Review | Moto Z2 Play smartphone

If there’s anything that comes into your mind when you hear the word “Motorola,” we’re pretty sure it’s the Motorola Razr. The Motorola Razr still holds the record as the best-selling clam-shell phone up to this date as a result of its worldwide acclaim until its decline when the touchscreen era began.

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Motorola, which Lenovo has acquired, continuous to crawl out of the grave and has made it clear that it wants nothing but to win back the Razr-like attention it had few years ago by coming up with refreshing features to play with – and the returnee has chosen the Moto Z2 Play to take that duty.

Unboxing and Design

Living up to the company’s goal of showcasing something new, the Z2 Play’s packaging embodies a sliding box rather than the typical hamburger setup. It encapsulates the Z2 Play itself, manuals, SIM pin, charger, and earphones.

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With this news smartphone, Motorola has cleverly assembled the Z2 Play’s exteriors. After several attempts of finding the latest smartphones that actually place their loudspeakers at the front panel, we have finally found the right one in the form of Moto’s latest flagship phone. In addition to hitting the right spot, Z2 Play’s external speaker exhales tremendous quality of audio at a maximum volume level.

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Standing at 6.15 inches, the Z2 Play maintains a 0.24-inch waist, which the company claims to be the thinnest in the Moto line-up. The left edge has no buttons to offer, while the right edge serves as a home for the volume keys and the power/lock key, which are sized less than what we prefer. The power key is also textured to a grille design – a feeling that can get irritating to fingers.

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At the top is the SIM cards and microSD tray. Yes, you’ve read it right: it’s “tray” – as Moto has managed to produce a single plate for a dedicated microSD socket and two SIM cards.

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The USB Type-C socket and headphone jack are placed at the foot of the Z2 Play.

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Looking at the Z2 Play as a whole, it seems like an under construction smartphone due to Moto Mods metallic dots at the back where you connect Moto’s snap-on modules. These dots can transform the handset into a projector, a zoom-in camera, a boombox, and more.

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Lastly, the space under the screen doesn’t have anything except for the home button, which functions more than you could see. More on that later.

Performance and Features

The Android 7.1.1 Nougat runs through the Z2 Play’s nerves without too much bloatware unlike its close competitors. It eliminates the app drawer button and uses a swipe-up pad for the applications instead.

For the technical part, the Z2 Play holds 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with ARM Qualcomm 2.21 GHz chip to back them up. It is powered by a 3,000mAh battery with a quick-charging component that allows you to refill it back to 100% in just a few minutes.

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There’s a Moto app to customize what your phone can do. One of our favorite features is the “chop-chop” flashlight, which basically switches the flashlight on when you hold the handset and chop it twice.

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Before we dig into benchmark scores, we’d just like to highlight what we have mentioned earlier: the home button functions more than we could see: The Z2 Play allows you to move the navigation bar (Back, Home, Recent Apps) to the home button and provide a full screen interface.

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The home button, which can also unlock the phone by sniffing your fingerprint, then becomes a swipe-functioned pad that lets you access the recent apps by swiping right; use the back function by swiping left; and access the home screen by just tapping.

To solidify its value, the home button can also lock your phone by tap-and-hold finger move, which saves your power/lock key from wearing out. Unfortunately, the home button is too sensitive that it detects your finger even when there’s a cloth blocking between them.

Now that we’ve discussed everything we like and what we don’t like about the Z2 Play, here’s how the handset performed in our benchmark session:

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Display and Camera

Moto Z2 Play’s Super Amoled screen displays a 1080 x 1920 resolution with 401 pixel density. Shooting up to 4032 x 3024 using the rear camera and 2592 x 1944 using the front, this smartphone renders 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel images respectively.

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There are LED flashes placed in the front and at the back to support your photography in low-light environment as the Z2 Play performs slower when shooting in dim-lit areas.To justify its quality, check out the images below:

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Pricing and Conclusion

Exhibiting a great display and performance, the Moto Z2 Play is a worthy choice especially with a mid-range price tag (P24,999) for a flagship-level device. Even when you opt out of using the Mods, the Z2 Play can stand on its own and still serve you the best dish on the menu.

The Good:

  • Solid metallic design
  • Excellent display and performance
  • Clever exterior interface
  • Quick-charging feature

The Bad:

  • Power/Lock key texture
  • Sensitive fingerprint pad

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