It’s certainly the most interesting handset in its price range. Those magnetic Moto Mods and a ton of software features and shortcuts take it way beyond what most $500 phones can do. Like the last phone, the new one focuses on providing good performance and great battery life without blowing a hole in your wallet. The hardware gets the job done, and there are a lot of little touches I appreciate.
Moto Z2 Play key features
- Body: Aluminum unibody design, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Display: 5.5-inch, 1920×1080 px, Super AMOLED, 401 ppi
- OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat with a single key navigation (Home key with swipe gestures)
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, 2.2GHz octa-core CPU, Adreno 506 GPU, 4GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB internal, microSD expansion
- Rear Camera: 13 megapixels, f1.7, dual pixel PDAF, two-tone LED, 4K video
- Front Camera: 5 megapixels, f2.2, selfie flash, 1080p video
- Connectivity: 4G VoLTE, Dual SIM model available, Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n, A-GPS/GLONASS, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable, Motorola Turbopower fast charging support
- Misc: Fingerprint sensor, FM radio, Moto Mod support, water-repellant nano coating
Moto Z2 Display
The Moto Z2 Play has a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display that seems to be carried over from the previous model. Out of the box, the display looks great, with excellent contrast, color temperature, viewing angles and vibrant colors.
The only problem we had with the display was with sunlight visibility. Although AMOLED displays have come a long way, the one on the Z2 Play washes out considerably under the sun and it can get really hard to see what’s going on the screen, especially if you are taking pictures or videos out under the sun.
Moto Z2 design
At first glance, it is easy to mistake the Z2 Play for the Z Play, but there are a lot of minor differences between the two.
- A metal shell
- A slim build
One of the key design aspects of the original Moto Z was its incredibly slim 5.2mm thick build. This gave it an eye-catching look, and meant it was slim enough that MotoMods could be added without leaving you with an overly chunky phone, but it also meant the 3.5mm headphone jack had to be removed, and that’s a decision that wasn’t so popular.
Leaked renders of the Moto Z2 Force suggest the phone will come with a band that goes around the edge of the device to allow for better radio access to the four antennas expected in the phone. You can see the renders from Android Authority and OnLeaks in the gallery below.
Moto Z2 camera and battery
The Moto Z2 Play’s optics have seen a major improvement as compared to its predecessor. The smartphone comes with a 12MP camera at the rear which comes with an aperture of f/1.7, dual pixel focusing and a new laser focusing system which the company claims results in better low-light photos.
On the front, there is a 5MP camera which has an aperture of f/2.2. The fact that the front camera also comes with a dual-LED flash should make the Z2 Play an attractive proposition for selfie aficionados. While the 5MP camera might seem a bit inadequate on paper, it bring to mind the maxim that more megapixels do not make a camera great.
The camera is not spectacular but it is above average. It produces good shots that are well exposed and with adequate detail. But there are better front cameras out there. Better low light performance would have been preferred though but that is compensated by the presence of the Dual-LED front flash which is quite powerful. All in all, the front camera is more than adequate for social media use.
The Moto Z2 Play has a 3000mAh battery, which is quite a step down from last year’s 3500mAh. Considering not much has changed on the hardware front we didn’t expect the battery life to be miraculously on par with the Z Play despite the smaller size.
The Z2 Play gets about 5-6 hours of screen-on time, which is about what we expected. But the phone has excellent standby time, which allows it to stretch that usage over two days with a fair amount of ease.The phone ships with a 15W Motorola TurboPower charger that charges the phone from flat in about 1 hour 40 minutes.
Loudspeaker and fingerprint sensor
The Moto Z2 Play has just a single loudspeaker on the front. We feel Motorola could do better here and provide stereo speakers like they did on the Nexus 6. The single speaker up front sounds fine when holding the phone in portrait but sounds unbalanced and one-sided when holding the phone in landscape. The audio quality itself isn’t great and the speaker sounds very thin and metallic. It does get fairly loud though so ringtones and GPS navigation sounds will be heard clearly.
The fingerprint sensor below the display is one of the best in the business. It is incredibly fast to unlock and not once did we have any issue with the sensor not recognizing the fingerprint properly. This really should be standard now but we are still not quite happy with the level of accuracy we see with other manufacturers, even though speed has improved across the board. Having the sensor on the front also helps with the accuracy as it is really difficult to put your finger on it incorrectly when it’s right in front of you instead of somewhere on the back where you can’t see.
Moto Z2 OS and power
- A Snapdragon 835 chipset
- 4GB of RAM
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have some news on what’s powering the Moto Z2, as a Greekbench benchmark labelled ‘Moto Z (2)’ lists a phone with 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with Android 7.1.1.
All versions of the Moto Z2 will run Android of course, and given a likely mid-2017 launch they will probably be on Nougat – and a close-to-stock version of it.
Moto Z2 other features
Moto Mods were one of the highlights of the original Moto Z, so we don’t expect they’ll be going anywhere, especially as the Moto Z2 Play has launched with support for them. These are optional accessories that you can attach to the phone to add or improve features.
Moto Z2 price
For now, all we can do is look at the price of the original Moto Z, which started at 27,990 in indian rupees The Moto Z (2017) is likely to have a similar price tag