Moto X Play Review: Economically Good

Since the launch of Moto X, 2 years ago Motorola has come a long way in developing better smartphones. Moto has recently launched a smartphone with the name of Moto X Play, which is one of Motorola’s flagship smartphone after Moto X2, Moto Style, and Moto X Style. As the name suggests, this phone is built for gaming.

Equipped with an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor along with Adreno 405 graphics, gaming has been made much smoother. But, the CPU and GPU aren’t the only features that are included in the phone. The 21 MP camera and the gigantic 3630 mAh battery also add to the list.

Design

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Motorola hasn’t changed its design much in these years, may it be Moto E, Moto G, or Moto X. Moto X-Play has the same rugged and traditional design as its other phones except the SIM-plus-microSD tray that is present on the top edge, which now, also contains a micro SD card slot.

The tray has slots for two Nano SIMs on one side and a micro SD slot on the other side. Both the Nano SIM and the micro SD card can be removed anytime someone wishes. Although it may seem to be a setback for someone who just wants to remove the micro SD card and ends up losing the mobile network every time. The curvy back gives that Moto feel, when held in hand. It comes in two colors, black and white.

Unlike previous models, the back cover can be removed to expose the massive battery, which is non-removable, by the way. The phone comes with a water repellent nano-coating, which is of a thickness of about one-thousandth of a hair. It does a great job in keeping the phone protected from water.

The 5.5 inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen with Native Damage Resistance is tougher and offers better damage resistance than the previous versions of Gorilla Glasses. It offers a full HD display of 1920×1080 pixels. The contrast is sharp even when viewed from an angle. The brightness is high enough even when used at outdoors. With a 16M color support, color contrasts are much better. Overall, the display is decently good.

Performance and Storage

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Previous Moto X phones came with a Dual Core, Quad Core, or a Hexa Core Snapdragon processor. Moto X Play is the first Motorola phone that features an Octa Core processor. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU and an Adreno 405 graphics, Motorola has tried to give a smooth gaming experience to the users. There won’t be a noticeable lag in running apps or normal processes. Motorola claims that the 2 GB ram will enhance the gaming performance, but it is to see whether it is enough, a ram, for hard-core gaming.

Moto X Play comes with a 32 GB internal memory with 25.45 GB user accessible storage. It also comes with a 16 GB variant for a lesser price. But it would be best to pay the extra price and buy the 32 GB variant, as the price difference is minimal.No need to worry if you can’t, as it supports an external micro SD card up to 128 GB and USB OTG storage.

The phone doesn’t get much heated on heavy usage, but a little heating can be noticed during daily use.It is not much to offer discomfort, but can be a little worry for a few elite users. It comes with a 3630 mAh non-removable battery, which is massive, both in size and capacity, compared to other smartphones. The battery is said to last for about 3.5 days, however, it actually lasts for about a day or more, when normally used, which can be considered as a disappointment, compared to its given capacity.

However, it is said to give a playback time of 12 hours in video loop tests, which is, again, decent, if you ask me.On the other hand, the call quality is poor in the absence of a strong network. Though, it is not sure, whom to blame for this, the network, or the phone.

Software

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The Moto X Play has almost similar software as in Moto G 3rd generation. It runs Android version 5.1.1 also known as Lollipop, which can be upgraded to Marshmallow (v6.0). It is a near stock Android, which means it comes directly from Google, the maker himself. Thus, you can get the OS updates even faster than in Google Nexus. This can be a good reason to purchase Moto X Play.

Like the Moto X2nd generation, this phone also comes with Moto Display, which allows you to see the time and notifications directly on the lock screen. You don’t even need to wake up the phone. It also has a cool feature that, when you pick up the phone, it automatically shows the time and notifications by itself. Isn’t that cool?

But however, it may seem annoying at times when the screen turns on just due to a small bump on the road while driving, or just while transferring the phone from one hand to the other. There are even a few cooler tricks like shaking the phone to turn on the flashlight or twisting the wrist to open the camera app. These all works even when the screen is off.

All these features seem so small when we talk about Motorola’s new feature i.e., Moto Assist. Moto Assist detects when you’re in a car by the car’s Bluetooth and resumes your last played music. It can automate quick replies while you’re driving, answer calls hands-free, read out text messages loudly, and even read out the name of the person calling. It also turns on Do Not Disturb mode automatically during night.

You can customize which calls to pass through and which calls to reject while you’re asleep. It can also silence the phone while on a meeting and send auto-generated text message replies. It detects a meeting from the Calendar app. So if you want to use this feature, you have to turn the sync with Calendar on.

The phone also comes with a Migrate App which helps you to transfer your contacts and other important data’s from your previous Android or IOS phone to your new Motorola phone.

Camera

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Moto X and later generations were great as smartphones, but the only let down were their camera performance.

Motorola has remedied this problem by adding a gigantic 21 MP camera to its feature list. The rear camera has a resolution of 5248 x 3936 pixels. Both Moto X Play and Moto X Style have the same resolution, but the latter is a better carrier of the torch for Motorola smartphones. The camera captures good pictures with better details in outdoor locations where the lighting is much better.

However, if you try to manually focus by tapping on the screen, the photos seem to be a little underexposed. The autofocus takes a little longer to focus and, sometimes, even fails to do so in low light environment, or during night.
You can change the focus and exposure controls from camera settings. There is also an exposure dial which can be used to manually change the exposure.The 5 MP front camera has a decent quality compared to it. The camera has special features like geo-tagging, face detection and touch focus.

It can record 1080p videos seamlessly with notable depth and details. The camera even autofocuses while panning, although it can’t focus on distant objects with that accuracy. You can also take photos by tapping on the screen while recording videos.

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Value for Money

Pros
• Good battery life, especially while playing videos
• Better camera resolution
• Near stock android with facility to upgrade to Marshmallow
• Octa Core processor
Cons
• Unsatisfactory low light camera performance
• A little heating issue
• Micro SD card can’t be removed without removing SIM

Conclusion

The Moto X Play is the economic version of Moto X 2nd generation with an improved camera, better processor, and some added features. It can be said as a phone for someone who wants something more than a Moto G, but can’t afford Moto X. Yu Yureka Plus has almost the same specifications as Moto X Play but at a half price. This is also to be noted that specifications are not just the only thing that should be considered while buying a phone. Motorola offers long-term reliability, which over-trumps Yu Yureka Plus in this case. Moreover, Motorola is not a starter like Yu and has been in this market for long enough.

Again, if you want to boast about your phone in front of your friends, this phone may not be for you, as it does not have any standout features that you can boast about. Overall it’s a budget phone that has all features and specs that you can possibly want in a smartphone in a decent quality for a decent price. A few of you may think that 2 GB RAM isn’t enough for gaming, but it’s what you can expect at this price.

Moto X series generally contains the pricey fancy smartphone models. Moto X Play has been made out of that price range to give the Moto X user experience at a Moto G like price. As I have mentioned earlier, it’s a hybrid of G series and X series. Even the design isn’t trying to boast its price by an expensive look. The body is made of plastic with a little metallic feel, which is due to the paint.

Overall, it gives more a hardy look than the elegant look unlike its other Moto X parents. It also claims to be water repellent, unlike Moto G 3rd generation, which was water resistant. This means, it can keep away little amounts of water splashes or mild rain, but a dip in the water and it’s done.

Specifications at a Glance

NETWORK

Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE

2G bands: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

3G bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 – XT1562
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – XT1563 (SS)

4G bands: LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 19(800), 20(800), 28(700), 38(2600), 41(2500)-XT1562
LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700), 28(700) – XT1563 (SS)

Speed: HSPA, LTE

GPRS: Yes

 

BODY

Dimensions: 148 x 75 x 10.9 mm (5.83 x 2.95 x 0.43 in)

Weight: 169 g (5.96 oz)

SIM: 2 Nano SIMs

Other: Water repellent nano-coating

DISPLAY Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

Size: 5.5 inches

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels (~403 ppi pixel density)

Multi-touch: Yes

Screen: Corning Gorilla Glass 3

PLATFORM OS: Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop), planned upgrade to v6.0 (Marshmallow)

Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615

CPU: Quad Core 1.7 GHz Cortex A53 & Quad Core 1.0 GHz Cortex A53

GPU: Adreno 405

MEMORY Card slot: microSD, up to 128 GB

Internal: 16/32 GB

RAM: 2 GB

CAMERA: Primary- 21 MP, 5248 x 3936 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash

Features: Geo-tagging, face detection, touch focus, panorama, auto-HDR

Video: 10[email protected]

Secondary: 5 MP

SOUND: Loudspeaker
Yes
3.5mm jack
Yes

COMMS WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, hotspot

Bluetooth: v4.0, A2DP, LE

GPS: Yes, with A-GPS

Radio: FM radio

USB: microUSB v2.0

BATTERY: Non-removable 3630 mAh battery

Battery life: 83h (Standby)

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