Moto Z2 Play :: Let's talk about the phone

by Volker Weber

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Three most useless things in an aviation emergency:

  • Fuel on the ground
  • Runway behind you
  • Sky above you

When I looked at all the Z2 Play reviews I found a common theme: Moto dared to make the device thinner and the battery smaller. And I was reminded of the old adage above. What does it help you if you have 30% battery left when you are about to charge your phone anyway? What difference does it make that a phone runs 36 instead of 30 hours?

I think the Z2 Play is much nicer than the Z Play. The matte aluminium back feels and looks much better than last year's scratch-happy glass back. And without a mod attached, it is really thin, much like last year's Z proper. This is by all means a premium device. Don't throw tech specs at me. This thing is fast, no matter what you do. And the camera hump does not bother me at all. You always know which way is up.

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What I like most about the Z2 Play is how clean it is. There is no bloatware added to Android, no duplicate apps, no arbitrary redesign of the skin. Moto just adds a nice touch to the clock that reflects the design of the camera hump. And it adds some great Moto stuff.

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Moto Actions let you hide the Android buttons and navigate with the fingerprint sensor. It becomes the on/off button, the home button, you swipe it for other actions. If you chop the phone twice (Karate Kid) it will turn on/off the flashlight, it you twist it twice it starts the camera and even the Hasselblad mod. You can flip the phone over to go into Do Not Disturb mode or silence the ringer when you pick up the phone. The display fades in/out with notifications and you can respond to them without unlocking. And then there is Moto Voice that I haven't tried yet.

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The 2016 Incipio battery mod is pretty clever. You can either keep the phone battery at 100 percent, or better yet, you keep it at 80 percent which is more efficient. The new 2017 Moto battery mod adds an important option: you can charge it seperately when it's not on the phone. I bet the 2018 version will add a loop for inductive charging.

Bottom line: there are no bad smartphones anymore. Benchmarks are b/s. All cameras are very capable. But there are interesting phones and less interesting ones.

Comments

Is the Brave browser preinstalled on the Moto?

Tobias Müller, 2017-07-17

No. Neither is Arlo, DHL Paket, Feedly, Health Mate, Sonos, nor Warnwetter.

Volker Weber, 2017-07-17

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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