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REVIEWS

Apple iPhone X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Miele Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor PowerLine

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

Apple TV 4K

Google Home Mini

Fitbit Flyer

Fitbit Ionic

Huawei P10

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

2018 Toyota C-HR

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Nomad leather case for iPhone 8 Plus

Alcatel A50

Tile Pro Sport smart tracker

27-inch Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display

Anki Cozmo programmable robot

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Google Home

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover

2016 Ford Flex Limited

Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda MX-5

Sennheiser PXC-550 Bluetooth headphones

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan

Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

Apple AirPods

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

808

Game of Thrones Season Six Blu-Ray

Michelin Premier all-season tires

Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio +

Google Daydream View VR headset

ASUS ZenBook 3

Jaybird X3

JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

« Samsung builds on camera module work with ISOCELL brand | Main | Google bringing ads to VR »
Thursday
Jun292017

Review: Motorola Moto Z2 Play

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Motorola’s Moto Z Play was last year’s midrange surprise which turned out to be a veritable chameleon handset thanks to easy on, and off Moto Mods accessories as well as the best battery life on any device.

While the flagship Moto Z was, and remains the most premium handset and also the thinnest smartphone Motorola has ever made. The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, is a far more practical and less frivolous affair that appealed to more users.

Serious Play


For 2017, the Moto Z2 Play sticks to the script and maintains some of the key features that made its predecessor shine while shaving off some weight and bulk as well as upgrading necessary components.

Now clad in an all aluminum design, the Moto Z2 Play feels even more premium and less delicate. The profile is thinner and the battery, unfortunately, gets slimmed down as well. You still get a respectable 30 hours on a single charge and you can juice it up to run 8-hours with a 15 minute charge thanks to TurboPower, a charging technology that Motorola introduced years ago and continues to refine to great success.

Built to last, designed to evolve


The precision built shell is flanked by a 5.5-inch super AMOLED 1080p HD display that’s reasonably bright and clear. An improved fingerprint sensor now doubles as a means to control open apps, lock the display and manage apps thanks to one-button nav functionality.

Motorola’s improved the camera hardware and now offers a large f/1.7 aperture for its 12 megapixel rear-facing camera and a wide 5 megapixel camera for selfies and video messaging. Camera software has been improved as well and offers a great degree of control and even a professional mode for those with the patience know-how. A ‘best shot’ feature captures multiple shots to recompose the best possible feature, its something we’ve seen before and works well most of the time.

Taking photos with the Moto Z2 Play is easy and you generally get good results although nowhere near the level of detail you'd get from a Pixel, iPhone or Samsung S8.

Moto Software enhances the experience


Moto display, Moto actions and Moto voice, which are the triumverate of proprietary enhancements are further refined. The Moto Voice app, in particular, omits the need to use the ‘Hello, Moto’ trigger word before asking the assistant things. Now you can just say ‘show me my calendar,’ or ’show me the weather,’ and Moto Z2 Play complies.

 In terms of specs , we get a hardy 8-core Snapdragon 626 processor clocked at 2.2GHz and an Adreno 506 CPU. This is backed by 3 GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. These are midrange specs that deliver great performance but never at the cost of battery efficiency.

Using the Moto Z2 Play as a daily driver running all my go-to apps and services proved that it is mostly better than the Moto Z Play. The reduced battery life was not a big deal for me, specially since I have the first-gen TurboPower battery pack ready.

Moto Mods are here to stay

The older Moto Mods do fit although there’s some noticeable wiggle room. I had some issues with the Hasselblad True Zoom lens, which would shut off sporadically or refuse to turn on. I’m hoping a firmware update solves this as the Mod works just fine on older Moto Zs and is one of the better examples of seamless modular expansion.

The new JBL SoundBoost speaker Moto Mod, now with equalizer settings, brings big sound to this slim smartphone. This Mod works great, as does the projector Mod and both of the backplate mods (leather and wood) from the previous generation.

I personally like to carry the Moto Z2 Play without any of the accessory mods. I love the slim profile, the precision-built metal case as well as the sleek gunmetal finish.

Conclusion


Motorola has smartly stuck to the formula and created a great ‘tweener’ smartphone that’s nearly as slim as the Moto Z from last year, but also has improved battery life, durability and utility that’s endeared that larger Moto Z Play to many users.

Rating: 4 out 5

Moto Z2 Play will be available in Canada beginning July 5 for around $800 CAD. While supplies last, Moto Z2 Play will launch with JBL Soundboost2 in box (an additional value of $114.99 CAD) at Bell Mobility, Bell MTS, Freedom Mobile and SaskTel. Moto TurboPower Pack and Moto GamePad will be available this summer.

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