Moto Z2 Play review: The transformer evolved
Last year, Motorola for the first time introduced the “Z” line of smartphones which were billed as modular smartphones whose capabilities could be augmented/enhanced using these mods. And Motorola came up with some interesting ideas around these mods, however, the consensus was that they were somewhat under-developed. This year, Motorola returns again with the Z2 Play which is essentially an evolved version of the Z Play that the company launched last. Yes, it is slimmer, sexier and well snazzier, but is it a phone that can marry chic looks, good functionality and marry it with functional nuance that mods can potentially offer? Let’s find out.

The Good

The Moto Z2 Play is an interesting device from a design point of view. It sticks close to the design paradigm Motorola introduced last year with the Z and the Z Play. The Z2 Play is vastly slimmer than the Z Play. At 6mm, it is amongst the slimmest smartphones in the world and it looks very elegant. Motorola has addressed one of the big complaints with the Z, its thick chunky size. It retains a 5.5-inch full HD OLED screen which produces vibrant colours that make the overall experience of the phone a pleasant one.

Like most new phones in the market, this too has a fingerprint scanner. Following the lead of the Moto G5 Play, it has a front mounted scanner which sits below the display and it allows the user the ability to fully the core Android user experience. This is a must-have feature for every successful phone. It ensures good levels of security and privacy, so seeing it on the Moto Z2 was a big plus. More than this, it was quite reliable.

The bigger deal about this phone is that it has adequate horsepower. Despite being powered by a rather mid-range Qualcomm processor, I was able to toggle between different applications, internet browsers and multitask without any slowdown. Now, that’s really nice.

Impressively, this phone’s battery lasted me a whole 24 hours. I often didn’t even need to charge it at night and woke up after a long day of use with more than 30 percent of juice. What’s important to note here is that Motorola actually has reduced the size of the battery from the original Moto Z Play.

One of my favourite features on this phone was the swipe keyboard which can admittedly be found on other Android phones, but I liked it more on this phone. The accuracy of this feature on the Moto Z2 Play was unlike any other Android phone that I’ve used before. This feature facilitates the whole messaging process, which is a huge plus.

The Bad

One of the biggest features that Motorola is pushing with the Moto Z2 is its camera. However, its 12-megapixel camera didn’t live up to my expectations. The images are still pixelated and the camera app is slow. I expected a high-quality camera especially considering the wide f/1.7 aperture. Suffice to say the experience was underwhelming to say the least compared to some of the phones that cost the same amount.

Another thing that irked me was that this phone wasn’t very comfortable to hold. The main reason that the Moto Z2 isn’t comfortable to hold is because of the protruding camera lens. Not only is it a bit of an eye-sore, it makes it rest uncomfortably in your hand and also it doesn’t rest still on a table because of this.

The screen also is a very reflective one especially when combined with the aggressive auto brightness. It gives a glare that makes the screen less visible in the sunlight which in-turn isn’t a great experience for getting anything done on the device.

While all these things are still forgivable, the biggest issue is that the mods for this phone are very expensive. In some cases they aren’t only not very functional like the camera mod, but almost as expensive as the phone itself which is just crazy.

This compounds issues as the phone offers only middling features.

Should you buy it?

While I would buy this phone because the pros outweigh the cons, it must be noted that it offers inferior hardware features than some of the phones that it competes with. A good example of this is the OnePlus 3T. In addition, its mods are very expensive and mostly not very usable, which doesn’t sit well with its transformative narrative.

That being said, after using the phone for a week or so, I became used to holding a large phone and that’s why this isn’t the worst option. After all, there are larger phones out in the market, so this, in comparison, wasn’t too bad. The user-experience overall was definitely a good one. I could text, surf the internet, and watch high-quality videos with ease. With a price tag of around Rs. 28,000, I would say that it is a decent investment.