Tested Moto Z2 Play
With all-round performance to match its clip-on cleverness, has the modular smartphone come of age with Moto’s latest affordable powerhouse?
A moddin’ delight for smartphone tinkering
£379 / stuff.tv/motoz2play Most mid-price phones are pretty interchangeable – anyone can cram some decent hardware behind a spangy screen and slap a logo on it. If you’re after something properly exciting and unique, though? Look no further than the Moto Z2 Play.
Motorola’s modular mobiles made us sit up and take notice when they first showed up last year, even if they were beaten on value by the Oneplus 3. This year the price is right, and the hardware might be even better.
The Z2 Play doesn’t look all that different from last year’s Moto Z Play – well, if they’d tweaked the design too much it wouldn’t fit the existing range of Moto Mods. But the fingerprint-happy glass back has been ditched for an all-metal design, and it’s been slimmed down by a millimetre.
It does look a bit ‘naked’ without a Moto Mod attached, because of that bulging camera module at the top and the exposed contact points near the bottom. Slap on the included wooden cover plate and things look a lot more tidy. 1 Trigger finger The bezels around that 5.5in screen are a little chunky, but otherwise this feels every bit the high-end phone. That’s partly down to the new fingerprint sensor. The ugly square of old is dead, replaced with a much slicker – and quicker – round one. 2 Sticking around Moto’s take on modular phones has outlasted both Google’s Project Ara and the LG G5’s Friends. The 16 pins on the back let you pop different Moto Mods on and off without having to shut the phone down first, and tough magnets hold them in place. 3 Play in the sunshine The Z2 Play sticks to Full HD resolution, stretched over 5.5in – sharp enough to make your photos and videos look great. It’s an AMOLED panel, which means impeccable contrast as well as superb viewing angles, and it’s plenty bright.
Lens in high places It’s impossible to miss, seeing how far it sticks out without a Mod attached, so it’s a good job the camera is up to snuff. Essentially the same 12MP f/1.7 setup seen in the Moto G5 Plus, with the same dual-pixel autofocus, it offers similarly solid image quality. 5 This dragon’s not draggin’ The Snapdragon 626 CPU can run Android 7.1 smoothly, and 4GB of RAM is enough to keep a handful of apps simmering while you multitask without having to reload them. There’s a healthy 64GB of storage for your apps and games, plus a microsd slot.