It’s Time To Play With The New Motorola Moto X [Review]


The Moto X Play was released in Canada on August 21st. I have been ‘playing’ with my Moto X Play for a few weeks now and really love the camera and long battery life.

The original Moto X was originally released in August 2013 followed by the second generation in 2014. The new Motorola Moto X Play is considered to be a mid-range phone. The Moto X Play is affordable, stylish and offers some high end features. It is similar to last year’s Moto X but in a larger package.

Design, Style and Appearance

The Moto X Play is a solid and nice looking phone. It is easily recognizable as part of the Moto X family style of smartphones. There is a tray located at the top of the phone which pops out and holds the Nano SIM card and a microSD card. The only downside to this tray design is if you remove the microSD card and transfer it other devices frequently. (Opening the tray will cause you to lose your cellular service for a moment until you close the tray again.)

The Moto X Play feels nice when holding it. The quality of the build is quite good and it doesn’t feel cheaply made. The back of the handset is curved, with a thickness of 8.9mm. The rubberized back cover does come off to reveal a large battery compartment. (More on the battery below.) The back cover is available in different colors so that you can personalize your phone or you can even buy a few covers to coordinate your Moto X Play with your whole wardrobe.

The dimensions of the Moto X Play are 148mm x 75mm x 10.9mm and it is fairly light weighing in at 169g The Moto X Play also has a bright 5.5” screen. (My hands are average size for a woman but I had no trouble holding the phone with one hand and it did not feel excessively large to use or operate.) The screen is also 1080p high definition which means that it has the same pixel density as the iPhone6S. I find that images look great and that emails and other text are easy to read on the display.

The Moto X Play is ‘Water-Repellent’ which means that it is ok to use if it is raining outside but you don’t want to drop it into a body of water. The water-repellent coating is also good if you accidentally spill water on the phone too.


The battery life of the new Moto X Play is one of my favorite features.  The large 3,650 mAh battery is one of the largest batteries in any smartphone right now, of any size. Motorola claims that it can last a full 2 days even when using 4LGE. I have had no issues getting through an entire day on one charge and I am constantly on my smartphone. I also did not find any overheating issues when playing music and using the Moto X Play for other activities at the same time. I haven’t tried going a full two days without charging it and when I do plug it in to charge at night there is still plenty of battery life left. The battery life is a great feature for business travelers or people in and out of meetings all day. There is no need to worry about looking for a plug somewhere in the room to charge your phone. This is also a great feature if you attend a lot of conferences.

Charging the Moto X Play is also quick. Fully charging the phone with the Motorola turbo charger takes just over two hours and a 15 minute charge will give the Moto X Play an additional 8 hours of use. Perfect for those with a busy lifestyle and who find themselves on the go a lot.


This is my other favorite feature of the new Moto X Play. It comes with a 21 MP rear-facing camera and a 5 MP front facing camera. The Moto X Play’s camera also uses a new Sony sensor. I tested the camera on the Moto X Play along with the 2014 Moto X. You can see the comparisons below. I used the auto focus on both smartphones to take the photos and there has been no editing or enhancements of any kind.

Taken with the Moto X 2014 model
Taken with the Moto X Play 2015
Taken with the Moto X 2014 model
Taken with the Moto X Play 2015
Taken with the Moto X 2014 model
Taken with the Moto X Play 2015

Operating System

The Moto X Play comes with Android Lollipop 5.1.1. What is nice about the Moto X Play is that there are not a lot of useless pre-installed apps that you find on a lot of other smartphones. The ones that do come pre-installed can either be removed or disabled. The Moto X Play runs Android Lollipop smoothly and I am looking forward to seeing the new Android Marshmallow 6.0 hopefully later this year.

The Moto App

The Moto App is where you find gestures and access to the voice commands. The Moto App can be used to configure gestures and motion controls or set a hotword for controlling the Moto X Play with your voice. Motion controls can be set to launch the camera on either the front or back, but unfortunately not for the flashlight (like on the Moto G).  Tip: The more that you use your phone the more it will adapt to you. The Moto X Play will make suggestions on how to use it and the Moto App more effectively.



The new Motorola Moto X Play is a great smartphone for those with a busy lifestyle. I think it makes a great business phone with its long battery life, bright screen and it is very affordable. In Canada it can be purchased outright (no contract) starting from $399.95 up to $449.99 depending on which service provider you use.

For those located in the U.S. check out the Moto X Pure and Style or the Droid Maxx 2 from Verizon.


I received a Moto Play X and Moto X from Motorola for review purposes. Good or bad, my reviews and opinions are honest with my readers best interest in mind

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