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Motorola Moto Z2 Play Review

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Motorola Moto Z2 Play Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • Incredible cameras.
  • Super slim design.
  • Metal frame.
  • Moto mods for added functionalities.
  • Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • Great storage capacity.
  • Powerful octa-core processor.
  • Fingerprint sensor.

Overview

The Moto Z2 Play follows in the footsteps of the Moto Z Play with more advanced features, super slim design, and a metal unibody. The Moto Z2 Play is similarly compatible with the Moto Mods. Even with its extreme thinness, the device packs a great range of top end specifications including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 2.2GHz octa-core processor, a 12MP camera, and great storage options. It comes running the latest Android 7.1 Nougat version. Let's find out more as we get along with the review.

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Unboxing

The Motorola Moto Z2 Play is available from the Verizon Wireless website. The packaging includes the Motorola Moto Z2 Play, wall adapter charger, standard USB cable, a pair of headsets, manuals and a quick setup guide.

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Design

From an honest point of view, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play is probably amongst the best-looking mid-range smartphones of 2017. I believe the Lenovo owned Motorola company must have put in their best to revamp this gadget. In design though, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play is more or less like its predecessor the Motorola Moto Z Play. Major differences between the Moto Z2 Play and the Moto Z Play comes in thickness and cover. The Moto Z2 Play is 1mm thinner than its predecessor and it has a metal back cover which is different from its predecessor that had a glass back cover. Of course, with it being thinner it means a better grip and feel in hand.

Let's move on with the design. Like all phones in the Moto Z family, the Moto Z2 Play back cover is graced with a 16-pin layout for Moto Mods compatibility. The camera is slightly protruding out but Motorola provides a back-cover Moto Mod, that when attached, will make the camera flush with the back cover. Of course, this will also mean a slight increase in thickness. The upper part of the back cover hosts the rear facing camera and its LED flash. A branded Motorola logo is also seen at the center of the back cover.

Moving on the frame of the phone; it's made of metal just like the back cover. To the top of the phone, you will find your dual SIM/microSD card slot and the noise cancellation mic. To the left of the device, you will find the volume rockers as well as the power/lock button. To the bottom, we have your microphone, USB Type-C port, and the headphone jack.

The front panel is graced by a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display. The top of the display has a LED flash, earpiece, and the front camera lens. To the bottom of the display you will find the fingerprint sensor which is multipurpose. It serves the purpose of locking and unlocking your phone by a simple tap. Additionally, you may use it as a navigation button. The phone does include the floating navigation keys which come in at the bottom of the display, just above the fingerprint sensor. To sum up, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play has a solid build quality which feels really premium and totally impressive.

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Camera

The lens on the Motorola Moto Z2 Play are quite high-end. Of course, this is also an improvement when compared to the camera performance in its predecessor. Incidentally, you will notice the number of pixels have been reduced; while its predecessor, the Moto Z Play had 16MP, the Moto Z2 Play has 12MP. The camera on the Moto Z2 Play has however, been made with much wider aperture of f/1.7. This means it can capture better pictures in low light setting than the camera on its predecessor. This is a major selling point and the reason I decided to upgrade to the Moto Z2 Play.

With autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, the camera performs way better than other phones in this price line. The front camera lens is a 5MP, which is similar to the one its predecessor. And like the back lens, we have a dual tone LED flash on the front camera too. This is quite impressive, I mean, we have flagship smartphones with no LED flash on the front camera, but here we are. The front camera will serve you in most conditions - day and night, and with pretty good shots.

For quick capturing, the camera has laser autofocus and face detection which are quite high-end features.  Video capture for the back camera is impressive. It can shoot a 210p video at 30fps, 1080p video at 60fps, and a 720p video at 120fps. The front lens will serve you well in video calling and shooting up to 1080p videos at 30fps. If looking for a midrange smartphone with camera performance that you will definitely love, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play is your best bet.

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Display

The front of the Moto Z2 Play features a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1960 x 1080. This will give you a pixel density of 401ppi. Given this is a midrange smartphone, this may not be as you would find in Samsung's flagship gadgets like the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S8. However, as I had expected from an AMOLED screen, I was able to enjoy great viewing angles, vibrant colors and deep blacks. Indoor visibility is great, again thanks to the AMOLED display. In bright sunlight, the display doesn't get as bright. However, that's a giveaway for getting the device at this price line.

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Battery

Battery performance is where the Motorola Moto Z2 Play shines. You will be surprised that a phone this thin can pack enough juice to last a full day. It features a 3000mAh battery, which is a downgrade from the 3510mAh in its predecessor. However, that should not be an issue because while the Moto Z Play has the Snapdragon 625, the Moto Z2 Play has the improved Snapdragon 626 which is quite power efficient. While it won't give you a 2-day long battery, like the 3510mAh in the Moto Z Play, it will surely give you up to one and a half day of moderate use. The battery is non-removable. Luckily enough, you can easily double your battery life by attaching a Moto Mod battery pack. With a Moto Mod attached, and of course, with the fully charged internal battery, the phone should give you close to 3 days of moderate use.

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Storage

The Motorola Moto Z2 Play comes in two variants; one with 32GB and another with 64GB of internal storage. With these impressive storage options, the phone still features a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 2TB of storage. Nevertheless, with or without installing the microSD card, the internal storage is incredible.

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Performance

If you are a fan of stock Android, you will be happy to find the unmodified Android 7.1 Nougat on the Motorola Moto Z2 Play. The high-performance Octa-core 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 coupled with 3GB or 4GB of RAM will ensure that you have a wonderful experience when using the phone. I found the Motorola Moto Z2 Play to work well with no lagging whatsoever. With the latest Android version, it means you get to enjoy the most recent features from Google such as multitasking and an improved user interface.

The gaming department is well taken care of by the Adreno 506 GPU. Adreno 506 GPU from Qualcomm is one of the best performing graphics processor, and it's power efficient so your gaming experience won't be cut down by the battery running out fast.

For connectivity matters, the Motorola Moto Z2 Play is 4G LTE enabled meaning faster internet connectivity. It's also one of the few gadgets on the market with the interchangeable USB-C port. Call quality is great thanks to the nationwide coverage Verizon Wireless network. You will notice a range of sensors on the gadget including a fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope and ultrasonic.

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Specifications

  • 4G LTE/CDMA/GSM/Wi-Fi.
  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display (1080 X 1920 pixels).
  • Android 7.1 Nougat.
  • Camera: 12MP back, f1.7, autofocus, LED flash. 5MP front, f/2.2, LED flash.
  • Battery: 3000mAh Li-Ion non-removable. Talk time up to 30 hours. TurboPower for fast charging.
  • Processor: 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 626.
  • GPU: Adreno 506.
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB internal storage. External memory expansion up to 2TB with a microSD card.
  • RAM: 3GB/4GB.
  • Water repellant Nano-coating.
  • Bluetooth 4.2 LE.
  • NFC.
  • USB Type-C with USB 3.1 support.
  • Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, proximity, ultrasonic.
  • Hearing Aid Compatible.

Motorola Moto Z2 Accessories