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Motorola Moto Z Play review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The Motorola Moto Z Play currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 29 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Modular accessories
  • Multi-day battery life
  • Vibrant screen
  • Clutter-free UI
  • microSD support
  • Fingerprint scanner

What's bad

  • Bloatware
  • No optical image stabilization on camera
  • Fingerprint scanner placement

The Moto Z series brought the Moto line into the world of modular smartphones. With Lenovo’s latest release--the Moto Z Play--they’re hoping to bring modular access to the mid-level market.

Does this dialed back version still hold the magic reviewers loved about the Moto Z and Moto Z Force? Let’s see what they are saying!

The Moto Z Play features a glass and aluminum design that reviewers all loved. unlike the previous models, the Z Play includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some reviewers mentioned that a lack of curved edges made one-handed use harder. Many also questioned why the fingerprint reader couldn’t double as a home button.

The back of the phone features the series’ modular accessory connector at the bottom for use with Moto Mods. Phone scooped summed up design opinions well, saying, “Absolutely nothing about the Z Play suggests it is less refined than the Z and Z Force. If anything, the glass surfaces make it look even more polished. It is a really nice piece of hardware.”

Flipping around front, you’re greeted by a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED panel. Reviews were stellar for display quality with the typical color saturation comments. Fortunately, Lenovo includes color profile options to tone things down if you prefer.

Lenovo scales back performance a bit from the higher priced offerings for the Z Play opting for an Octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM. Talk Android noted, “For the most part the device holds up extremely well for everyday tasks.” You’ll also find 32GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards up to 2TB to ensure you can keep your favorite media and apps on-hand with plenty of room for snapping pictures.

The 16MP rear camera fell just short of greatness for many reviewers. While the laser and phase detection autofocus ensure a fast picture taking experience, lack of optical image stabilization led many to have issues with fine details. However, reviewers love the quality of low-light and night images. Reviews were equally positive on the 5MP front-facing shooter. GreenBot tested the camera and said, “Despite the occasional grainyness and limited dynamic range common to more affordable phones, you can get some really nice shots with the Moto Z Play.”

The star of the phone for most reviewers was the battery. Clocking in at 3510mAh, the Moto Z Play features the largest battery in the series. Paired with the mid-tier specs, reviewers were getting two and three days on a single charge. Phone Scoop noted, “There's no question the phone can go from breakfast on Day 1 to bedtime on Day 2 with a solid reserve still in the battery. I was never able to fully deplete the battery during my tests over a week's time.” Add in support for Turbo Charging with the included cable and wall adapter and you should have little worry about battery life with this phone.

Overall, reviewers found the phone a great value. The biggest complaint didn’t come from the phone itself but the sheer amount of bloat installed on the Verizon-locked version of the handset.


Operating system
Android
Processor
2 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Coolsmartphone

If you want the most flexible option on sale right now with a great battery, decent camera and a handy front-facing flash, then the Z Play is an amazing choice. The free speaker makes it a great deal.

- Dan, Coolsmartphone
Pocket-lint

It's big, fast, and lasts a full day without even breaking a sweat, which makes the Moto Z Play one of the best options for people wanting a phone with seemingly never-ending battery life. The Incipio Mod attachment takes battery to the next next level too. Sure, the Z Play has its minor quirks and...

- Cam Bunton, Pocket-lint
Gearburn

Want a phone with Moto Mods, above all else? Then the long-lasting Moto Z Play is for you, even if the processor is ho-hum.

- Hadlee Simons, Gearburn
LaptopMedia

Moto Z Play is not a high-end smartphone but it definitely sits in the mid-range. This can be clearly seen at first sight when you spot the metal frame and elegant glass back, which attracts fingerprints though. The latter can be escaped if you add a Moto module, be it just a different panel or one...

- LaptopMedia Team, LaptopMedia
Top Ten Reviews

If you’re willing to part with the raw power of higher-end processors, Motorola’s Moto Z Play will reward you with fun modularity and the most forgiving battery life we’ve seen in this generation of phones.

- Jeph Preece, Top Ten Reviews


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The Motorola Moto Z Play's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3510mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3510 mAh battery.

Moto Z Play Specs

Overview
Release date October 1, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/700/850/1800 /2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.45 W/kg
Body: 1.17 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3510 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 21 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, Silver, Black Slate
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.6 x 7.6 x 0.7 cm (6.1 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 165 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 403 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, Zero shutter lag, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Wide-Angle 85° lens, Front camera flash, Auto Night mode
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Motorola Moto Z Play Droid

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