Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Moto Z Play

Lenovo might have decided to replace its flagship X series with the Z considering the launch of Moto Z as their flagship along with the Moto Z Play. The snap on packs & accessories called Moto Mods is what is garnering a lot of attention to the device . Let’s see the details and if it’s worth the hype! 

Design & Hardware 

The Moto Z Play is not as slim as the Moto Z but it fits firmly in your hand thanks to it’s aesthetic design.The front has a 5.5” screen and only a fingerprint reader / unlock button below it . No physical buttons ! Above the screen you’ll find the 5MP front camera on the right and the front flash on the left .The earpiece cum speaker grill is at the centre.The back is complete hard glass and is a fingerprint magnet . The 16MP camera protrudes out  at the top centre with the Motorola logo below . The edges are complete Aluminium and feel premium. On the right edge you can find the volume buttons and the power button below which is ridged so you can feel the difference since it’s pretty close to the volume buttons. The left edge has been left untouched and the card tray at the top takes in nano Dual Sims & a Micro SD card as well! VoLTE is supported only by SIM 1 but both SIMs can use LTE. At the bottom is the USB Type C charging port & 3.5mm audio socket.  

The 5.5” screen is Super AMOLED full HD (403 ppi) & looks good indoors and adjusts well in broad daylight if outdoors. You’ll find the onscreen buttons at the bottom of the screen as there are no physical buttons . 

The phone weighs 163 gms and is 7mm thin but unusually large .In the box you get the 15W charger with a type C cable & a boring headset. There are only 2 colour variants available , Black & White.   

The Moto Z Play is powered by the Snapdragon 625 Soc which is a bit disappointing since 820 is the norm for the phones in this price range . Nonetheless, the device performs up to your expectations and real world performance isn’t affected massively by the kind of processor & RAM capacity. 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM & Adreno 506 GPU get the job done even if you throw high end games with multitasking.  


The Moto Z Play runs Android 6.01. Marshmallow out of the box which is the best Android stock experience available with minimum bloatware. Motorola has continued with the Moto Actions which are the party tricks up its sleeve like double chop to turn on Flash, or turning your wrist for quick photo capture and Moto Display (waving over the locked screen to see notifications without turning on the screen.) A swipe up from the bottom shrinks the screen to a 4” size for one hand operations . There’s also Moto Voice that can perform actions with a predefined phrase. 


The rear camera is a 16MP PDAF with laser auto focus. It has excellent shutter speed and captures are quick. Focussing could be faster but results are good nonetheless.Captures could’ve been much better in Low light , the 16MP doesn’t do justice here . 
There’s also no OIS, so keep your phone steady while clicking! You have the usual camera modes like burst, panorama , Pro etc. Video recording maxes out in 4K@30fps and Slow motion videos are impressive at 720p@120fps. The front 5MP camera supports wide angle photos & has a flash as well , which is great for low light indoor selfies.


The phone manages multi tasking easily and heavy games like FIFA Mobile , Asphalt 8 & NFS  No Limits run with ease. At 61257 in the AnTuTU benchmark, it’s not a top score but it doesn’t really matter in the real world usage.

Coming to the Moto Mods like the Stereo speaker , Projector , 10x Optical Camera & Battery pack, all of which need to be purchased additionally can make a world of difference to the phone. A Style Shell cover is included in the box as default. These Mods seamlessly attach, becoming one with your phone, turning your Moto Z Play into a new phone.

The battery life of 3510 mAh on the Moto Z Play is great and can easily last a full day of heavy usage. Phone goes from 0 to 100 in just over 1.5 hrs which is impressive of the battery size, there is some heating observed occasionally as well but that’s common with most fast charging phones. Disappointingly there’s no NFC or 5Ghz Wi-Fi support which is ridiculous! No FM Radio as well. Booo!  


At this price point the Moto Z Play is competing with Honor 8, One Plus 3 & the Asus Zenfone 3. It’s a good all round device and will give you the quickest OS updates after the Google phones. The Moto fans will love it and if you want a cheaper Moto Z experience , look at the Moto G4 Plus which is half the cost . 

I’d give the Moto Z Play 4/5. 


Pritesh Khilnani

Moto Z Play CeX

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