Analysis of the Moto Z3 Play: a phone that gets it right almost all

A few weeks ago, Motorola has launched in Mexico the Moto Z3 Play, the renewal of its mid-range high famous for their Bike Mods, and which this year gives a major leap forward in design, construction materials and the price, where even the signature property of Lenovo now classifies this Moto Z3 Play as a team of high-end of its catalogue in 2018.

In general terms, the Moto Z3 Play is everything you’d expect from a mid-range phone high, and I could say that in terms of quality, design, and construction goes without any problem in the high range, but if we talk about other technical details, then I think the phone should not be considered as a high-end, but as a mid-range high, although its price clearly indicates to which range it belongs.

The good:

  • Excellent design and materials of construction.
  • Good performance.
  • Enough battery for a full day.
  • Android almost pure, with gestures and useful tools.
  • Camera with good results in almost any condition of light.
  • Screen with excellent contrast, colors and viewing angles.
  • Compatible with all Bike Mods existing.

The bad:

  • Price is quite high.
  • Without certification IP67 or IP68 (only splash resistant).
  • Sound quality is below what is expected.
  • Without a headphone jack of 3.5 mm.
  • Without wireless charging.


Motorola is still doing a good job with their Moto Z and the Z3 Play is no exception, the truth is that on this occasion they polished the details are pending and we have a team that can be considered within the high range without any problem.

Because of the phone increases substantially the size of screen, the fingerprint reader happens to be placed at the side of the phone, the first time being in this family that what we see there.

Why not put it back? Because it would interfere with the Bike’s Mods, that is one of the main features of this family.

The only bad thing that the reader is on the side, is that the volume control buttons are very high up (to my taste), and sometimes it is difficult to raise or lower the volume.

The crystal is another feature that debuts in the family, and despite the fact that the constant complaint with this material is that the prints are stuck together with a lot of ease, the reality is that we appreciate that brands begin to leave the metal to go for the crystal, which is much more elegant, in addition to allowing the smartphone feel less hot which makes it easier to use the phone for a long time with applications that require lots of system resources.


Betting on the Super AMOLED technology, this is one of the best screen of the family. The color calibration, viewing angles and brightness are correct, it is even possible to use the screen in environments with a lot of light without any problems.

Now, if you ask me if this is one of the best screens in the mid-range high, I would say yes, but if you ask me the same thing with the high-end, just say no, which is why I am concerned that Motorola considers the Moto Z3 Play as a high-end.


One of the points that has disappointed me most is the sound, as we only have a single speaker that is not bad, but neither is it good, is of normal quality. The sound is not loud and also not very well defined, and of course this undermines a little the multimedia experience with the Moto Z3 Play.

Motorola also sells a Bike Mod Stereo Speaker that will be used to increase the sound power of your phone, but unfortunately it disappointed me, because neither is as powerful or provides the fidelity expected, especially because the price of this Bike Mod is a little more than $1,000, when a speaker bluetooth for $500 you get a better acoustic results.

Android almost pure with gestures

One of the things that almost always I have liked Motorola is committed to a version of Android almost pure, because they only added some tools of their own that far from diminishing the experience, the improve.

You will find the classic gestures to activate the camera or flashlight, but we will also have the gesture navigation similar to the one included in Android P, and of which we have also seen in the iPhone X, and that is one of the features that I liked this new phone.

Motorola has worked very well with other gestures like the screen capture with 3-finger, activate the “do Not Disturb” with just flip the phone, and also includes some tools such as the screen in shades of blue to avoid our sight wear more during the night or in dark environments.

You filter almost all the specifications for the Motorola Power One


The camera is one of the most important elements in a smartphone at full 2018, and Motorola has not done bad, the dual camera helps get photographs with bokeh effect and, in general, is a camera that meets in environments with low and good lighting.

The pictures are accurate in terms of color and detail is concerned, in environments with low lighting it is obvious that it costs more work, but the result is acceptable.

The video features optical image stabilisation, which helps greatly when taking videos on the move, especially if we do not have any stabilizer physical, so now we can record videos more professional without problem with the camera of our phone.

Other interesting functions are maintained (but are not exclusive to the phone) is the ability to erase the background of a photograph to convert it into a PNG, we can also create animated GIFs and we will have Google Lens integrated.

The front camera of 8 megapixels and also has a good performance, especially in conditions of good lighting, where the light is low if we will have any problem in the detail and noise of the photograph.


The battery is another thing that figures seems to be very fair, because of its 3,000 mAh do not seem sufficient, however, the performance is as expected, because with a full load we can get a day of work without problems, in my case usually I tend to leave the house with 100% and come back with a 20%, and normally I’m 14 hours away from home.

Obviously that could not faltra fast charging, which allows you to reach from 0 to 100% in about 1.5 hours.

And although the body is made of glass, we don’t have wireless charging as with other teams, however, there is a Bike Mod (which for the moment is not sold in Mexico) that makes it possible to have this technology in the Moto Z3 Play.

So it looks like the Motorola One Power; notch, Android One and all screen


The Achilles heel is the price, because despite the fact that not everything in this computer is perfect, the price it seems to me that it has taken a major leap forward. The version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM has a cost of $11,499. while the version of 6GB with 128GB of internal storage will rise to $12,999.

The cost seems quite high to be a team with characteristics that we see in other mid-range high-at much lower prices. But if we consider this phone as a high-end, the price is then the most low, however, the features are not at the level of other contenders, and we could invest 3 thousand pesos more for a phone much more full.


If you like Motorola, Android pure phones of glass, you want a camera that will meet, and a battery that will not fail, then this computer is an excellent option, however, the price could be a major limitation for the majority of mexican users, because in this range there are cheaper devices with the same specifications and materials of construction, and equipment a little more expensive but with much better specs.

Even with this, the Moto Z3 Play is emerging as one of the best smartphones of mid-range high in relation to its design and quality.

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