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Motorola Moto X Play review

7.5/10 AVG.

  • Motorola Moto X Play
  • Motorola Moto X Play
  • Motorola Moto X Play
  • Motorola Moto X Play

Informr score
The Motorola Moto X Play currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 28 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Good display with accurate colors and two different modes – Normal and Vibrant
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great picture quality in decent lighting situations

What's bad

  • 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."


Operating system
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
20+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


While the Play may not be the fastest phone around, it offers up a good mix of features at this price point — and it can certainly still go the distance in terms of battery life.

- Dan Gardiner, APC
Digital Trends

The Droid Maxx 2 is exactly what the Honda Accord is for automobiles. You get rock-solid performance with a near luxurious experience for a lot less money.If you’re looking for a new phone that won’t break the bank and is built to last, you can’t go wrong with the Droid Maxx 2.&nbs...

- Robert Nazarian, Digital Trends
Phone Scoop

The Motorola Droid Maxx 2 is a bargain. It may lack the Turbo 2's impressive break-proof screen, but it performs at nearly the same high level in every other way.The Maxx 2 clearly comes from Motorola's design team and is an attractive phone with great materials and build quality. Toss in the interc...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop
Droid Life

In closing, while the DROID Maxx 2 is a neat little package, it just doesn’t do it for me. Performance is extremely sluggish at times, the camera is a major step backwards from other devices, and frankly, there are much better options currently on the market. For almost $400, sorry, I expect b...

- Tim-o-tato, Droid Life

The DROID MAXX 2’s $384 off-contract price is enough to gain attention from cost conscious consumers who might feel a bit apprehensive about the DROID Turbo 2’s higher $624 price. That’s some serious savings, considering they closely look similar to one another and offer the same e...

- John V., PhoneArena

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Moto X Play user manual here.

Motorola backs up the Moto X Play with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Moto X 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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Quick view

Screen Size

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

1.7 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat) operating system (OS).

20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

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

16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3630 mAh battery.

Moto X Play Specs

Release date August 24, 2015
Regions available Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Octa core 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.8 W/kg
Body: 1.07 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3630 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 780 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors White, Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.4 x 1.1 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.4 in)
Weight 169 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Yes
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, 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 3
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
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 No
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
USB Micro-USB 2.0
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
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
20+ megapixels
4x digital
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, Burst mode, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
5+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
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
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 -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Motorola Droid Maxx 2

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Motorola Moto X Play Reviews
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