Motorola X Play: Bulky yet dexterous (Tech Review)

American mobile device and technology company Motorola Mobility has started bringing more of its ‘X’ models into India. The company launched the new Moto X Play at Rs.18,499 in September and here is what we think of it:

What is good?

The phone has a simple design and a water-repelling rubber-coated back panel. Also, the polycarbonate body comes with internals with water repellent nano-coating. The device is surprisingly light in spite of being bulky.

The phone has a Gorilla Glass 3 protected FullHD display with a high 403 pixel density which makes playing games, viewing videos a delight. There were no problems with viewing angles.

The 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, along with a 2GB DDR3 RAM system-on-a-chip (SoC), can take almost anything that you throw at it. The phone didn’t seem to lag at all while switching between apps but heavy games like NOVA 3 made it stutter at times. As per Geekbench 3 scores, the phone compares to the LG Nexus 4 smartphone in terms of SoC capabilities.

The premium feature is the 21.2-megapixel rear camera and five-megapixel front camera. The rear camera performed excellently in well-lit conditions. The camera, which has an f2 aperture, can also take widescreen pictures with 16:9 aspect ratio so more people and more objects can be a part of the picture. The front camera also supports these features so groupies and selfies could be more fun. Both cameras have 4X zoom.

Other features of the camera include phase detect autofocus, dual-tone LED flesh gesture controls, 1080p video capture at the rate of 30 frames per second (fps) and slow-motion.

The phone comes with no bloatware and runs the stock Android Lollipop operating system. The company has hinted at soon upgrading the phone to Marshmallow.

Another good thing about the phone is the 3,630 mAH battery which supports fast charging. Other features include Wi-FI, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, 4G LTE support and expandable memory upto 128 GB.

What doesn’t work for the phone?

The phone is very bulky and hence might not attract a lot of looks. Although it comes with a 21.2-megapixel camera, its performance falters in low-light conditions in spite of Motorola adding a Night Mode in the phone. The pictures come out grainy.

While taking widescreen photos, the rear camera goes into 16.1-megapixel mode and the front camera goes to 3.1-megapixel mode. The operation of the camera is also not smooth and is more gimmicky in nature. There is no pro mode available for the device although it costs north of Rs.15,000.

Verdict: The phone is definitely overpriced as all Motorola phones are, keeping in mind a few features. Having said that, the phone is an all-round performer that can be ranked on the top part of the medium-range smartphones as it comes with good processing power, hige battery that supports fast charging and a decent 21.2-megapixel rear camera.

Full specifications: 5.5-inch display | 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor | Adreno 405 GPU | 2GB DDR3 RAM | 16/32GB of built-in memory;| Stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop | 21-megapixel main camera with f/2.0 aperture; | 5MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture | Cat. 4 LTE support (Dual SIM model also available )| Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 4.0 | NFC | GPS | 3,630 mAh battery with TurboPower quick charging |

(Anirban can be contacted at

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