Moto Z2 Play Review – Thinner Smartphone, smaller battery

Moto Z2 Play on test: Many upgrades and a battery downgrade

From August, Lenovo is offering the second-generation Moto Z Play. The new model is thinner and equipped with a new camera. In return, Lenovo has set the red pen on the best feature of the Z Play: the battery. In the test of the Moto Z2 Play, this leads to shorter running times than with the first generation.

Only 6 millimeters thin

With the Moto Z2 Play Lenovo puts the superschlanken Moto Z (test) on the pellet. It has become a millimeter thinner than the Moto Z Play and thus only a touch of the ultramodern Moto Z removed. The Moto Z2 Play is just thick enough to fit a classic headphone jack next to the USB Type C jack.

Although the name says something else, the Moto Z2 Play at the price is currently the top model of Lenovo. It costs 499 euros around 50 euros more than the Moto Z. For that it now offers at least as high-quality housing, which is made up entirely of aluminum up to the front. Lenovo offers the smartphone in tested gold with white front as well as in dark gray with black front.

The contacts for Lenovo’s modular system are immediately visible at the outset. With the Moto Z2 Play the manufacturer proves that the Moto Mods are not a short-term phenomenon. In Germany, the Moto Z2 Play is always the JBL SoundBoost 2, which would cost 99 euros individually. This is a stereo loudspeaker with kickstand, whose integrated battery is designed for ten hours. Listening to music or watching movies is much more fun on the road than with the integrated loudspeaker in the earphone of the smartphone. In order to keep the Mod always, he is too heavy and too thick (14.5 millimeters) with 135 grams. Also, there are better external Bluetooth speakers for the same price.

Good 5.5-inch AMOLED

The 5.5 inch display remains unchanged on the paper. Lenovo again uses an AMOLED panel, which protects against glare with Gorilla Glass. The OLED technology provides a perfect black level and derived from it an excellent contrast. In terms of brightness has changed little compared to the Moto Z Play: 513 to 515 cd / m² shows the meter. However, Lenovo has changed the color calibration or, better said, no proper. Supposedly OLED-typical the white point is much too high, so that always a light blue with gleam. The predecessor proves that this is not the case.

Always-on display

Overall, the Moto Z2 Play still has a good display. As an additional feature, there is an always-on feature that automatically activates as soon as the device is raised. Users can then, for example, see the time and date as well as the charge status of the battery. When the smartphone is put back, the display darkens within a second.

Moto Z2 Play, Moto Z Play and Moto Z in comparison

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Lenovo Moto Z Play Lenovo Moto Z
(upon publication)
Android 7.1 Android 6.0
Display: 5.50 inches
1.080 x 1.920, 401 ppi
Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass
5.50 inch
1.440 x 2.560, 534 ppi
AMOLED, Gorilla Glass
Service: Touch
fingerprint sensor
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
8 × Cortex-A53, 2.20 GHz
14 nm, 64-bit
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
8 × Cortex-A53, 2.00 GHz
14 nm, 64-bit
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
2 x cryo, 1.80 GHz
2 x cryo, 1.36 GHz
14 nm, 64-bit
GPU: Adreno 506
650 MHz
Adreno 530
624 MHz
R.A.M: 4,096 MB
3,072 MB
4,096 MB
Storage: 64 GB (+ microSD) 32 GB (+ microSD) 32 / 64GB (+ microSD)
Camera: 12.0 MP, 2160p
Dual LED, f / 1.7, AF
16.0 MP, 2160p
Dual LED, f / 2.0, AF
13.0 MP, 2160p
Dual-LED, f / 1.8, AF, OIS
Secondary camera: No
Front camera: 5.0 MP, 1080p
dual LED, f / 2.2
5.0 MP, 1080p
LED, f / 2.2
↓ 42.2 ↑ 5.76 Mbps
LTE: Advanced
↓ 300 ↑ 150 Mbps
↓ 300 ↑ 50 Mbps
WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: 802.11a / b / g / n
Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast
802.11a / b / g / n / ac
Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast
Bluetooth: 4.2 LE 4.0 LE 4.1 LE
tracking Systems: A-GPS, GLONASS A-GPS
Other Standards: USB 2.0 Type C, NFC
SIM card: Nano SIM, Dual SIM Nano SIM
Battery pack: 3.000 mAh
permanently installed
3.510 mAh
permanently installed
2,600 mAh
permanently installed
Size (W × H × D): 76.2 x 156.2 x 5.99 mm 76.4 × 156.4 × 7.00 mm 75.3 × 155.3 × 5.19 mm
Mass: 145 g 165 g 136 g
Price: From 519 € From 288 € From 320 € / –

New dual-pixel camera

The fact that the Moto Z2 Play is only 6 millimeters thin, ensures that the camera feels much more prominent than before. But because the hump is in the center of the case, the smartphone can be placed on the table without wiggle. Even with the so-called “style shell” with cordless charging function, which costs 49 euros individually, the camera is not protected from scratches when lying down. So buy the “style shell” really only those, which absolutely cordless charges need.

The new camera is one of the best in the Lenovo range. It is the 12-megapixel sensor with dual-pixel technology, which is already used in the Moto G5 Plus (test) and originally premiered in the Samsung Galaxy S7 (test). The so-called dual-pixel camera is available for every “normal” pixel one for the autofocus by phase comparison (PDAF), which ensures a very fast autofocus. At the short distance (5 m) the system is supported by a laser autofocus. Also new is the aperture with f/1.7 so far most open aperture in the Lenovo range.

In the test, the Moto Z2 Play was used together with the Google Pixel XL (test) and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (test). In terms of the price class of the two comparators, this is not a fair comparison, the Moto Z2 Play is not synonymous with the performance against the other two smartphones rated, but should be compared to just two other devices to the side to make a sorting at all To be able to.

Good performance at day without backlight

The Moto Z2 Play does not even have to hide from the more expensive competition in good daylight. The recordings are sharp and offer superb colors while the white balance is adjusted correctly. In the test also the short focus time, the fast storing of the pictures and the generally fast camera type also please. Double turning of wrist leads to quick start.

On the other hand, there are problems with the presence of backlight or large differences in brightness. This can be seen in Figures 7 and 16, where details are barely recognizable in the dark areas of the image, while the bright areas are overexposed. In low light conditions, the Moto Z2 Play also raises the ISO value early, although the initial aperture is f/1.7 and a slightly longer exposure time would be possible. This is a tribute to the missing OIS.



Always on the move... Love to blog, write about smartphones, technology and telecoms. I also like to snowboard, when I have the time :p I'll be around for a while so, be prepared.

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