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Moto X Play Hands-on Review

Moto X has been the flagship smartphone from Motorola since it made the comeback over two years ago. It came roaring all the high-end specs, flashy design and customization option at a steep pricing. This year, they have come with two Moto X variants with different price tag, the Moto X Play and Moto X Style with the former targeted for the budget customers and later for premium customers.

Moto X play is a mid-range smartphone with decent specs and good design. So is Motorola’s decision to dilute its flagship phone by launching X Play going to be a successful bet?

So can this flagship dilution offer the edge over budget competetors for Motorola? Let’s find out in our in-depth review of Moto X Play.


Moto X Play Review

Design and Build Quality

The Moto X Play carries the typical design every other Moto has, and you easily can easily distinguish this device just by looking at it.

Also Read: Moto G Turbo Review

The X Play is a good-looking phone that offers superior build quality, and sturdy physical design. Although its made out of plastic still it doesn’t feel or look cheap. With a nice rubbery texture on its removable back cover, this smartphone provides good grip and feels quite nice to hold despite its big size. Below the camera and LED flash side on the back, you will also find a goodlooking Moto Dimple carved in metallic plate, that adds great contrast to overall design of the back cover.

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On the top side, Moto X Play has 3.5 mm headphone jack and a tray that pops out, where you get microSD slot and two nano-sim card slots. It has power and volume buttons on the right side of the phone, which offer a nice tactile feedback.


Sporting 5.5-inch full-HD display with 403ppi, Moto X Play offers gorgeous display that is bright enough for outdoor use. Motorola is known to make superior displays, and with the colorful and vivid images that it can produce,there isn’t much to complain about X Play’s display quality.


With the bigger screen asset and high pixel density this becomes a great device for playing high end games, watching Full HD movies or reading in general.

Performance – Gaming, Browsing, Benchmarks

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor with Adreno 405 GPU &  2GB RAM this device comes in two variants of 16 GB & 32 GB of internal storage.

Given the specs, Moto X Play lives up to its expectation. It runs smoothly without any glitches even after you load some heavy apps or games like Asphalt 8 or NOVA 3.  We experience no sluggishness in the stock Android UI, even when we had multiple apps and games running in the background.

The Geekbench score was 712 for single-core, and 2592 for multi-core, which is much higher than Nexus 5 or last generation flagships.


AnTuTu score was 35640, which is lesser than current gen high end phones like Asus Zenfone 2 or Note 4, but higher than most mid-range smartphones.


There were no heating issues with our device for heavy usage for longer duration, which makes it a great device for gamers.

The browsing performance is absolutely flawless, with quick page load times, and swift response to features like kinetic scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. With the great display quality, the text rendering is very sharp, that makes longer reading and browsing sessions quite comfortable to your eyes.

With a massive battery of 3630 mAh size, it will last you much longer than your earlier smartphones ever did!

Camera Quality

A whopping 21 MP rear camera is a signigicant upgrade over the last generation, and 5 MP front facing camera is decent enough for video calling or selfies.


Despite the big number, X play’s camera disappoints if compared with available competition in similar range. The 21 MP rear facing shooter now comes with the Sony’s sensor that is being used in DSLR’s. But, don’t expect DSLR quality images, as they are too many factors and features missing in smartphones. But this sensor helps in phase detection auto-focus, which would be much better than other mid-budget devices. The resulting images are really good for a sub-20K Rs. ( approx. $350) smartphone.

Images clicked in full light conditions are sharp and crisp that perfectly capture natural colors. And those clicked in low light are not up to the mark as you can see here.

The front camera is just an average 5MP camera, that captures good selfies outdoors.

Android Marshmallow Promise & More…

Moto X Play runs on stock Android 5.1 Lollipop with a sure update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Motorola have added some of its branded apps which are useful, rather than being just a bloatware. So for pure and seamless Android experience, X play is great smartphone to own at Rs.18,499.

One thing that is missing in this Motorola is water resistance feature which is a high point for its lower priced sibling the Moto G 3rd Gen. Instead Moto X Play has “water-repellent coating” which should keep the phone safe from light showers.


With the obvious ‘MOTO’ benefits of being extremely sturdy, and longer battery life,  Moto X play is a one good smartphone at sweet price point.

With the loaded features and high quality hardware, it’s definitely worth the money and it should not let you down, when it comes to performance. It does lack any standout feature that will catch your eyeballs. But still, I would not shy away from recommending this as a value for money ‘performance smartphone’!