Motorola Moto X Play in-depth review - Play time, Motorola!

 Motorola Moto X Play Review - Play time, Motorola!

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,8/28/2015 11:19:18 AM


out of 10



out of 5

Look and feel


out of 5

Ease of use


out of 5



out of 5

Battery life


No bloatware | Brilliant display | Ideal screen size for streaming | Massive battery


Looks cheap |

- By Sunetra Chakravarti

Motorola surprised us by launching two different flagship devices at their recent event. They also, of course, unveiled the superlative Moto G, previous iterations of which have successfully captured the value handset market.

While the Moto X Style is exactly as the name suggests, totally customisable to reflect the user's personality and style, Moto X Play is for the super user with a gargantuan battery and water resistant robust looks.

Motorola Moto X Play: Look and feel

This is probably the least favourite part of the phone for us. The phone comes with a removable textured rubberised plastic back that is available in a range of colours. The sides are metal-look polycarbonate and the phone has the curved back that are an identifiable feature of all Motorola phones now.

The phone is 10.9mm at its chunkiest and has the kind of reassuring feel about it that means you won't be paranoid about it slipping out of your hands. The front of the 5.5-inch phone is feature less except for the two speaker grills top and bottom and the camera lens st the top right.


Moto X Play: Display and resolution

The 5.5-inch screen on the Moto X Play has a 1080X1920 resolution with 401ppi density. We are in love with AMOLED screens and are slightly gutted with the fact that the Moto X Play sports an IPS display. We were left wanting a better more lucid experience than the one at the Play offered. Outdoor visibility was just okay and saturation and contrast levels weren't the best with the cooler and more neutral white balance.

Motorola Moto X Play: Camera

I have never really been a fan of Motorola's point and shoot mode. Tapping on the screen on any other phone focusses the camera whereas here, it takes a picture. It is easy to get used to as well as get confused. Frankly, I had expected better from this phone's 21-MP camera. The low light photos came away grainy and lack lustre and even the most easiest of shots look blurry. 

However, during the day, the camera really came to its own. In the sun, pictures dazzled and were very sharp. 

I have now gotten used to brilliant selfie cameras with a multitude of functions and settings but again in the Motorola Moto X Play, the pictures were just okay. I loved the front facing camera of the Honor 7 and the one on the Moto X Play wasn't a patch on it.


Motorola Moto X Play: Battery

3630mAH is a LOT of battery and it helps the Motorola Moto X Play take you through two whole days of medium to high usage. It is one of the, if not the highest capacity battery we have tsted and the lack of full HD helps it to not burn through the battery too quickly. Two hours and change will give you 0-100% charge courtesy of Motorola's turbo charging. An hour's worth of Youtube made it go down from 76% to 72%, usually this knocks off about 20 percent of charge remaining on review phones. 

With low data usage, my Motorola Moto X Play lasted for about three days. So, yes. The battery alone offers full value for money that you will shell out for the phone.

Motorola Moto X Play: Android experience and software

You get what you want: Lolipop. The Moto X Play runs Android 5.1.1 and is slated to upgrade to Android M by the end of 2015. The absence of a theme/skin on top of Android does wonders for it. Not only does this mean you get more bang for your buck as far as memory and storage are concerned. On our review sample which was a 16GB number, we had a little over 10GB to play with. 

Although Android M is supposed to be very light on ROM, we would love to have every last ounce we can for our selfies and Mark Ronson tracks.


Motorola Moto X Play: Processor and performance

It is an octa-core processor that gives the Motorola Moto X Play its brawn. Clocking at four 1.7Ghz and four 1 Ghz cores, the phone ran without any lag or stutter.

Yes, the cores arent the most high specced as some other phones out there but for its peer group, it probably worked the best. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor is the same as the one in the HTC Desire 820, Wileyfox Storm, Sony Xperia M4 Aqua and the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3. 

Qualcomm have off-late faced immense amount of flack to do with their processors overheating, however, during the time I had the phone with me for the review, I had no such issues irrespective of whether I was playing a game on it, listening to an audiobook or streaming media. 

I have previously felt the Sony Xperia Z3 superheat during video recording but even when I chucked the most complicated of tasks at it, the Motorola Moto X Play refused to even warm to the touch. 

An AnTuTu scan gave it a rating of 36507, just below the Nexus 5, and just above the LG G3. Even though this is a lot less than what we have seen in latest flagships- they usually come back with benchmark scores of more than 60,000 but in our regular use of the phone, we thought it was not reflective of the usability and real-world user experience. 

Motorola Moto X Play: Verdict

At the £269 (16GB version), the Motorola Moto X Play offers solid value for money. It ticks all the boxes for someone who would like a no-frills handset that will take them from work to play without the need to juice up.

You get a nearly pure Android experience in a splash-resistant body with expandable memory.

The mid-range of the market isn't what it used to be and it is obvious from the kind of handsets that are on offer for so little. The Motorola Moto X Play enters a highly fought over battlefield where brand loyalty is still fluid. And here it will meet other very worthy opponents like the Honor 7, Oppo R7 and the OnePlus 2.

Whether it will rule over its peer group only time will tell but if it does, it will be a very deserving win. 

Motorola Moto X Play: Specifications

Processor: Octa-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 


Battery: 3630mAH, 

Screen Size: 5.5in, 

Screen resolution: 1,920x1,080, IPS screen

Camera: 21MP rear and 5MP front, 

Storage (available): 16GB (11GB) / 32GB, expandable to 128GB

Size: 148x75x8.9mm, 

Weight: 169g, 

Operating system: Android 5.1.1