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Guru
Posts: 2,248
Registered: ‎04-17-2014
Location: US
Views: 10,917
Message 1 of 24

Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Last year, Motorola debuted the Moto Z Play - a phone that had amazing battery life, decent specs, and a price that didn't break the bank.  That phone has been my daily driver for the past year.  With the new Moto Z2 Play, I'm sure users of the original have been wondering: how does the Moto Z2 Play fare against the OG?  Here's my comparison! 

Hardware & Performance

The performance on both are very similar, with the exception that now the Z2 Play also offers a 4GB memory and 64GB storage option with the unlocked version.  The displays are both 5.5" 1080p AMOLED displays, with the Z2 Play's display looking a bit on the warmer side.  
 
Picture
Moto Z2 Play
Picture
Moto Z Play
 
The Moto Z2 Play has the updated Snapdragon 626 versus the Snapdragon 625 from last year.  I honestly didn't see any significant improvement in everyday use to call, and the benchmarks show that there's a slight improvement.  
 
Design
 
 
IMG_20171108_004702 (1).jpg

 

The Moto Z2 Play and the Moto Z Play both share a very similar design to accommodate Moto Mods, albeit a very different feel when holding them side by side.  The Z2 Play is made out of metal through and through, whereas the original Z Play has a metal and glass hybrid design.  I'm going to put it out straight:  I feel that the metal design of the Z2 Play is far superior to the glass back of the Z Play, mainly because you won't see fingerprints on it, and there's a significantly less chance of breaking or scratching it.  

There's also an enlarged fingerprint sensor, which still works the same in terms of speed and accuracy.  The recessed oval sensor of the Z2 Play definitely looks better than the protruding square of the Z Play. 
The speaker on the Z2 and Z Play sound identical, but very small but important detail is that whereas the Z Play's speaker was protruding outwards with a cloth earpiece, this year's Z2 Play's speaker is recessed, meaning dust and grime won't easily accumulate.  It's a very small detail, but something I appreciate nonetheless. 
 
The Z2 Play is also significantly thinner than the Z Play, with a one millimeter difference in thickness.  It might not seem like a lot, but the thinness of the Z2 Play is very impressive when stacked against the Z Play; and makes it easier to hold over long periods of time.  This is one caveat though: the 3510mAh battery of the Z Play is now replaced with the 3000mAh battery on the Z2 Play.  I'll get more into that in a little bit.  
Picture
Moto Z Play
Picture
Moto Z2 Play

Software

The Moto Z2 Play has the same great software experience that Motorola is known for (stock-ish Android with a few tricks up its sleeve like Moto Actions).  All the gestures of former Moto devices have made its way over to this one such as chop for flashlight, twist for camera, flip for Do Not Disturb, etc.  Motorola is consistently so good at improving Android where it can -- and leaving it alone when it can't.  I said this back with the Z Play, and it still holds true for the Z2 Play... the software is some of the best in Android.  
Picture
 
There are a few additions to the Moto suite, so let's get to them.  First is a new feature called One button nav that uses the fingerprint sensor to replace the functionality of on-screen buttons (swiping left on the sensor to go back, swiping right to open the app switcher, and long pressing for the assistant).  This took a bit of getting used to, but after a week, I've been swiping and tapping all over the fingerprint sensor, and I've come to prefer to the on-screen buttons, especially since it gives me an extra centimeter of real estate on the screen. 
There's also a night display that lets the phone​ reduce blue light and instead renders a yellow tone that's easier on the eyes.  I personally never found the use for this, but your mileage may vary. 
While last year's Moto Voice augmented "Ok Google", this year's Moto Voice features a set of voice commands starting in "Show me".  Bascially, you can say "Show me the weather" or "Show me Facebook," and the show me screen will display for 5 seconds.  It's pretty useful, especially if you want to see a visual representation of your information rather than audio.  
 
Picture
 
Picture
 
 
Moto Display also got a visual makeover.  Functionality wise, it's almost identical, with the exception of a feature to reply to messages while the phone is locked.  Visually, Motorola made the Moto Display look a bit more colorful, with all the information encased inside a colored ring telling you the battery.  I prefer this design over the boring black and white approach from last year. 
 
Picture
 

Camera

The camera on the Z2 Play is definitely better than the Z Play, specifically in low-light shooting.  Photos shot in low light with the Z2 Play tend to come out with more detail, less noisy, and brighter.  In bright light, you'll be far-fetched to find a huge difference. Instead of explaining it, take a look at some same photos below.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Battery 

Here's the part that the newer Moto Z2 Play takes a step back from the Z Play.  Last year's Moto Z Play could get me about 8 hours of screen on time, and I basically could go two to three days without charging it.  This year's Moto Z2 Play gets me a solid 6-7 hours of screen on time.  The phone can still last me two days if I used it moderately, but it's certainly not the battery champ as the Z Play.  For that type of battery life, I would highly suggest one of the many battery Moto Mods.  I have this one, which essentially adds 2200mAh of battery to my phone, and it's not that thick or heavy either.  

Bottom line: The battery life on the Z2 Play is great, but not the amazing of last year's Z Play, which is the ultimate battery champ.  
 
 Conclusion
Verizon currently has this phone for $408, or $10 a month over 24 months if you open a new line.  That's a really great price for this hardware, and I say it's totally worth it.  There's also an unlocked version for $499 with the 4GB of memory I mentioned, 

Keep in mind though, that all Verizon phones come GSM unlocked.  This means that you can actually use the Verizon version of the Moto Z2 Play on T-Mobile, AT&T, and other GSM networks, as long as the phone is paid off.  I know some people who are on Verizon now and are looking to switch carriers in the future would be curious, so here's the important part:  I'm currently using the Verizon version on T-Mobile.  It has all the necessary bands and frequencies needed for T-Mobile, so LTE and coverage is not a problem.  You'll be loosing out on VoLTE though, if that matters to you.  Extended LTE on T-Mobile is still available though! 

And for AT&T, I tried it with a friend's SIM and can vouch that it works perfectly on that network too.  Those are the two main GSM carriers in the U.S, and I can say that the Verizon version of this phone works fine on both.  

So there you have it, my Moto Z2 Play review & comparison with the Moto Z Play.  If you're thinking of switch from the Moto Z Play like I did, then you'll most likely be impressed with the new design, software, and camera, but disappointed with the compromised battery life.  

If your main emphasis is on battery life, then last year's Moto Z Play is still the best option out there (plus, Best Buy and other retailers have it for $399 now).  However, if you're looking for a better low-light shooter or dig the new design of the Z2 Play, then you'll be extremely satisfied with it.  

Regards,
Eric Xu

I'm a Lenovo forums advocate and brand advocate (Lenovo INsider). I'm a volunteer; I don't work for Lenovo.

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Biji_moto
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎08-01-2017
Location: ID
Views: 10,836
Message 2 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

How to make launcher like that?

You should take better low light photos bro 😁

Guru
Posts: 2,248
Registered: ‎04-17-2014
Location: US
Views: 10,833
Message 3 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

I use Action Launcher Smiley Happy

 

And all the low light photos are with almost no lighting.


Regards,
Eric Xu

I'm a Lenovo forums advocate and brand advocate (Lenovo INsider). I'm a volunteer; I don't work for Lenovo.

Did someone help you today? Press the star on the left to thank them with a Kudo!

If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!


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Tommino84
Paper Tape
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-21-2017
Location: IT
Views: 10,512
Message 4 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Eric a part from launcher, what about that command center version? Is it part of the launcher? Otherwise: do you have the apk?

 

thanks

Guru
Posts: 2,248
Registered: ‎04-17-2014
Location: US
Views: 10,510
Message 5 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Hi, here's the app link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-EQqpEb645uT2dtM1h6ZVpYTzQ/view


Regards,
Eric Xu

I'm a Lenovo forums advocate and brand advocate (Lenovo INsider). I'm a volunteer; I don't work for Lenovo.

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Biji_moto
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎08-01-2017
Location: ID
Views: 10,504
Message 6 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

This what I like more:

* Dual SIM card slot with sdcard, so we don't have to choose either using dual SIM or sdcard

* Always on display

* f/1.7 camera, shot near object the background will blurred (bokeh)

 

One of my question is why still using 32 bit OS, even Linux distros now dropping 32 bit support

 

 

 

titaniumtux
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎12-21-2017
Location: CA
Views: 9,743
Message 7 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Good comparison. I am currently on Moto Z Play 2016, and just got the Moto Z2 Play (2017). Waiting for the accessories (screen protector and case) to arrive in the mail prior to migrating everything over.

 

Here are my reasons for upgrading:

  1. Double the storage on international model vs. 2016 carrier model (2017 carrier model is also not interesting for me)
  2. FM radio (didn't have that in 2016 model)
  3. Dual sim with LTE compatibility around the globe on international variant as well as US/Canadian variants (2016 international variant lacks LTE band 4, which is a deal-breaker for me), my Moto Z Play 2016 is single-sim and I think dual-sim is the future. Non-data sim drops to 3G which is perfectly fine for me (don't need or use VoLTE)
  4. Continued compatibility with Moto Mods (which I just started collecting now that there are insane promotions)
  5. Nice tweaks to the launcher and user interface, plus new Moto voice commands, continued features I love like the built-in driving mode

Anyone who couldn't care less about Motorola, the OnePlus 5T seems to be a promising alternative. I'm quite the Motorola fan, and am not looking to switch brands any time soon. Here's what annoys me a little about Moto Z2 Play so far:

  1. No active/official 3rd party development, no custom ROM's at the time of writing
  2. Although possible to root, not for the faint of heart with Android 7.1.1 (booting into TWRP requires some sort of flashing, else the phone soft-bricks, not Motorola's fault). Not a big deal, since most custom ROM's are not compatible with Moto Mods

My plan is to stay non-rooted until the right custom ROM pops up. The perks of the Moto Z2 Play off-set the inconvenience of not rooting or not flashing a custom ROM. I can patiently wait for Android 8 since some oreo features such as apps badges and 3D touch are already there.

zenstate
SCSI Port
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎01-02-2018
Location: CA
Views: 9,146
Message 8 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

What a great comparison!  Thanks!

 

By the way...  where did you get that moto clockwidget?  The stock one doesn't do that.  I really love the side panels with battery and other info.  I want it!

---------------------------------
My Moto's: Z2 Play - Z Play Droid - 8x Moto Mods
Guru
Posts: 2,248
Registered: ‎04-17-2014
Location: US
Views: 9,130
Message 9 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Here's a link to it:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-EQqpEb645uT2dtM1h6ZVpYTzQ/view


Regards,
Eric Xu

I'm a Lenovo forums advocate and brand advocate (Lenovo INsider). I'm a volunteer; I don't work for Lenovo.

Did someone help you today? Press the star on the left to thank them with a Kudo!

If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!


Please read the Community Guidelines before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

Motorola   •IdeaPad   •ThinkPad   •Gaming   •ThinkCentre   •IdeaCentre   •Think Tablets   •Lenovo Tablets



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zenstate
SCSI Port
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎01-02-2018
Location: CA
Views: 9,114
Message 10 of 24

Re: Moto Z2 Play VS Moto Z Play? My in-depth comparison!

Thanks so much!

---------------------------------
My Moto's: Z2 Play - Z Play Droid - 8x Moto Mods
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