you actually trying) – but more on that shortly.

The Moto X Force will be available from mid-November, with the 32GB model setting you back £499 (around US$750, AU$1,050), while the 64GB variant will have an asking price of £534 (around US$800, AU$1,150).

Moto X Force review

In the US it's known as the Moto Droid Turbo 2, and is available exclusively on the Verizon network.

Those prices are the going rate for flagship phones these days, but considering that the Moto X Force is launching around six months after the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and LG G4 it's actually relatively expensive, as those rivals have been subject to some rather healthy price cuts.

So can the Moto X Force apply enough pressure on the competition to make its mark, or will it buckle under the weight of the established flagship incumbents? I've been hands on to find out.

Moto X Force review

When it comes to design the Moto X Force is in essence just a smaller X Style with a metal frame, rounded corners, slightly curved rear and customisable back plates.

The model I got my hands on had a textured black plastic rear, but Motorola will be offering a range of resin, wood and leather coverings for the X Force – all at no extra cost via its Moto Maker website.

The handset sports a smaller screen than the Style, with the 5.4-inch display making the X Force a little more palm-friendly. It's still on the larger side, but at 149.8 x 78 x 9.2mm it's less dominating, and the 169g weight is easier to handle.

Moto X Force review

The main attraction here though is the 5.4-inch QHD display, which Motorola is branding "the world's first shatterproof smartphone display" thanks to its five-layer Moto ShatterShield technology.

The base layer is an aluminium core which keeps the other layers together and stable. Next up is the flexible AMOLED display, which gives the screen greater durability, and that's followed by a dual touch layer. Motorola has added a second touch layer here to provide a backup if the first one fails for any reason.

The fourth layer is the interior glass, similar to what you'll find on most phones, and that's covered by a factory-fitted exterior layer. This is essentially a screen protector to protect against scratches, and it can be manually removed and replaced with a fresh layer if it starts to become worn.

Moto X Force review

All this protection has made Motorola feel pretty confident, and it's guaranteeing the screen for four years – that means if you accidentally smash the screen of the Moto X Force it'll be replaced for free.

I dropped the handset down a flight of stairs during my hands on time, and it survived without a scratch.

Like the X Style's, the Moto X Force's screen looks great, producing bright, vibrant colours that are pleasing to the eye.

Moto X Force review

For the more discerning smartphone user though, that exterior layer on the screen is noticeable, with an obvious ridge round the front-facing speaker grilles below the display and the earpiece above it.

Most users probably won't notice it, but I spotted it almost immediately, and it does detract a little from the overall look.

On screen you'll find Android 5.1.1 Lollipop running the show. Motorola promises that an upgrade to Android Marshmallow will arrive "soon", but it was unable to confirm to me whether that means before Christmas or after.

Moto X Force review

Android runs smoothly thanks to the Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM Motorola has stuffed inside the X Force, and I was able to skip around the interface, and open and close apps, with ease.

You can expand on the 32GB or 64GB of internal storage by up to 2TB with a microSD card, which is great news for those with vast music or movie libraries.

Motorola is claiming the Moto X Force will last for two days on a single charge, thanks to the sizeable 3,740mAh battery it's managed to stuff inside the device.

Moto X Force review

That's bigger than the power pack in the X Style, and with a smaller screen and more power-efficient processor I'm hoping to get at least a full day out of the X Force.

If you do find yourself running low the X Force supports both wireless charging standards, while its quick-charge functionality will see 13 hours of usage returned after just 15 minutes of plugged-in time.

The Moto X Force comes equipped with the same 21MP rear and 5MP front cameras as the X Style. There's a front-facing flash too, perfect for lighting up your nightclub selfies, while a two-tone flash resides on the metal strip round the back.

Moto X Force review

After a quick play with the cameras I found the shutter speed to be responsive, and image quality more than acceptable, but look out for the full review to see just how well they perform.

Early verdict

Motorola could be in danger of confusing its own flagship offering with three 'X' devices, but there's no doubting that the Moto X Force is the best of the bunch.

If its battery can live up to expectations, and the tough screen tech holds true, Motorola looks set to be onto something quite special with the Moto X Force.

Hopefully the price won't put too many people off – but a cheeky price cut early next year could help make this phone a real hit.










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DealsRadar: DealsRadar: great deals on tech and games updated daily

DealsRadar

DealsRadar is the go-to destination for all the best prices on tech and games on the internet. We update daily with links to the best deals on miscellaneous tech and games, with dedicated sections for all your favourite products!

Today we've got some great deals on a Macbook Air, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Parrot Bebop Drone and lots more great tech bargains.

DealsRadar's Daily Deals:

Macbook Air

John Lewis have reduced their Macbook Air's by £70, this is a great price for a fantastic laptop and it comes with John Lewis's 2 year guarantee. You can buy it for just £679.

Samsung Galaxy 10.1

This Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1-inch Tablet is on offer at Amazon for just £179.49. This tablet features a 1.2ghz processor with a 16gb hardrive and around 10 hours of battery life.

Amethyst

This great blue-tooth speaker has been reduced down to just £23.59 at Amazon.

BT Mini Wi-Fi 500

If you have poor Wi-Fi signal then you should have a look at this BT Mini Wi-Fi 500, it was particularly popular when we last had it up on daily deals. You can grab this for just £79 from Amazon

Parrot Bebop Drone

Interested in doing some spy work? or maybe you would just like to take some aerial photos. Well look no further, you can fly this Parrot Bebop Drone with its easy to pilot dedicated app and use its 14 megapixel 180 fisheye camera. All this for just £354.66.

DealsRadar Recommended Deals:

Handset: Native Union Curve BT Handset with Base - Black - Now only £7.99 at Amazon

Coffee Machine: NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine - Now only £68.95 at Amazon

Torch: LED Lenser T7 Tactical Torch - Reduced down to £29 at Amazon

Speaker: TDK T79074 A26 Trek Weatherproof Wireless Speaker - Down to £40 at Amazon

Storage: ZyXEL NSA325 v2 2 Bay Desktop Network Storage Power Plus NAS Enclosure - Now only £78.39

Powerbank: Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E4 13000mAh 2-Port Power Bank - Reduced down to £18.99 at Amazon (Use code 8F46L9IZ)

Signal Booster: Belkin N600 Universal Dual Band Wi-Fi Range Extender/Wireless Signal Booster - Now only £34.99 at Amazon

Binoculars: NIKON Travelite VI 8 x 25mm Porro Prism Binoculars - Reduced down to £49.97 at Currys

Tablet: Apple iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi (White) - Only £172.99 at Amazon

Charger: TeckNet® 50W 6-Port Family-Sized Desktop USB Wall Charger - Down to £15.97 at Amazon

Memory Module: HyperX Savage 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) 2400 MHz DDR3 CL11 DIMM XMP Memory Module - Now only £95.99 at Amazon

Keyboard: Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip On Keyboard for iPad Air 2 - Reduced down to £49.99 at Amazon

Tablet: Samsung Galaxy TabPRO Tablet, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Android, 8.4" 16GB, Wi-Fi - Down to £199 at John Lewis

Modem: NETGEAR D6100-100UKS AC1200 Dual Band Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections - Reduced down to £59.99 at Amazon

Powerbank: EasyAcc 9000mAh Power Bank Waterproof Dustproof Shockproof Travel Charger - Reduced down to £21.99

Security Camera: Y-cam HomeMonitor HD Pro Outdoor WiFi Security Camera - For only 139.99 at Amazon

Storage: Toshiba HDWC240EK3J1 4TB Stor.e Canvio - Down to £98.96 at Amazon

Headphones: AKG K702 Open-Back Dynamic Reference Headphones - For as little as £149 at Amazon

Mouse: Logitech Touch M600 Mouse - Now only £15.99 at Amazon

Audio: Denon DA-300USB Audio DAC with USB-B - Reduced from £329 down to £189.90 at Amazon

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 558 High End Open Over-Ear Headphones - For as little as £99 at Amazon

Storage: Seagate 4TB Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive - For as little as £99 at maplin

Bluetooth Transmitter: August MR250 - Bluetooth Wireless Transmitter - Now only £19.75 at Amazon

Camera: Canon PowerShot SX400 16MP Bridge Camera - Down to £129.99 at Argos

Smartphone: Vodafone Pay As You Go Nokia Lumia 530 Handset - Reduced down to £39.99 at Amazon

Printer: HP M251n LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer - Reduced down to £79.99 at Amazon

Powerbank: TeckNet® Power Bank 12000mAh Fast Portable Charger Battery Pack USB - Reduced down to £13.97 at Amazon

Sound Base - Sony HT-XT1 2.1 Channel Wireless S-Force PRO Sound Base with Built In Subwoofer - For as little as £229 at Amazon

Keyboard: Logitech Ultrathin Magnetic Clip On Keyboard for iPad Air 2 - For only £49.99 at Amazon

Headphones: Technics RP-DH1250E-S Professional DJ Headphones - Down to £81.52 at Amazon

Sport Watch: Polar M400 GPS Heart Rate Monitor Watch - Only £129 at Amazon

Camcorder: Joby GorillaPod Video Tripod for Mini and Pocket Camcorders - For as little as £13.99 at Amazon

Games deals of the day

Xbox One: Shape Up (Xbox One) - Now only £20.38 at Amazon

Xbox One: Metro Redux - Down to £14.99 at Amazon

PS4: Batman: Arkham Knight (Free Pre-order DLC) - For only £37.99 at Zavvi

PS4: Lego Marvel Superheroes (PS4) - For only £19.50 at tesco

Xbox One: Assassin's Creed IV 4: Black Flag Xbox One (Digital Code) - For as little as £3.95 at cdkeys

PC: Cities Skylines Deluxe Edition - Only £16.99 at base

PS Vita: FIFA 15 - Now only £16 at Amazon

PS4: Pro-Evolution Soccer 2015 - Down to £26.50 at Amazon

Xbox One: Pro-Evolution Soccer 2015 - Down to £26.50 at Amazon

Nintendo Wii U: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - Down to £16.99 at Amazon

PS4: Destiny - Only £25 at Amazon

ps4

The week's best PS4 deals:

There's no doubt that Sony's PlayStation 4 is the hottest games console on the planet now. Here are the cheapest PS4 standalone and bundle prices we've found this week:

Cheapest PS4 console: Get the PS4 console on its own at Amazon for just £319.00

DealsRadar's Top 3 PS4 bundles...

Deal 1: Get the PS4 with Lego Batman 3 &The Lego Movie for just £351.00

Deal 2: Get the PS4 with The Crew at The Hut for just £339.99

Deal 3: Get the PS4 with Dying Light at The Hut for only £349.99

xbox one

The week's best Xbox One deals:

The Xbox One has evolved into a fantastic, versatile console with loads of cool features. Here are the cheapest Xbox One standalone and bundle prices we've found this week:

Cheapest Xbox One console: Get the Xbox One on its own at eBay for just £269.99

DealsRadar's Top 3 Xbox One bundles:

Deal 1: Get the Xbox One with Forza 5 for just £329.00

Deal 2: Get the White Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive for just £279.99

Deal 3: Get the Xbox One with Halo MC Collection, Battlefield Hardline, Ori and the Blind Forest & 1 month EA Access for only £319.99

See more Xbox One deals: Best Xbox One bundles and deals

gamesmontage

Top 10 Games: best titles, cheapest prices!

The best games at the cheapest prices

We all want to play the top games, but none of us want to pay top prices, right? We'll be scanning the web on a daily basis to find the best prices on all of the top selling games on all of the top gaming platforms. So if you're going to order a new game online this week - check with DealsRadar first!

dying light

1. Dying Light

Dying Light is a first-person, action survival horror game set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, players traverse an expansive urban environment overrun by a vicious outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons to defend against the growing infected population. At night, the hunter becomes the hunted, as the infected become aggressive and more dangerous. Most frightening are the predators which only appear after sundown. Players must use everything in their power to survive until the morning's first light.

Best PS4 price: £42.99 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £42.91 at Amazon | Best PC price: £21.90 at cdkeys

gta

2. Grand Theft Auto V

The biggest, most dynamic and most diverse open world ever created, Grand Theft Auto V blends storytelling and gameplay in new ways as players repeatedly jump in and out of the lives of the game's three lead characters, playing all sides of the game's interwoven story.

Best PS4 price: £40.00 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £41.00 at Amazon | Best PC price: £29.97 at GameStop

fifa 15

3. FIFA 15

FIFA 15 brings football to life in stunning detail so fans can experience the emotion of the sport like never before. Witness the intensity of crowds chanting and cheering like on match day, and listen to commentators guide fans through the story of the game with dynamic match presentation.

Best PS4 price: £34.00 at Amazon | Best Xbox One price: £34.99 at Amazon | Best PC price: £33.00 at Amazon

cod

4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare envisions the powerful battlegrounds of the future, where both technology and tactic have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. Delivering a stunning performance, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey stars as Jonathan Irons – one of the most powerful men in the world – shaping this chilling vision of the future of war.

Best PS4 price: £23.85 at Simplygames | Best Xbox One price: £23.85 at Simplygames | Best PC price: £18.90 at cdkeys

dragonball

5. Dragon ball Xenoverse

Dragon Ball Xenoverse will bring all the frenzied battles between Goku and his most fierce enemies, such as Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and much more, with new gameplay design!

Best PS4 price: £48.85 at ShopTo | Best Xbox One price: £44.09 at Base | Best PC price: £29.99 at GAME

minecraft

6. Minecraft

Experience the Minecraft gaming phenomenon, rebuilt with new features designed for console. Create worlds limited only by your imagination. Explore, build, and conquer alone or with your friends via split-screen mode or online.

Best PS4 price: £12.99 at John Lewis | Best Xbox One price: £14.00 at John Lewis

the order

7. The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 introduces players to a unique vision of Victorian-Era London where Man uses advanced technology to battle a powerful and ancient foe. As Galahad, a member of an elite order of Knights, join a centuries-old war against a powerful threat that will determine the course of history forever in this intense third-person action-adventure shooter, available exclusively on the PS4 system.

Best PS4 price: £43.99 at Zavvi

zomie army

8. Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy is a terrifyingly intense third person shooter set in a gruesome alternate vision of World War II. Berlin 1945. Facing defeat at the hands of the Allies, Hitler has unleashed one last unholy gamble - a legion of undead super soldiers that threatens to overwhelm the whole of Europe. Fight alone or team up to save humanity from the zombie menace in this apocalyptic shooter for 1-4 players!

Best PS4 price: £29.99 at Argos | Best Xbox One price: £29.99 at Argos

evolve

9. Evolve

The creators of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios, bring you Evolve, the next-generation of multiplayer shooters, in which four hunters face off against a single player-controlled monster. Stalk your prey, execute your attack, and prove you are the apex predator in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches

Best PS4 price: £42.99 at Zavvi | Best Xbox One price: £28.85 at Simplygames | Best PC price: £22.90 at cdkeys

car cry 4

10. Far Cry 4

Built from the legendary DNA of its award-winning predecessor, Far Cry 4 delivers the most expansive and immersive Far Cry experience yet in an entirely new and massive open world, with integrated drop-in/drop-out co-op play.

Best PS4 price: £44.98 at Zavvi | Best Xbox One price: £44.86 at ShopTo | Best PC price: £21.99 at cdkeys

best cheap tvs

Best cheap TV deals of the week:

DealsRadar understands that not everyone wants to spend thousands on a new TV. Here are the best cheap TV deals we found online this week.

Cheap TV deal 1: Samsung UE32H5000 HD TV | Now £219 | Amazon

Cheap TV deal 2: LG 40UB800V Smart 4k Ultra HD 40" LED TV | £449 | Currys

Cheap TV deal 3: LG 55UB820V 55" Smart 4K TV | Now £899 | Currys

Read more: Cheap TV: 25 best TV deals for March 2015

hard drive deals

Hard drives and storage:

With smartphones recording 4K video and taking photos at 50MB a pop, it's not surprising that our laptops are running out of storage space.

Cheap Storage deal 1: Toshiba HDWC130EW3J1 3TB Stor.E Canvio | Now £74.95 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 2: Kingston 64GB USB 3.0 DataTraveler Mini Flash Drive | Now £15.99 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 3: Samsung Memory 32GB Evo MicroSDHC UHS-I Grade 1 Class 10 Memory Card with USB Adapter | Now 317.46 | Amazon

Cheap Storage deal 4: Seagate Backup Plus 8TB USB 3.0 Desktop 3.5 inch External Hard Drive | Now £199.99 | Amazon

Read more: Best Hard Drive Deals

portable power bank

Portable phone chargers:

If your smartphone or tablet is constantly running out of power at the most inconvenient times, you should think about buying a portable power bank.

Cheap Portable Charger deal 1: TeckNet® Power Bank 12000mAh Fast Portable Charger Battery Pack | Now £13.97 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 2: EasyAcc 10000mAh Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB | Now £18.99 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 3: VINSIC 20000mAh Ultra-slim Power Bank | Now £25.90 | Amazon

Cheap Portable Charger deal 4: Anker® Astro Mini 3200mAh Ultra-Compact Lipstick-Sized Portable Power Bank | Now £13.99 | Amazon

gift card

Gift cards:

Amazon gift cards | John Lewis gift cards | Currys gift cards| PC World gift cards | GAME gift cards


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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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Updated: 50 best iPhone games 2015

50 best iPhone games: 1-25

Gaming on iOS is so big that the platform is becoming dominant enough to threaten the likes of Nintendo and Sony, long-reigning kings of the mobile gaming hill.

Yet for all iOS's gaming prowess, there's no escaping the fact the App Store has a lot of dross. Apple's relative openness, in enabling anyone to develop for the system, means there's almost no meaningful quality control. The flip-side is that previously undiscovered indie talent can find an outlet for frequently innovative fare.

Too often, though, people focus only on the negative, mistaking stories about in-app purchases and low-quality clones for evidence that there are no good games on iOS. But there are. In fact, the best games on iOS are among the very best on any platform, mixing traditional fare with titles that could only have appeared on a capable multi-touch device. Here are our current favourites…

1. Asphalt 8 (free)

Some time long ago, the gaming gods apparently decreed that racing games should be dull and grey, on grey tracks, with grey controls. Thankfully Gameloft chose to ignore their foolish omniscient notions - along with a large chunk of real-world physics - with Asphalt 8: Airborne. Here, then, you zoom along at ludicrous speeds, drifting for miles through exciting city courses, occasionally being hurled into the air to perform stunts that absolutely aren't acceptable according to the car manufacturer's warranty.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

2. Badland ($3.99/£2.49)

This darkly humorous title at its core echoes copter-style games, in you prodding the screen to make your avatar fly. But the hazards and traps are devious and plentiful, imaginative and deadly contraptions in silhouette, ready to eliminate any passing creature. Your retaliation in Badland comes via cloning your flying monster, and figuring out how to manipulate the environment to bring as many clones home as possible.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

3. Beat Sneak Bandit ($2.99/£1.99)

One thumb is plenty when a game's so cleverly designed. Beat Sneak Bandit is part rhythm-action, part platformer and part stealth game, with the titular hero aiming to steal back the world's clocks from the nefarious Duke Clockface. You move on the beat, rebounding off walls, and avoiding guards and alarms. It's clever, charming and brilliant.

4. Bejeweled (free)

We've lost count of how many gem-swappers exist for iOS, but PopCap's Bejeweled has a long history, its maturity reflected in this iPhone release. Along with a polished standard mode, where you match three or more gems with each swap, there's Diamond Mine (dig into the ground), Butterflies (save insects from spider-ronch doom), and Poker (make 'hands' of gems).

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

5. Beyond Ynth ($1.99/£1.49)

This fantastic platform puzzler stars a bug who's oddly averse to flying. Instead, he gets about 2D levels by rolling around in boxes full of platforms. Beyond Ynth hangs on a quest, but each level forms a devious test, where you must figure out precisely how to reach the end via careful use of boxes, switches and even environmental hazards.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

6. Bit Pilot ($1.99/£1.49)

A pilot finds himself trapped inside a tiny area of space frequented by an alarming number of deadly asteroids. You must stave off death for as long as possible. Bit Pilot is the best of the iOS avoid 'em ups, with precise one- and two-thumb controls guiding your tiny ship, effortlessly dodging between rocky foes — until the inevitable collision.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

7. Blackbar ($2.99/£1.99)

As much a warning about digital surveillance as a word-based puzzler, Blackbar is a unique and compelling iOS classic. The game comprises single screens of communications, many involving your friend who's gone to work in the city, which you soon learn is part of a worryingly oppressive society. You literally fill in the blanks, while becoming immersed in a stark dystopian reality that's fortunately still peppered with warmth, humour and humanity.

8. Blek ($0.99/69p)

Blek is akin to shepherding semi-sentient calligraphy through a series of dexterity tests. Each sparse screen has one or more dots that needs collecting, which is achieved by drawing a squiggle that's then set in motion. To say the game can be opaque is putting it lightly, but as a voyage of discovery, there are few touchscreen games that come close.

Blek

9. Boson X ($2.99/£1.99)

In what we can only assume is a totally accurate representation of what boffins in Geneva get up to, Boson X finds scientists sprinting inside colliders, running over energy panels and then discovering particles by leaping into the abyss. It's equal parts Super Hexagon, Tempest and Canabalt, and it's very addictive indeed.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

10. Coolson's Pocket Pack ($0.99/69p)

This word puzzler's all about chaining. You drag tiles from the bottom of the well and make short words; do so without swapping any letters from the well's bottom row or the area you create the words and you start amassing huge points. Coolson's Pocket Pack is then a test of nerve, and your ability to not forget every single short word in the dictionary when under pressure.

11. CRUSH! ($1.99/£1.49)

CRUSH! is deceptive. At first, it appears to be little more than a collapse game, where you prod a coloured tile, only for the rest to collapse into the now empty space. But subtle changes to the formula elevate this title to greatness: the tiles wrap around, and each removal sees your pile jump towards a line of death. So even when tiles are moving at speed, you must carefully consider each tap.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

12. Dark Nebula 2 HD ($2.99/£1.99)

One of the first titles to truly make use of the iPhone gyro, Dark Nebula was a beautiful tilt-based steampunk adventure and dexterity test, with you leading a strange craft through maze-like levels. Dark Nebula 2 ramped up the beauty and complexity, and the HD reissue added iPad and Retina support. The title still feels fresh and is perfectly suited to mobile, rewarding speed-runs and careful exploration of each level alike.

13. David. ($1.99/£1.49)

David. is a game that flirts with the conventional but comes across as half art piece, half brutally difficult action game. The eponymous hero is a simple square, charged with ridding the world of evil shapes. The controls broadly align with platform games, but David. goes all slow-motion when held, whereupon you can unleash colourful blobs of death on multi-angled foes. Tricky level design tests your ability to move, leap, plan, and tackle encroaching enemies while everyone's floating about as if immersed in water.

David

14. Death Ray Manta ($0.99/69p)

Akin to what Robotron might have looked like had its developer managed to recreate a 24-hour sherbet binge on-screen, Death Ray Manta is a wonderful, eye-searing twin-stick shooter. But whereas you initially think KILL ALL THE THINGS, each level contains a collectable 'tiffin'. Death Ray Manta therefore becomes both shooter and puzzler as you attempt to score the maximum 64 — and you've only got one life.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

15. Device 6 ($3.99/£2.49)

Device 6 is first and foremost a story — a mystery into which protagonist Anna finds herself propelled. She awakes on an island, but where is she? How did she get there? Why can't she remember anything? The game fuses literature with adventuring, the very words forming corridors you travel along, integrated puzzles being dotted about for you to investigate. It's a truly inspiring experience, an imaginative, ambitious and brilliantly realised creation that showcases how iOS can be the home for something unique and wonderful.

16. Devil's Attorney ($1.99/£1.49)

A satirical take on 1980s lawyering, this turn-based strategy has you battling in court by using your legal skills on the opposition, who then fight back after you've exhausted your action points. Wins result in cash that can be spent on goods that boost your materialism, decadence and vanity, which results in new skills. Our verdict? Devil's Attorney is a very silly (or, depending on your outlook, entirely accurate) and compelling take on court-based sparring.

Devil's Attorney

17. Eliss Infinity ($2.99/£1.99)

Eliss was the first game to truly take advantage of iOS's multitouch capabilities, with you combining and tearing apart planets to fling into like-coloured and suitably sized wormholes. Eliss Infinity, a semi-sequel, brings the original's levels into glorious Retina and adds a totally bonkers endless mode. Unique, challenging and fun, this is a game that defines the platform.

18. Frisbee Forever 2 (Free)

We were big fans of the original Frisbee Forever, with its Nintendo-like fling-a-plastic-disc about larks. Frisbee Forever 2's essentially more of the same, but prettier, smoother and with wilder locations in which to fly through hoops and collect stars. It's lovely and costs precisely zero pence, so download it.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

19. Gridrunner (Free)

Jeff Minter is a shoot 'em up genius, and his Gridrunner series has a long history, starting out on the VIC-20, at the dawn of home gaming. This update riffs off classic Namco arcade machines but also shoves modern bullet-hell mechanics into a claustrophobic single screen. And in this version's survival mode, you have just one life. Argh! The 69p/99c 'Oxtended Mode' in-app purchase adds the rest of the standard game.

20. Hitman GO ($4.99/£2.99)

Square Enix would have been on a hiding to nothing converting its free-roaming 3D game to touchscreens, and so it's great to see the company do something entirely different with Hitman GO. Although still echoing the original series, this touchscreen title is presented as a board game of sorts, with turn-based actions against clockwork opposition. You must figure out your way to the prize, without getting knocked off (the board). It's an oddly adorable take on assassination, and one of the best iOS puzzlers.

Hitman GO

21. Impossible Road ($1.99/£1.49)

A roller-coaster ribbon of road winds through space, and your only aim is to stay on it and reach the highest-numbered gate. But Impossible Road is sneaky: the winding track is one you can leave and rejoin, if you've enough skill, 'cheating' your way to higher scores. It's like the distillation of Super Monkey Ball, Rainbow Road and queue-skipping, all bundled up in a stark, razor-sharp package.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

22. Leo's Fortune ($4.99/£2.99)

Leo's Fortune finds gruff hairball Leo in search of his gold, which has been dropped in a suspiciously trail-like manner across typically platform-game environments. As he scoops up coins, he finds himself whizzing round Sonic-style loops, solving puzzles by manipulating the environment, and negotiating increasingly complex and deadly pathways. It's a beautiful game, full of character, and well-suited to quick bursts on your iPhone.

Leo's Fortune

23. Letterpress (Free)

What mad fool welds Boggle to tug o' war Risk-style land-grabbing? The kind who doesn't want anyone to get any work done again, ever, that's who. Letterpress is, simply, the best word game on the App Store. You make words to win points and temporarily 'lock' letters from your opponent by surrounding them. The result is a tense asynchronous two-player game with plenty of last-move wins and general gnashing of teeth when you realise 'qin' is in fact an acceptable word.

24. Limbo ($4.99/£2.99)

A boy awakens in hell, and must work his way through a deadly forest. Gruesome deaths and trial and error gradually lead to progress, as he forces his way deeper into the gloom and greater mystery. Originating on the Xbox, Limbo fares surprisingly well on iOS, with smartly designed controls; and its eerie beauty and intriguing environments remain hypnotic.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

25. Magnetic Billiards (free)

A game that could have been called Reverse Pool For Show-Offs, Magnetic Billiards lacks pockets. Instead, the aim is to join like-coloured balls that cling together on colliding. Along the way, you get more points for trick shots and 'buzzing' other balls that must otherwise be avoided. 20 diverse tables are provided for free, and many more can be unlocked for $1.99/£1.49.

50 best iPhone games: 26-50.

26. Micro Miners ($1.99/£1.49)

Marrying the elegance of digging games like Where's My Water? with the semi-controllable critters from Lemmings, Micro Miners is a superb real-time puzzler. Initially simple, the game is soon complicated by the need to switch the colour of miners, collect objects, and avoid or utilise deadly gas and lava. It's extremely tough later on, but you'll see it through to the bitter end.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

27. Mikey Hooks ($1.99/£1.49)

If iOS is supposed to be no good for traditional 2D platform games, it's a good job no-one told the developer of Mikey Hooks. The mechanics aren't a million miles away from Nintendo titles starring a certain plumber, but Mikey's also armed with a rope that can attach to hooks dotted about the levels, enabling him to speedily swing to glory. An emphasis on time-attack racing and surprisingly solid controls round out a first-rate title.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

28. Monument Valley ($3.99/£2.49)

In Monument Valley, you journey through delightful Escher-like landscapes, manipulating the very architecture to build impossible paths along which to explore. It's not the most challenging of games (nor one with the most coherent of storylines), but each scene is a gorgeous and mesmerising bite-sized experience that showcases how important great craft is in the best iOS titles.

MV

29. Need For Speed Most Wanted ($6.99/£2.99)

Racing games are all very well, but too many aim for simulation rather than evoking the glorious feeling of speeding along like a maniac. Most Wanted absolutely nails the fun side of arcade racing, and is reminiscent of classic console title OutRun 2 in enabling you to effortlessly drift for miles. Add to that varied city streets on which to best rivals and avoid (or smash) the cops, and you've a tremendous iOS racer.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

30. New Star Soccer (Free)

Starting out as a fresh-faced teen in a lowly non-league side, your aim in New Star Soccer is to make your way to a top-flight club. Along the way, you get chances in each match to win balls and score goals. It's management-lite with fun playable highlights, and although there's a whiff of freemium in the energy model, New Star Soccer's top-of-the-table, if you're willing to put in a few bucks here and there.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

31. Osmos ($2.99/£1.99)

This superb arcade puzzler is at times microscopic and at others galactic in nature, as you use the power of physics and time to move your 'mote' about. Some levels in Osmos are primordial soup, the mote propelled by ejecting bits of itself, all the while aiming to absorb everything around it; elsewhere, motes circle sun-like 'Attractors', and your challenge becomes one of understanding the intersecting trajectories of orbital paths.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

32. Plants vs Zombies ($0.99/69p)

Yes, we know there's a Plants vs. Zombies 2, but some dolt infected that with a pointless time-travel gimmick and a freemium business model. The charming, amusing, silly and sweet original remains where it's at. For the uninitiated, you repel zombies with the power of hostile plants. Countless other defence titles exist for iOS, but PopCap's classic, Plants vs Zombies, is still the best.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

33. PUK ($1.99/£1.49)

PUK reminds us of what someone with a minimalism fetish might make of Angry Birds, before speeding everything up to manic levels. Here, each level lasts mere seconds, as you frantically fling discs at portals; and then just as you've got into the groove, deadly black levels aim to throw you off balance. There are no cartoon squawks here — just pure, adrenaline-fuelled arcade action.

34. Rayman Fiesta Run ($2.99/£1.99)

The iOS Rayman games are considered by some to be reductive, overly simplifying console-style platforming to an instant runner with bells on. We instead consider Ubisoft's games distilled: they take the essence of platforming action — running, jumping, timing — and make it truly fit for mobile. Smart, varied level and character design, along with a well-considered unlock mechanism, ensure Rayman Fiesta Run's an iOS classic.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

35. Ridiculous Fishing ($2.99/£1.99)

If Ridiculous Fishing is what fishing's really like, we've been missing out all these years. An angular fisherman casts his line into the inky gloom, where you cunningly avoid fish by tilting your device. Snag one and the hero reels the line back in, and you jerk your iPhone from side to side, aiming to catch as many fish as possible. At the surface, the catch is flung into the sky, to be blasted to pieces by powerful weaponry. Longevity's secured by an amusing in-game store and social network parody, along with several fishing spots to visit.

36. Rocket Robo ($0.99/69p)

It's not the most innovative game around, but Rocket Robo makes up for it with bags of character, smart level design, and tight controls. You guide your little floating droid about the place, collecting stars and swiping in and out of the screen. The first few levels are extremely simple, but you're soon introduced to complex, cunning layouts and plenty of gimmicks that add some real bite to the cutesy proceedings.

Rocket Robo

37. Smash Hit (free)

If you find catharsis in smashing things, Smash Hit will leave you in a totally blissed-out state. You float through the void, lobbing metal balls at glass objects, clearing a path and chaining collisions. Over time, the paths become increasingly complex, the camera begins to whirl, and the shots get very demanding, depleting your meagre resources. A single one-time 'premium' in app purchase upgrade exists should you want to start out on any sections of the journey you've managed to already reach.

Smash Hit

38. SpellTower ($1.99/£1.49)

SpellTower is a fantastic word game that starts off easy. You get a grid of letters and remove them by dragging out words. Your only foe is gravity, letters falling into empty space as completed words disappear. But then come new modes, with ferocious timers and numbered letters that won't vanish unless you craft long enough words. And there always seem to be too many Vs!

39. Super Hexagon ($2.99/£1.99)

Ah, Super Hexagon. We remember that punishing first game, which must have lasted all of three seconds. Much like the next — and the next. But then we recognised patterns in the walls that closed in on our tiny ship, and learned to react and dodge. Then you threw increasingly tough difficulty levels at us, and we've been smitten ever since.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

40. Super Monsters Ate My Condo

Logic? Pah! Sanity? Pfft! We care not for such things, yells Super Monsters Ate My Condo. It then gets on with turning the match-three genre and Jenga-style tower-building into a relentless time-attack cartoon fest of apartment-munching, explosions, giant tantrums and opera. No, really.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

41. Super Stickman Golf 2 ($0.99/69p)

If you've often thought golf would be much better if it was played on Mars, or in a giant castle, or in dank caverns with glue-like surfaces, Super Stickman Golf 2 is the game for you. Its side-on charms echo Angry Birds in its artillery core, but this is a far smarter and more polished game. It also boasts two equally brilliant but different multiplayer modes: one-on-one asynchronous play and frantic multiplayer racing.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

42. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP ($4.99/£2.99)

Apple's mobile platform has become an unlikely home for traditional point-and-click adventures. Sword & Sworcery has long been a favourite, with its sense of mystery, palpable atmosphere, gorgeous pixel art and evocative soundtrack. Exploratory in nature, this is a true /adventure/ in the real sense of the word, and it's absolutely not to be missed.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

43. Threes! ($1.99/£1.49)

Threes! is all about matching numbered cards. 1s and 2s merge to make 3s, and then pairs of identical cards can subsequently be merged, doubling their face value. With each swipe, a new card enters the tiny grid, forcing you to carefully manage your growing collection, and think many moves ahead. The ingenious mix of risk and reward makes it hugely frustrating when you're a fraction from an elusive 1536 card, but so addictive you'll immediately want another go.

44. Tiny Wings ($0.99/69p)

This sweet endless title stars a bird who loves to fly but doesn't have the wings for it. Instead, she uses gravity, sliding down hills and then propelling herself into the air from the top of adjacent slopes. Meanwhile, in another mode, her offspring are happily racing, bounding over lakes, eager to earn the biggest fish from their mother. Whichever route you take, Tiny Wings is a vibrant, warm and friendly experience.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

45. Trainyard ($3.99/£2.49)

Trainyard is another devious puzzler that at first seems a cinch. Initially, you merely drag tracks to lead trains between stations of the same colour. But then rocks enter the fray, along with colour-mixing and train-splitting. Before you know it, you've 14 stations, seven trains, hazards aplenty and an aching brain from figuring out how to get all the trains home safely.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

46. Monument Valley ($3.99/£2.99)

It might not be the most challenging game in the world, but Monument Valley is a short, sweet platformer that everyone should play through at least once. Its beautiful style is very Escher-esque, but even he'd have a hard time making his way through some of these labyrinths. More than worth its price.

47. Walking Dead (Free)

We do like a good zombie yarn, as long as we're not the subject matter, having just had our brains eaten. Walking Dead successfully jumped from comic to TV screen, and it's just as good in its interactive incarnation. The first part of the story is free, and you can then buy new episodes; if you survive, season 2 is also available.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

48. WaveWave ($2.99/£1.99)

Wave Wave is cut from similar cloth as Super Hexagon. If anything, though, this demanding survival game is simpler and tougher than its forebear. It's a one-thumb affair, with you tapping to alter the direction of your line that zig-zags its way through a gauntlet of triangles as the screen lurches and spins. It's a mesmerising but utterly ferocious experience.

Wave Wave

49. Year Walk ($3.99/£2.49)

Year Walk preceded the same developer's iOS masterpiece Device 6, but is equally daring. It's a first-person adventure of sorts, with more than a nod towards horror literature and, frankly, the just plain weird. It's unsettling, clever, distinctive and beautifully crafted — another unmissable and original touchscreen creation.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

50. Zen Bound 2 ($2.99/£1.99)

One of the most tactile puzzlers around, Zen Bound 2 doesn't sound terribly exciting, in that you're wrapping sculptures in rope. But the atmosphere and polish combine with a nagging percentage bar, urging you to perfect each level. With no time limit, it's one of the more soothing puzzlers in this round-up, but it also never drifts towards the noodly.

Best free iPhone apps: 90 to choose from!








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