Notebookcheck

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Manuel Masiero (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/16/2017

The slim player. With the Moto Z2 Play, Lenovo refreshes its mid-range smartphone that can be expanded via modules on the rear. The predecessor offered a very good battery life and extremely slim casing. We will check whether the successor has perhaps even improved these qualities in the test.

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play

For the original German review, see here.

Lenovo has not really had luck with its Moto Z smartphones until now. The modular design did not really convince buyers. Perhaps because modules can only be added but internal components cannot be replaced. Lenovo really had something to offer with its Moto Z and Moto Z Play. The devices were (apart from the protruding camera) very slim, of high quality, rigid, powerful, and had a good battery life. Dual-SIM models existed and Motorola-typical features, such as pure Android and notifications being displayed on a turned off screen when the smartphone was picked up or when the user approached it, were installed.

But now everything should be better: Alongside a torrent of new Moto Mods that extend the smartphone on the rear, the Moto Z2 Play is also launched on the market. The mid-range member of the modular smartphone lineup has been subtly redesigned and is now even slimmer. The battery in the Moto Z2 Play is smaller than that of its predecessor whose convincing purchase argument was primarily its long battery life.

The Moto Z2 Play is priced at 499 Euros ($555 / 64 GB), which places it on a level with Honor's 8 ProOnePlus' 5, and Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge. The price of HTC's U Ultra has also dropped into these price regions now. The predecessor is presently available for almost 300 Euros ($334). Is it worthwhile to buy the new model? We will find out in our extensive test.

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Moto Z Series)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm MSM8953-Pro Snapdragon 626
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 401 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, AMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 18.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 2TB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, FM radio, USB OTG
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B19/​B20/​B28/​B38/​B40/​B41), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6 x 156.2 x 76.2 ( = 0.24 x 6.15 x 3 in)
Battery
11.4 Wh, 3000 mAh
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix f/​1.7, laser-AF, phase comparison-AF (dual-pixel), dual-LED flash, Videos @2160p/​30FPS
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/​2.2, dual-LED flash, videos @1080p/​30FPS
Additional features
Speakers: front-sided speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, SIM tool, user's manual, Moto Mods, 12 Months Warranty, LTE Cat. 7 (download 300 MBit/s, ipload 150 MBit/s); SAR rates: 0.671 W/kg (head), 1.680 W/kg (body)
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 82 g ( = 2.89 oz / 0.18 pounds)
Price
499 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The casing of Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play now has a thickness of just 6 millimeters (~0.2 in). This is even one millimeter less than the former Moto Z Play and much slimmer than all comparison devices. However, the camera protrudes two millimeters out of the casing. A dark-gray rear with a black front and a gold-colored rear with a white front, like our review sample, are the available colors. While the metal bezel and rear are matte and fingerprints hardly become visible, the edges are polished just like the Motorola logo inserted into the rear. Relatively wide edges enclose the screen on the front. This is naturally more evident in the white model than in the black version. The fingerprint sensor has been inserted into the casing quite inconspicuously. However, the gaps are not one-hundred percent accurate here. Otherwise, the build is very solid and the curved design makes the Moto Z2 Play pleasant to hold.

The Moto Z2 Play also weighs 20 grams (~0.7 oz) less than its predecessor and is now definitely an absolute lightweight with 145 grams (~5.1 oz). The battery cannot be removed due to the slim build and the casing cannot be opened. The rigid metal casing protects the screen well, and pressure from the front or the back is not passed to it. A very quiet cracking noise can be heard when twisting the handset.

Size Comparison

162.4 mm / 6.39 inch 79.9 mm / 3.15 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs157 mm / 6.18 inch 77.5 mm / 3.05 inch 6.97 mm / 0.2744 inch 184 g0.4057 lbs156.4 mm / 6.16 inch 76.4 mm / 3.01 inch 7 mm / 0.2756 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs156.2 mm / 6.15 inch 76.2 mm / 3 inch 6 mm / 0.2362 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs154.2 mm / 6.07 inch 74.1 mm / 2.92 inch 7.25 mm / 0.2854 inch 153 g0.3373 lbs150.9 mm / 5.94 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 157 g0.3461 lbs

Connectivity

The Moto Z2 Play comes with either 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage or 64 GB of working memory and 4 GB of RAM. As its predecessor, the Moto Z2 Play has a 3.5-mm audio jack while the premium Moto Z transmits audio via its USB-C port. Many customers will likely find the audio jack advantageous since standard headphones function without an adapter.

We are testing the single-SIM variant of the Moto Z2 Play. A dual-SIM model also exists and has a dedicated micro-SD slot so that two SIM cards and a micro-SD card can be inserted. The micro-SD card can extend the storage by up to 2 TB. However, micro-SD cards with this capacity are not yet available. The SD card can be formatted as internal storage; apps cannot be installed on the external storage.

right: Volume control, standby button
right: Volume control, standby button
left: No interfaces
left: No interfaces
Upper edge: Microphone, SIM slot
Upper edge: Microphone, SIM slot
Lower edge: USB-C, 3.5-mm audio jack
Lower edge: USB-C, 3.5-mm audio jack

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Software

As Lenovo took over Motorola from Google, the manufacturer also adopted the tradition of a pure-as-possible Android for ensuring faster and easier updates. Android 7.1.1 is installed on our smartphone, and the security patches are from 1st May 2017, which was no longer up-to-date at test time. Prolonged pressure on the home button activates Google's assistant, which is either activated by typing questions or the classic voice command "OK Google". The user can ask questions, create appointments and answer quizzes or many other things. The voice recognition functioned well, but sometimes the submenus got confusing as they needed one confirmation too many until the desired action happened.

Motorola/Lenovo does not install any adware or bloatware apart from Google's proprietary apps that naturally tempt the user to buy videos or music from the Play Store. Generally, very few additional apps are installed. There is only an app for controlling the Moto Mods, the Moto app that controls the smartphone's special handling, and a device assistance app that explains the smartphone.

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play software
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play software
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play software

Communication and GPS

Like the predecessor, Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play supports LTE Cat.7 and thus download speeds of up to 300 MBit/s and upload speeds of up to 150 MB/s. In total, not as many frequency bands are supported as in the predecessor. The 1700 MHz UMTS band has been omitted just like the 4, 12, and 17 LTE bands. In return, bands 38, 40, and 41 are now supported. The user should find out which bands are needed when traveling to far away countries. The Moto Z2 Play is not an explicit world phone. However, Europe should not be a problem. We almost always measured 3/4 of the signal strength indoors using the well-developed German D2 network, and thus a good reception quality can be assumed.

The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is still not supported. Equally priced comparison devices have a clear advantage now. Furthermore, the Wi-Fi speed of the Moto Z2 Play is very slow and even lags behind its predecessor in the comparison. Perhaps Lenovo can improve this a bit with an update, but the user should not rely on this too much. Normal websites usually do not send overly large data amounts through the network, and thus the difference here is not as extreme as in downloading or streaming. In any case, pages open adequately fast in the router's vicinity and the full signal is available. However, it is visible that the progress bar sometimes stutters in YouTube videos. The reception dropped to 3/4 at a distance of 10 meters (~33 ft) from the router and with three walls between the smartphone and access point. Websites still opened at the same speed as when near the router.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
371 MBit/s ∼100% +671%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
281 MBit/s ∼76% +484%
HTC U Ultra
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB eMMC Flash
247 MBit/s ∼67% +414%
Honor 8 Pro
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
236 MBit/s ∼64% +391%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼33% +152%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
48.1 MBit/s ∼13%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
539 MBit/s ∼100% +1727%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
335 MBit/s ∼62% +1036%
HTC U Ultra
Adreno 530, 821 MSM8996 Pro, 64 GB eMMC Flash
259 MBit/s ∼48% +778%
Honor 8 Pro
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
233 MBit/s ∼43% +690%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼21% +280%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
29.5 MBit/s ∼5%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The GPS module is too weak to find us indoors. It also takes a while before the signal is strong enough outdoors, and the user will have to be satisfied with an accuracy of 11 meters (~36 ft) even then.

We take the Moto Z2 Play on a mountain bike trip for a test under real-world conditions. Garmin's Edge 500 professional navigation system for cyclists is also in the bag. Both devices measure exactly the same distance, which is very good. The Moto Z Play also proves to be very accurate with details. Although it displays a few extra corners than the professional device, this should be insignificant for amateur athletes or when navigating in the field. Thus, we can unreservedly recommend the Moto Z2 Play for navigating.

GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Crossing
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Overview
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Overview
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Crossing
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Crossing
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Bridge
GPS Lenovo Moto Z2 Play – Bridge

Telephony and Call Quality

Lenovo uses Google's stock phone app in all of its Motorola devices. It is easy to use and designed very logically.

The call quality is good. The microphone is especially pleasing with its clear voice transmission to our contact. The earpiece transmits sounds quite naturally, however, it sometimes distorts and could have a bit more power in louder environments. The good microphone is also noticed favorably when making calls in hands-free mode, and the speaker produces our contact’s voice with a warm tone.

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

At first glance, it seems as though Lenovo has made cutbacks in the cameras. When looking only at the megapixel count, the 12-megapixel camera in Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play is not as good as the one in the predecessor. The latter had 16 megapixels. However, the pixel count does not say much about the photo quality. The Moto Z2 Play especially wants to shine with the combination of diverse auto-focus technologies here. Thus, it sports a laser auto-focus that can quickly and accurately determine the sharpness at close range. A phase comparison auto-focus with dual-pixel technology is also installed.

The primary camera shoots fairly sharp photos that stand out with vivid colors. Their exposure is good and offer more contrast than, for example, the photos taken with Honor's 9. The sharpness is still quite good at the edges. The Moto Z Play already stood out with this. Overall, the photo quality is on a similar level as its predecessor. The photos are perhaps a touch sharper. The auto-focus often cannot determine the right sharpness in low-light conditions. In return, the image noise is not very high. Videos can be recorded in 2160p at 30 frames per second. The color reproduction is good here, the exposure adapts quickly to changing conditions and the auto-focus is also convincing.

The front camera still has a resolution of 5 megapixels. It shoots well-exposed photos with vivid colors. Its image sharpness is also good and a dual-LED flash supports it in dark situations.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Colors in photos of the Moto Z Play's primary camera have a slight reddish tint and thus look relatively warm. We noticed this during the outdoor test and our lab results under predefined conditions confirms this. Otherwise, colored areas are reproduced quite homogeneously although they are slightly frayed at the edges. The same is true for text on a colored background or for fine lines that do not have an absolutely clear-cut edge. However, this issue is much stronger with other smartphones. The image sharpness is also excellent under lab conditions, and thus we can attest the Moto Z2 Play to have overall good camera modules.

ColorChecker: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch..
ColorChecker: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch..
Photographed reference card
Photographed reference card
Reference card details
Reference card details

Accessories and Warranty

Buyers will have to be satisfied with a 12-month warranty on Moto smartphones. Naturally, the accessories are an interesting chapter of the Moto Z2 Play since it is a modular smartphone. Different modules, such as a speaker, projector or camera with zoom, can be connected to the smartphone via magnets on the device's rear. All Moto Mods that are presently on the market are also compatible with the Moto Z2 Play, and even Mods for the next Moto Z generation are supposed to function with the handset. Lenovo provided us with a JBL Soundboost 2, among other Mods, for the test. It turns the Moto Z2 Play into a portable speaker with a small kickstand. We will look at its sound quality in "Speaker". The build of the speaker with a kickstand makes a solid impression, and the blue model that we received is very stylish although its color would look better with the dark model. However, that is a matter of taste.

Lenovo also provided us with a Turbo Power Pack that more than doubles the battery capacity of Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play. It has a dedicated power-in and recharges the internal battery, with an option of limiting the recharge capacity to 80% for extending the battery life. Lenovo also included two Style Covers, which simply redesign the Moto Z2 Play's rear. They are available in stylish designs such as wood or nylon.

True for both the speaker and battery pack: The Moto Z2 Play's weight and dimensions are increased considerably and it is then almost impossible to put it into a jean's pocket or hold it as comfortably. We have the impression that the Mods are made more for temporary use than to remain connected to the handset permanently. The easy connection and removal of the mods, while they are attached securely, is one thing that we liked about all Moto Mods. Furthermore, they are identified reliably and all Mods can be managed conveniently via the Moto Mod app.

JBL Soundboost 2
JBL Soundboost 2
JBL Soundboost 2
JBL Soundboost 2
Moto Style Cover
Moto Style Cover
Moto Style Cover
Moto Style Cover
Moto Turbo Power Pack
Moto Turbo Power Pack

Input Devices and Handling

Matching to pure Android, Google's GBoard virtual keyboard is preloaded. Google's keyboard app is easy to use and clearly arranged. Thanks to Google's incorporated assistant, suggestions are automatically provided according to the input, for example nearby cafes. The touchscreen offers a very gliding-friendly surface and it is sensitive up into the corners.

The hardware buttons are compiled on the right. The standby button has light grooves and thus easy to feel. The two volume control buttons have a clear pressure point and are comfortable to use. The fingerprint sensor on the front wakes up the smartphone from standby, and it responds quickly and reliably to the finger. Users who do not want the onscreen menu buttons can use the fingerprint scanner for navigating. A short tap brings the user back to the home screen and swiping left or right either goes back a step or opens an overview of running apps. Gestures that the phone understands are called Moto Actions. For example, shaking the smartphone twice turns on the flashlight or turning the handset around mutes it. It also has its own voice control, but this is currently only available for the US and Brazil.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

Like in the Moto Z Play, a Full HD screen with a diameter of 5.5 inches is installed. Higher resolution panels are available in this price range now, but a Full HD screen is usually sufficient since hardly any differences to higher resolution screens are visible on such as small panel.

It is an AMOLED screen. These screens are becoming more and more popular in this price range. Unfortunately, it has to be said that the screen's rates are a step backward compared with the predecessor. Where the Moto Z Play still managed an average brightness of 511 cd/m², the Moto Z2 Play only achieves 404 cd/m² - a clear step backward. The illumination is now also considerably less homogeneous: The darkest measured point is only 81% as bright as the brightest. Slight brightness differences in large colored areas are already visible to the naked eye.

350
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
400
cd/m²
396
cd/m²
434
cd/m²
403
cd/m²
421
cd/m²
415
cd/m²
400
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 434 cd/m² Average: 403.7 cd/m² Minimum: 3.59 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 434 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.4 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 4.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.24
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Honor 8 Pro
IPS, 2560x1440, 5.7
Lenovo Moto Z Play
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
OnePlus 5
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
HTC U Ultra
SLCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Super AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
Screen
19%
32%
33%
-20%
45%
Brightness middle
434
541
25%
509
17%
426
-2%
470
8%
554
28%
Brightness
404
514
27%
511
26%
431
7%
445
10%
552
37%
Brightness Distribution
81
91
12%
93
15%
93
15%
88
9%
96
19%
Black Level *
0.3
0.22
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.4
3.2
27%
2.2
50%
1.6
64%
5.5
-25%
1.59
64%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.6
7.2
16%
5.8
33%
4.1
52%
11.9
-38%
2.56
70%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.2
4
5%
2
52%
1.7
60%
7.6
-81%
2.01
52%
Gamma
2.24 98%
2.27 97%
2.25 98%
2.25 98%
2.2 100%
2.01 109%
CCT
7343 89%
7120 91%
6768 96%
6329 103%
7454 87%
6321 103%
Contrast
1803
2136
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
82.12
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.98

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 250 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The black value and contrast are naturally perfect since the AMOLED technology simply deactivates individual pixels and can thus display absolute black. Unfortunately, Lenovo uses a PWM frequency of just 250 Hz to dim the screen. This means that the screen is turned on and off 250 times in a second, and it thus looks darker to the eyes. Since this frequency is quite low, sensitive users can perceive this flickering.

Two settings can be selected for controlling the colors on the screen: Standard and intensive. We tested both modes with the spectrophotometer and CalMAN software. We discovered a light bluish tint in both modes, which can be reduced via the incorporated night mode. The reference color deviations are not very high, but they are higher than those of the predecessor. The AdobeRGB color space is even well covered in the intensive mode - this is a good performance.

CalMAN Colorspace standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker standard (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Colorspace intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Grayscale intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker intensive (AdobeRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker intensive (AdobeRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
2.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 1.2 ms rise
↘ 1.6 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 0 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

We like the viewing angles since colors do not shift when looking at the screen from the side. The Moto Z2 Play also does a good job outdoors although the higher brightness of its predecessor would have contributed to more flexibility in bright light. The ambient light sensor visibly increases the maximum brightness and it should be enabled when going outdoors.

Outdoors - minimum brightness
Outdoors - minimum brightness
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - ambient light sensor
Outdoors - ambient light sensor
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

The Moto Z2 Play has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC with eight cores and clock speed of 2.2 GHz. Compared with the predecessor based on a Snapdragon 625, the performance differences are low and probably will not be perceived in practice. The only difference between both SoCs is apparently only the 200 MHz higher maximum clock. All other devices in the comparison have much stronger high-end SoCs.

Again, Qualcomm's Adreno 506 graphics unit with a clock speed of 650 MHz is used in the Moto Z2 Play. As expected, the Moto Z2 Play achieves very similar performance rates as the predecessor with the same graphics unit. The comparison devices can again provide much higher frame rates here.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
67578 Points ∼25%
Honor 8 Pro
146044 Points ∼53% +116%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
61345 Points ∼22% -9%
OnePlus 5
177156 Points ∼65% +162%
HTC U Ultra
139017 Points ∼51% +106%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
128749 Points ∼47% +91%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4924 Points ∼48%
Honor 8 Pro
6134 Points ∼60% +25%
OnePlus 5
6579 Points ∼64% +34%
HTC U Ultra
5217 Points ∼51% +6%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6096 Points ∼45%
Honor 8 Pro
7356 Points ∼54% +21%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6767 Points ∼50% +11%
OnePlus 5
7826 Points ∼58% +28%
HTC U Ultra
5217 Points ∼39% -14%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4660 Points ∼34% -24%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 Points ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
1131 Points ∼56% +11210%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
649 Points ∼32% +6390%
OnePlus 5
1287 Points ∼63% +12770%
HTC U Ultra
907 Points ∼45% +8970%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
994 Points ∼49% +9840%
Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
1006 Points ∼3%
Honor 8 Pro
4070 Points ∼14% +305%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1013 Points ∼4% +1%
OnePlus 5
6144 Points ∼21% +511%
HTC U Ultra
4591 Points ∼16% +356%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2203 Points ∼8% +119%
Memory (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
928 Points ∼15%
Honor 8 Pro
4277 Points ∼68% +361%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
795 Points ∼13% -14%
OnePlus 5
4423 Points ∼70% +377%
HTC U Ultra
1581 Points ∼25% +70%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2072 Points ∼33% +123%
System (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3154 Points ∼19%
Honor 8 Pro
4029 Points ∼24% +28%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
2069 Points ∼13% -34%
OnePlus 5
5902 Points ∼36% +87%
HTC U Ultra
2834 Points ∼17% -10%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4080 Points ∼25% +29%
Overall (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
412 Points ∼5%
Honor 8 Pro
2985 Points ∼35% +625%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1019 Points ∼12% +147%
OnePlus 5
3790 Points ∼45% +820%
HTC U Ultra
2078 Points ∼25% +404%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2074 Points ∼25% +403%
Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3092 Points ∼7%
OnePlus 5
8005 Points ∼18% +159%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4471 Points ∼12%
Honor 8 Pro
6245 Points ∼17% +40%
OnePlus 5
6799 Points ∼19% +52%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
907 Points ∼14%
Honor 8 Pro
1853 Points ∼29% +104%
OnePlus 5
1973 Points ∼31% +118%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2166 Points ∼51%
Honor 8 Pro
2216 Points ∼53% +2%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1636 Points ∼39% -24%
OnePlus 5
3026 Points ∼72% +40%
HTC U Ultra
1763 Points ∼42% -19%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2121 (min: 1594) Points ∼50% -2%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
383 Points ∼7%
Honor 8 Pro
1746 Points ∼32% +356%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
382 Points ∼7% 0%
OnePlus 5
3757 Points ∼70% +881%
HTC U Ultra
2405 Points ∼45% +528%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2229 (min: 2043) Points ∼41% +482%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
469 Points ∼10%
Honor 8 Pro
1832 Points ∼39% +291%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
461 Points ∼10% -2%
OnePlus 5
3566 Points ∼75% +660%
HTC U Ultra
2225 Points ∼47% +374%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2204 (min: 1923) Points ∼47% +370%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2167 Points ∼51%
Honor 8 Pro
1896 Points ∼45% -13%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
1631 Points ∼39% -25%
OnePlus 5
3012 Points ∼71% +39%
HTC U Ultra
1646 Points ∼39% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2002 (min: 1539) Points ∼47% -8%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
724 Points ∼9%
Honor 8 Pro
1856 Points ∼22% +156%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
725 Points ∼9% 0%
OnePlus 5
4765 Points ∼57% +558%
HTC U Ultra
3807 Points ∼46% +426%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3015 (min: 2895) Points ∼36% +316%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
850 Points ∼13%
Honor 8 Pro
1865 Points ∼29% +119%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
827 Points ∼13% -3%
OnePlus 5
4219 Points ∼65% +396%
HTC U Ultra
2947 Points ∼46% +247%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2710 (min: 2421) Points ∼42% +219%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
17204 Points ∼20%
Honor 8 Pro
15129 Points ∼18% -12%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
15923 Points ∼18% -7%
OnePlus 5
19411 Points ∼22% +13%
HTC U Ultra
21263 Points ∼25% +24%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
19610 Points ∼23% +14%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
13376 Points ∼3%
Honor 8 Pro
32243 Points ∼6% +141%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
13437 Points ∼3% 0%
OnePlus 5
58001 Points ∼11% +334%
HTC U Ultra
33446 Points ∼6% +150%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
33031 Points ∼6% +147%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
14072 Points ∼6%
Honor 8 Pro
25766 Points ∼11% +83%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
13920 Points ∼6% -1%
OnePlus 5
40229 Points ∼17% +186%
HTC U Ultra
29668 Points ∼13% +111%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
28671 Points ∼12% +104%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
22 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
43 fps ∼0% +95%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
23 fps ∼0% +5%
OnePlus 5
115 fps ∼1% +423%
HTC U Ultra
74 fps ∼1% +236%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
81 fps ∼1% +268%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
23 fps ∼1%
Honor 8 Pro
59 fps ∼2% +157%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
23 fps ∼1% 0%
OnePlus 5
60 fps ∼2% +161%
HTC U Ultra
46 fps ∼1% +100%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
51 fps ∼2% +122%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
9.9 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
29 fps ∼0% +193%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
10 fps ∼0% +1%
OnePlus 5
61 fps ∼1% +516%
HTC U Ultra
26 fps ∼0% +163%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
38 fps ∼1% +284%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
20 fps ∼1% +100%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
10 fps ∼0% 0%
OnePlus 5
56 fps ∼2% +460%
HTC U Ultra
23 fps ∼1% +130%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
27 fps ∼1% +170%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6.5 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
21 fps ∼0% +223%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6.2 fps ∼0% -5%
OnePlus 5
42 fps ∼1% +546%
HTC U Ultra
12 fps ∼0% +85%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
28 fps ∼1% +331%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
7 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
13 fps ∼0% +86%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
6.7 fps ∼0% -4%
OnePlus 5
41 fps ∼1% +486%
HTC U Ultra
12 fps ∼0% +71%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
15 fps ∼0% +114%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.5 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
15 fps ∼0% +329%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3.4 fps ∼0% -3%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% +614%
HTC U Ultra
15 fps ∼0% +329%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
15 fps ∼0% +329%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.8 fps ∼0%
Honor 8 Pro
11 fps ∼0% +189%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3.7 fps ∼0% -3%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% +558%
HTC U Ultra
8.4 fps ∼0% +121%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
7.9 fps ∼0% +108%

Legend

 
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 8 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
HTC U Ultra Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa, ARM Mali-T880 MP12, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

Internet browsing looks similar: The Moto Z2 Play is a touch faster than its predecessor and the other smartphones in the comparison are miles ahead. The relatively demanding HTML5 game on letsplay.ouigo.com only runs jerkily and is hardly playable.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
75.12 Points ∼100% +129%
OnePlus 5
71.6 Points ∼95% +118%
Honor 8 Pro
58.065 Points ∼77% +77%
HTC U Ultra
45.084 Points ∼60% +37%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
32.796 Points ∼44%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
31.8 Points ∼42% -3%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
13191 Points ∼100% +153%
OnePlus 5
11945 Points ∼91% +130%
Honor 8 Pro
10016 Points ∼76% +92%
HTC U Ultra
5511 Points ∼42% +6%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
5204 Points ∼39%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
4979 Points ∼38% -4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Lenovo Moto Z Play
8168.9 ms * ∼100% -7%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
7667 ms * ∼94%
HTC U Ultra
4141 ms * ∼51% +46%
Honor 8 Pro
3156.7 ms * ∼39% +59%
OnePlus 5
2621.7 ms * ∼32% +66%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2564.1 ms * ∼31% +67%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
163 Points ∼100% +92%
OnePlus 5
161 Points ∼99% +89%
Honor 8 Pro
141 Points ∼87% +66%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
85 Points ∼52%
Lenovo Moto Z Play
83 Points ∼51% -2%

* ... smaller is better

We tested how fast the internal storage and a memory card could be accessed. Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play does a fairly good job with reading and writing on the micro-SD card and is on a slightly higher level than Lenovo's Moto Z Play. The same is true for accessing the internal storage. However, the other comparison devices again have a clear lead here.

Lenovo Moto Z2 PlayHonor 8 ProLenovo Moto Z PlayOnePlus 5HTC U UltraSamsung Galaxy S7 Edge
AndroBench 3-5
119%
-11%
115%
27%
24%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
58.71
32.16
-45%
50.57
-14%
67.6
15%
50.36
-14%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
79.69
54.19
-32%
74.58
-6%
82.8
4%
76.43
-4%
Random Write 4KB
47.9
151.6
216%
45.58
-5%
19.3
-60%
13.7
-71%
15.79
-67%
Random Read 4KB
38.2
166.4
336%
38.78
2%
141
269%
84.2
120%
86.71
127%
Sequential Write 256KB
137.5
187.1
36%
73.14
-47%
201.5
47%
164.7
20%
145.11
6%
Sequential Read 256KB
245.6
737.8
200%
254.78
4%
748
205%
423.9
73%
487.34
98%

Games

Playing games is always possible on Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play. The sophisticated 3D games Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8 always ran smoothly at 30 FPS. However, more is not possible. The device seems to set this limit. Consequently games that are more basic, like Angry Birds, also run very smoothly.

Both the touchscreen and position sensor allow a smooth and easy game control.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Temperature

Such a slim smartphone like Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play could certainly have problems with the SoC's waste heat, couldn't it? If so, Lenovo has it very well under control. The device hardly heats up with a maximum of 33.4 °C (92.12 °F). These temperatures are not much lower in idle with 30.5 °C (86.9 °F). Thus, the smartphone can always be put into the pocket. It never gets unpleasantly warm, not even in the summer.

The SoC does not heat up even during prolonged use: Its performance remains stable even after rendering the same benchmark sequence in the GFXBench Manhattan battery test thirty times in succession.

Max. Load
 33.2 °C
92 F
33.4 °C
92 F
31.8 °C
89 F
 
 33 °C
91 F
32.5 °C
91 F
30.8 °C
87 F
 
 33.2 °C
92 F
31.6 °C
89 F
30.6 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Average: 32.2 °C = 90 F
31.4 °C
89 F
32.8 °C
91 F
33.1 °C
92 F
30.9 °C
88 F
31.3 °C
88 F
32.7 °C
91 F
30.2 °C
86 F
31.1 °C
88 F
31.8 °C
89 F
Maximum: 33.1 °C = 92 F
Average: 31.7 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.1 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 21.7 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.2 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33.1 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.8 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heatmap front
Heatmap front
Heatmap rear
Heatmap rear

Speaker

Pink Noise speaker test (Moto Z2 Play speaker)
Pink Noise speaker test (Moto Z2 Play speaker)
Pink Noise speaker test (JBL Soundboost 2)
Pink Noise speaker test (JBL Soundboost 2)

The speaker installed in the Moto Z2 Play radiates toward the front, which is actually the ideal position for developing sound. It is quite able to render low medium tones and it can get quite loud at 86.8 dB(A). The sound is relatively warm and balanced, and it is even possible to watch a music video or a movie - quite impressive for such a slim device. Compared with the Moto Mod JBL Soundboost 2, which is simply attached to the rear via magnets, the installed speaker is, of course, much weaker. The much bigger soundscape and specialization on audio allow this Moto Mod to retrieve really good sound from the smartphone. Basses become audible, the volume can be increased even more, and the sound output is considerably more linear.

It is naturally also possible to connect conventional headphones or speakers via the 3.5-mm jack. The sound output is clear here.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.6272525.426.23125.331.14032.930.55033.627.76331.626.98028.425.31002725.512520.830.41602240.120021.347.725020.849.731521.256.940019.460.950019.564.263017.767.580017.972.3100017.876.3125017.376.9160017.477.1200016.774.1250017.272.7315018.274.9400017.972.6500017.674.3630017.773.5800017.874.51000017.978.81250018.177.81600018.270.4SPL3086.8N1.368.2median 17.9median 72.6Delta1.39.531.650.225.451.225.350.832.948.433.64931.654.428.452.82757.220.8662272.221.371.520.874.221.27519.477.319.578.517.779.617.979.217.881.817.383.417.485.516.784.417.283.518.279.617.978.817.685.817.785.817.881.817.98018.178.218.273.33094.61.3118.1median 17.9median 79.21.33.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Moto Z2 PlayJBL Soundboost 2
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 39% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

JBL Soundboost 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (94.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9.9% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (2.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (7.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 99% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The predecessor scored in terms of power consumption; none of the comparison devices could boast with the low energy requirement of Lenovo's Moto Z Play at the time. The Moto Z2 Play even undercuts these consumption rates by 8%. The standby consumption is also very low although the sensors permanently have to detect if the user activates Moto Info. The Moto Z2 Play is especially frugal during load. However, it also has to be kept in mind that it is considerably weaker than the comparison devices.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.11 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.45 / 0.78 / 0.84 Watt
Load midlight 1.69 / 3.79 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Honor 8 Pro
4000 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3510 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
HTC U Ultra
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Power Consumption
-189%
-8%
-132%
-192%
-99%
Idle Minimum *
0.45
0.98
-118%
0.51
-13%
0.73
-62%
1
-122%
0.63
-40%
Idle Average *
0.78
2.27
-191%
0.87
-12%
1.44
-85%
2.41
-209%
1.1
-41%
Idle Maximum *
0.84
2.36
-181%
0.9
-7%
1.5
-79%
2.46
-193%
1.56
-86%
Load Average *
1.69
6.58
-289%
1.69
-0%
6.91
-309%
6.8
-302%
5.95
-252%
Load Maximum *
3.79
10.12
-167%
4
-6%
8.51
-125%
8.9
-135%
6.7
-77%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The low consumption rates ensure superb battery runtimes, don't they? Well, if we formulate the question this way, the answer is a clear "yes, but...". The problem of the Moto Z2 Play: Lenovo has reduced the 3510 mAh battery of the predecessor to 3000 mAh in order to slim down the device by one millimeter. This equals an almost 15% lower battery capacity. Although the Moto Z2 Play can still outshine most comparison devices with this, it clearly lags behind the Moto Z Play and only has a slight lead on Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge.

12:29 hours of Internet browsing are possible before the smartphone shuts down. This is very good. Two workdays of normal use should easily be possible with the smartphone. However, charging takes almost two hours despite the Turbo Power power supply. We have seen other Lenovo smartphones do this faster.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
26h 29min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
12h 29min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
15h 46min
Load (maximum brightness)
7h 57min
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Honor 8 Pro
4000 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z Play
3510 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
HTC U Ultra
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Battery Runtime
-32%
33%
-29%
-30%
-5%
Reader / Idle
1589
1378
-13%
2540
60%
1534
-3%
1568
-1%
1663
5%
H.264
946
675
-29%
1190
26%
623
-34%
605
-36%
914
-3%
WiFi v1.3
749
573
-23%
824
10%
518
-31%
546
-27%
732
-2%
Load
477
181
-62%
652
37%
247
-48%
214
-55%
392
-18%

Pros

+ very slim, stylish metal casing
+ very rigid and ergonomic
+ diverse options via Mods
+ easy to use Mods
+ good configuration
+ pure Android
+ relatively accurate GPS
+ decent speaker
+ clear microphone
+ sharp camera photos
+ stable viewing angles
+ low temperatures
+ very low power consumption
+ long battery life

Cons

- 12 months warranty only
- slow Wi-Fi
- PWM at low frequency
- heterogeneous screen illumination
- relatively long charging time

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Moto Z2 Play. Review sample courtesy of Lenovo Germany.
In review: Lenovo Moto Z2 Play. Review sample courtesy of Lenovo Germany.

Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play is a good smartphone. It would look even better if the Moto Z Play (no longer) existed. The predecessor does many things just as good, some things just a bit worse, and other things even better while being considerably cheaper.

Are there any reasons at all for buying the successor? The casing of the Moto Z2 Play has been reworked and is now even slimmer. This would be a marketing scheme for a normal smartphone. However, it receives another dimension in the Moto Z2 Play: The attachable Moto Mods can make one millimeter quite significant. The lower weight is also an argument since the Mods add enough weight. Apart from that, the buyer gets a very rigid and stylish casing with a less conspicuous fingerprint scanner than in the predecessor. Fast LTE is installed, but still not 802.11ac Wi-Fi and the lack of appropriate Wi-Fi transmission rates is actually audacious. In return, the GPS module is very accurate and the cameras produce good photos. The screen is darker and the performance is only marginally higher than that of the predecessor. The battery life is still first-rate but also much shorter than that of Lenovo's Z Play.

We would have welcomed more risk taking for the update. Lenovo's Moto Z2 Play is just a reworked version of the Moto Z Play with a slimmer silhouette, as well as smaller battery that hardly offers any real innovations.

We can give the Moto Z2 Play a purchase recommendation if the buyer finds the Moto Mods system convincing, which function very easily and well. The problem here is that often-good alternatives, such as a power bank or Bluetooth speaker, exist. Compared to that, the Moto Mods hardly offer any real advantages. However, buyers should also consider the Moto Z Play and even the Moto Z: Both are presently much cheaper and Lenovo also guaranties the compatibility with the Moto Mods for the next few years.

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play - 08/15/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 90%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
42 / 60 → 70%
Weight
93%
Battery
96%
Display
84%
Games Performance
28 / 63 → 44%
Application Performance
48 / 70 → 68%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
77 / 91 → 85%
Camera
76%
Average
75%
85%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-08-16 (Update: 2018-05-15)