TechAndroidReview: Moto X Play (2015)

Review: Moto X Play (2015)

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Here is the review of this years model of the Moto X Play (2015) 16GB version with 2GB Ram starting at £279.

What do you get in the box for the Moto X Play (2015)

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You get the Moto X Play and micro USB lead and the double USB play and instructions and sim injection tool.

Design and display
The Moto X Play is another solid, good looking phone from the Motorola’s stables. The phone is pretty traditional in its design and layout, apart from the SIM-plus-microSD tray that sits on the top edge.

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The tray pops out to reveal a Nano SIM slots on one side and space for a microSD card on the other.

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The back cover can be removed to get a glimpse of the massive battery. However, the Moto X Play is missing water resistance, which is a disappointment, especially considering that’s one of the features we really liked in the more affordable Moto G 3rd generation (Review). The Play, however, does come with a “water-repellent coating”.

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The Moto X Play comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD display that looks good and is bright enough to get its job done even outdoors. The viewing angles are decent and overall we have no complaints about the screen on the Moto X Play.

Performance and battery life
You don’t expect a smartphone at this price to struggle with everyday tasks, and, mercifully, the Moto X Play didn’t prove to be aberration. The smartphone comes with the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC along with 2GB of RAM, and we didn’t experience any lags with our unit. Games like Asphalt 8 ran smoothly without any problems.

The Moto X Play supports both microSD (up to 128GB) and USB OTG storage expansion options.

We didn’t experience any heating issues during a 20 minute session playing Asphalt 8 or while shooting multiple 2 to 3 minute videos in quick succession. However, the Moto X Play does tend to get a little warm during everyday use, not enough to be unconformable, but it’s something you are likely to notice.

The Moto X Play comes with a massive 3630mAh battery, one of the standout specifications of the smartphone in addition to its 21-megapixel rear camera. In real-world usage, our Moto X Play managed to last a day and a half of battery life from the Moto X Play.

Software and camera
We recently reviewed the Moto G 3rd generation and the software on the Moto X Play is virtually identical to what’s on its more affordable sibling.

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Picture taken without HDR

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Picture taken with HDR on

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Taken without HDR on

Motorola has added a monster 21-megapixel rear camera sensor inside the Moto X Play as well as the Moto X Style, the latter being the true spiritual successor to the original Moto X smartphones.

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Picture taken without HDR

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Picture taken with HDR on

Outdoors and when there’s plenty of light, the camera on the Moto X Play captures good-looking images with more detail than most phones in this price range.

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With HDR on

However, if you use autofocus with tap-to-click (the default mode on the camera app), images tend to be just a little bit underexposed, which also skews accuracy of the colours reproduced a little bit.

The autofocus woes are worse in low light, with the camera taking longer – and at times even failing to find focus properly. If you switch to the tap-to-focus mode, the results are much better, though images still tend to have some amount of noise. Overall, the rear camera performance is satisfactory for a non-flagship smartphone.

The front camera performance is satisfactory, as are the videos taken by the rear camera. The Moto X Play does a good job of refocusing as you pan in video mode, though it isn’t always able to focus on distant objects. You can tap to take still photos while shooting a video.

Verdict

The Moto X Play (2015) is a solid performer, with a massive battery and an improved camera, both of which perform adequately in the real world. The Moto X Play just needs to be a little better in low light, then it would have got a Gold Award.

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Chris Hare
A True Tech Geek at Heart, I Started my life of being a Tech Geek at the age of 5 with the BBC Micro. Went on through most of Nintendo stuff and now a Xbox and PlayStation fan. I also leaked the information about the leaked Hotmail passwords story from October 2009 that went World Wide. I Started writing tech articles at the beginning of 2011, most of my articles are about Android phones and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and other gaming news. When Chris has free time its with the family.

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