- Some lag during normal tasks
- Poor detail and blurriness in photos in low-lighting situations
- Not fully waterproof
- Lack of attention to detail in overall design
In an effort to attract as many customers as possible, Motorola has rolled the Moto X Play – a more "active" version of their flagship phone. Interestingly, Motorola did not opt for a water proof certification, instead offering only water resistance. While this means the X Play can survive a splash, it is not rated to survive and actual fall into a pool or toilet. For many reviewers, this seemed like a missed chance for the Moto X Play as many other phones geared towards the active crowd at least offer an IP67 waterproof rating among other things.
Besides the lack of waterproofing, they also were let down by the overall design. Engadget calls it, "..the least attractive iteration…" pointing out the poorly aligned dual speakers and front camera and all-plastic build as examples. While it might not be the most elegant smartphone, critics were impressed with how comfortable it was to hold thanks to its textured soft plastic back. As well, for a fairly large device (5.8 inches), most had no issues using it one-handed.
The 5.5-inch, 1080p resolution display might not stack up against quad-HD panels, but reviewers were still satisfied sharpness, viewing angles and overall brightness of the panel. Surprisingly, Motorola has moved away from AMOLED in favor of LCD for the X Play. Experts point out that while colors were not as vibrant they were more accurate and not oversaturated. For those that do miss the vibrancy, Motorola has added two different screen modes – Normal for more realistic colors and Vibrant for more vibrancy and color saturation.
Inside the X Play are an octa-core processor (four clocked at 1.0 GHz and the other four 1.7 GHz) and 2GB of RAM. It also comes equipped with either 16 or 32GB of internal storage and an expandable microSD slot. Experts describe performance as perfectly satisfactory during basic tasks and slightly more demanding tasks. Still, they did run into some lag when opening up certain menus and apps. Gaming-wise, they were able to play graphically demanding games without any issues with lag or frame drops. The biggest draw of the X Play is not its processor or display. It is the battery life. The non-removable 3,630mAh battery is larger than many others on the market. This combined with the less demanding display and slightly lower processor power allowed experts to get two days of moderate use and a full day of heavy use.
The main shooter for the X Play comes with a 21MP rear sensor and f/2.0 aperture to help with low-light situations. Beneath the camera is a color correlated temperature (CCT) two-tone flash for more natural skin tones. When put to the test, experts found focusing very accurate and fast despite not coming with any sort of auto-focus system. It does also comes with auto HDR mode, which switches between modes automatically based on the surroundings. In good lighting situations, critics were able to capture images full of detail with excellent color accuracy and saturation. Things took a turn for the worse when shooting moving subjects as they discovered the camera could not focus properly. Low-light shooting disappointed experts even further as images lacked detail and often came out blurry and grainy.
Despite some drawbacks, most reviewers describe it as a decent mid-tier smartphone choice. Trusted Reviews states, "With a fantastic display, detailed camera and a battery that can last all day, the Moto X Play continues Motorola's impressive run of smartphones." PC Advisor is a bit more restrained in their verdict saying, "…the Moto X Play is a decent mid-range phone. But it's not the great upgrade Moto X owners were looking for. The camera is good, as is the screen, but performance could be better."