Motorola Moto Z3 Play
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About the Phone
A bit on the heavy side but good-looking, Moto Z3 Play can be immediately identified by its design likeness to its predecessors. Similarly, modularity remains its main flagship, which is becoming redundant. However, this time, it comes with a battery that supports Turbocharge, making the phone your constant companion backing you up in your day-to-day functions.
The modularity of the Z series of Motorola seems to keep it as a rare flagship model. Z3 Play comes with some great mods that can turn it to 10x zoom camera, loudspeaker and many more giving the user different ways to enhance their device.
Powered by the mid-range processor and a moderate battery, at first, Z3 Play seems to offer mediocre performance. While the processor is capable for basic features, the battery comes with Turbocharging which can inject enough juice in a half an hour, making it one of the fastest charging devices in the market.
Despite being in the mid-range category, Moto Z3 Play comes out to be just average. There are more-efficient phones in the market, and this set could be recommended only for Motorola fans or people who want to customise their device.
Motorola Moto Z3 Play is one of the few phones that’s keeping up with modularity, while similar flagships are discarding it. Priced at Rs. 33300, it is super-thin and has AMOLED display which is always a great attachment at this range, coupled with a fast-charging battery for all-time use.
This mid-range phone is capable enough for basic uses, but it has some shortcomings that cannot be avoided. At its price range, there are better phones in the flagship market, without the modularity feature that remains its only selling point.
The Z series does not bring about many changes in design due to the Mod Attachment feature that it comes with. It has an aluminium frame and weighs 156g which is not very light. The left side has the single screen lock button, and the right side has the volume buttons and the fingerprint sensor. It has shifted to give more room for the extended 6-inch screen. The fingerprint reader is quite snappy.
Moto Z3 Play is clad in glass on the back, which looks good but attracts a lot of finger smudges. It has a large camera bulge on its back which looks terrible and outdated considering most flagship phones removing the camera bulge from their sets. It is not equipped with a headphone jack nor a speaker grill – the earpiece above the screen doubles up as a loudspeaker, though the sound quality isn’t rich enough. Like its predecessor, the Moto Z3 Play is just splash-resistant and without the IP68 waterproofing.
Moto Z3 Play has a 6-inch AMOLED screen with a FullHD+ resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 which produces sharp display but not quite as bright as Galaxy S9 and S8. The AMOLED screen provides deep colour, especially the black tones which are enhanced when it blends with the bezels around the screen. Notch-free and thin bezels provide enough screen space though it is not an edge-to-edge screen. The brightness is not great either capping at around 411 nits at max which is low considering the whopping 603 nits of OnePlus 6. Sunlight legibility is not that great. Regarding colour tuning, it achieved a 140 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is near the 128 percent achieved by iPhone X. It’s a reasonable display, though not quite excellent for a mid-range phone.
Moto Z3 Play is powered by Snapdragon’s 636 processor and 4GB of RAM which is a good mid-range processor. Camera app launches easily, and multitasking is smooth, though intense tasks can get the device to stutter a bit. On bench scores, Z3 Play scored 4,982 which is quite impressive and higher than the high-end Pixel’s 4,176 points. The GPU, however, was weak, not even getting to triple digits in graphics test, capping at just 953, whereas Honor View 10 got 2,958 points. It is not a phone that would give you a good gaming experience. Plus, it falls way behind considering the Snapdragon 835-powered flagship phones that are currently in the market.
Moto Z3 Play is fitted with a rear 12MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture and a 5-MP secondary camera. The secondary camera does not click picture but comes with depth sensing for portrait mode and bokeh effects, a feature unlike most dual-camera sets like Samsung Galaxy S9+ and iPhone 8. However, Motorola’s camera produces crisp images which are as good as OnePlus 6, but with better contrast and vivid colours.
However, in Portrait mode, the depth sensing may not be accurate, blurring parts of the subject along with the background. Low-light images are inferior and OnePlus 6 sails past Z3’s low-light photography capabilities. Z3 Play’s low-light photos are noisy, captures very little colour and makes the details too fuzzy.
The front camera is 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture is a good selfie shooter which produces detailed images, worthy for display pictures.
4K videos captured through the rear camera is crisp, but the lack of stabilisation may end up giving it shaky footage.
Moto Z3 Play provides a standard, mid-range battery of 3,000 mAh. It can smoothly run through the day with moderate use and may need a bit of a charge at the end after intense use. It fares better than Z2 play lasting for 10 hours and 3 minutes in continuous web browsing, a half-hour improvement over its predecessor. Turbopower charging is a great asset. It can take the phone to 100% within 85 minutes.
Moto Z3 Play is not the cheapest mid-range phone in the market but comes with the signature Z series modularity which is unrivalled at this range. It provides an average performance and a good battery paired with it. The design is redundant, and the poor camera quality makes it a difficult recommendation to make. If creating your own flagship is not your priority, then Asus ZenFone V would be a better consideration as a killer-on-a-budget flagship model.