The "1-Minute" Review
- 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.
Prices (Where to Buy)
Motorola released the Moto Z Play on October 1, 2016.
The Moto Z Play price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Motorola Moto Z Play prices from around the web here on The Informr.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Moto Z Play user manual here.
Motorola backs up the Moto Z Play with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Moto Z 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.