It looks like Motorola wasn't much satisfied with its previous devices in the affordable range. The Moto G 3rd Generation which has not even been a year old was a massive success. Moreover, with the exchange offers, quite a lot of people opted to upgrade to the new Moto G in exchange of their 2nd Gen Moto G.
The Moto X Play which the company launched recently in India at the ridiculously low price of Rs. 18,499 (low price in terms of the hardware it's offering in it), has yet again made the Android smartphone lovers go crazy. The phone is apparently designed with superior features for people on the go. As the name suggests, you can say that the device is probably caters to the need of the adventurous people who need more battery and sturdy build.
Anyway, we played with the smartphone for a while and we pretty much liked it. We came across some of the likable features along with few oddities in it. Here is a complete review of the handset.
Obviously, the first time you see the device, you will notice that the Moto X Play is design-wise inspired by the Moto G 3rd Gen. However, there are major alterations that makes it look premium. The button placement in the smartphone is something which might not chance in Motorola phones even in next couple of years. And it's good, because the placement of the power (with a textured surface) and volume rocker button on the right side of the phone is quite comfortable to the users.
You will find a microUSB port at the bottom-side of the phone and on the top edge, you will see a 3.5mm headphone jack and a SIM card and microSD card drawer. The front face of the device is very similar to that of the device in Moto E and Moto G series. You will see a speaker grille, both above and below the display. Also the LED notification light has been placed just above the speaker grille on the top.
If you look at the device closely, the shape and design is not changed drastically. The rear side of the device is something that has not changed a lot. The vertically elongated strip lies at the top half of the rear panel where the camera, Dual-Tone LED flash and the iconic Motorola brand dimple are placed.
What has changed on the device is the texture on the rear panel, which looks pretty nice and offers a firm grip to the hands, when you hold the device. The best improvement in the device is the metal frame that encases the device. The metal frame is a great addition to the design and makes the device look premium and sturdy as well.
The 5.5-Inch build factor is complimented with a 10.9mm thickness. Despite, the bulky thickness of the device, the Moto X Play manages to be pretty stable in the hands.
Another aspect why people love Motorola devices is its customizable features. Using Motorola's Moto Maker online tool, Motorola phones can be largely customized. There are 14 different colors available for the back panel, with seven colors to choose from for the metal accents.
Also like the Moto G 3rd Gen, the Moto X Play is also blessed by water resistant feature. But don't just put it inside water already because the Play isn't designed to be fully submersible, so it's not the phone to take with you on a scuba diving trip. Play's waterproofing is limited to spilled drinks and rain to some extent.
There 5.5-inch display size has worked well with the Moto X Play. However, the display of the phone is not the top notch in terms of quality. The Moto X Play is still restricted to 1080p resolution. Things could have been much better if there was a QHD display. But again the price of the device is a major factor to determining the specs.
The Moto X Play uses TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels that translates to 403 pixels per inch. Anyway, since the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 you don't have to worry about any scratches on it.
Colors are pretty vibrant and crisp and the contrast displayed on the display is quite impressive. The brightness level is not much impressive but can get the work done. It might give the user a hard time under a bright sunlight.
Power and Performance
Powered by Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (4 x 1.1 GHz Cortex A53 + 4 x 1.7 GHz Cortex A53) 64-bit processor, the Moto X Play does almost all the things that you want from it. The Adreno 405 GPU, which compliments the CPU makes it a gaming-friendly device as well. The 2GB RAM is however a sort of disappointment. With the smartphones coming with 3 and 4GB or potential RAMs off late, 2GB sounds like a less. And with the growing number of apps in the Android market, you do need some more room for them as well. Therefore, Motorola could have added an extra GB of RAM in this particular device.
While we used the device, we did notice quite a bit of lag. Multi-tasking becomes a bit tough in this phone as it seldom hangs. However, it's better than most of the other phones that are available in the Indian market at the same price range.
Gaming was pretty fun in this device. We played Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2 and both of them ran pretty well. There were occasional lags but the phone can handle quite a lot. These are pretty graphic intense games and on top of that we were running other apps while we played the game. However, if you are just playing games, it can run pretty smooth.
As far as the benchmark is concerned, at the AnTuTu benchmark tool, the Motorola Moto X Play managed to score 35706 points, which is just above the LG G3 and HTC One, which were the flagship devices a year back. It doesn't beat most of the prominent devices like Samsung Galaxy S5, Nexus 5 and also Xiaomi Mi4.
You will be getting the true Android in this device. It runs the Lollipop v5.1.1 due to which you will see the latest Android features in it. Moreover, Moto X Play is also likely to get the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update and beyond before other smartphones, except Nexus devices.
You will be getting all the Google apps pre-installed in the phone and the richness of the Android world. Moreover, since it is a Motorola device, you will get to experience the company's very own range of apps like Connect, which helps you to track all your devices, Migrate, which helps switch your devices, and Moto that enables hands-free control when driving.
Although, most people wouldn't use these apps but it's rather best to have the option in your phone that to not have the feature.
Camera has become the most integral part of smartphones these days. Moreover, the fate of the smartphones in the market is largely based on the quality of camera it uses. Therefore, all smartphone manufacturers take the camera seriously. Motorola has also given a solid thought about it. The Moto X Play is blessed with a massive 21MP rear camera sensor that can take photos up to a resolution of 5248 x 3936 with its HDR feature on. Precisely, the camera is accompanied with a dual-tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture and capable of recording 1080p video. At the front, you will get a 5MP snapper, which is quite interesting.
Generally, cameras used by Motorola are very good. This one is no exception. The images taken by the camera are really amazing. The low light is quite a bit of challenge though. Daylight images are flawless. However, sometimes it over-exposes the subject. However, you can control the brightness in the image in a live view by shifting the brightness level in the camera UI.
The best thing that I personally like about the camera is the focus and exposure tool which is very efficient and easy to use.
Another perk feature that you get in the Motorola devices is the ability to capture slow-mo videos. You can shoot slow motion videos at 540p but don't start comparing it with the same feature of the iPhone 6.
Overall, the camera of the Moto X Play is very good. The pictures are incredibly clear and colors appear really bright and stabilized.
Storage and Connectivity
Motorola is offering the device is two flavors - 16GB and 32GB internal memory. The one which we are reviewing is the latter on. Anyway, both the variants are capable of memory expansion by additional 128GB using microSD card. In 32GB moto X Play, users will get around 25GB memory to play around with apps and other multimedia files.
In terms of connectivity, the Moto X Play gets almost all the rich and trending features like 4G LTE / 3G, WiFi 802.11a/g/b/n (dual band), Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
The Moto X Play is all about the battery, to be frank. It comes with a big 3630mAh cell. The device can outlast a lot of other devices. If you play a 90-minute video clip with full brightness, you will see a battery reduction not more than 15% maximum.
However, when we used the device, it lasted a full day with more than average usage. The charging time is also slightly poor in this device. Motorola should have given a sort of a quick charge feature or something. Moreover, yet another disappointment is the lack of wireless charging facility in the handset. Motorola could have made a statement if they would have added this particular feature in this device.
Anyhow, the device's battery has more potential than any other phones from Motorola.
The new Motorola Moto X Play has the best of the design language, good specs, including the camera and battery and the most of all, it has the best price tag on it.
On the likable part, the metal rim around the edge of the Moto X Play is a great addition to the design aspect. Not only that but it makes the device sturdy and even if you drop it by its edged, the floor wouldn't make a dent.
What impressed us the most was the battery. Apart from that you also get the best of the software in the device including the native apps. The design customization features is quite admirable too along with the water resistant quality.
However, certain things in the phone failed to impress us. Motorola has been exuberant enough to offer such a great device is a very competent price but they could have done better by using few other features like the wireless charging or even the NFC chip.