The Moto Z2 Play isn’t radically different from its predecessor. In fact, it even sacrificed certain aspects of the Z Play that made the latter such a compelling smartphone in favour of a slimmer body. This, in turn, really got us thinking: is the Z2 Play worth upgrading to?
Well, while the Z2 Play may only offer incremental upgrades for the most part, it’s definitely a more refined device than its predecessor. Then again, this comes at a price too, and it’s a rather steep one.
In terms of hardware and looks, the Moto Z2 Play is pretty similar to the Moto Z Play. It still comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, its overall design isn’t drastically different, and it’s now powered by a slightly more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 chipset.
Even though the Z2 Play still looks quite a bit like its predecessor, there are some subtle changes. The glass back of the Z Play, for one, has been swapped for a more durable metal panel. I personally think this gives the Z2 Play a sleeker look, although I’m still not a big fan of the exposed pins at the bottom.
Another noteworthy change with the Z2 Play is its thin chassis. Measuring only 5.99mm thin, the Z2 Play feels much slimmer than the Z Play, which is thicker at 7mm. Thankfully, even with the reduced thickness, the Z2 Play still has a headphone jack.
Unfortunately, the thinner chassis of the Z2 Play also means a smaller battery: it features a smaller 3,000mAh battery than the Z Play’s 3,510mAh cell. Of course, we can’t say for sure just how much this will affect the Z2 Play’s battery life yet, but given the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 626 chipset, we imagine it will be a pretty long-lasting device nonetheless.
Other aspects of the Moto Z2 Play are good too. It has solid build quality, the volume rocker and power button have just the right amount of resistance and tactile feedback, and the fact that the Z2 Play will work with all Moto Mods available in the market now may appeal to certain consumers – they do add rather interesting features.
Camera performance of the Z2 Play, on the other hand, holds some promise. Yes, its 12MP f/1.7 rear camera doesn’t come with optical image stabilisation, but after taking some quick shots with the device at MWC Shanghai, I was pleasantly surprised with the camera. Autofocus performance is good, the camera app is responsive – although with a slight delay in between shots – and…it definitely seems fitting for a mid-range smartphone.
The Moto Z2 Play is certainly an interesting mid-range smartphone, but whether or not it will be a compelling device will depend almost entirely on how much it will be priced here in Malaysia. To put things into context, its predecessor, the Moto Z Play, went for RM1,799 locally; that’s already pretty steep for a mid-range smartphone.
Hopefully, the Z2 Play will be priced competitively once it lands in Malaysia this Thursday on 6 July. In a price-sensitive market like ours, Motorola Malaysia has to price the Z2 Play right.