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Moto Z3 Play Review: The Phone With A Mod In The Box

Moto Z3 Play Review: The Phone With A Mod In The Box

– [Michael] You know what’s
cooler than a smart phone that lasts all day long? A smart phone that lasts all day long and still has 80% left at bedtime. Is that enough to sell you on Motorola’s Moto Mod Lifestyle? Let’s find out in the Mr. Mobile review of the Moto Z3 Play. (upbeat music) Every year since 2016,
Motorola has unveiled another few Moto Z smart
phones and each year the geek in me has been very grateful for the excuse to dust off my collection of Moto Mods and slap ’em on the back. This is the last model
year the company promises to support these magnetic
accessories and the pace of new mod releases has
slowed, accordingly. Some crowd funded concepts like the Walkie Talkie never materialized. While the full qwerty
keyboard is so delayed I’ve just given up on it. But hey, that Polaroid photo printer made it to market and even if you’re not into the quirky stuff,
the catalog of mod’s as it is, is really excellent. The JBL Sound Boost 2 is just as loud and bassy as any Bluetooth speaker of a comparable size and
it’s way simpler to connect. And if you need a jolt
in a jif, Motorola’s Turbo Power Pack ramps
up the milliamps just as quickly as an external power bank and with a lot less bulk too. I’ve sometimes criticized
the Moto mod approach because it forces you to carry a bag full of accessories to make
the most of your phone. But honestly, even if you
told me I could only have these two, I’d still be
happier with the Moto Z3 Play than with another phone
and comparable accessories. Moto mods do make sense. Normally, this is where I’d pivot away from mods to start
talkin’ about the phone, but this year, Motorola has done something I’ve wanted it to do from the start. It’s bundled a Moto Mod right in the box. It’s not the flashiest, just
a 2,200 milliamp hour battery. It doesn’t even have quick charge. But it’s the reason this phone
is the new endurance champ. I left the mod attached to my phone in efficiency mode and
went out for a 12 hour day of Goggle maps navigation, hotel hunting, and endless photos and
videos on the 4th of July. The Moto mod battery lasted
all day, ticking over to empty just as I came home. Be sure you’re hearing me here. That’s just the mod’s battery. The phone still had 80% power
left in its internal battery, which could have kept me
goin’ for another 12 hours, thanks to the efficient
platform it’s built on. But a long lasting phone
is only a good thing if you enjoy using it. And I can only say that
about half the time here. Moving the fingerprint sensor to the side is not a deal breaker in
itself, but it is annoying. The phone constantly buzzes
when you’re holding it as it gets partial reads
of your fingertips. And splitting off the power
button into it’s own thing on the other side of the
phone wasn’t the way to go. It’s just as awkward as I feared. Also, I feel like the
Z3 to play has more bugs than previous Motorola’s. Those custom gestures to launch the camera and flashlight are still great but they’re less reliable now. One day they stopped working altogether along with the fingerprint sensor. A restart fixed the problem. I should note that I’m
running pre-released software. I’ve reached out to Moto for comment but other bugs have been
going on a long time. Like that weird way Moto display sometimes flickers on and off even when
nothing appears to trigger it. And I’m a Bluetooth guy
so this doesn’t bother me, but some will lament the
loss of the headphone jack. There is a dongle in
the box as a concession. No conversation about
compromise on a Moto Z would be complete without
clickin’ into the camera. To be fair, this is a
mid-range smart phone so mid-range photos
shouldn’t be a surprise and that’s thanks in part
to the mid-range silicon, which can’t quite match
the image processing chops of higher end chips. Now, Moto does a lot
given those limitations. And my favorite new feature
is the cinemagraph mode. Now if you weren’t using a Windows phone back in 2013 with the other seven of us, a cinemagraph creates this kind of weird melange of photo and video. You can do the same thing
with third party apps but this works much
better than the top result I found in the Play Store. Just to find that second
camera on the back, portrait mode does a
passable job of isolating you from the background. The usual edge detection issues aside. And out in the optical
onslaught of the mid-summer sun both front and rear cameras pop out shots you won’t be ashamed to share. Peep a little closer at those pixels and you start to see
the lack of sharpness. The tendency of HDR to
wash out the highlights as it tries to bring up the shadows. The very not good low light performance. It’s still a go if you don’t mind tweaking your photos to death. This one was quite popular on Instagram once I dropped the lows,
upped the saturation, applied some luxe, added
contrast, added structure, brought up the shadows,
and the highlights, and applied a little vignette. If that’s not a workload
you wanna have very often, well this probably isn’t
the camera for you. Most frustrating, Moto
keeps adding features to the camera but botching the execution. I’ve never gotten spot color to work well. It’s either too little or too much. Text scanner gets full by
even moderately fancy fonts. Cutting yourself out and
replacing the background, you get the idea. I’m gonna get ready to take
us out and I’ll let you gaze on some non-stabilized 4K
video footage while I do so. (upbeat music) When you combine the underwhelming optics with the silvering absence
of Verizon wireless in the launch lineup
this year, this phone’s unlocked price of almost $500
has an unfortunate effect. It brings to mind the One
Plus Six, which outclasses the Z3 Play in almost every
metric for only $30 more. Motorola does distinguish
itself in the details. The hydrophobic coating on the internals to guard against water
damage, the excellent crystal talk noise
reduction that I’ve been praising for six years,
the gesture navigation that’s more intuitive than
anything else on Android, the way Motorola gets fast responsiveness from a mid-range spec sheet. It’s all great but as much
as I value those details, they don’t add up to quite enough to make this phone stand out. Get the Z3 Play if you’ve
got a stack of mods at home that you don’t wanna
abandon or you need a phone that works on Sprint and Verizon and packs the best staying power on the market. Do yourself a favor and get
it through Amazon for $450. And maybe, if Motorola
had a better track record of supporting it’s phones
with Android updates, I could call it closer to even. As it stands, I’m forced to
agree with the vast majority of the folks who responded
to my casual poll on Twitter. If you haven’t yet bought
into the mods, the Z3 Play doesn’t really bring enough to make you wanna change your mind. Hopefully, the next thing
out of Chicago will do a little better, and I’ll
tell you a little more about that after we pay the bills. Stick with me, won’t you? This video is brought
to you by TunnelBear. True story, it’s the first VPN I ever used and I’m genuinely glad to sponsor it. TunnelBear lets you browse the web safely on a public hotspot
which I’m on frequently. And it lets you do it with
the flick of a switch. TunnelBear even opened
itself up to an independent audit to prove it’s keeping
its security promises. Mainly though, gotta be real,
I’m here for the mascot. (bear growling) Help support Mr. Mobile,
secure your browsing for the next two years,
and save almost 60%, hit the links in the description to secure your special deal on TunnelBear. And thanks. Folks I don’t know what
Motorola’s planning to unveil at its Chicago
headquarters on August 2nd. I just know the company’s
promising a whole new way to connect and
that it’s invited a bunch of media, including yours truly to attend. Make sure you don’t miss it and subscribe to The Mr. Mobile here on YouTube. Of course, we got a lot more videos between here and there,
so until next time, thanks for watching and
stay mobile my friends.

43 thoughts on “Moto Z3 Play Review: The Phone With A Mod In The Box”

  1. I really like how u present. It is seemless and beautifully done. A huge break from the regular reviews..

  2. Am I the only user that wants call clarity over all the other stuff? I have been researching for months for a phone that has the best noise cancellation and over all call quality. I think I found it. But it's not easy to find call quality as a feature that a cell phone should provide or that reviewers even compare of mention. I 'm glad he mentioned call quality or I would be looking elsewhere. … and yes, I agree this guy should have way more subscribers.

  3. I just watched all 3 moto z plays reviews from Michael, and you can notice dissapointment in his tone about halfway the z2 play.

    Moto cannot be destroyed :/

  4. All the moto z line has the problem that the screen is detached from the top and the proximity sensor starts to fail, which causes that moto actions (like quick camera and quick torch) do not work, this we can clearly see in your video.

  5. I love the Mods. I wish the Z3 Play had an unbreakable screen option. totally boned my first z3 with literally a 3 inch drop to concrete. replaced the screen but the new one failed. so I got a new Z3 and I am going to try the tempered glass screen protector. if someone would come up with an Otter box compatible with the moto mods that would be great.

  6. Damn! If only they had a dedicated Sd card slot (and not the Hybrid crap most phones today do) or a larger internal memory as I need the dual SIM functionality.
    I love the mods. If anyone complains about a power button position, then you have a serious problem with yourself. Seriously!

  7. I have had this phone for a while. I got it a few months after it was released. And I never thought to question it until now but does anybody know why my Z3 Play looks different? It doesn't have that "motorola" bold text at the bottom of the front panel. On mine, there is no text on the front.

  8. Just got unlocked z3 play at Best buy unlocked $257.00. Anyone know of a case with the battery mod?

  9. The only thing I want Moto to change is their clock with the battery visual.. I want. Different design .. #motorola

    All aside Moto is the best phone for me till now thanks moto .. but do change the UI please..more options needed.. yep they need to fix.those bugs really annoying.. the Moto display and the finger print also the gestures sometimes doesn't works at all x(

  10. Randomly searched for Moto Z and found your review which is fabulous. Totally love your style and the quality of the video. You also convinced me that there's no need to upgrade my original Moto Z Play but definitely to check out some additional mods which I was unaware of. Thanks!

  11. Seems like you have more bad then good to say about this phone. Luckily and hopefully you don't work somewhere, like Motorola, where your job is to upsell merchandise, not knock it

  12. 2019 just picked up a Moto Z3 online at Verizon for $240 and came with 9.0.
    While the camera could use improvement, everything else I like. Just bought the JBL mod and used it today all day while digging fence post. Very nice mod.
    Let me back track a tiny bit about the camera as it may be ok but once the pic is taken my observation of that pic is whacked from the slightly blue hue the screen gives off on this phone.
    I prefer the night mode 24/7.
    Otherwise the phone is a steal for $240.

  13. As the Z4 is on the verge of coming out, the series continues. 
    And I would love a magnetic Moto Mod tablet to go with my 135Euro T Mob deal Z3 Play !

  14. So my phone aka Droid turbo 2 is still the best phone for a fair price. 💯💯

    Congrats Droid turbo 2.


  15. My Moto must be defective. I only get 6hrs from the included battery and 3hrs from the internal battery. And that's with just Google and Facebook, if I use YouTube and Netflix or listen to my internal music library I lose 2% a minute of power.

  16. I think the fingerprint reader is actually pretty decent. You might accidentally unlock it by grabbing it on occasion but it only needs a partial print and scans easily. I find it easier to use than the front reader on the z2 force.

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