Moto Z3 Play officially announced: Here’s everything you need to know

After disappearing for a few months, leaks of Moto Z3 Play picked up over the last two weeks. We knew it would be any day before its announcement, and now the device has become official. Lenovo’s subsidiary, Motorola, announced the brand new smartphone quietly on the heels of the dissapointing Lenovo Z5. Moto Z3 Play will replace last year’s Moto Z2 Play, which was one of our favorite mid-range devices from a year ago. Here’s a rundown.

Moto Z3 Play is the first Moto Z3 model to become official and like last year it includes ‘Moto branding.’ The Moto Z family is Motorola’s premium line with support for Moto Mods. Instead of releasing the whole Moto Z3 family at once, the Moto Z3 Play has come first and the flagship model(s) could come later at an unveiling some time this summer alongside new mods. Of the Moto Z devices, the Play model is the most affordable because its somewhat compromised specs. And yet, it may be the hardest sell considering the big push in the premium mid-range market to provide best bang for your buck smartphones. It’ll be interesting to see how well Motorola competes, especially after the layoffs and restructures the company has gone through thus far in 2018.

The Moto Z3 Play takes cues from last year’s Moto Z2 Play as well as other smartphones in the same category. All in all, it may be a minor upgrade, but there are still some things to look forward to including better performance, a modern design and improved software. A lot of this we learned from leaks, but Motorola did manage to keep a few surprises for the phone’s announcement. Here are some things you should know before considering Moto Z3 play as your daily driver.

For specs, we’re looking at a 6-inch, Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. This means that the phone is taller and narrower than traditional 16:9, which isn’t that common on mid-range devices. Despite the larger screen, less bezel makes for the same overall footprint, which has been a trend in 2018 to maximize screen-to-body ratio even on mid-range devices. Powering the handset is a Snapdragon 636 SoC with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of storage (both expandable). The phone has a sealed 3,000mAh battery that charges via USB Type-C. Best of all, it’s super fast with Turbo Charging. On back of the device, you’ll find dual cameras unlike before. There’s a 12MP primary camera with f/1.7 and 5MP secondary sensor with f/2.0. The front houses an upgraded 8MP shooter with f/2.0 and better wide-angle. As for the camera app, buyers will benefit from built-in Google Lens, which at this time is exclusive to only a few third-party camera apps.

Moto Z3 Play doesn’t include many stand out features but does come with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. Some of the features from Google in Oreo include new notifications, performance and battery improvements by further restricting background data, picture-in-picture mode, new adaptive icons, and system-wide auto-fill. On top are all the essential Motorola features including gestures that make turning on the flashlight or opening up the camera, quick as a breeze. Despite the features, the skin is very lightweight and fast. Moto Z3 Play should be updated with Android software overhauls like Android P some time down the line, and will get the latest Android security patches as they become available. Buyers will also have access to the Google Assistant.

The design is the phone’s biggest difference from last year’s model. It’s glass rather than metal and the bezels have slimmed down just like most other modern devices. However, unlike many flagships that launched in the last month, there’s no notch on this model. This technology may be reserved for future models. Moto Z3 Play also has no home button but does have a fingerprint scanner located on its side alongside the volume controls. There’s also a physical power button and single front speaker. The charging port is on the bottom and there’s no separate headphone jack (adapter in box). On back, there’s a dual LED flash together with the protruding rear camera lens and Moto branding. Motorola says the phone is “splash resistant” for added durability. Other specs include Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. Best of all, all Moto Mods work with the Moto Z3 Play, no matter how old, and if you purchase early, bundled in comes a battery mod at no extra cost.

The Moto Z3 Play will come in just one color (pictured throughout this post) which is a Deep Indigo. It’ll arrive later this summer in the US both unlocked through many retailers and on carriers (Sprint and US Cellular). Normally Verizon sells all the Motorola devices and sometimes even exclusively, though it doesn’t appear that Big Red will sell this one. The unlocked version will go up for pre-order soon priced at $499, which is no more or less than last year’s model. Forging ahead, Moto E5 and Moto G6 will continue to hit retailers and carriers, and the Moto Z3 flagship smartphone might soon be announced with a new Moto Mod and Android One powered Moto One Power.

We’ll update you with the product link once it goes live. For now, you can register for updates over at the Motorola website. Drop your thoughts in the comment section!

Stay tuned to Droid Turf as we’re your source for extensive coverage of the Android ecosystem.

SOURCE [Motorola Blog]

About Doug Demagistris 1627 Articles
Doug Demagistris is the Founder and current Editor In Chief of Droid Turf. He grew up in New York and now attends Bryant University where he is studying marketing and communication. He has been and always will be a Google enthusiast thanks to Android’s customization, flat design and exceptional integration with various Google services. Currently, Doug uses a Pixel 2 XL as his daily driver for its unique design, powerful hardware, exceptional camera, and stock experience. For shorter instances, he’ll glance at his Huawei Watch. And for more productive work, you’ll find him typing away on his Pixelbook. Doug is hopeful his productivity will make lives easier, more meaningful and help down the road.