The more affordable Moto Z Play arrives September 8 with more battery, and yeah, that headphone jack is back.
Motorola's Moto Z is a premium phone that made its mark with magnetic snap-on accessories that make a lot of sense. The new Moto Z Play uses those same Moto Mods, but costs less. It wants to be your modular midrange friend. It's arriving September 8 in the US as a Verizon phone for $408 (or, $17/month), or GSM unlocked in October for $450 (versus the Moto Z, which will cost $700). Internationally, it arrives in September for "about 499 Euros.")
As a midrange phone, its specs vary from those of the Z and Z Force. For one, it brings back the headphone jack! The Z made waves for ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of just having USB-C, plus an included adapter dongle. Well, miracles happen: USB-C and a headphone jack exist on the Moto Z Play, side by side, together and happy. Maybe there's hope for your old pair of headphones in this cruel post-headphone-jack world, after all.
The Z Play is also a bit thicker and heavier than the big-battery Z Force, packing a slightly larger battery. Motorola says this is the "longest-lasting phone battery" on a Moto phone. Fast-charging powers the phone up to about 9 hours of use in 15 minutes of charging. We haven't run full battery tests on the Z Play we have here at the office.
You probably won't notice the other differences right off the bat, but there are a handful of spec alterations. It looks a bit like the Z Force -- which is a US-exclusive phone for Verizon -- with a less durable screen and some stepped-down specs. Or, well, it's a different phone. The 5.5-inch AMOLED display is 1080p, instead of the 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution of the other Zs. The Qualcomm processor's a little different. There's a bit less RAM. The camera, at least, seems nice: 16 megapixels, but it lacks optical image stabilization.
|Moto Z||Moto Z Force||Moto Z Play|
|Size||153mm x 75mm x 5.19mm||155.9mm x 75.8mm x 6.99 mm||156.4 mm x 76.4 mm x 6.99 mm|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625|
|Display||5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 AMOLED||5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 AMOLED||5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED|
|Rear camera||13MP, f/1.8, OIS,||21MP, f/1.8, OIS||16MP, f/2.0|
|Battery||2,600 mAh||3,500 mAh||3,510 mAh|
|Storage||32/64GB, microSD||32/64GB, microSD||32/64GB, microSD|
Most importantly, this is a more midrange phone that still has that funky 16-pin MotoMod connector. It works with all the magnetically swappable Z Moto Mod accessories unveiled this summer with the Z, like a personal projector or the a Hasselblad TrueZoom camera lens.
The Moto Z Play will cost about $400 in the US as a Verizon-only phone, but will be available globally like the Moto Z. (Converted, that's about £305 or AU$530.) Motorola says the phone will be available unlocked by the end of the year. Stay tuned for a full review soon.