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Moto Z Play review

Introduction

Few names in the fast-paced mobile industry can boast such a long-standing and universal brand recognition such as the legendary Motorola. Even now, after the glory GSM age is long gone, and the brand is under Lenovo leadership, the Moto badge still has a special place in the minds of the tech-savvy.
In recent years, the signature round M-dimple has come to signify a clean and no-frills Android experience and usually a good value one, at that. This is where Motorola has resided within the mobile market for some time now, and after the demise of the Nexus family and the new exuberant price strategy of Google’s own Pixel devices, it arguably makes more sense than ever to try and fill the AOSP void.
The expanded Moto G series does just that – it covers more user ground with good-value straight-forward handsets. However, with the higher-end Moto Z line, the manufacturer is rewriting its rulebook. The Moto Z Play and its more expensive siblings are far above and beyond the cozy market segment the Moto G series occupies.

Moto Z Play key features

  • 5.5″ Super AMOLED display of 1,080 x 1,920px resolution; 403ppi; Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Body measuring 156.4 x 76.4 x 6.99mm and weighing in at 165g
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset; octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53; Adreno 506 GPU; 3GB of RAM;
  • 32GB of built-in memory; dedicated microSD card slot (up to 2TB)
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 16MP main camera with f/2.0 aperture, 1.3µm pixel size, with PDAF and laser autofocus; dual-tone LED flash
  • 2160p video capture @ 30fps video capture
  • 5MP front-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture, 1.4µn;m pixel size, Wide-Angle 85° lens and dedicated LED flash
  • Front-mounted fingerprint reader
  • Dual-SIM model available; Cat. 4 LTE support; 802.11 a/g/b/n, dual band Wi-Fi 802.11n; Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, LE; GPS; NFC
  • 3,510mAh battery; TurboPower quick charging
  • Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
  • Magnetic connector on the back for Moto Mods
  • Water repellent nano-coating, splash and dust resistant

Main shortcomings

  • No 4GB RAM or 64GB storage option available
  • Not as thin as the more expensive Moto Z models
The Moto Mods program mostly defines the Z line for better or for worse. Practicality has given way to some unique character and personality. Of course, there is no one right opinion on the aesthetic point.
We will do the best we can to determine whether the Moto Mods add real value to this mid-range device or are a reason for some unreasonable compromises as we suspect. Naturally, we will draw a lot of parallels to the new top-tier member of the Moto G lot – the 5.5-inch Moto G4 Plus. At $100 to $200 less, how well does it stack up against its Moto Mods-compatible sibling?

All Tech Feeds Team

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