Motorola launched the Moto X Play yesterday in India at an aggressive price of Rs 18,499 for 16GB and Rs 19,999 for 32GB variant. The phone is essentially a new, affordable mid-range variant in Motorola's ‘X' series of smartphones.
The phone has been launched to bridge the gap between the Moto G 3rd generation smartphones and the current and previous gen Moto X smartphones. The phone will help the company to take care of the competition set by Chinese smartphone vendors in this space.
The Moto X Play phone packs in good specifications paired with almost raw Android OS, topped with some interesting software features that give it an edge over its competitors like OnePlus 2 in the smartphone market.
We got to play with the Moto X Play smartphone at its launch event in Delhi, and here are our first impressions:
Design and display
The Moto X Play dons a similar curved back-panel design as that of the original Moto X series, however with a few changes that do not really make much difference in overall looks and experience. So you get a familiar front design but a different back panel which is predominantly made of plastic but looks much premium due to its leather-like, textured finish that feels very smooth.
The front adorns a 5.5-inch full-HD edge-to-edge display which looks as beautiful as ever, and offers good viewing angles. With a 1080x1920 pixels resolution and pixel density of 403ppi, the display is an absolute visual treat with good colour reproduction, with nice blacks and whites, and is sharp. The display gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
There is a selfie camera, sensor and speakerphone placed up front, while the space below the display has a speaker grill. The rear has camera, dual-tone LED flash and Motorola branding dimpled within a metallic strip.
The rear panel has a textured finish, and is curved towards the edges. It has metallic rim that extends to the rear to give a premium look to the back. We especially liked the white edition. The rear panel can be removed to expose battery, and can be replaced to add some colours to the phone. Motorola is offering a variety of back shells as alternatives to the default back panel.
On the top, there is an audio jack, along with a tray that accommodates SIM and microSD card. The bottom features a microUSB slot placed in the centre. Volume rocker and power buttons on the side are easily accessible.
The phone, despite its size, feels comfortable in hand, even while typing with one hand, and looks pretty premium for its price. The display is a beauty to look at and the phone feels quite sturdy, and durable, in terms of design.
The Moto X Play is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor clocking at 1.7GHz. However it is the two low-power co-processors as a part of the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System that makes it more powerful. The low-power co-processors take care of contextual computing to work with motion sensors, while the other is natural language chipset that takes care of the gesture controls or 'Touchless Control' on the Moto X Play.
The Active Display allows users to preview notifications and updates even when the phone is asleep. What interests us the most, is the Touchless Control which is the OK Google voice command function with extended features that let one interact with the phone without waking the screen. One can give voice commands, to which the phone responds in voice, even when the screen in not on.
The chipset is paired with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM. There are two variants of the phone, one with 16GB and another with 32GB of internal storage, both of which support expandable storage of up to 128GB on microSD card.
This is one of the very few phones that bring a 21-megapixel shooter for this price. The rear camera has autofocus and dual-tone LED flash, and is capable of recording 1080p videos. There is a 5-megapixel front facing camera with wide-angle lens. We did check out the camera in the ambient lighting conditions at the event, but will reserve our final take for the review of the phone.
The Motorola phones are more about software than hardware. Like most of the other Motorola phone, the Moto X Play too runs almost stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box, with almost zero bloatware; hence, functions pretty smooth. The company mentioned that the phone will get updated to Android M, most likely in the first quarter of 2016.
The phone houses a massive 3,630mAh battery which as per the company claims can last for 30hours on single charge. It is due to factors like network issues in India that the company promises 30 hours of battery backup, while the battery capacity is capable of easily run for 48 hours. In addition, the phone supports fast charging though one will have to spend extra to buy the company's TurboCharger, as it is not provided in the box.
The Moto X Play supports dual-4G LTE compatible SIMs, and features NFC as well. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ AGPS and other standard features.
The Motorola Moto X Play looks nice and seems pretty powerful, and has been placed well in terms of pricing. It also has water-repellent nano-coating for protection against accidental water spillage, however lacks IPX7 certification. In addition, it also has some interesting features as well. All of this make the phone a good buy, and a tough competition to its rivals.