Moto Z Play Droid critique: A mid-range modular phone with a headphone jack

The Moto Z and Moto Z Force are members of Lenovo/ Motorolas finest smartphones and its Moto Mods are the best shot at shaping modular telephones a reality( at the least until Googles Project Ara propels next year ).

Joining the Z household is the brand-new Moto Z Play Droid, an Android device with mid-range specs, a long-lasting artillery and one peculiarity the Z and Z Force dont have: a headphone jack.

Works with all Moto Mods

A Verizon-exclusive in the U.S ., the Z Play Droid eschews the Z and Z Forces rigid metal design for a glass sandwich( a booming trend in the Android nature ).

It still has the same magnetic rod arrangement protruding out of the backside for interfacing with Moto Mods. Its fully consistent with all existing Moto Mods, like the expensive portable projector, external talker, battery battalion and the brand-new Hasselblad True Zoom camera attachment.



In my opinion, the metal pins clash with the glass back. I much prefer the cohesive coldness of the exposed rods with the striped metal on the Z and Z Force. Its not the ugliest design by any means( I like the the glass back sound ). Its only not as elegant as its siblings.

The massive camera protrusion is still an eyesore, but like I told when I reviewed the Z and Z Force, its easily mitigated by throwing on a Moto Shell Case( sold separately) to see the entire backside flush.

The middle sibling

The screens the same 5.5 inches, but with a lower full HD( 1,920 x 1,080) solution as opposed to a sharper Quad HD( 2,560 x 1,440) resolving. Its plenty sharp-worded with 403 pixels per inch( ppi) and you wont find many faultings looking at it, but if youre proposing on using it with VR headsets like Google Cardboard or the Homido V2, youre going to get a subpar viewing experience.

The fingerprint sensor jobs but it’s no residence button.


Below the screen “re the same” squircle-shaped fingerprint sensor like on the Z and Z Force and G4 and G4 Plus. Its super responsive and long-pressing it to fasten the screen is still handy. The only downside is its still not a home button. Pressing it expecting it to bring you back to the homescreen is a lost cause. The fingerprint sensor is also useful for buying happenings with Android Pay.

The Z Play Droids no powerhouse with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM. While its not in the same conference as the beefier Z and Z Force, its good enough to play Pokmon Go and take all the Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook you throw at it. Its not like most people are exploiting their phones to construct rocket ships for NASA or anything.

As always, Lenovos kept Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow primarily inventory with a few “of ones own” Motorola twists such as the quick camera launching( doubled spin gesticulate) and quick flashlight( double chop gesticulate ). Theres also Moto Display, Actions and Voice, which provide a more contextually-aware phone experience.

So much bloatware.

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

Excessive bloatware is still an issue. Most of them are from Verizon and third-party apps youll wishes to either immediately remove or incapacitate. Bloatware is the cost when phone manufacturers sign a deal with the carriers and they care more about their own partnership sakes than satisfying clients. You know, the people who are supposed to pay money for these things.

Pull out the nano SIM card tray and youll too a meet a microSD poster slit to expand the 32 GB of internal storage up to a theoretical 2TB( 256 GB cards are the largest currently available and theyre kinda pricey ).

The Z Force Droid is equipped with a 16 -megapixel camera on the back with dual-LED light, laser autofocus and chapter sensing autofocus. The front camera is a 5-megapixel shooter with an LED flash.


The cameras have always a weak point on Motorola smartphones and while the Z Force Droid takes good photos, they sallow in comparison to what Samsungs Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Note7 are capable of.

For video, the rear camera can film 4K video at up to 30 chassis per second( fps) and slow-motion video at 720 p settlement at 120 fps.

As I mentioned earlier, battery life is pretty good on the Z Play Droid. Motorola claims its good for up to 50 hours on a charge with mixed usage. As a moderately heavy used, I got around 40 hours on service charges, but as always, if you administer your telephone situates well, you can squeeze more battery life from a single commission. Besides, the Z Play Droid substantiates speedy accusing with the included Turbo Charger which gives you up to 10 hours of battery life with 15 minutes of topping off via the reversible USB-C port.

A meagre modular phone


The success of modular telephones depends on two things: tons of( hopefully affordable) modules that is actually represent investing in the modular structure worth noting and lots of phone alternatives to choose from.

Adding the Z Play Droid renders Lenovo and purchasers three choices to pick from. If the Moto Zs battery is too thin and the Moto Z Forces battery is extremely thick-witted and both phones’ shortage of a headphone jack isnt kosher to you, then maybe the $408( full cost, payable in monthly installments) Z Play Droid is the one for you.

The only thing high-end about the Z Play Droid might be its metal and glass intend, but thats okay because its not intended to compete with the S7 and iPhone 6S. Its the modular telephone for the masses who have a tighter budget … if youre on Verizon or plan to switch to it.( There will be an unlocked verison of the Z Play Droid available in October for $450.)

Moto Z Play Droid

The Good

Works with all Moto Mods Long battery life Includes a headphone jack Water-repellent

The Bad

Weaker performance So much Verizon bloatware Average cameras Fingerprint sensor still doesnt run like a residence button

The Bottom Line

The Moto Z Play Droid is a respectable addition to the Moto Z modular pedigree, but it isnt a groundbreaking device.

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