Moto Z2 Play review

GSMArena team, 10 October 2017.

Google Photos for gallery and video playback

Moto uses the default option for viewing pictures or videos on Android: Google Photos. Gallery functionality isn't as intuitive as other custom galleries, but there are plenty of features and functionalities for Google Photos.

Just keep in mind, many of these features require you to upload all of your photos to Google's photo cloud. You can search photos by person or keyword, and Google Photos can even automatically generate collages, GIFs, and short video montages.

Google Photos - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Google Photos - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Google Photos - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Google Photos - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Google Photos

If you opt out of Google's cloud service, you can still manage albums and edit photos. There are plenty of editing tools as well. What you won't find in Google Photos is a way to scribble on photos or inserting stickers. But you will be able to use filters, basic crop and rotation, and light/color correction with levels.

Photo preview  Photo editor: Filters and Auto adjustment - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Photo preview  Photo editor: levels - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Photo preview  Photo editor: crop and rotate - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Photo preview  Photo editor: crop and rotate - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Photo preview Photo editor: Filters and Auto adjustment levels crop and rotate

Video playback is quite barebones. You can seek with a progress bar, toggle loop playback, or share the video. You can also edit videos taken with the phone, though it's only a very basic trimming tool. Otherwise, there's no support for subtitles, swipe-to-seek, or playback speed adjustment.

Video playback - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Video playback - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Video playback

For any of that and more, just head on over to the Play Store and take your pick. We still think its great that Lenovo isn't enforcing one on you.

Google Play Music

Using Google's default audio player seems only fitting as well. Google Play Music offers a vast collection of music, or you can upload up to 50,000 tracks from your own MP3 collection that you can stream anywhere you go. You can opt for a subscription that includes all of the features above with no ads and unlimited skips. YouTube Red comes bundled with the subscription, too, and it allows for watching YouTube videos offline, screen-off playback, and an ad-free viewing experience.

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Google Play Music cloud content

Google Play Music is very contextual and can recommend music for you based on your location. It learns what you listen to, and at what times to offer suggestions for stations or playlists.

But even if you don't want to take advantage of the cloud aspects of Google Music, it is still quite functional for local audio playback. Granted, navigation is arguably cumbersome. You have a hamburger menu with several options. Still, you can browse by playlist, stations, artists, albums, songs, and genres.

Local music library - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Local music library - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Local music library - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Local music library - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Local music library

Most in-app settings are geared towards online use as well. However, you do get access to system audio equalizers. The Moto Z2 Play has a pair of them - for headphones and loudspeaker, respectively.

Settings and equalizers - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review Settings and equalizers - Motorola Moto Z2 Play review
Settings and equalizers

FM Radio

While flagship models tend to skip FM radio receivers for one reason or another, the feature is a lot more common and sought after in more affordable devices. Unlike the Moto Z2 Force, the Moto Z2 Play does come with a radio.

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FM radio

The receiver is capable of RDS and the accompanying application is neat and functional, offering up favorites and recording.

Other apps

There's not really much else on board the Moto Z2 Play that is not a part of the Google app package. For the sake of thoroughness, we will mention that there is a calculator and a clock, both courtesy of the Moto team.

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Calculator Clock Google app package

We can only assume that is Google offered solutions, they would have been loaded on instead as well.

Reader comments

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

  • Anonymous

Average phone with higher price, with a odd camera bump.