Motorola Moto X Play review: Crowd pleaser

Crowd pleaser

Hristo Zlatanov, 16 October, 2015.

Telephony and messaging

The contacts manager features a tabbed interface, which displays all contacts and the favorites. You can sync with multiple accounts including Google and Exchange. A button to add a new contact is constantly present in the bottom right corner - you can choose which account to sync the new addition with.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
Contacts app

The phone app comes with a tabbed interface for speed dial, recent calls and all contacts. The dialer is invoked by taping on its dedicated key and supports smart dialing.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
Dialer app

The Moto X Play doesn't have the Style's stereo speakers, unfortunately. It has a single one, located behind the slit below the display. The smartphone scored a Good rating in our loudspeaker test. It's not as loud as the Moto G (3rd gen), but it's still fairly certain you won't be missing calls or notifications in all but the loudest environments.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
LG G2 65.7 62.2 66.2 Below Average
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua (Clear Audio) 67.5 60.7 69.0 Below Average
Motorola Nexus 6 66.5 66.2 66.3 Below Average
LG G Flex2 66.5 65.8 70.5 Average
Meizu m2 note 65.2 62.1 75.7 Average
Samsung Galaxy A7 64.8 66.3 73.5 Average
Xiaomi Redmi Note 65.9 66.7 75.7 Good
Meizu m1 note 67.7 66.2 75.7 Good
Motorola Moto X Play 69.8 66.6 75.7 Good
LG G3 70.2 66.6 80.2 Good
Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen 75.7 69.6 75.9 Very Good
Sony Xperia C4 (ClearAudio+ enabled) 71.1 70.5 79.9 Very Good
Oppo R7 Plus 73.7 72.8 79.9 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent
OnePlus 2 75.7 73.5 80.7 Excellent
Meizu MX4 Pro 76.9 73.6 82.7 Excellent


Messaging is pretty much as straightforward an affair as on every other droid out there. The generic Email app is being decommissioned in favor of the Gmail app. If you tap on its icon, it will tell you the Gmail app is the client that will handle all your emails from now on. As expected, the default Google keyboard is on board as well.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
Messages app Google Keyboard Email takes you to Gmail

Multimedia

There's a Gallery app on board, which is the stock AOSP gallery, modified by Motorola. You're greeted with a grid view of your albums, and you can easily create a new one. Inside the album the images are displayed two-a-row, and no pinch gesture is going to change that.

The editor, on the other hand, is a bit more powerful. It offers the obvious cropping, rotation and mirroring, color filters and picture frames, but also more serious editing like curves adjustment.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
The Gallery app viewing and editing images

There's no dedicated video player, the task is handled from within the gallery. It doesn't do a terribly good job and refuses to play DivX, WMV and MOV files. MP4 and XviD videos player fine, but you'd be needing a third-party app, if you do any video watching on the Moto X Play.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
Watching a video

Finally, Google Play Music is the default player for your tunes on the Moto X Play. The app has been treated to the new material design, though it functionality remains unchanged - it can play your local files, as well as stream music from the cloud.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
Google Play Music

The Moto X Play has an FM radio receiver and one of the nicer apps to go with it. It supports RDS for automatic station naming, you can create favorites, and it could also play without headphones attached, though it didn't quite work as reception was terrible at our location. There's a sleep feature, too.

Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play Motorola Moto X Play
FM radio

Audio output impresses with loudness, clarity

The Motorola Moto X Play may not be a proper flagship, but its audio output is certainly worthy of one. The smartphone did flawlessly in the active external amplifier test, posting excellent scores top to bottom and garnishing them with super high volume levels.

More impressively, the volume doesn't drop even one bit when you plug in a pair of headphones and the overall clarity is barely affected. Outside of a moderate jump in stereo crosstalk, there are no detectable differences between the two testing scenarios - that's certainly better than many $500+ smartphones can offer.

And here go the results.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Motorola Moto X Play+0.03, -0.04-93.893.50.0035 0.0085-95.2
Motorola Moto X Play (headphones attached) +0.05, -0.03-93.593.10.0110.070-59.4
LG G Flex2+0.01, -0.06-92.592.50.0031 0.012-91.5
LG G Flex2 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.10-92.692.10.0027 0.387-60.1
LG G3+0.02, -0.08-99.498.90.00160.035-100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached)+0.02, -0.09-93.793.30.00600.032-78.5
Oppo Find 7+0.04, -0.10-93.893.10.0053 0.177-94.4
Oppo Find 7 (headphones attached)+0.70, -0.20-93.791.50.013 0.446-52.6
Motorola Nexus 6+0.03, -0.14-95.693.10.0028 1.076-96.6
Motorola Nexus 6 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.10-95.391.20.0052 0.015-56.9

Motorola Moto X Play frequency response
Motorola Moto X Play frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Gulab

I am using Moto x play from last about 3 years .The problems I an facing is Camera which frequently stops and specially when in need .The Torch stops opening .I gave it to Lenovo ( Moto)service centre twice but the problem still persists. I am really...

  • rohit

you should try to format your moto x play

  • Anonymous

I had the same problem. It went away when I cleared cache memory...