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Moto Z2 Play Review: Great Phone But Pricey

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Motorola, now a Lenovo company, continues its aggressive campaign in the Philippines with the arrival of several new Moto phones. One of which is the Moto Z2 Play, the company’s premium midrange smartphone offering. We’ve been using the said smartphone for about three weeks now as our main daily driver and here’s our full review

Moto Z2 Play:

  • Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • Adreno 506 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage expandable via microSD up to 2TB
  • 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 12 megapixel rear facing Dual Pixel camera, PDAF, Laser Autofocus, Dual LED flash, f/1.7 aperture
  • 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Sensor, USB Type C, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,730 mAh battery with TurboPower fast charging
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • Price: P24,999
  • Status: Available in Moto stores and kiosks

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

There is a lot of debate and discussion about the Moto Z2 Play’s design. Last year, the Moto Z Play has a large 3,500 mAh battery and we love its endurance. But it is a bit chunky and it gets chunkier when you place Moto mods. This time, the Moto Z2 Play has slimmed down in favor for the Moto mods.

The thinness means small battery but that will be for later. Overall since it is slimmer, it is lighter as well. That camera hump was so protruding but that disappears when to put your Moto mods.

DISPLAY

We love that Motorola chose an AMOLED panel versus a regular IPS screen. AMOLED screen have punchier colors with deeper contrast. You will notice the difference when watching movies and videos. Sunlight legibility is also acceptable. Overall, nice display.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

This is the first smartphone we’ve reviewed powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor. So far it can handle heavy multi tasking and gaming very well. That is also with regards to the generous 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

Moto has remained fixed with using stock Android UI instead of putting custom skin on top. Sometimes having a stock experience gives a smoother experience. Moto made some tweaks but minor ones like slight change on the look of the icons. Moto still used Google apps as default like the SMS Messages, Calendar, etc.

CAMERA

Motorola has never been known for its camera tech in which the company should really work on and we think the Moto Z2 Play has a big improvement in this department. The 12 megapixel rear facing camera takes good photos in great lighting conditions. Low light photography is also possible  with its wide f/1.7 aperture in which it accommodates more light to bring more life in photos.

CONNECTIVITY

4G/LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth comes standard. Signal reception is a bit wobbly. Comparing it side by side with a smartphone with the same network, the other phone has a more stable signal than the Moto Z2 Play. Calls are surprisingly clear despite unstable signal reception. 4G/LTE is fairly good as well. We’ve used our Smart SIM for the Moto Z2 Play and works very well here.

BATTERY

And now let’s talk about battery. The Moto Z2 Play lost some thickness and as well as battery size. Does it affect the battery performance? Yes. But it might confuse you if we said that the Moto Z2 Play has great battery life. Say whut?!?

We did some research and apparently, the Snapdragon 630 sips less power and that is also supported with Moto’s battery saving efforts. As a result, great battery life. Despite only having 2,730 mAh battery, the Moto Z2 Play managed to get about 10 hours of mixed moderate to heavy use. That’s is one great battery!

VERDICT

The title is our current verdict – great phone but expensive. First, lets go with the positives. The Moto Z2 Play is a great phone – improved camera, solid performance, vanilla Android, nice hardware and surprisingly good battery life. However, the price does not give added color to this great phone – P24,999.

For that price, you can get a true flagship like the OnePlus 5 that runs the high end Snapdragon 835, has 6GB of RAM and with dual cameras. Just add a few thousand bucks and you’ll get the Huawei P10 with its class leading dual Leica cameras.

We leave the decision on you. Would you get the Moto Z2 Play? Let us know at the comments section below.