Let’s take a look at our deep review for the Motorola’s Moto X Play – a newly launched device with a budget-friendly price tag.
Recently, what we’ve seen Motorola in the market is a manufacture produces quality-built devices at a very attractive price. They often launch products with customizable design, good performance and offer them at affordable cost. And the Moto X Play is one of these handsets.
This device is featured with a full HD screen display, a 21 MP rear cam, powerful processor and bloatware-free Android Lollipop OS. The body of this device is splash-proof, which shall well protect all internal parts from harsh effects outside. Moreover, users can also customize the phone’s look to get their own personal handset.
And the most attractive thing about this Moto X Play surely is its budget-friendly price tag. Users in UK can get this phone directly from Motorola at £280 (around $435) for 16 GB version. The Moto X Play has been launched since August this year, in 55 countries. However, US is not among of these countries, instead, the Motorola focuses on pushing the Moto X Pure Edition – known as the Moto X Style for global edition – for the US market.
In Australian market, the Moto X Play just works exclusively on Vodafone network and its only comes in black color. With a contract on, users have to pay AUD 5 monthly over 2 years on a AUD 40 plan. Motoral is also considering offering the product on retail store later at a cost of AUD 569, however, this consideration has not yet been confirmed.
In the new products’ lineup of Motorola, the place of Moto X Play is in the middle as the Moto G is at the bottom and the top is for the Moto X Pure/ Style.
The Moto X Play has a dimension of 148 x 75 x 10 mm, 169 g at weight. The device comes with water-resistant body and customizable design.
The Moto X Play looks like a rougher version of its higher-end sibling – the Moto X Style. While the materials for the Style’s panel are leather or wood, the back skin of the Play is rubberised plastic. Plusing the water-resistant feature, it seems like this device is built for a tougher and more playful life than just inside a pocket life, which suits the name “Play”.
The tougher look doesn’t mean the device is not good looking. The Play review model I have in my hands is black and grey – which are just plain colors and thus, bring the professional look for the devices rather than fun. But in fact, the Moto X Play is greatly customizable, what users need to do is to use the Motorola’s online tool named Moto Maker. Via this tool, users can customize their own phones with 14 diffent colors provided for back cover and 7 color options for metal accents, laser engraving for the back is also available for free.
Although the X Play is not fully submersible under water, it’s still water-resistant and this feature is totally welcomed in Moto X series. By this feature, the device is protected from spilled drinks, accidental fall in water or rain showers. My review model has been knocked by water several times but currently it still perform perfectly. Thus, at the end of the day, the phone brings their users peace of mind.
With 148mm in length and 75mm in width, the device is not considered compact but it’s still not so massive or uncomfortable to hold on hands. In fact, this handset can neatly sit in your jean pocket and shall not drag down your jeans with just 169 gr in weight.
Volume buttons, power buttons, headphone jack and micro-USB port are arranged around the phone’s edges while slots for microSD card and SIM card are located underneath the cover on the back. Heart rate monitor or fingerprint scanner are not what you can find on the Moto X Play. If you want those features, pay some more money and go for the Galaxy S6.
There are 2 options for internal storage of the Moto X Play: 16 GB and 32 GB. If you often download big and intensive applications, the 16 GB internal memory shall be quickly filled up, and external storage is what you have to rely on to store your data.
The screen display being equipped in the Moto X Play is at 5.5-inch-size with full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixel and 400 ppi pixel density. Although these numbers cannot be compared to those in the LG G4 or the Galaxy S6, it’s still good enough to have crispy looking text/ icons or high-resolution photos. The display is not 4K resolution but with such a price, the full-HD resolution is totally good enough for the expectation. The Moto X Style – which has 5.7-inch-size display shall be suitable for users looking for some extra pixels.
Back to the X Play’s display, it’s bright and comfortable to read outdoor. Colors are vivid and true to life.
Software and processor
The operating system being shipped with the Moto X Play is Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, users shall have pure Android experience with the device as Motorola does not apply their Moto skin over the original Android skin. Thus, what users have is Vanilla Android, which is very simple to use and navigate around.
The processor is a 1.7GHz octa-core one, which helps the phone easily and quickly handle every daily essential tasks. With the help from the relatively strong processor, camera, applications load quickly, videos streams well and games (such as Angry Birds 2 or the more intensive Grand Theft Auto) work smoothly without any issue.
Certainly, the performance of the Moto X Play is no slouch. The phone got 2143 score on Geekbench test, which is more than the Moto G (1600 score). However, it’s far more lower than the top-end devices such as the Galaxy S6 (4608). In 3Dmark Ice Storm Unlimited test for graphics, the X Play still got higher score than the Moto G: 8070 compares to 4473 but still lower than its higher-end sibling – the Moto X Style which gots 19725 scores.
There are some tweaks being thrown in the Moto X Play such as: Migrate – a useful tool to transfer data from your previous phone to your current Motorola one; Moto Voice – a voice control tool which shall help you wake up the phone (by saying a predetermined phrase), open apps, search or send message without touching the handsets. The Moto Voice can be found in previous Moto X models and like the predecessor, this feature works smoothly as it can easily recognize users’ commands.
As mentioned before, the rear camera of the Moto X Play is the 21 MP one, this pixel index is huge in comparision with what you can find in the similar-priced products. This is also a great step up from previous Moto X models as it’s normally 13 MP cam. And it’s not just the number itself as the Play’s camera can actually take great quality photos.
The front-cam is a 5 MP – which is popularly seen in other Moto X models. Similarly, this cam is also capable of shooting great shots.
The original camera application is basic and simple, settings are hiden in a wheel, which requires users to swipe in to view on the screen. Switching from photo taking mode to videos capturing mode is also very easy and quick, thus, users shall not miss any moment they want to capture. There are some nice features you can find such as: HDR mode, burst mode, slow-motion mode or panorama mode.
The Moto X Play is powered with a 3630 mAh battery, which is non-removable. Motorola did claim that the device can last for around 2 days with this generous battery. However, for me, it’s just a boast.
As my real using experience, the phone just can last more than half a day if it was used harshly for entertainment such as video streaming, music playing or gaming at maximum brightness. After all these intense using, in the evening, there will be no juice left. But if you are just a normal user with normal and basic daily tasks, the phone will easily last for whole day.
One trick for extension of battery life is to lower the brightness level and turn off wireless connection as well as GPS if not necessary. Similar to other smart devices, an overnight full charge is recommended as always, especially when the battery of the Moto X Play is embbed then it will be impossible to swap our for another fully-powered battery as a replacement.
There are many factors which make the Motorola’s Moto X Play a great choice for many users: the vivid and solid display, the great quality camera, the powerful processor, the water-resistant feature and the attractive customizable designs. With such things, the Moto X Play is not only a nice choice among its price range, it’s also a brilliant choice among all. Everything you are expecting for a high-end smartphones is here, plus your own signature look that you can create for your own personal handset.
If you are willing to pay extra cash for some more luxurious thing, the Moto X Style is there for you with leather or wooden material back cover. But if you are the one who do not want to spend such much cash for just these luxurious materials, and you are always looking for an budget-friendly phone with high performance, surely you should look for a Moto X Play for the best value.
There are not many (or we can even say very little) phones that can offer such great value to customers as the X Play does. We may think about the HTC One M8s with similar full HD screen display, similar power and similar slick metal cover; however, this device offers far higher cost (around USD 545 for SIM-free) and it even has not been available for sale in Australian and US markets. Another choice we may think about is the Huawei Honor 6, which also has nice screen, well-performed camera and similar price; however, the harshly customized software being shipped in this phone shall bother many customers.
In short, at the price range being offered, the Moto X Play is undoubtedly a worth-considering, or even, a must go-to for whom that looking for a new handset.