Lenovo has launched the Motorola Moto Z play. A gorgeous yet midrange offering of the premium Z lineup. With the toned down specs, how does the Moto Z play perform against hardcore competitors like the Oneplus 3? Scroll along my review and find out.
Design: This mid ranger has gotten both thicker and less premium than it's premium siblings. But frankly, I feel this thicker body is much more comfortable to grip on to. And I said it's less premium, not cheap! The phone feels solid and rugged in the hand, and the aluminum frame provides sufficient space to rest your fingers. The power button is on the right side above which, are the volume buttons. The power button is slightly textured to distinguish it from the similar volume buttons. On the bottom there's a usual USB type-C port and guess what, the headphone jack returns!! Another benefit of a thicker body. On the top there's a sim tray and a secondary microphone. The phone is 7 mm thick and weighs 165 gms. Very impressive build quality, no problems here.
Display: The moto Z play sports a 5.5' 1080p AMOLED display at 403 ppi. A downgrade from the QHD panel of the Z. However the display is plenty sharp and bright. It's maximum luminance of 530 nits makes for comfortable outdoor visibility and the AMOLED panel ensures punchy colors and excellent viewing angles. The display seems to be a tad bit on the cooler side in terms of whiteness. But it's undetectable unless you compare it against a really white surface. Overall the display is gorgeous and will be very satisfactory to any user.
Performance: The midrange variant of the Z family houses a Snapdragon 625 octacore SoC clocked at 2 GHz along with an Adreno 506 GPU and 3 GB of DDR3 RAM. Don't be fooled by the lower grade CPU. There are absolutely no concerns when it comes to performance. The phone handles every task thrown at it with ease. You will never feel the power downgrade from the flagships of the Z family, unless you're a heavy gamer. Since it runs on mostly stock Android marshmallow, the whole UI is buttery smooth and swift to the touch. There are a few minor occasional stutters in graphic rendering throughout the UI but it's forgivable as it doesn't affect the running processes in any manner.
It can easily be fixed with a simple tweak in the developer settings (✔force GPU rendering).
The fingerprint sensor on the front works exactly as fast as the moto Z/force. Fast and accurate. Though I still wish it would be an actual home button instead of just a sensor, it can be used to sleep the screen by placing your finger on it while the phone is on. It's like an unnecessary second power switch.
There's only one model at the time, that's the one with 32 GB inbuilt storage, expandable upto 256 GB.
Camera: The rear camera on the Z play is a new 16 mp sensor with dual LED flash with laser autofocus, at f/2.0 aperture. The camera quality is on par with the others in the Z family. Images produces in ample amount of lighting come out to be crisp and well detailed. But as lighting condition worsens, images for out more and more blurry. It's the same case with the other moto phones recently launched and the same applies here. So don't expect miraculous shots in low light just because of that seemingly huge sensor on the back.
The front camera is a 5 mp sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a huge 1.4 um pixel size. Images from the selfie camera are plenty bright because of that large pixel size, but not very sharp. It's ok for a few outdoor moments. That's that.
The camera hump has a purpose here. It's supposed to hold up the Moto mods. That's right, all the mods designed for the other 2 flagship Z's are supported here too. The battery mod and jbl audio mod work flawlessly. But for some reason, the custom back panels don't fit very well and wobble in the mid area. Maybe the added thickness is the cause of this. But nonetheless, all the mods function properly. There's a new camera mod out there which I will post on my blog dope tech fever. So stay tuned there too.
Battery: The thicker body allows the phone to house a larger 3510 mAh battery. It supports some kind of quick charging which I'm not sure as of now. Maybe Qualcomm quickcharge. Anyway, the battery standby is great! You can get anywhere from 5½ to 6 hrs of screen on time from a single charge! Then there's the battery mod too if you choose to buy that! So no major concerns with the power management.
Price: The moto Z play comes in black and white color variants at a price of about $450. It may look like a hefty chunk of money to spend in a mid ranger, but the amount of customization you get with this thing, will make it a no brainer for those, who want variety over everything else. And of course, you get pretty much the same look and feel as the premium moto Z, in a more affordable package.