The Moto X Play is a mid-budget smartphone. It has a gorgeous display and a better battery when compared to Motorola’s cheaper Moto G. However, it’s pricier than the G and cheaper than the Moto X Style.
The 16 gig Moto X Play costs $430, while the 32 gig model retails at $500. It comes with a stock Android 5.0 Lollipop with a few nice additions that make the OS far better than what you can find on other smartphones at this price range.
It has a humongous battery which the smartphone manufacturer boasts that should last up to 48 hours of average use, and a shocking 21-megapixel camera.
These two features make the Moto X Play stand out in the overly saturated sea of smartphones. Moreover, you could very well acquire the Moto X Play in favor of the Honor’s 6 Plus or Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. It even trumps the fantastic OnePlus 2 because it’s so accessible.
Moto x Play Review
It has a scrumptious display and build materials are top-notch. Thanks to its naked Lollipop, the designer in you won’t pop a vein. It’s clean, with a minimalist vibe to it.
Yet, its 21-megapixel camera struggles in low light conditions. It has some minor performance issues that we didn’t expect from it and the Turbo charger is not included.
Moto X Play specs
- 5-inch 1080p display
- 21-megapixel camera unit with Dual-LED flash
- Secondary front-fancing 5-megapixel sensor
- 16/32 gigs of internal storage
- Supports microSD up to 128 gigs
- 2 gigs of RAM
- Snapdragon 615 proc
- Andreno 405 GPU
- 3,630mAh power-unit
Moto X Play Design
If you’ve been paying attention to what Motorola has been manufacturing over the past couple of years, then you’ll most likely recognize the Moto X Play. The phone’s front showcases a 5.5-inch display, flanked by two speakers. On the top of the Play you’ll find the speakerphone. Its speaker resides on the bottom.
Moto doesn’t staple its brand logo anywhere, and this comes as a nice bonus. There’s a tiny M on the back of the phone but it’s forgettable.
Build materials are top-notch. It’s made out of high-quality plastic that doesn’t shine, nor does it feel weird to the touch. It takes a more simple approach and it resembles the Moto G in this case.
On the phone’s top you’ll find the headphone jack. The microSD slot and the sim tray are located just near it.
The Play doesn’t come in a variety of colors, but you can choose up to eight different accent trims for its back-panel. You’ll notice a dimple on the back-panel where the tiny M logo resides.
The smartphone is available only in White or Black.
Back-panels are replaceable. If in the spur of the moment you choose a cotton-candy-like pink and you later regret your decision, you can always change it with, let’s say, a dark blue one. They can be easily removed, similar to the back-panels found on LG and Samsung devices – once you hear that crunchy popping noise you know you’ve got it.
Its rubberized back is noticeable. Yet, it’s sturdy even though it doesn’t pack that premium finish. Furthermore, it’s not a dust-magnet and it isn’t prone to scratches. I may or may not have dropped it accidentally a few times – I didn’t find any long lasting damage on it, nor any scratches whatsoever.
The Moto X Play has an IP57 rating, which means that if it’s raining outside and you need to talk on the phone, you can do so without causing the device to break. Also, if you spill a glass of water on it there won’t be long lasting damages.However, the Moto G has an IPX7 rating. This means that you can keep it under water up to one meter for about 30 minutes and it will continue to work.
This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to know what kind of rating your smartphone really has.
The Moto X Play weighs about 169 grams. It’s a little bit thicker than the OnePlus 2. Regardless, both phones reside comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Yet, practicality is where you should take a look. The Moto X Play can be used with just one hand but stretching your thumb to the two top corners of the screen is literally impossible. That is, if you don’t have Andre the Giant hands.
I found the Play to be pretty dense. Even though it’s a middle budget smartphone, it doesn’t feel like one. You won’t find that hollowness that most cheap phones have and it doesn’t bend, nor crack when you put a little bit of pressure on it.
Moto X Play Display
It has a pin-sharp display due to its LCD panel that sports 403 ppi. The 5.5-inch 1080p screen is just gorgeous. You won’t see any fuzzy pixel or smudged text.
The majority of new flagship phones come with a QHD, quad-HD, panel that features both outstanding ppi and intense experiences. Yet, I found the Moto X Play’s display to be somewhat on par. Price to value ratio? I would say a ton better.
The X’s display has a top-notch brightness that works perfectly well in a dark room and also outside, on a sunny day. While it doesn’t output the same vibrant and full of life colors as an AMOLED panel, I didn’t find any reason to complain.
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 encompasses the display and it adds more durability. Moreover, it adds an extra layer of protection if you decide to put your smartphone in the same pocket as your keys.
Moto X Play Battery Life
It houses a non-removable 3,640mAh power-unit. Its battery comes as a surprise. You don’t find that often a battery that resembles a powerhouse. It’s bigger than anything we’ve seen on the market – iPhone 6 Plus, OnePlus 2, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Note 5. And still, it keeps the size of the aforementioned smartphones.
Paired with the not-so-demanding FHD display makes the Moto X Play one of the leaders on the market.
It can survive slightly over the 48 hour mark, which is fantastic. It can go even further if you won’t stress it. Under heavy usage, it falls a little bit under two days.
Pairing it with the Doze tech that will be coming with the newest Android OS – Marshmallow; means that its battery life will only get better.
Moto x Play Performance
The thing is, it houses a Snapdragon 615 proc. Yes, it’s far from a cutting edge status, but Qualcomm’s proc is a 64-bit octa-core behemoth paired with 2 gigs of RAM and an Adreno 405 GPU. You see, the octa core is comprised of two Cortex A53 quad-core procs.
It can handle a variety of demanding task, but it will start to struggle if you try to push it out of its comfort zone.
You won’t experience lag or freezes even in the most processor intensive games like Two Dots or Monument Valley. While its performance isn’t stellar, it’s more than enough for your everyday multi-tasking bonanza.
Moto X Play Camera
It comes equipped with a rear-facing 21-megapixel sensor. It’s paired with the f/2.0 aperture that helps the camera unit shoot more-than-decent pictures in low-lit settings. It even has a color correlated temperature, CCT, which helps the sensor capture softer skin tones due to its two-tone flash feature.
The camera app comes up pretty fast and its shutter isn’t snail-like. It accurately focuses and locks onto your selected target almost immediately.
Of course, it has an HDR mode. Set it to auto and it will do its job just perfectly. It switches automatically to better capture details depending on the environment you’re in.
The Moto X Play is very impressive and pics aren’t riddled with noise. Quite the opposite. Photos will showcase intricate details and patterns.
Color saturation is spot-on, warm and full of life.
Yet, shooting moving subjects is quite a hassle and you can notice the camera beginning to struggle. Move into a dark room and it becomes disappointing. Mainly due to the lack of optical image stabilization, or OIS, the shutter speed turns slow and stupid.
The Night Mode doesn’t help either.
Moto X Play Software
It runs Android Lollipop and it’s Marshmallow-enabled. There isn’t much to say, except the fact that Lollipop makes it even more gorgeous. I might even go to further lengths and state that with 5.0, Google unleashed a better OS than Apple’s iOS – more straightforward and better designed.
Moto X Play Call Quality
Call quality is exceptional, and you won’t experience lag nor call drops. Voice aren’t muffled, and the noise cancelling mic does its job perfectly.
Moto X Play Verdict
It’s a fantastic smartphone, which Motorola should be proud of. For $430 you are getting a pretty tough beast that isn’t to be trifled with. It’s has an exceptional battery, and its camera, while performing rather poorly in low-light settings, can take really great photos.
I would definitely buy it if I were looking for a phone.
But, you might want to take a look at OnePlus 2’s flagship killer – it’s cheaper by $50 bucks or so, and it can do the same thing.