- All-day battery life
- TurboCharge support
- Plenty of storage space
- Solid performance
- Lackluster camera
- Bland design
- Weak loudspeaker
- Limited Moto Mod options
- Screen not very bright
Less than a year after unveiling their ambitious first attempt at a modular phone, Motorola is back with its successor—the Moto Z2 Play. Looking at the specifications, it’s clearly more of a refinement than an upgrade. However, this doesn’t mean it lacks what it takes to offer a great experience.
Reviewers have had time to test out this new release and their weighing in around the web.
Let’s see what they’re saying…
The design of the Moto Z2 Play is very similar to its predecessor. But then, as reviewers noted, it needs to be to remain compatible with the growing selection of Moto Mod accessories. Reviewers were pleased to see that the metal back plate resisted fingerprints and helps with grip.
While there were a few complaints about bland or boring design, no one had issues with build quality. Phone Scoop said, “The Z2 Play is a good looking phone and it comes across as stronger and less delicate than the original.”
Heading around to the front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch 1080 AMOLED panel. Reviewers had differing opinions on the screen. Some found the colors inaccurate but loved the contrast. Others complained of trouble reading in bright environments. However, most agreed that it was well suited for everything from emails to gaming.
The phone features a similar processor to its earlier model—a 2.2Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 626 processor. Depending on the model, you’ll also find either 3 or 4GB of RAM. Reviewers had no issues with day-to-day performance. While some noted a few dropped frames in high-end games, they also said that games remained playable if not a bit choppy.
With 32 or 64GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards, you should have no problem keeping your favorite media and apps on-hand. Reviewers also noted that software on the phone—Android 7.1.1 Nougat—featured little in the way of modifications and was light on storage space.
One button navigation was a hit with reviewers. Instead of using on-screen buttons, you can use swipe controls on the front-facing fingerprint sensor to load recent apps or go back to a previous screen.
Unfortunately, camera reviews for the phone fall flat. With the 12MP rear camera offers phase detection and laser autofocus, reviewers found that a lack of optical image stabilization and inconsistent exposure made for a frustrating experience in all but the best of lighting.
The front-facing 5MP lens includes a dual-tone flash for well-lit selfies. However, reviewers again struggled with blurry shots or odd light balancing.
Android Authority summed up opinions well, saying, “Overall, camera performance is sufficient, but is unfortunately not very close to competing with the expensive flagships out there.”
The phone includes a 3000mAh battery. Reviewers found that it is enough to last through a day but still recommend nightly charging. However, if you find yourself low on juice, the included TurboCharger promises a few hours of runtime with only 15 minutes of charging.
Overall, reviewers agreed that the true value of the phone lies in how useful you’ll find the Moto Mods. If you’re looking for a powerful camera, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. Otherwise, the Moto Z2 Play offers a compelling mid-tier experience at a fair price.
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Alexandru Stănescu, GSM Dome
This a premium built midrange smartphone which can have modules attached and it provides a premium build. It’s got a bright screen, OK camera and battery and since it sometimes bundles the module, their price is not that big of a problem anymore.
- Bogdan Popa, Softpedia
Motorola isn't trying to trick you into believing that the Moto Z2 Play can do more than it can. It's a mid-range phone whose main highlight is the modular approach.
- Dan, Coolsmartphone
A small upgrade to the original but keeps the key selling points for upgrading customers.
- GSMArena team, GSMArena
All things considered, the Moto Z2 Play's fate comes down to fan love for the Moto Mod platform. If you don't plan on exploring the modular concept and searching for specialized add-ons, like a sliding keyboard or a scientific measurement multitool, among other weird plugins that occasionally pop up...
- Jimmy Luong, JimsReviewRoom
In the end, for a mid-tier performer, you’re getting a lot of value considering how thin it is, the unique and proprietary features, plus the options and expansion with MotoMods. If you’re in the $400 range and you have the right expectations, this phone is surely a hit in my opinion.
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Moto Z2 Play user manual here.
Motorola backs up the Moto Z2 Play with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Moto Z2 Play has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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