Lenovo has put its stamp on the line of devices it inherited from Motorola, but the Moto Z family isn’t a clean break with the past. That’s why, when Lenovo announced the Moto Z and Moto Z Force this summer, we expected a third announcement, a Play edition.
Now that third member of the family is finally here: the Moto Z Play has just arrived, and it brought along a little friend. Here’s what you need to know about the Moto Z Play and the Hasselblad TrueZoom attachment.See also: Moto Z Play Droid review
Like the Moto X Play, the new Moto Z Play features toned down specifications (compared to the flagship in the series), coupled with a large battery. This time around it’s a 3,510 mAh unit (compared to 3,630 mAh on the X Play), but according to Lenovo, battery life is actually better on the Moto Z Play. In fact, Lenovo says the device boasts the best battery life of any Moto device ever – 50 hours of mixed usage on a single charge. Plus, the Turbo Charging feature promises to pump in 10 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.
One reason why the Moto Z Play has such good battery life is the sensible spec sheet – you get a 5.5-inch Full HD display and a Snapdragon 625 processor, compared to the more power intensive Quad HD/Snapdragon 820 found on the Moto Z and Z Force. You also get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space (expandable). It won’t yield the best performance, but that’s not really the point of this phone.
The Z Play’s 16MP camera is another selling point that Lenovo is keen to talk about. The Z Play uses a technology called “dual focus” that combines phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) with laser autofocus for fast and clear snapshots. The camera switches between the two focus methods based on the scene: laser autofocus is used for low-light shots, while in bright scenes, the PDAF analyzes 200,000 pixels of the subject to ensure fast focus. On the front, you get a 5MP camera with a wide-angle lens and a flash, and the beautification mode that is so popular on Chinese phones. Speaking of software, Google Photos is now the default photo gallery on the Moto Z Play.
The design of the Moto Z Play is very similar to the Moto Z and Z Force, down to the large circular camera and the pins on the back. The Z Play is a bit thicker at 7 millimeters and that made it possible to keep the classic audio jack, something you don’t get on the crazy thin Moto Z. Despite this difference, the Z Play works with all the Moto Mods, including a brand new one from legendary camera company Hasselblad.
The Hasselblad TrueZoom Moto Mod offers something that has long eluded smartphones – the ability to really zoom in. 10X to be precise, and that’s just the optical zoom. Other specs include a 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensor, 1.55 µm pixels, a f 3.5-6.5 lens, and Xenon flash. At 145 grams, this snap-on attachment is basically a compact camera that attaches to your phone.
The Moto Z Play Droid will be available for pre-order in the U.S. through Motorola and Verizon from Thursday, September 8 for $17 per month for 24 months, or for $408 full retail. You’ll be able to pre-order the unlocked, non-Droid Edition Moto Z Play in the U.S. starting September 15 with availability beginning in October. The unlocked Moto Z Play will be available for $449.99 or for €499. The new Hasselblad True Zoom will be available for pre-order starting September 8 and available for purchase from Verizon on September 15 for $249.99, or for $299.99 through Motorola.
Stay tuned for our hands-on take on the Moto Z Play and more coverage of all news coming out of IFA Berlin 2016.