1. bryanmsi's Avatar
    I have had the Z2 for a week and thought I would post some thoughts. I am coming from iPhone 7 realized I needed a larger screen more than I needed the pocketable size of the iPhone 7. iPhone 7 Plus seemed like a natural choice but iPhone 7 Plus is crazy expensive and with new iPhones just around the corner it seemed silly to drop $1000 in a 7 Plus right now. Great time to check out Android!

    I actually tried a Samsung S7 first. With some of the crazy discounts being offered, the S7 is half the price of the iPhone 7 Plus and a great deal. The S7 unlocked phone shipped with marshmallow but immediately updated itself to nougat after I set it up.

    I was disappointed in the S7. Battery life was less than I expected and I noticed lag straight out of the box. It had so many killer features on paper but the overall experience (for me) just didn't feel great. I thought "if it is this laggy and the battery is already not awesome, it will only get worse in the future."

    I ended up returning the Galaxy after 3 days.

    The Moto Z2 play seemed intriguing. Midrange specs in just about every way kind of put me off, but the price was right and the mods seemed kind of interesting. The idea of a cleaner Android was pretty appealing.

    After a week, here is what I think of the Z2 Play:

    Speed - fantastic! Not laggy at all and very smooth. Even when running multiple apps the Moto just feels fluid and graceful. I cannot understand how the Moto Z2 processor is half the speed (single core) of the S7 and yet feels as fast or faster. But it does. I have watched plenty of speed test comparisons on YouTube and the S7 seems to only beat the Moto in loading time tests of big games. I don't play games like that much and don't care if they load 3 seconds slower. Overall, for day-to-day operations the Z2 flies!

    Screen - great! To me the Moto Z2 screen looks really good. Maybe a tiny bit less sharp than the Samsung but still very good. Colors look natural and contrasty. The only negative I've noticed is that the Moto in direct sunlight isn't the brightest and at night the minimum brightness is still too bright. Being Android, I was able to easily download a little utility that reduces minimum brightness. Problem solved!

    Battery life - outstanding! Easily gets me through a heavy day with room to spare and charges incredibly fast. No weird battery drains or runaway processes. I read that battery life was reduced compared to the Z Play, which may be true. But who cares with life this good?

    Moto software - Genuinely helpful. I love the "open doorknob for camera" and "tomahawk chop for flashlight" gesture controls. I love the "show me" voice commands. I like the swipe controls on the fingerprint scanner. I like the lock screen functionality. I love that the Moto just knows when I'm driving and switches to a completely voice-based system for texts. Why doesn't every phone have that driving mode?? Brilliant!

    Build - very nice. The metal back and chamfered edges look high quality. Even the large camera bump out is nicely made. The Z2 Play feels solid and looks like a high quality phone.

    Camera - better than I expected, but not amazing. The camera takes very good photos in bright light. Well saturated, well exposed, and sharp. There may be a bit too much software sharpening, but most pictures look good. Low light photos are another story. The lack of OIS means the photos are grainy (due to high ISO being necessary) and still blurry (unavoidable camera shake). I wouldn't say the low light shots are terrible. In fact, they are useable. But low light pictures are definitely below the S7 and even the iPhone 6s.

    Mods - more interesting than I expected. I have the wireless charging+battery extender, the JBL speakers, and a Style Shell. I've used the JBL as much as a high-quality speakerphone as anything else, and it works great!. Sure, I could buy a standalone bluetooth speaker but the sheer convenience and ease of use of the JBL is hard to beat. Likewise, the battery mod stays in my travel bag and I can either leave it attached during long travel days or slap it on for a quick charge and then take it off again. Either way, I appreciate that it doesn't make my already tall phone taller as most other phone battery packs do. The Style Shell looks really nice and actually makes the phone easier to hold. In general, I like the idea of the mods more than I expected. They are expensive though, and I wish there were more of them. Maybe beyond batteries and case backs there just aren't that many legitimate uses for mods. (the projector mod is cool, but I'm not sure how often it would get used) Still, Moto executed mods well and they do add value to the phone.

    What don't I like? Not much.
    Waterproof - nano coating is nice, but not the same as the flagships IP67 or IP68 ratings. With S7s and soon to be iPhone 7s dipping much closer to the Moto Z2's price, a nano coating just isn't enough.

    Camera - adding OIS would have made a huge difference to camera quality and I would happily pay a bit more for it.

    Size -the Leno Chin and Frankenstein Forehead are necessary to retain compatibility with Moto mods, but definitely they make the Z2 Play a physically large phone which is somewhat dated looking.

    Overall for me the Z2 feels like more than the sum of its parts and is a very enjoyable phone. On paper, it should fall to even last years flagships which are now similarly priced, but I think the Moto holds its own in terms of overall experience vs. those devices.
    08-05-2017 01:27 PM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    Thanks for your review! I'm happy to hear battery life remains solid, the Z Force last year was a great device.
    08-05-2017 04:44 PM
  3. Morty2264's Avatar
    Thank you so much for your review! So glad you are liking it, and that the battery life is working well for you. It's a great phone, for sure! Also, how "big" is this camera bump?
    08-12-2017 06:38 PM
  4. bryanmsi's Avatar
    The camera bump is big when the phone is naked. it's that size to help anchor mods when they are attached. honestly it looks better to me than the iPhone camera pimple. put a style shell or a mod on the phone and the camera bulge vanishes.
    benjamminh and Morty2264 like this.
    08-12-2017 10:32 PM
  5. Morty2264's Avatar
    The camera bump is big when the phone is naked. it's that size to help anchor mods when they are attached. honestly it looks better to me than the iPhone camera pimple. put a style shell or a mod on the phone and the camera bulge vanishes.
    Thank you for explaining that!
    08-13-2017 07:06 AM
  6. johnnyshinta's Avatar
    Has anyone tested the nano coating
    08-29-2017 09:47 AM

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