Motorola Moto X Play Review, Aiming Higher!



Motorola has been releasing some pretty neat smartphones in the last few years and if you’ve dealt with their Moto G/X series, you probably know what I’m talking about. Today, I’m going to turn my attention towards the Motorola Moto X Play, a device aimed at those interested in phablets that comes with a rich list of specs for a reasonable price of just $300.

Among those specs are a 5.5 inches screen, a Snapdragon 615 chipset, a 21MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary one, a customizable body, a huge 3,630 mAh battery and more. If you want to know more, keep reading, as I’ll do my best to cover the most important features that come on board the phablet.

Inside its retail box, the Moto X Play rides along with its charger and a USB cable. That’s it, but asking more from such an affordable phablet wouldn’t be reasonable. The AC adapter features two USB ports, thus enabling you to re-charge two devices at once.

The Moto X Play stands at 148 x 75 x 10.9 mm and weighs 169 grams, being a little hefty considering its width and weight, but quite compact nevertheless and easy to manage if you’re accustomed to phablets. The handset is made from polycarbonate and seems to be very well put together, solid and reliable even though made from plastic.

Its design is nothing to write home about, consisting in rounded corners, a glossy frame that surrounds the body and a nice pattern on the rubbery back for offering a little more personality to the overall appearance. The back cover is removable, but only for being replaced with something else, as the battery isn’t replaceable.
The handset features a water repellant nano coating for its internals, meaning that it will survive in light rain or if accidentally splashed, but isn’t water proof and mustn’t be taken for a swim – it will drown.


The Moto X Play comes packed with a 5.5 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a pixel density of 403 ppi and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display is nothing short of excellent, performing well especially in terms of brightness. It will please your eyes with vibrant colors, great contrast and is perfectly usable under direct sunlight.

Let’s jump to the software department. The Moto X Play comes loaded with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop which is almost in its purest Vanilla form and I say almost because Motorola added a few tweaks for improving the overall experience.
The lockscreen displays the time, date, missed notifications and two shortcuts for the dialer and the camera. Beyond the lockscreen is the homescreen, which features support for shortcuts, folders and widgets. Your applications reside inside the App drawer.
The notification area is revealed by a swipe down from anywhere on the homescreen; a secondary or a two finger pull shows the quick toggles, as well as a brightness slider and a Settings shortcut.
Also on board is the Motorola personal assistant, Moto. Moto Assist adjusts your settings according to time and location, while Moto Voice enables you to control the device through voice commands.

When it comes to hardware, the Moto X Play comes powered by a Snapdragon 615 chipset, having a quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and a quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The device comes in two flavors, with 16 or 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 128GB. Having this configuration, the handset is a decent performer and will handle daily tasks without any hassle, providing you with a pleasant user experience.

For taking photos, the phablet is equipped with a 21MP main camera that takes stills with a maximum resolution of 5248 x 3936 pixels, features phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED flash for helping in low light situations. The image quality revealed by the photos is great, consisting in some beautiful and accurate colors, very good contrast and a lot of details.
The video camera is also decent, providing you with some pleasant 1080p videos @30 fps.
For taking selfies or making video calls, the handset provides you with a 5MP front facing camera.


The rest of the goodies from the Moto X Play’s basket that might interest you are a GPS receiver with GLONASS and A-GPS support, Google Maps and Navigation for getting around, an FM Radio with RDS support, Google Chrome for a pleasant browsing experience, the Google Office suite for managing document files and more.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the Motorola Moto X Play holds inside a 3,630 mAh battery and will last for three days under a single charge if you use it moderately.


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