Last year Motorola launched two modular flagships, the Moto Z and Moto Z Play. The former was a premium high-end device, and the later was a functional low-cost variant meant for anyone willing to experience modular convenience without spending a high-end price. This year, Lenovo launched the Moto Z2 Play that tries to find a sweet spot between the two.
It has a slick premium body that houses mid-range hardware and using the 16 gold pogo pins on the rear, you can add a variety of style shells and other modules to supplement various aspects.
Moto Z2 Play specifications and features
- 5.5-inch Full HD, AMOLED display, 401 PPI
- 2.2GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 626 processor, Adreno 506 GPU
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB internal storage, Expandable
- 12MP camera, f/1.7 aperture, dual pixel AF, Laser AF, two-tone LED flash, 4k Videos
- 5MP front-facing camera, dual LED flash
- Home button with a fingerprint scanner
- 3000 mAh battery, Turbo charging
- Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- Dimensions and Weight: 156.2 x 76.2 x 5.99mm; 145g
- Dual SIM (Hybrid), 4G VoLTE, USB Type-C port, NFC, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LE
- Price: 27,999 INR
Design and Build
Lenovo has decided to reduce the overall thickness aggressively to 5.99mm, even when it comes at the cost of battery capacity, but we guess it was the right decision since this is meant for people who’d love to clip on modular accessories, and for that, a slim profile is a pre-requisite.
I don’t think many would want to clip on these accessories to their phones if it makes it chunky as hell. It comes in Gold and Grey colors with White and Black fascia respectively.
The back cover is metal and the 16 pogo pins on the rear are made of 23K gold to better resist corrosion and other wear and tear. Besides style shells that support wireless charging, Moto Mods that you can buy include JBL SounBoost 2 speakers and Turbo Battery pack with 3450mAh battery & fast charging.
There is a camera bump on the back and that’s just another price you pay for an ultra slim phone. The modular accessories and cases even out the bump, though. The metal ring around the camera is slightly elevated to protect the glass from scratches.
Thankfully, Motorola has brought back the Audio Jack this year. Overall, the phone has good design and it feels sturdy in hand.
The Moto Z2 Play has a 5.5-inch Full HD display. The display type is AMOLED, which is also the biggest specs-differentiator in comparison to the Moto G5 Plus. The display has two modes – Vivid and Standard. There is no option to manually strike a balance between the two. Other than that, the display has good viewing angles and outdoor visibility.
Performance and Software
The Moto Z2 Play is powered by Snapdragon 626 processor, which is a minor upgrade to Snapdragon 625 on last generation model and also on the Moto G5 Plus. In India, Lenovo is pushing the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage model in India.
The software is quite light and the hardware is powerful enough to drive it smoothly. Moto is using near stock Android Nougat with a few gestures added. You can twist to launch the camera, chop to fire the flash and so on. These gestures are convenient, but it takes some time getting used to them.
The fingerprint sensor below the display is fast and accurate and the best part is that the home button can also be used for ‘back’ and ‘recent apps’ by left and right swipe. Navigating using a single button felt quite intuitive and we got used to it in no time.
The device can handle heavy multi-tasking or gaming without any issues.
Camera and Imaging
The 12MP rear camera has wide f/1.7 aperture and dual AF pixels. It can lock focus in no time and can also shoot detailed images outdoors. Shots taken under the direct sun were a tad overexposed at times. The low light and night time shots are good but not the best. The HDR mode can be used for well-balanced highlights.
The Z2 Play also has a Pro mode which is fairly reliable. You can use it to enhance low light shots if you know what you are doing. The 5Mp front camera has a dual tone LED flash which certainly works better than the single LED flash. It also benefits from a subtle beautification mode.
Both front and rear cameras work well in Moto Z2 Play but it is not the best camera smartphone in the mid-range category.
Battery, Price, and Verdict
The new Moto Z2 Play has a 3000mAh battery and the battery backup is not as good as the last generation model. It can still last one day with basic to moderate usage and also supports fast charging. On heavy usage days, you will have to charge it mid-day but you can always use a battery mod with the device which ensures up to 2 days of battery backup.
Priced at 27,999 INR, the Moto Z2 Play is a good phone if you like the idea of Moto Mods. These modular accessories are cool and do add more value, but you will have to buy them separately which adds to the cost. As an independent phone, the Moto Z2 Play isn’t the best phone available in the market but combined with mods it certainly offers a unique experience.