Motorola’s first notched design
may have been universally panned for its not-so-subtle resemblance to a certain trendsetter from Apple
, but just like the vast majority of today’s Android device manufacturers, the Lenovo-owned brand is looking for elegant alternatives to those wide screen cutouts.
Leaked renders suggest the Motorola P40
and Moto Z4 Play
will be employing two different solutions to the minimal bezel conundrum, neither of which is completely original but both of which are arguably preferable to the iPhone X-inspired notch.
Until today, the “waterdrop”-sporting Moto Z4 Play was largely cloaked in mystery as far as specs and features are concerned (at least, the ones that aren’t immediately apparent in factory CAD-based product images), but the folks over at 91mobiles
claim to have been informed by a “reliable source who wishes to remain anonymous” of a number of key details.
Powerful mid-range processor, exciting single camera
Apart from a nicely refined design with an “edge-to-edge” screen purportedly measuring around 6.2 inches in diagonal, that tiny aforementioned U-shaped notch, a razor-thin top bezel, and a slightly thicker “chin”, the Z4 Play may have several important internal upgrades going for it.
First and foremost, we’re talking about a Snapdragon 675
processor, whose very name suggests a big gain in raw power compared to the 636 SoC inside the Z3 Play
. While we’re obviously dealing with two mid-range chipsets, the 675 is newer, faster (at CPU clock speeds of up to 2 GHz), more energy-efficient (thanks to the 11 nm production process), and capable of much greater things in the AI and imaging department.
No secondary rear camera this time around
Speaking of, those disappointed to see the Moto Z4 Play rendered with a single rear-facing camera should now be happy to hear said shooter is likely equipped with a monumental 48MP sensor.
According to 91mobiles, it’s the same sensor used on the back of the Huawei Nova 4
and Honor View 20
, just alone this time around. That’s an interesting choice, given the Z3 Play rocks dual rear cameras, but it doesn’t necessarily mean portrait shots and bokeh effects are out of the equation. If the Pixel 3
can do all that with just one 12MP snapper, the sky is the limit, at least in theory, for this droolworthy single 48MP cam.
Large battery and... in-display fingerprint sensor?!
While “average” is probably the best word to describe the battery life of 2018’s Moto Z3
and Z3 Play, we may need to think of something else for 2019’s Moto Z4 Play. That’s because the 3,000 mAh cell of its predecessor is expected to be bumped up to 3,600 mAh capacity. Unlikely to break any endurance records, that should be able to deliver enough juice for a full day’s work (at the very least), especially in combination with a rather frugal processor and a 6.22-inch Super AMOLED screen sporting Full HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels).
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, begone
But what’s that hidden under the display of the Z4 Play? Yup, an “invisible” fingerprint reader (allegedly), replacing the physical biometric sensor awkwardly mounted on the side of the Moto Z3 Play.
There aren’t a lot of mid-range smartphones equipped with in-display fingerprint scanners right now, which makes us both excited and scared for the impending Moto Z4 Play.
Pricing and release date expectations
Naturally, the scary thing here is how much the phone might cost. The Moto Z3 Play started at $500 last summer, which already felt a bit over the top. While a price hike would certainly be warranted by all the specification upgrades and design revisions, anything over $600 is going to be hard to stomach.
The OnePlus 6T starts at $549
Even $600 is likely to sound excessive for folks familiar with inexpensive flagships like the OnePlus 6T
. There are two variants reportedly in the pipeline, with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage and 6/128 gigs respectively, the latter of which could be priced in line with high-enders from other brands.
Of course, other brands don’t offer support for (existing and future) Moto Mods
with magnetic pin connectors at the back, but unfortunately for Motorola, the company’s modular accessories haven’t exactly connected with mainstream US audiences. As for a release date, history suggests June, so don't hold your breath for a Moto Z4 Play announcement at MWC 2019 later this month.