Moto Z3 Play Review: It’s Pretty Good

moto z3 play review

Ever for the reason that authentic Moto Z Play arrived in 2018 and strangely changed into one of my favourite telephones of all time ^(, I’ve seemed ahead to new additions to the Z Play line-up. The Moto Z2 Play from ultimate yr was once additionally just right, however didn’t moderately carry the similar degree of pleasure ^( So with the Moto Z3 Play arriving in contemporary weeks ^(, I used to be curious to peer if it would re-light a few of that authentic magic and get me excited once more.

For probably the most phase, after having spent the previous couple of weeks with the telephone, I feel it’s secure to mention that it has introduced again a few of the ones particular feels. It’s no longer highest, however I’m a reasonably large fan of the Moto Z3 Play and feature loved the usage of it at the day-to-day.

Let’s communicate extra about that during our Moto Z3 Play evaluation.

moto z3 play review

What do I love?


The Moto Z3 Play is a pleasant taking a look telephone. Past Moto Z telephones all had giant chins and loads of bezel, but this Z3 Play ushers in a brand new, fashionable styling from Motorola. They’ve moved the fingerprint reader to the aspect (which is superior ^( and expanded the demonstrate from most sensible to backside, matching present all-display developments.

The telephone could also be made from steel and glass, so it feels great within the hand. The deep indigo (blue) colorway that the Z3 Play is to be had in is tremendous sharp too. We don’t frequently get telephones that aren’t black or white or silver, so this being a special colour provides to the sexiness.

It’s nonetheless just a little broad for my hand, however the thinness of it makes it lovely simple to carry. It’s stupidly gentle as smartly, so that you’ll by no means get fatigue from protecting it like it’s possible you’ll an Essential Phone.

The one eyesore here’s the digicam puck at the bottom. Unfortunately, it must be there to assist grasp Moto Mods in position and make allowance Motorola to stay the telephone tremendous skinny.

moto z3 play review

Battery lifestyles

In fairly disappointing information, I do wish to inform you that the Moto Z3 Play additionally does no longer are living as much as the unique Moto Z Play because the battery god of the century. I’d say it’s 3000mAh battery is extra in step with the Moto Z2 Play, which isn’t horrible, it’s simply no longer game-changing like that first telephone was once.

On maximum days, I used to be hammering away with 4+ hours of display on time and the telephone would ultimate till I went to mattress. A handful of nights, I’d get to mattress with 30% left and no longer an oz of concern. For probably the most phase, the Z3 Play’s battery lifestyles is firmly within the “just right” class. And that’s with no Moto Mod connected.

I did have a few days the place battery lifestyles gave the impression to dip some, regardless that. I don’t suppose it’s anything else to be alarmed at, however as an example, one day the telephone dropped to 18% battery at round 6PM with 4 hours of display on time. I will be able to’t provide an explanation for why that took place and it’s no longer one thing I’d concern about. In basic, the Z3 Play was once lasting a cast 17 hours while not having to be charged.

Keep in thoughts that Motorola incorporated TurboPower charging within the telephone. With the incorporated charger or every other Quick Charge-ready charger, you’ll most sensible up very quickly.

Or, it’s essential to slap at the incorporated Moto Mod battery pack and not concern about operating out of juice once more. I used the Mod that Motorola comprises a few instances simply to peer how smartly it labored and will document again that it really works as marketed. It might not be a fast-charging battery Mod, however it surely got here in to hand with my lazy ass sitting at the sofa, out of achieve from a charger. Should you be at the move, tossing this Mod in a bag as an emergency charging resolution is surely one thing distinctive to the Moto Z line.


As has been the case courting again to the unique Moto X, Motorola as soon as once more shipped a blank and lean model of Android at the Moto Z3 Play. That method you get an revel in on the subject of what Google pushes to its Pixel telephones, however with a Moto bundle at the aspect. This has been one of our most popular Android stories for years now and not anything adjustments right here.

The Moto Z3 Play is operating Android 8.1 out of the field with May’s safety patch. You get a stock-like revel in in that model of Android that comes with 0 skinning and is enhanced by way of the Moto app. The Moto app options Moto Display, Voice, and Actions nonetheless, which all have helpful options inside of them.

Moto Display remains to be one of the simpler always-on-like choices for a demonstrate, the place parts of the demonstrate lighting up as you obtain notifications or wave your quit it. Motorola features a night time demonstrate possibility in there too.

Moto Voice is there if you wish to make the most of particular voice instructions outdoor of Google Assistant. It’s principally only a slimmed down model of Assistant that may be introduced with a “Hello Moto” command. I didn’t use it as soon as. I don’t know why somebody would.

Moto Actions are lovely nice, regardless that. Motorola has incorporated their chop motion for turning at the flashlight, wrist-twist for launching the digicam, 3-finger gesture for taking screenshots, a screenshot editor, and a one-button navigation this is a long way higher than Google’s implementation in Android P ^(

I must indicate that I’m trying out the Amazon Prime Exclusive model of the Moto Z3 Play, so it does come with a number of Amazon apps pre-installed. It’s bloatware needless to say. This model additionally calls for you to sign-in on your Amazon account at a gadget degree and maximum of the ones Amazon apps can’t be uninstalled. Instead, you would need to disable them. Honestly, for the $50 financial savings over the non-Prime model, I feel it’s price it, particularly for those who order stuff from Amazon. I imply, come on, don’t you have got the Amazon app put in anyway?

I do have some issues over device updates. Motorola isn’t nice at updating their telephones at the present time and as I already discussed, this telephone is 2 months at the back of in safety patches these days. Sure, they may give a boost to and perhaps they’ll send Android P immediately, however I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Overall, the device here’s how I love my Android, I simply want Motorola would decide to sooner updates.

moto z3 play review


The Moto Z3 Play’s demonstrate is a cast demonstrate. You’ve were given a 6.01-inch Full HD AMOLED demonstrate with a 1080p answer.

I’ve discovered brightness ranges to be ok, colours to be correct sufficient and no longer weirdly punchy like HTC’s U12+, and view-ability to carry at fairly steep angles. The AMOLED panel additionally performs smartly with Moto Display, so that you don’t have to fret concerning the edges repeatedly lighting fixtures up when notifications are available in as you might with an LCD. Motorola is providing up a few colour modes (Standard and Vibrant) with a warm-to-cool slider for some customization.

If you want a grievance, it could be in brightness at the low finish. When in darkish scenarios, this telephone simply doesn’t get darkish in any respect. No topic how onerous I try to pin the brightness slider the entire strategy to the left, the Z3 Play virtually by no means follows my command and dims. I don’t know what the deal is, however Motorola must paintings on adjusting that. We use telephones in darkish scenarios frequently and this telephone simply remains too vibrant.

moto mods

Moto Mods

I’ve to confess that Moto Mods do not anything for me, however I will be able to’t recover from the chill of them. That’s a silly strategy to evaluation a telephone, I do know that. It’s simply that I love the theory of increasing the functions of a telephone after acquire.

As I famous above, I did use the incorporated battery Mod to fee the telephone, plus I used the TurboPower battery pack a time or two. Both got here in to hand. As for different Mods, together with the JBL speaker (pictured), I simply don’t know that any of them make sense for me. There is a gamepad Mod and pico projector, in addition to that nifty Polaroid printer, all of which sounds nice on paper. I simply don’t know after I’d use them.

With that stated, that’s the wonderful thing about Moto Mods. You get to come to a decision what could be an added bonus for you. So I’m giving Motorola credit score right here for holding that ecosystem alive for three years price of telephones, as a result of there are certain to be other people that can in finding a few of them helpful.

What don’t I love?


The Moto Z3 Play is carrying a twin digicam setup on its bottom this is made up of a 12MP shooter at f/1.7 and a secondary 5MP shooter at f/2.2. Like Most Motorola telephones at the present time, the digicam is lovely reasonable. It’s most commonly fast to shoot no matter your matter is, I’m simply no longer positive that the effects are share-worthy when no longer in the most efficient of lighting fixtures.

The digicam app itself is usable, needless to say. It’s easy sufficient, however nonetheless packs in some complicated choices like portrait mode, direct YouTube Live recording, Google Lens integration, sluggish movement video, and a textual content scanner.


But as I used to be pronouncing, the effects from this digicam simply aren’t nice. Take a have a look at the charcuterie platter beneath that was once taken on the subject of a window with numerous herbal gentle. It’s simply more or less all a delicate mess with out sharpness or element. Even the daylight shot of the lake is lovely subpar in relation to readability and element. Most of the photographs I took with the Z3 Play digicam throughout my evaluation duration are all photographs I want I had had a greater digicam readily available for.

moto z3 play camera samples

  moto z3 play camera samples

moto z3 play camera samples


moto z3 play camera samples


So, I don’t hate the fee, I simply perceive why it’ll make other people hesitate. “It’s $500, Kellen, and the OnePlus 6 is best $30 extra!” And glance, I am getting that. But while you have a look at the Amazon Prime Exclusive model at $450, now we’re $80 inexpensive than the OnePlus 6. We even have connectivity on Verizon right here, a loose battery pack Moto Mod incorporated, and the strategy to add-on extra Moto Mods, if that’s one thing you care about.

Of direction, it’s essential to argue that the LG G6+ is an arguably higher worth, at the same time as a year-old telephone as a result of its specifications. Or perhaps you suppose it could be higher to shop for a year-old Galaxy S8 at a cut price. Those are issues it’s essential to do, sure. This has a greater device revel in, regardless that, and is no less than constructed with fashionable portions.

If you actually need to get mad on the value, I feel you must level at any other Motorola telephone and say, “Wtf?” I’m speaking concerning the Moto G6 Plus, which isn’t to be had in the United States. It has very an identical specifications ^(, but a miles inexpensive value. If it was once offered right here, no one would purchase this Moto Z3 Play. But it’s no longer! This is our mid-range possibility.

Just take into account that the Moto Z3 Play isn’t the cheap telephone. It’s no longer seeking to be. You shouldn’t believe it to be one. It’s a mid-range telephone. Motorola’s finances strains are the Moto G and Moto E. Again, I don’t despise the fee, however I am getting why other people suppose it’s upper than it must be.


The Snapdragon 636 and 4GB RAM powering this telephone are more than likely going to do a just right task for the general public, however as any person who usually hangs within the most sensible tier class of telephones, I’ve spotted some slowness right here and there. I’m no longer speaking about basic slowness after heavy use, I’m speaking about stutters. That can be a gesture swipe that doesn’t sign up the primary time or the click of a house button no longer operating first of all or just a little of scroll lag.

For probably the most phase, efficiency has been nice, I’m simply no longer blown away by way of it in this telephone like I’ve been on Motorola telephones previously. I do wonder whether Moto is dropping their contact some on this division. The Moto X4 from ultimate yr was once a stuttery mess ^( to start with too, regardless that some argued that I used to be out of my thoughts for suggesting as a lot. Either approach, the Moto Z3 Play isn’t a efficiency king, however it’s more than likely nice.


moto z3 play review

moto z3 play review moto z3 play review moto z3 play review

moto z3 play review


Should you purchase it?

Maybe? Like I stated, the Moto Z3 Play is a cast telephone. It’s designed smartly, has just right battery lifestyles, nice device, a pleasant demonstrate, and works with Moto Mods. On the turn aspect, its digicam isn’t that groovy in any respect and the fee is arguably a marginally top while you know that Motorola has any other telephone (Moto G6 Plus) you’d purchase over this if it was once offered in the United States.

If your finances is round $450, this surely isn’t a telephone I’d steer you transparent of. I feel total, Motorola did an attractive great task right here.

Buy Moto Z3 Play at Amazon ^(

Author: Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).

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