Moto Z2 Play review

GSMArena team, 10 October 2017.

Telephony

The Moto Z2 Play's dialer is simple and clean. There are only three tabs: favorites, call history, and contacts. The dial pad is accessed by the blue button at the bottom. From here, you can use alpha-numeric input of the dialer to search for a name.

Dialer: Favorites - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Dialer: Call history - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Dialer: Contacts - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Dialer: Pad - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Dialer: Favorites • Call history • Contacts • Pad

The dialer has an integrated call blocker, which can be found in the dialer's Settings.

In-call screen - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Dialer settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Call settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
In-call screen • Dialer settings • Call settings

Do Not Disturb mode settings can be found under "Sound" in the Settings app. Here, you can fine tune which calls or notification have priority. You can also set rules for when the phone should automatically go into Do Not Disturb mode.

Sound settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Do Not Disturb settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Do Not Disturb settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Do Not Disturb settings - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Sound settings • Do Not Disturb settings

Messaging

Even though Hangouts is perfectly capable of handling all your messages, SMS and MMS included, Lenovo has opted not to pre-load it on the Moto Z2 Play and go for a proprietary app instead.

Messages app - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Messages app - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Messages app

It is really simple and reminiscent of the AOSP messages app. You get conversation aggregation, plentiful attachment support and that's about it.

Gboard for text input

Gboard is the default keyboard from Google and offers many features, predictive text, simultaneous language support, emoji and GIF search, and perform Google searches directly from the keyboard. You can look something up or share a result.

Gboard - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Gboard - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Gboard - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Gboard - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Gboard - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Gboard

And just in case you are hankering for some extra tactile feeling, just like the days of old, Motorola's Mod platform might just have you covered. This startup campaign for a sliding, backlit keyboard is definitely worth checking out. However, keep in mind that it is a third-party accessory in early development. Still better than not having any alternatives to on-screen typing at all.

Loudspeaker

Since the Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z2 Play are almost identical in dimensions and overall control shapes and placements, it only makes sense for their loudspeakers to perform equally well. Both phones employ a single speaker design - a hybrid approach, that acts as an earpiece as well.

While this has the potential to end up a disaster, the Moto Z2 Play pulls it off masterfully, just like its more expensive sibling. The output might be mono, but it's loud and falls just a bit short of what the Z2 Force managed in our tests and well within the margin of error.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi Max 67.1 66.2 68.1 Average
Oppo F3 Plus 62.3 69.8 70.0 Average
nubia Z17 62.1 71.2 73.8 Average
Samsung Galaxy C7 67.3 67.8 72.8 Average
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 63.4 68.6 76.4 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 69.5 69.3 71.1 Good
LG G6 66.8 68.8 74.5 Good
Moto Z Play 62.9 70.3 77.0 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 70.0 69.1 71.8 Good
Lenovo Moto Z Force Droid 69.5 68.0 77.6 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625) 67.3 70.3 81.5 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 6 66.1 69.0 84.1 Very Good
OnePlus 5 69.2 72.9 77.5 Very Good
Huawei P10 67.7 70.0 83.6 Very Good
Motorola Moto Z2 Play 66.1 70.0 85.3 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) 67.8 71.2 83.1 Very Good
Lenovo Moto Z2 Force 68.2 70.2 86.1 Very Good
Lenovo P2 67.6 72.1 86.7 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Max 2 78.4 71.7 79.2 Excellent

The speaker itself also has the benefit of a front-facing placement, which is great for multimedia and has a surprisingly wide range as well. Naturally, you can't expect any serious bass out of such a tiny speaker, but the Moto Z2 Play does do a great job of playing back boomy tracks. Cranking the volume up doesn't lead to distortion either.

Audio output is loud and clear

The Motorola Moto Z2 Play demonstrated perfectly clean output when hooked up to an active external amplifier. Its loudness was among the highest we’ve seen too, rounding up a great performance in the first half of our test.

Volume remained just as high with headphones and the degradation was impressively low, so we were in for another excellent showing here. Stereo quality was the only affected reading, and even it remained pretty good.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Motorola Moto Z2 Play+0.01, -0.04-93.493.50.00240.0082-94.4
Motorola Moto Z2 Play (headphones)+0.02, -0.03-93.293.20.0150.054-56.3
Xiaomi Mi 5X+0.15, -0.04-90.191.30.00170.0085-82.3
Xiaomi Mi 5X (headphones)+0.15, -0.04-90.091.10.0160.043-64.9
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)+0.01, -0.03-92.892.80.00320.031-92.3
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) (headphones)+0.23, -0.15-92.191.80.0130.223-77.3
Xiaomi Redmi 4+0.06, -0.02-94.390.80.0024 0.0089-94.0
Xiaomi Redmi 4 (headphones)+0.06, -0.04-93.890.60.035 0.044-79.5

Motorola Moto Z2 Play frequency response
Motorola Moto Z2 Play frequency response

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

Reader comments

  • Salman Khan

I buy new phone moto Z2 play i need to update

in the review it says the z2 play has wifi ac (5GHz) Wave 2, but it does not. it only has wifi N 5ghz

  • Anonymous

No audio with GPS