Motorola Moto Z2 Play
Hello, Guys! Today, I’m going to take a look at Motorola Moto Z2 Play review. Last year’s Moto Z Play was a smartphone with a legendary battery life that didn’t break the bank. So for the sequel. Motorola decided to shrink the battery and bump up the price. So, what might surprise you is that the Moto Z2 Play is still a really good phone and a pretty great deal for some people, at least.
The design is a little bit different. It’s a little thinner, 1mm thinner to be exact giving it a much sleeker feel in the hand. And the back is now all-metal which is a huge improvement over the fingerprint prone glass back of the original Z Play. Otherwise, the overall design and form factor is practically the same as the last year and it sort of had to be for one simple reason, the Moto mods.
Motorola has refreshed the Moto Modes with the release of the Z2 play but if you have last year’s Moto Mods these will all fit and work perfectly fine. Motorola is guaranteeing compatibility of the Moto Mods with their phones for three years. So, you can probably save yourself some money by buying last year’s mods.
If you’re looking to invest in them for the first time despite shaving off an entire millimetre, there’s still plenty of space for a headphone jack. So, nothing to be worried about there but the thinner body did come with one compromise.
It is not IP certified against water and dust in any way but it does have a water repellant Nano coating. So, it is at the very least resistant to the occasional splash.
The fingerprint sensor has been redesigned with the same oval shape that we initially saw earlier this year on the G5 Plus. It works great unlocking the phone with reliability and speed but in addition to that, you can use various different gestures to move around the OS in place of the on-screen navigation buttons.
This is great if you want to maximise the screen real estate but there is a bit of a learning curve to using one button for everything. Just like last year’s Moto Z Play, You’ve got a 5.5-inch 1080p screen and it is an AMOLED screen so colours are vibrant with deep dark blacks. Viewing angles are also quite nice and in most situations, it looks pretty good. It’s spacious enough for comfortably browsing the web and playing games. But it’s not that bright so it is tough to see under direct sunlight even at max brightness.
This camera has reduced the number of megapixels down to 12 in favour of larger pixels and the camera now has a much wider F/1.7 aperture. This clicks brighter images in low light but the camera still has to resort to the slowest shutter speed possible. And high ISO that is typically around a thousand or higher which results in a lot of noise. The camera is slow to capture in low light especially when using HDR and without optical image stabilisation, don’t expect the photos to have very much sharpness and detail.
Colours are also very washed out and highlights are overblown with a lot JJ Abrams lens flares photos and good lighting conditions are certainly better with better colour accuracy and detail but they still lack sharpness and properly exposed highlights. It’s just as problematic as it is in low-light. The camera is sufficient but the results are definitely nowhere near as good as what you would get from a more expensive flagship.
The front-facing camera on the other hand pretty much remains unchanged from the 1st year. It’s a 5-megapixel F/2.2 lens with a front-facing flash. And the front facing flash does a decent job of illuminating your face without being overly harsh. But it does cause a lot of the details in the background to get crushed that you’re almost better off without it.
It’s got the newer Snapdragon 626 processor with either 3 or 4 gigs of RAM depending on storage and there is a microSD slot if you need more than what the phone offers internally. The Verizon model is currently only being offered in the three-gigabyte version and that’s the one I’ve been using for the past week.
It performs well with a general everyday task like opening apps, browsing the web and checking the emails. It tends to drop frames from time to time when playing more graphically intense games. It’s not something you’ll notice very often because for the most part the experience is very smooth and I never found the occasional drop frame to be much of a distraction.
Software plays a huge role in the way this phone performs. You’ll find Android 7.1.1 Nougat onboard but what I love most about Motorola software is that they keep everything very close to stock while only adding in a few software tweaks that enhance the experience. You still get all Motorola software additions like the double chop to turn on the flashlight, twist-twist to launch the camera and the ever so useful battery friendly notifications that fade in and out with the Moto Display.
If you get this phone on Verizon you will have to deal with Verizon’s entire suite of bloatware applications and few other pre-installed third-party apps. This won’t be a problem on the unlocked model but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense why Verizon still insist bogging down their phones with extra bloatware when pretty much all of it. It is already offered by Google for free.
Audio also isn’t all that great on the Z2 play at least not without resorting to a Moto Mod. There’s only one speaker embedded in the earpiece and while I do appreciate that it is a front-firing speaker. It doesn’t get very loud and because it’s just a Mono speaker you get a very lopsided listening experience when using the phone in landscape.
The battery capacity has dropped from 3510 mAh on the original Z play to 3000 mAh. The Z2 Play is not going to get you the two days of battery life that the Z Play did but it can still last a solid day-to-day and a half. That’s well above average and more than what you typically get on most other Android phones. I’ve never struggled to get through a full day even with heavy use and I would usually end the day with anywhere between 25-40% battery left.
So, battery life was your main concern there’s nothing to be worried about here. It’s still exceptionally good and it supports Motorola’s Turbo power charging which can quickly get you a 50% charge in only 30 minutes.
The Moto Z2 Play is a decent smartphone but also a bit of frustrating one. Now, love seeing the Moto Mods project continue and price that just over 400 dollars, this does represent an affordable point of entry. But we also can’t ignore things like that sub par screen performance. It isn’t quite enough to an improvement over last year and a camera that feels like it belongs on a lower priced phone. Maybe that pricing issue is key here you’re paying a premium for Moto Mod support and you’re paying a premium for the really thin phone.
But you can get hardware a lot like this for much much less. If you’re just now getting into modular smartphone hardware, the Moto Z2 Play could be a good first phone to have last year’s device though we wouldn’t recommend upgrading. And really it might be worth your while waiting just a little bit longer to see what other Moto Z phones could be just over the Horizon.
|Indian Buyers||Buy Now||Price|
|Moto Z2 Play||Rs. 27,999|
|Moto Z2 Play||$ 569.00|
|SIM||Single(Nano) or Dual (Nano- Dual Standby)|
|BODY||Dimensions||156.2 x 76.2 x 6mm|
|DISPLAY||Type||Super AMOLED, 1080 x 1920p (401 PPI)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3
-Splash and dust resistant
|CAMERA||Rear||12-MP, F/1.7, Phase detection and laser autofocus, Dual LED flash|
|Front||5-MP, F/2.2, 1.4 μm pixel size, dual-LED flash, 1080p|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, Auto-HDR|
|PROCESSOR||OS||Android 7..1.1 Nougat|
|Chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon 626|
|CPU||Octa-Core 2.2GHz Cortex-A53|
|MEMORY||Internal||32GB, 3GB RAM or 64GB, 4GB RAM|
|External||up to 256GB (microSD)|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass|
|CONNECTIVITY||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|Others||Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC & Radio available, magnetic connector|
|SOUND||Speaker||Loudspeaker and 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|BATTERY||Li-Ion 3000 mAh|