Motorola Moto Z2 Play: Review

Motorola Moto Z2 Play: Review

he Moto Z Play  was released by Motorola  in 2016 as a slightly more affordable option for those who want to have one of the new devices modular company, but was not willing to spend more to buy top of the line Moto Z . The premium intermediary gained rapid popularity by offering great features, access to Snaps, and most notably a nearly two-day battery life.

Now the Moto Z2 Play  has officially arrived, and I had the chance to check it closely to see if the changes from one generation to the next had a positive result or if Motorola moved too much on the team that was winning and ended up spoiling What he had the best. If you want to know more about the details of your smartphone  to decide if it’s paying off, check out our full review below.

Visual premium and customizable

Both the width and height of the Moto Z2 Play changed very little compared to the predecessor, but it lost 1 millimeter thick and 20 grams. Getting thinner and lighter has made it look more like the top of last year’s Moto Z, especially in the color we received: golden.

A very noticeable difference is in the material of the rear, that changed the glass by the matte metal. This leaves the device a little less slippery without spoiling the premium styling and avoids the annoying fingerprints they insisted on appearing on the first Moto Z Play. In addition, it is noteworthy that, even thinner, the Z2 Play did not lose the headphone jack.

The protruding camera in the back is something that a lot of people do not like but that can be disguised using one of several Snaps style. In addition to the wood we received for our test, there are other options with different materials and visuals than are already available, and Motorolaannounced that a few more weeds will be released in the second half of the year – the new ones will not only be Style and will make your phone compatible with wireless battery recharge .

Tough but not much

The metal body of the Z2 Play is sturdy, but the screen and Snaps connector easily scratch

The body made in a single piece of aluminum leaves the Z2 Play very rigid and sturdy, and the screen has Gorilla Glass protection, but that did not stop some scratches from appearing on the glass after only a few days of normal use, without drops. That is, it is better to buy a film to prevent your brand new handset from being marked at various pointsin a short time.

In the rear, the part that seemed most sensitive was the Snaps connector , which was scratched by the accessories. However, since this part gets covered most of the time, this should not be a big problem. The appliance is not waterproof but has resistance to splashes, so you do not have to panic if you turn a glass of liquid on it accidentally. Just do not drop it inside the pool, the sea or the toilet.

Best category screenshot

On the screen, the Moto Z2 Play kept the same 5.5-inch size and Full HD resolution as the previous model already had, which means a good density at 401 pixels per inch. In practice, this translates into very sharp and detail- rich images , so you’ll be able to enjoy quality videos and games with neat graphics.

The panel technology also continues to be the same Super AMOLED used in Moto Z Play, so you already know that the contrast is excellent, the colors are very bright and the brightness is great for viewing even in strong sun. Considering that we are talking about a device that still fits into the category of intermediaries, it is possible to speak with confidence that it brings the best possible screen in the category.

Optimum performance

Many of the core items of the original Moto Z Play internal hardware have been upgraded from one year to the next, so Z2 Play brings enhancements in almost every aspect. The processor is now the Snapdragon 626, an octa-core that has cores clocking slightly higher than its predecessor.

The internal hardware of the Moto Z2 Play had improvements in almost all aspects compared to the predecessor

RAM also grew to 4 GB, and storage doubled to a total of 64 GB. That way, the device has plenty of room to store many videos, photos, applications, music and everything else you want. And even if that is not enough for you, you can use a micro SD card to expand the memory by up to 2TB – without having to give up using two carrier chips at the same time.

On a daily basis, these numbers mean that Z2 Play performs optimally. Even when multiple apps were open, there were no delays or gaps during use or when switching from one app to another. Heavy games also run without any problem, even with the graphics at most or many frames per second. Also, I did not feel the machine heating up uncomfortably even after a good amount of time playing.


To see how the Moto Z2 Play out in comparison with some competitors, the device was submitted to three benchmark applications. The tests used were 3D Mark  (Ice Storm Unlimited),  AnTuTu Benchmark 6  and Vellamo Mobile Benchmark (HTML5 and Metal).

3D Mark offers a series of tests to benchmark smartphones . Among them, Ice Storm Unlimited lets you compare directly between processors and GPUs. Display resolution is a factor that can affect the final result. The higher the score, the better the performance.

The AnTuTu 6 app lets you test the interface, CPU, GPU and RAM of the devices . The results are provided individually and added together to generate a total score. And here’s also the maximum for the points : the more, the better.

Vellamo Mobile Benchmark applies two tests to smartphones , evaluating the performance of the mobile phone during the access of Internet content through browsers in the first and the performance of the processor in the second. Again, larger numbers indicate better results.

Android in good shape

The Moto Z2 Play comes standard with the latest version of Android , the 7.1 Nougat . The interface is practically pure and very similar to what we see in Google Pixel , for example. One of the changes compared to previous versions of the system is that there is no longer a button to open the appsdrawer ; Just slide your finger upwards from the bottom bar in the home.

A difference in the interface that devices from Motorola already have from the first Moto X  are the practical features that the company adds to Android, called Moto screen, Moto Voice and Moto Action. In Z2 Play, all these functions have been improved, and some Of them have gained nice news .

Motorola’s practical capabilities for Android have been improved

In addition to displaying the clock and its notifications, the Moto Screen now lets you respond quickly by text or voice without having to activate the mobile display. Moto Voice has now been enhanced with the “show me” feature, which recognizes the recorded voice even with the screen off and displays what you want on the screen, from weather forecasting to specific apps.

Versatile digital reader

The best news of Motorola , however, is navigation with a touch that has been added to Moto Action. This feature allows you to delete Android buttons and use the digital sensor for everything, not just to unlock your phone.

Swipe left or right to open the application manager. Tap to return to home or hold the key for 2 seconds to lock the screen. Hold on a little longer to open Google’s direct search of the content displayed on the screen. All of this (including voice commands and features of the Moto Screen) can be easily learned and configured in the factory-installed Moto app.

And since we are talking about the digital player, it is worth mentioning that it is the same that came in the Moto G5  and G5 Plus , which means it is bigger and with a little easier access than it was in last year’s Moto Z Play. You can register up to 5 fingers and this process is very fast – I recommend registering at least the thumb of the hand you use to hold the cell phone normally and the index finger of the other hand, because you have more options. The reading of the impressions and the unlocking of the device happens in a blink of an eye.

Less megapixels, better photos

In the rear camera, the Moto Z2 Play had the amount of sensor megapixels reduced compared to the previous generation, going from 16 MP to 12 MP. On the other hand, the aperture has increased, which allows more light to be captured. The laser focus has also improved, making it easier to detect objects up to 5 meters. In addition, the camera has Dual Autofocus Pixel technology, which uses more pixels to ensure faster and more accurate focus.

The result of the combination of all these technologies are great photos, well focused, with bright colors and good contrast. Using the professional mode of the software, you can tweak settings such as white balance, shutter speed, ISO, exposure and focus so you can take photos exactly the way you need them at any given time.

In the front camera, Motorola decided to keep the 5 MP and opted for a lens with an 85 ° viewing angle to make life easier for users when it comes to group photos. In addition, it comes with dual LED flash with color temperature correction system, which was made to take more natural selfies even in dark environments. It also comes with a beautifying effect (deactivated by default), which softens lines and blemishes on the skin, but which has very artificial results, so maybe it’s better not even use it.

The videos are great quality, especially in environments with good lighting and using 4K resolution. In general, we can say that Moto Z2 Play cameras may not be the best I’ve ever seen on a smartphone, but they still do a great job and will not let you down. Just do not expect the same quality as a top of the line.

Battery : Worsened, but still good

The size of the energy reserves was another thing that declined compared to the original Moto Z Play. While last year’s handset had 3,510 mAh, the Z2 Play comes with 3,000 mAh. That left a lot of people worried that the device would lose its impressive life, which was one of the most enjoyable features of the previous generation. If that was your case, you can be more or less relieved.

The battery has dropped compared to the original Moto Z Play, but it still lasts long

In our test of continuous video playback on YouTube , with maximum brightness, the Moto Z2 Play lasted more than 14 hours before running out of power, which is a very good number for a stressful situation. With the common use, the cell phone lasts more or less a day and a half without having to be recharged. And if you moderate usage a lot, you can stretch the battery for two days.

Longer if you are a more intensive user, who spends many hours a day playing on public transport, takes several photos, listen to music, watch videos, access social networks and everything, then the Moto Z2 Play capability will likely give just right to hold A full day without recharging. However, there will not be much energy left over at night.

Versatility with Snaps

If even with what we explained above you are not happy with the battery , then you can buy the Snap Power Pack to add another 2,220 mAh to the device, which greatly increases the life out of the socket. It is possible to configure the accessory to simply recharge the battery of the phone to the maximum or to take it up to 80{7e39d0cb4f0b034783fbf1625ad806fd9c4f1bb2ab10795a2417f588e8be1e47} and keep it at that level for as long as possible, which reduces stress on the phone.

The shape of the Battery Snap is rounded so as not to leave the Z2 Play footprint uncomfortable when it is in use, but it is a fact that the device gets much thicker with the Power Pack docked, so you will probably prefer to leave the Style Shell docked or Without anything until you need extra power. Even so, you can not deny that the solution is much more comfortable than hanging with a power bank.

There’s even the option to buy other Snaps to add more functions to the phone, turning it into a projector, enhancing the rear camera or putting a stronger sound box. A pity that the modules are still very expensive here in Brazil. The Motorola has announced some cool accessories such as a control for games and a power pack with fast loading, but they should only be launched in the third quarter 2017.

Nice sound

On Moto Z2 Play audio, we are pleased with both the power and position of the speaker, which is just above the logo on the front of the phone. So it can play music at a relatively high volume without great distortion, and you will not plug the output and muffle the sound when playing or watching a video horizontally.

The In-Ear Headphone is great and comes with extra rubber tires

In addition, the in-ear headset included by Motorola in the box is of excellent quality. It is beautiful, comfortable, powerful and does not fall out of your ear even while you jog or exercise. The Motorolaeven included some extra rubber bands to their case cracking, so you will not have to worry about it.

Worth it?

Moto Z2 Play is a cell phone that justifies its classification as a premium intermediary . This is because, although it does not have the same specifications as a real top of the line, the feeling is that you have a flagship, not an intermediary.

That feeling is reinforced in many ways, from beautiful metal design and full-featured fingerprint sensor to smooth, fast performance in the latest version of Android. Considering that the launch price of last year’s Moto Z Play was R $ 2.2 thousand, the R $ 2 thousand charged by Motorola for Z2 Play was a positive surprise, although the versions with some of the Snaps cost a bit More than that.

Even with a slightly smaller battery than the previous generation, the lifetime of the device remains excellent, and hardware and software improvements provide a very good experience – and this can be customized in interesting ways if you’re willing to spend more to buy The Snaps . With all of this in mind, the Moto Z2 Play is a great choice for anyone who wants a new handset, full of good features and a premium footprint , but does not want to pay the price of a current top of the line.

Readers’ Questions

A:  A full day of use, a day and a half of medium use and up to two days if you use relatively little.

A:  It starts to pass energy to the cell phone as soon as it is connected and can be configured to either leave the Z2 Play at 100{7e39d0cb4f0b034783fbf1625ad806fd9c4f1bb2ab10795a2417f588e8be1e47} or keep it at 80{7e39d0cb4f0b034783fbf1625ad806fd9c4f1bb2ab10795a2417f588e8be1e47} (which makes the Snap load last longer). To recharge, just leave the accessory docked when you plug in your smartphone; Then it recharges the device first and then the Power Pack. Load percentages appear separated in the Android tray.

A:  You can find them both on Motorola’s website and at the kiosks and their stores in malls.

 A:  It’s the same as the previous generation Snap.

A:  It only heats up a bit if you use it while recharging, but even then the warmup will not bother you. Also, using the unit while plugged in tends to accelerate battery degeneration , so it is not recommended.

A:  Yes.

A:  The new Snaps are planned for the third quarter of the year.

A:  It resists splashing water, but not diving.

A:  During our tests, the camera glass did not present any risk, but the screen was scratched very fast. However, it is a fact that we spend most of the time using the Style Shell, which levels the rear of the device and may have helped protect the camera.