Moto Z2 Play
Design and Build9.0/10
Value for Money7.0/10
- Sturdy build quality
- Punchier display; visibility under direct sunlight is great
- Fluid and fast user interface; no bloatware either
- The primary camera performs surprisingly well even though it doesn't come with the OIS
- Low-light selfies are filled with details, thanks to the LED flash
- Battery life is not as good as it predecessor
A year ago, Motorola had announced the first Moto Mods enabled device, the Moto Z Play and Moto Z in India. The Moto Z Play was a mid range premium gadget and now the company has declared the successor of this smartphone, the Moto Z2 Play in India. The Moto Z2 Play comes with a few upgrades over the previous version and now features the new Snapdragon 626 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. The battery capacity has been reduced to 3000mAh from 3500 on the Z Play. The device is priced Rs 27,899.
So how does the new Moto Z2 Play perform in this segment? Let’s find out in the detailed Moto Z2 Play Review.
Design and Build: Moto Z2 Play Review
If you have used the Moto Z Play, you might be knowing how great the gadget was in terms of design and build. While the Z Play has glass back panel, Moto has improved the design and build on the Z2 Play. It comes with an aluminum unibody construction made of aircraft grade alloy and the design are made slimmer and feels great in hands. It is light to use as well. The camera unit has a large bump at the rear panel but the company claims that it is protected against any damages when using the smartphone. The build quality is excellent on the Moto Z2 Play with matte finish rear panel and the Moto Mods section located at the bottom.
The power and volume keys are the right side while the SIM tray is placed on the top. The bottom panel has 3.5mm audio jack and the USB type C port. The front panel has a 5.5 inch display, front 5MP camera and dual tone dual LED flash and the fingerprint scanner located at the bottom. The antenna bands have been perfectly merged to the design and make it one of the good looking devices in this segment with great build quality.
Display: Moto Z2 Play Review
Moto Z2 Play comes with 5.5 inches Full HD (1080p) display with SUPER AMOLED panel. It has a 2.5D glass and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display quality is pretty good and looks vibrant and colorful, thanks to the AMOLED panel. The touch response is also very great and the viewing angles are excellent. The outdoor visibility is also good. Overall the display on the Moto Z2 Play is a treat to use.
Software: Moto Z2 Play Review
With every Moto gadget, the most important aspect is the software. Moto Z2 Play is no different and comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has stock User Interface. There aren’t any deviations from the stock Android experience with settings panel and the notification center/quick toggles implemented the same way as in stock UI. There aren’t any bloatware included and the only app which is pre-installed on Moto Z2 Play is the Moto app which provides some good gestures.
There is also an option to set the display color from the settings. The only additional app on Z2 Play is the Moto app which provides actions and gestures. Moto has included a couple of new gestures in G5 Plus and you can also turn off on-screen navigational button and use the fingerprint scanner. You can also enable the System UI tweaker by pressing and holding the gear icon in the notification panel. This provides an additional option to tweak the quick toggles.
The Moto App provides three main functions- Action, Moto Display and Moto Voice. These options provide you with some gestures which include switching on flashlight and camera, one button nav to use the fingerprint scanner as back and multitasking button. There is also a display option where you can see the notification when the display is turned off. Moto Display also provides you with Night Display, where in the display adapts to warmer tones based on the light conditions. Overall, if you are a person who loves pure Android experience, Moto Z2 Play won’t disappoint you.
Performance: Moto Z2 Play Review
The Moto Z2 Play is powered by the Snapdragon 626 Octa core processor clocked at 2.2Ghz and combined with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. In India, the company has declared only one variant. The smartphone performs very well in day to day usage and there was hardly any issues we faced during our testing. It responded well to all the tasks it was put to. The gaming performance of the device was also very good and we did not experience any lags. There wasn’t any major heating on the device in the gaming test as well. Since the smartphone comes with stock Android experience, the performance was good.
Multitasking is also implemented in the stock Android manner and you also get split screen mode. The phone comes with dual SIM cards and dedicated micro SD card slot along with 4G LTE and VoLTE. The phone has front firing speakers and it works quite well. The call quality of the device is also very good.
The device has a front facing fingerprint scanner which is quick to unlock the device, you can also disable the on-screen navigational buttons and use the fingerprint scanner for navigation with gestures. There is hardly anything to complain about the performance.
The most important aspect of Moto Z2 Play is the support for mods similar to Moto Z Play. The company has also announced a couple of new mods for the device and we had done a quick hands on with the device. While Moto Mods works perfectly, most of them are expensive.
Camera: Moto Z2 Play Review
The camera is definitely the highlight of the device especially when the predecessor, Moto Z2 Play comes with similar camera unit as that of Moto G5 Plus and it features a 12MP camera with F/1.7, probably one of the very few phones with a f/1.7 aperture. There is also dual pixel autofocus along with laser autofocus and dual LED flash. The front selfie camera has a 5MP sensor and also includes a dual tone dual LED flash.
The camera interface is mostly unchanged from G5 Plus and it comes with 4K video recording. Now coming to the camera samples taken with the device, the daylight shots came out well with good detailing and color quality. The sharpness levels are also quite good, but at times, the photos did exhibit a yellow tint and slightly warmer tones. The close-up images also looked good with decent bokeh effects. Also, the dual autofocus pixel along with laser auto focus did a quite good job.
Now coming to low light experience, the camera performed quite well with the F/1.7 and this allows plenty of light into the photo making the image more clearer than most other phones. But at the same time, with additional light, noise also creeps in which is not controlled much. As a result, you get well-lit photos, but at the same time, there is some noise. The selfie experience is quite similar to what we have seen on G5 Plus but here you get dual LED flash for front camera making the selfie experience at bit better. There is 4k video recording along with 1080p and the quality was quite good for a phone in this segment.
Overall, the camera on the Z2 Play is definitely one of the good aspects, but it is not the best in the category. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
Battery Life: Moto Z2 Play Review
Moto Z2 Play comes with 3000mAh battery which is a downgrade from 3500 on the Moto Z Play. The new Snapdragon 626 is one of the power efficient chipsets and we got around 6 hours of screen on time on the device with more than 1.5 days of stand by time in our usage. The battery performance of the device is really good and you wont have any issues here. The turbo charging also provides you with 7 hours of usage with 15 minutes of charging.
Verdict: Moto Z2 Play Review
Moto Z2 Play is a good overall package with excellent design and build, latest software, good performance, above average camera and also good battery life. The Moto mods does provide additional functionality but they are pretty expensive as of now. The Moto Z2 Play is a good premium offering in the sub 30k price segment and a good device to buy if you are looking for a stylish and premium device. But Moto could have done better with the pricing of the device.