Moto Z Play Review

By | December 4, 2017

– [Michael] If you're a fanof unconventional gadgets, then you already know aboutthe Moto Z line from Lenovo, the super slim smartphonesthat sprout more features as quickly as you can say Moto Mod.

The thing is, those phonesare pretty expensive and they don't have the best cameras.

The solution, a less expensive Moto Z and a brand new Moto Mod.

I'm Michael Fisher, and thisis the Mr.

Mobile review of the Moto Z Play and the True Zoom MotoMod from Hasselblad.

(electronic music) The phone is easier toencapsulate, so let's hit it first.

In short, thicken up a Moto Z, swap out the metal back for a glass one, and take all the specs down a notch.

Now, that's par for the course when you make a mid-tierversion of a flagship phone, but here's the twist.

In everyday use, I could almost never tell I was using a mid-range device.

While Lenovo may havehobbled some of the hardware, it left the featuresalmost completely intact.

Nearly the entire Motosuite has been left alone and the day-to-day responsiveness is just as zippy as the Z and Z Force.

It sounds bogus, I know, butif there was ever a product that proves the folly offocusing too closely on specs, this is it.

In fact, some of those spec sacrifices make for a better smartphone.

That Snapdragon 625 is less powerful than the 820 in the Moto Z, but Qualcomm specifically calls outhow power efficient it is, and this is one time that the reality absolutely matches the marketing.

I can't get any current Android phone to last me more than a day, and some, like the original Moto Z,don't always get me that far.

Now, the Z Play, with that huge battery working together with thepower-saving processor usually has about half acharge left when I go to bed.

For me, that kind of enduranceis totally worth the hit in processing power, especially since I can't even notice adifference in performance.

I should mention thoughthat the lower amount of RAM does make shuffling apps a bit more pokey.

Also, the screen res takes adowngrade; it's only full HD.

On the flip side, the glassback on the plate is very soft.

It's much more prone to scratches than the metal panel of the Z and weirdly, the style shells don't seemto fit as snugly either.

Other mods lock on just fine though.

As Lenovo promised,everything is interchangeable across the Z line.

I've used the Tumi batterypack and JBL Sound Dock on the Play, and they work just as well as they do on the other Zs.

Let's get to the newest of the mods, Hasselblad is a Swedish company that's been in the camerabusiness long enough to have literally put cameras on the moon, and it pays homage to its 75th anniversary with a little Easteregg on the face of this, its first ever smartphone accessory.

This is the True Zoom.

You slap it on the back of a Moto Z and instantly, it looksmore like a classic camera than any smartphone you've seen before.

More importantly, it feels like one.

You've got a big grip on the right side, stippled for traction and topped by a two-stage shutter button.

Push the power key alongside and you see why it's called the True Zoom.

The motor driven lens assembly is capable of 10X optical magnification,which you can control by the telephoto toggleunder the shutter release.

The Moto Viewfinder isalmost completely unchanged, so there's basically no learningcurve, and you can still launch the camera withMoto's quick gesture.

There are a few custom modes thrown in for sports and night shooting, as well as the capability torecord stills in raw format.

And if you wanna use theTrue Zoom with another app like Snapchat or Instagram,that's no problem.

Once again, Moto has completelydelivered in terms of delivering a Mod with thestock smartphone experience.

And maybe it's no surprisethat the biggest advantage to the True Zoom is zooming.

10X is a crazy amount of magnification compared to the crappy digital cropping of the Z Play's regular camera, and the stabilization makes it possible to get a clear photo evenat full mag in low light, though it does take a steady hand.

You've got a xenon flashhere if you want it and dual microphones forclearer audio recording when you switch to video mode.

Oh, a note on that, whilethe phone can shoot in 4K, you'll be confined to HDwhen using the True Zoom.

I took a bunch of shots withthe Z Play's onboard camera followed immediately by the True Zoom.

Having this kind of range inyour pocket is really fun, and it's a very comfortablecamera to shoot with too.

But is it something I'd buy myself? Honestly, probably not.

I tend to find the Z Play's onboard camera perfectly serviceable for everyday use because like most people, I'm throwing filters on myphotos and uploading them through Facebook andInstagram's compression anyway.

Also, the True Zoom is slow.

First, you need to attach it.

Then you wait for the optics to unfold, and then you wait for it to focus, which can take a very long time.

Now, I used the True Zoomon pre-release software so it's likely some ofthis will get better as Lenovo pushes out updates.

I did receive one about halfwaythrough the review period but it didn't seem tomake much difference.

And the True Zoom suffers fromthe same convenience issues a lot of Moto Mods do.

It's too cumbersome toleave on there all the time so you need to carry it separately, and so now, you're devotingtwo pockets to your phone instead of just one.

Now, if you're the kind of person who carries a point andshoot camera anyway, you're already used to that.

Maybe in that case, theTrue Zoom makes sense.

It's really the only way I can see to justify the suggested retail price.

Check the description for that, as it wasn't finalized by press time.

And as a final quibble, I wish Hasselblad would have thrown in some extra storage or at least a small battery,like some other Moto Mods do.

The upshot, while I thinkthe True Zoom will appeal to the niche photographer,and I'm happy to see the Moto Mod ecosystemget something so cool, I don't see it as a must have.

Maybe my opinion will changeover time as software updates come in to clean upsome of the rough edges.

On the other side of the coin, the Moto Z Play itself is rock solid.

In fact, if this one werethe unlocked version, I would have taken it withme to Berlin this year to serve as my tradeshow sidekick for IFA, which is no small endorsement.

It cuts corners where it needs to and it's certainly not thephone for the spec freak, but if you're budget sits around $400, I'd give it serious consideration.

I say that despite the $400 tier being one of the mostcompetitive segments this year.

The Z Play has no trouble keeping up.

Again, check the description for the suggested retailprice, and for now, it is a Verizon Wirelessexclusive in the States, but you can expect itsunlocked counterpart to launch later this year.

I mentioned IFA 2016 before, folks.

Subscribe so you don'tmiss more Mr.

Mobile videos out of one of the biggesttech shows of the year.

Until next time, thanks for watching and stay mobile, my friends.

Realed to Moto Z Play Review US Review


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  • Voltage: 3.8V; Capacity: 3300mAh / 12.54Wh
  • Compatible Battery Part Number: GL40 SNN5974A
  • Compatible Model: Motorola Moto Z Play Droid XT1635
  • Warranty:6 months long, 30Days money retum guarantee
  • Support: If any question, you can contact us, we will respond within 24 hours via emails, we will help you resolve it before you leave a negative feedback or low review. Thanks for your kind support
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Compatible with
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