Moto Z2 Play review: Definitely surprising for a $400 smartphone


Motorola announced the Moto Z2 Play and a few Moto Mods in June and while many would have thought that the Moto Z2 Play is just another mid-budget phone in the block, surprisingly the device is definitely great for one that is priced at just over the $400 mark.

Priced at $408 on Verizon (or $499 unlocked when it goes on sale directly from Motorola later this summer), the Moro Z2 Play packs an even thinner body and a big, 5.5-inch AMOLED display while borrowing the nifty home button/fingerprint sensor with gesture controls from its budget sibling, the $229 Moto G5 Plus. However, the Z2 Play has lost the most important thing that set its predecessor apart from the pack: epic battery life.

Motorola’s expected battery life for the Moto Z2 Play is 30 hours. It’s wrong. At the 30-hour mark, I still had 11 percent of battery life left. For a device that’s this thin, it’s amazing to me how Motorola is able to achieve stellar battery life.

Between the outstanding battery life that never wants to quit, and the expandability of Moto Mods, which at this point have moved past being a gimmick, it’s hard not to recommend the Moto Z2 Play to those wanting a respectable device at an affordable price.

One of the biggest improvements the Z2 Play offers over the G5 Plus is its super-AMOLED display. At 5.5-inch inches, not only is the Z2’s display significantly larger than the 5.2-inch screen on the G5 Plus, it’s also way more colorful. When I made the mistake of watching the trailer for the Jumanji reboot, the way the Z2 Play recreated the lush greens of the jungle and the orange gouts of flame kept me watching longer than I otherwise would have.

Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD expandability, the Z2 Play can easily handle all your typical smartphone needs. However, overall performance isn’t much better than what you get on the budget Moto G5 Plus, which features a Snapdragon 625 CPU.

With a 5-megapixel camera in front and a 16-MP shooter in back, the Z2 Play has the same specs on paper as the G5 Plus. The pictures you get from either phone look pretty similar, too.

Moto Mods couldn’t be simpler to use. Just grab one, slap it on the back of the phone using the Z2’s magnets to hold the add-on in place, and you’ll be good to go. The Z2 will automatically detect which mod you have attached; for certain special functions, you’ll be asked to download apps such as a dedicated app for the JBL Soundboost 2 speaker mod.

If you’re a fan of modular phones, Moto’s new Z2 Play is a good option, though it lacks the outstanding battery life of its predecessor. If you don’t need mods, the lower cost Moto G5 Plus and more feature-rich OnePlus 5 are better choices.




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