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Moto Z Play Droid Review

Motorola Moto Z Play Droid

Posted: , posted by Stephen S.

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Call Quality

Talk all night with the combo of good voice quality and great battery life

Moto Z Play Droid Review

If you can't say goodbye to voice calls just yet, the Moto Z Play Droid offers a really attractive handset option. First there's its killer battery life, which we'll get to in a second, that allows you to make call after call without running low on juice.

And when you do make those calls, they sound really good. Chalk it up to Verizon's network, or just well-executed phone hardware, but we had nary a complaint about audio quality – we sounded clean and loud to callers, even when outside, and they came through nice and sharp on our end.

Battery Life

The most affordable Moto Z shows the flagships how it's done

Moto Z Play Droid Review

Our review structure being what it is, discussions of battery life come up late in a phone's story, but don't let that undermine just how important battery performance is to what the Moto Z Play Droid has to offer.

The Play is roughly the same size as the Moto Z Force, so it only stands to reason that its battery is pretty much the same size – right around 3,500mAh. But since the Play has a lower-res screen, less RAM to refresh, and a much more subdued, power-sipping mid-range processor, that power goes farther … a LOT farther.

Moto Z Play Droid Review
It was a little disappointing to see the Moto Z Force achieve just over seven hours of screen-on time in our custom battery tests, but the Play positively takes it to school. With essentially the same size battery, the Play pushes operating life past half a day; we clocked well over thirteen hours of use – not too short of fourteen – when running the Play through those same tests.

That's all sorts of impressive, and it's easy to see why Lenovo's making a point to emphasize the Play's battery life as among its biggest features. Recharge times don't look quite as impressive, even with the included Turbo Charger, but considering the ridiculous battery life the Play is offering, we can live with it taking two-and-half hours to fully juice up.


Conclusion


Moto Z Play Droid Review

The Moto Z Play Droid offers the most affordable ticket of entry yet into the world of Moto Mods expansion, supporting all the existing add-ons like the projector, speaker, and various battery packs, as well as the new Hasselblad True Zoom camera. If you liked the idea of all those when you first heard about the Moto Z, but weren't quite up for paying flagship prices for your new phone, the Moto Z Play is practically built for you.

Even if we ignore all that modular-phone action, the Moto Z Play still represents a fantastic option for users looking to stretch battery life to its absolute limits. We've seen plenty of mid-3,000-mAh phones before, but few that push operational life into this well-above-twelve-hours space; and while the LG X Power might have killed things with its fifteen-hour run-time, the Moto Z Play offers a heck of a lot more phone than that bargain-basement model.

For about $400, the Moto Z Play Droid represents a really attractive mid-range offering. It looks and feels just like the much more expensive Moto Z Force Droid, and while performance and camera capabilities aren't quite up to the level of that model, we don't at all get the sense like we're giving up $300 worth of functionality – all that considered, the Moto Z Play Droid feels like quite the deal.

When looking at the broader market, however, the Play's allure starts to dim a little. Affordable flagships start popping up in this same price bracket, and other mid-rangers run more capable chips like the Snapdragon 652. And as always, it's very much in your interest to weigh those options alongside the Play and see if one might not give you a little more of what you want for the same price – if not less.

But none of this detracts from the Moto Z Play Droid from being a well-built, totally capable Android in its own right, one with some nothing-short-of-insane battery life, and with all the hardware-expansion flexibility Moto Mods has to offer. For just a little over $400, that's one really attractive package.

Software version of the review unit: Android 6.0.1; Build Number: MCO24.104-35-1


Pros

  • Battery endurance like few other phones can touch
  • Moto Mods compatibility without a flagship price tag
  • Speedy fingerprint scanner's a joy to use

Cons

  • A slightly more capable 6-series Snapdragon chip would have been lovely
  • Recharging times slower than with Moto Z Force Droid
PhoneArena rating:
8Good
User rating:
Not rated
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PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 , Octa-core, 2000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
3 GB RAM
Size6.16 x 3.01 x 0.28 inches
(156.4 x 76.4 x 6.99 mm)
5.82 oz  (165 g)

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