Motorola has been making a name for itself by producing mid range smartphones that look, feel and perform like flagship phones. So, I was anxious to try out the Moto Z Play a middle priced phone in its Z series that accommodates the useful Moto Mods that bring extra features to the phone.
Let me tell you up front that with the Moto Z Play Motorola has succeeded in delivering an attractively priced phone that will satisfy all but the most demanding user. Sure it is considerably thicker and heavier than its flagship sibling the Moto Z and has a less advanced chipset powering it still, it does everything I expect from a smartphone.
Let’s take a look at the specs:
- System Architecture / Processor: Motorola Mobile Computing System, including Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 processor – 2 GHz Octa-Core CPU and Adreno 506 GPU, 650 MHz Natural Language Processor Contextual Computing Processor
- Memory (RAM): 3 GB LPDDR3
- Storage (ROM): 32 GB§ with microSD Card support (up to 2 TB)**
- Dimensions: 156.4 x 76.4 x 6.99 mm
- Weight: 165g
- Display: 5.5” Super AMOLED 1080p HD (1080 x 1920) 403 ppi
- Battery: Mixed usage up to 50 hours (3510 mAh) TurboPower™ for up to 9 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
The Moto Z Play with Gorilla Glass 4 front and back with matte aluminum rounded edges feels solidly built and comfortable in the hand. It has the same USB Type-C plug at the bottom as its sibling but the extra millimeters leave room for a 3.5″ audio plug as well..that will make a lot of people happy but I still think the dedicated audio plug is headed the way of the Dodo making way for wireless audio.
The 5.5-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-pixel display at 401 pixels per inch (ppi) is plenty sharp has good color reproduction, great viewing angles, and is bright enough to see outdoors under direct sunlight. Sure there are flagship phones with higher resolution screens but in my opinion this 1080p full HD screen is more than adequate. The practically non existent bezel on the side is offset by a pretty large chin to accommodate the fingerprint sensor which by the way, is the best you will find on an android phone.
Now to the battery…it is huge at 3510 mAh and seems to run forever. I was able to get three full days of moderate use from a single charge. This big battery, efficient display and processor, and Motorola’s highly optimized software all combine to give you a phone with some of the best battery life I’ve ever seen.
The 5MP front camera with flash is fine for selfies and video calling. The 16MP sensor on the back with a f2 lens with phase detect and laser autofocus is not as good as the Moto Z. It is however a good enough camera for casual picture taking that is surprisingly good under low light conditions.
The mid range Moto Z Play is a solid well built smartphone with style that offers flagship performance for $650 with no carrier plan. A full HD bright screen, a solid camera and a battery that goes on forever…what more could you ask for?
Moto Mods that take Moto Z series phones to a whole new level. Watch for the review this week.