Motorola Moto X Play review
A stock Android experience backed up with wicked hardware
The Motorola Moto X Play brings the original Android experience to owners without all of the bloat-ware. This Android smartphone stands-out through its use of the best hardware, giving a premium performance at every turn.
|✓ Superb camera||✗ Water repellent not waterproof|
|✓ The latest Android experience|
✓ Extremely long lasting battery
The Motorola Moto X Play has the same design as the rest of the updated 2015 range, which includes the budget Moto X 2015 reviewed just a few days ago.
The overall look is attractive to the eye with a small bezel surrounding the screen and in the hand the fingers caress the central island on the reverse that houses the camera lens, flash and Moto logo. This island is surrounded by an interchangeable case that can be swapped with Motorola Shells and Motorola Flip Shells, sold separately.
The standard colour options available at the point of purchase include White with Winter White back or Black with Black back. The Moto X Play weighs 169 grams, which is on a par with other premium smartphones, and adds a little more character with a curved back that arcs from 8.9mm at the edges to 10.9mm in the centre.
The 5.5” display is perfectly sized for gaming, photography and media streaming and has a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. This equates to 403ppi, which gives more definition than the eye can see, so it is really hard to distinguish real life from the generated images.
The Moto X Play has a tough build that includes Corning Gorilla Glass for extreme durability. The whole device is covered in a water repellent nano coating, but the use of the word repellent over waterproof indicates that the device shouldn’t be submerged.
Multitasking, streaming, gaming and anything else that is demanding is easily handled by the 1.7GHz octa-core processor with 2GB RAM. This is paired up with a memory choice of 16GB or 32GB and a microSD card slot is hidden away under the back cover and configured for use with cards that have a value of up to 128GB.
Phone Set Up
The Moto X Play uses the Android Lollipop v5.1 OS, which is promoted as ‘Pure Android’ by Motorola. This means that the device is not cluttered with manufacturer added apps.
Tap & go set up is the easiest way to get up and running and with a simple tap onto an old NFC enabled smartphone, everything gets transferred over. Any apps downloaded via Google Play on the old phone also get transferred across.
The stock Lollipop experience is a good one and this latest version of Google’s operating system delivers guest user modes for keeping you private information private. Priority Mode is also a useful addition that only lets certain people get through when activated. Priority Mode can also be set to automatically activate itself on recurring downtimes, such as through the night.
The front ported speaker projects un-muffled audio and for increased ease of use, notifications can be viewed and responded to straight from the lock screen. The internet can be accessed over Wi-Fi and this connection seamlessly transitions to the 4G mobile network signal when the Moto X Play moves away from a hotspot.
Camera & Video
The 21MP camera captures at a resolution that is truly unbelievable and is paired with a number of clever technologies to help the novice get professional grade results. A blue glass filter covers the camera lens and removes infrared from the light spectrum in order to capture nature looking results.
When the light dims the Colour Correlated Temperature (CCT) flash with dual LEDs takes over and through sensing the light it adjusts the tone of the flash for the best results. To ensure the moment isn’t missed the Moto X Play has a Quick Capture feature where two twists of the wrist opens the camera app.
Further features include a 4x digital zoom, Burst mode, Night mode, auto HDR, Panorama and Drag to Focus & Exposure. The Moto X Play can also shoot video at a quality of 1080p and this can be replayed in slow motion.
The 5MP selfie camera hasn’t been forgotten and has the same blue glass filter over its lens. A similar colour adjusted screen flash is also employed for excellent results in low light.
The 3,630mAh battery has without doubt one of the highest capacities that you can find. This will give at least 30 hours of use and the typical user could even expect to get two full days of use between charges.
When an energy boost is needed the Turbo Charge technology gives 8 hours of use from just 15 minutes. Battery management is simplified further with an on-screen readout of how long is left before a charge is needed and when connected to a charger, it displays how long is left to achieve a full charge.
Written by: Michael Brown