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Motorola Moto G Play Review

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Motorola Moto G Play Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • All-day battery life.
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
  • 2GB RAM.
  • 16GB internal storage.
  • A powerful quad-core priced.
  • 4G LTE.
  • Affordably priced.


Motorola Moto G Play is a budget smartphone with a mid-entry specification sheet. It's also commonly referred to as the Motorola Moto G4 Play. In the G4 line of smartphones from Motorola, the Moto G4 Play is the most affordably priced. The phone packs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 5.0-inch display and a rather extended battery life that impressed me. The prepaid Moto G Play works with flexible Verizon Wireless no-contract monthly plans. Let's discover more as we go along in the review.



The Moto G4 Play is available for ordering from Verizon Wireless website. So here is the unboxing and what we get in the box. In the package, we have the Moto G4 Play, activation card, battery, USB charging cable attached to the adapter, service guide, and quick setup manuals.



The Motorola Moto G4 Play falls in the G4 line of Motorola smartphones which are in the mid-entry tier. It's actually the smaller version of the Moto G4, which means it picks the design from the more advanced Moto G4.

The 5-inch Motorola Moto G4 Play has a premium design from the shiny silver strip snaking around the edges which appear as metal to the eye. The rounded corners and the textured back cover takes design cues from the high-end gadgets in the Motorola family. Personally, I didn't believe such a beautifully designed phone could be this affordable.

The textured power button and volume rockers fall on the right edge while the left edge has no button or slot whatsoever. The top of the phone has room for the headphone jack, while the bottom has the charging/microUSB port.

On the back, you do get your rear camera and the LED flash and a very nice textured feel to the back cover. Removing the back cover will show the battery compartment as well as the slots for the microSD and SIM. It comes with a Verizon Wireless SIM card installed.

The front panel hosts the 5-inch display. The top of the screen has the earpiece and the front facing camera. The bottom of the screen has your microphone. The phone includes the floating navigation keys, embedded in the operating system.



For the cameras on the Motorola Moto G4 Play, you get a 5MP front facing and an 8MP rear camera. They both have an aperture of f/2.2. For the price, this is are pretty decent cameras.

The back camera is blessed with a LED flash, which means you can take photos whether you have good lighting or not. The front facing camera lacks a LED flash, but the screen flashes enough light, making it possible to capture selfies even in low light settings.

The camera app holds enough features to facilitate quick capturing of pictures. It doesn't include too many features, neither is it minimal. For the video capture, the phone can record in 1080p at 30fps. If you are trying to find a budget smartphone with some nice cameras, then the Motorola Moto G4 play won’t disappoint you.



The 5-inch display on the Motorola Moto G4 Play is quite impressive. With a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and pixel density of 294ppi, the screen was able to show high definition 720p videos smoothly. It shows items with an incredibly good sharpness that's likable. The screen is also very responsive and the fact that it's only 5-inch, you can perfectly operate the phone with one hand. An ambient light sensor is available to routinely adjust the screen brightness when the light in the immediate surrounding changes.



Motorola Moto G4 Play comes with 16GB of internal storage which I find to be a major selling point for the price of the phone. Interesting enough, the phone also supports an external microSD card of up to 128GB, although you have to buy it separately. Still, having the 16GB internal storage is a great bonus, since the operating system takes 5GB and you are left with about 11GB for your use.



The all-day battery life is one exciting feature I liked about the Motorola Moto G4 Play. The 2800mAh holds enough juice to last you through a work day without worrying about a charging outlet. Surprisingly, the battery is also removable, so you can always have a spare battery to swap with in case your primary battery runs out.



For the price, the performance of the Motorola Moto G4 Play is better than you might expect. The spec sheet is impressive. Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 306 Adreno, 2GB of RAM and a high performing 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor are what the Motorola Moto G4 play offers.

Since there's no much of a skin applied on top of the operating system, you get to use the Android Marshmallow that's close to stock Android. There's no much bloatware installed, just a few Verizon apps. Android Marshmallow supports over a million apps which you can download from Google Play Store.

The graphics unit on the phone is a 306 Adreno GPU which offers a good gaming and movie experience. Of course, there's a slight drop in frame rates, given the display is a 720p but that's a giveaway for the budget smartphone.

The phone can handle multitasking pretty well thanks to the 2GB of RAM and a good processor. 4G LTE capability promises fast internet speeds once you have a Verizon Plan set up.  The phone also has standard connectivity features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.  For surrounding awareness, such sensors as proximity, accelerometer, and ambient light, are packed in the device.



  • 4G LTE/Wi-Fi/CDMA.
  • 5-inch display (720p HD, 1280x720pixels, 294ppi).
  • Dimensions in inches (5.69 x 2.83 x 0.39).
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
  • Camera: 8MP back, 5MP front.
  • Internal Storage: 16GB.
  • Supports external microSD card up to 128GB.
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad-core.
  • GPU: Adreno 306 GPU.
  • Battery: 2800mAh Li-Ion removable.
  • Sensors: Ambient Light, Proximity, Accelerometer.
  • Bluetooth 4.1.
  • GPS, A-GPS.
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility M3/T4.