Moto Z2 Play and New Moto Mods Test

Moto Z2 – The Moto Z modular smartphone line was born last year and has turned out to be extremely interesting. Firstly, this is the most successful and practical modularity solution to date, and secondly, the Moto Z and Moto Z Play themselves (Moto Z Force were not sold here) turned out to be interesting and unusual smartphones, starting with almost pure Android and ending with the appearance., which someone liked, someone did not like, but they did not dare to call it low-key.

This year’s updated line has already been announced, the modules are backward compatible, as promised by the developers. But now the range consists of two models (the “normal” Z has been removed): there is now the Moto Z2 Force and the Moto Z2 Play. The latter is already on sale and came to us for review along with some of the new Moto Mods.


What is that?

Moto Z2 Play is a smartphone with a 5.5 inch 1920 × 1080 AMOLED display, eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor, 4 GB of RAM, almost pure Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system and support branded Moto Mods (new and old).


How is this different from last year’s Moto Z Play?

Moto Z2 Play has received a number of cosmetic changes, although there aren’t as many: after all, compatibility with all modules somewhat limits the ability to change the look and design. The screen remains the same in terms of specs: AMOLED, 5.5 inches, 1920×1080. Instead of Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, a slightly overclocked 626 was installed, the amount of RAM increased to 4 GB, and the built-in memory – up to 64 GB. In addition, the tray supports both 2 SIM cards and MicroSD.

Last year’s camera was 16 megapixels with an f / 2.0 aperture, the Moto Z2 Play had 12 megapixels, the pixel size is 1.4um (Dual Autofocus Pixel) and the aperture is f / 1.7, so it should shoot better (in theory). Not very pleasant changes – the battery went from 3510 mAh to 3000 mAh.


What’s in the box?

The smartphone comes in a bright red box that slides out to the side. Inside is the smartphone itself, a Turbo Charge charger, a USB Type-C cable (in the previous generation charging was done with a non-removable cable), a clip for removing the tray, an instruction / warranty and a Moto Style case. With Moto Z2 Play gold – wood, with gray nylon – black. This hasn’t happened to us, but in general there are still different colors of wood, red nylon (my favorite from last year) and leather.


What does the Moto Z2 Play look like?

The overall contours and dimensions of the smartphone are familiar from the previous generation of the Z-line (which makes sense), although all the same the designers and builders have done a decent job and there are plenty of changes.

Subjectively, almost all of them have gone for the benefit of the smartphone. The front panel is covered with glass, the frames are not the smallest, but quite comfortable. Above the screen is an ear cup with the Moto logo, a set of sensors, a front panel and a front flash which now includes two LEDs.

Instead of a square fingerprint scanner under the screen, there’s now the familiar oval, which is used in all current Moto models. It’s lightly recessed into the body and acts as a touch-sensitive navigation button, allowing you to remove the navigation pad from the screen. A little to the left is a small hole for the speaking microphone.

The most noticeable, not the nicest, change in the design was the decrease in case thickness by 1mm. It was really felt and the Moto Z Play felt really comfortable in the hand. Without the back cushion, the Moto Z2 Play looks too thin.

On the other hand, this decision has its own reasons: there are additional thick modules (in particular, TurboPower Pack Mod), apparently the company decided to compensate for this moment to make the smartphone practical. The whole frame is still made of metal and the layout hasn’t changed either. On the right side there are separate metal buttons for volume and power control. The latter is notched.

At the top there is a tray for SIM and MicroSD cards, a plastic insert and a microphone:

Dual SIM enthusiasts will appreciate that the board remains the same. It is double-sided and you can use 2 SIM cards and a microSD at the same time without any sacrifice.

At the bottom there is USB Type-C and for a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

There is nothing of interest on the left side.

The back cover has changed considerably. Metal did not replace the more practical glass, and a plastic insert was provided for the antennas around the entire perimeter of the backdrop. At the bottom there is the same contact group for connecting the modules, in the middle is the Moto logo and above it is a round camera module with an LED flash, which always protrudes from the surface. It is securely leveled with the body by means of overlays and also serves as an additional attachment for Moto Mods.

In general, I like the look of the Moto Z2 Play more than its predecessor, the only controversial point is its thinness. Although this is a very subjective thing. I think the girls will love it. We sell gray and gold colors, some more photos of both options.


What is the quality of the screen?

From a formal point of view, the Moto Z2 Play is equipped with a screen similar to the Moto Z Play: it is SuperAMOLED with a diagonal of 5.5 inches, FullHD resolution, third-generation Gorilla Glass and a high quality oleophobic coating.

The pixel density is 401 ppi and the screen occupies approximately 70.1% of the area of ​​the front panel. The screen is beautiful “to the eye”, the viewing angles are maximum, the brightness is sufficient even in the sun, we will study it in more detail and compare it with its predecessor according to the results of measurements with a colorimeter.


For those who want to know more

A utility familiar with different color display modes is present; it hasn’t changed since last year. There are two modes: Normal (with more realistic colors) and Vivid (with more vivid and saturated colors):

According to the results of measurements with a colorimeter, it turned out that the brightness margin has increased significantly since last year. Maximum brightness: 412,558 cd / m 2 . Dark field brightness of 0 cd / m 2, a contrast tends towards infinity. The screen is not perfectly calibrated: the screen changes in cold tones, the color temperature is 8500-9000K (with reference 6500K).

Comparison with last year’s Moto Z lineup and other models with AMOLED displays:

Name of the device The brightness of the white area,
cd / m 2
Dark field of brightness
cd / m 2
Moto Z2 Play 412,558 0
Moto Z Play 361,047 0
Moto Z 347,398 0
Samsung galaxy note 8 385,537 0
Meizu PRO 7 331.1 0
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) 288,621 0

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