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Moto Z2 Play officially announced: coming to Verizon in July, unlocked version later this summer

After months and months of leaks, Lenovo has finally taken the wraps off its latest powerhouse of a smartphone, the Moto Z2 Play!

Published onJune 1, 2017

After months and months of leaks, rumors, and speculation, Lenovo has finally taken the wraps off its new powerhouse of a phone, the Moto Z2 Play. The original Moto Z Play brought us incredible battery life at an affordable price, and the Z2 Play, unsurprisingly, will do just that, but in a more refined package.

Before we get into the nitty gritty specs, let’s first talk about where you’ll be able to buy this thing. It’s coming to Verizon as a carrier exclusive in July in Lunar Gray and Fine Gold color options, though it’s worth noting Big Red is finally dropping that confusing “Droid” branding this time around. If you’re not a Verizon customer, you’ll also be able to buy an unlocked version “later this summer” for $499. That’s $50 more than what the Z Play went for when it debuted last year.

New Moto Mods for gaming, audio, and more will launch this summer

Moto Z2 Play specifications

Moto Z2 Play
5.5-inch Super AMOLED
1920 x 1080 resolution
401 ppi
2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
Adreno 506
3/4 GB
32/64 GB
Yes, up to 2 TB
Rear: 12 MP Dual Autofocus Pixel sensor, 1.4 μm, ƒ/1.7 aperture, laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus, dual LED flash

Front: 5MP sensor, 1.4 μm, ƒ/2.2 aperture, wide-angle lens
3,000 mAh
Non removable
TurboPower charging for up to 8 hours of use in 15 minutes (50% charge in 30 minutes)
Water resistance
Water repellant nano-coating
Moto Mods connector
USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 support
3.5 mm headset port
Bluetooth 4.2 LE + EDR
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz
Fingerprint sensor
Ambient light
CDMA (850, 1900 MHz)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 41, 66)
Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Dimensions and weight
76.2 x 156.2 x 5.99 mm
145 g

Okay, let’s talk about the specs. The Moto Z2 Play sports a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 platform, backed by either 3 or 4 GB of RAM. It’ll also have either 32 or 64 GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion up to 2 TB.

But what we really need to talk about is that battery. Last year, we had a hard time draining the Moto Z Play’s 3,510 mAh battery, thanks to the lower resolution display and power-sipping Snapdragon 625 CPU. The Z2 Play, however, has a much smaller 3,000 mAh unit, which is undoubtedly a bit worrisome. It’s worth noting that a smaller battery capacity doesn’t always mean worse battery life, so we’ll have to withhold our judgement until we get the chance to review it.

When you do have to recharge the battery, Lenovo says you’ll be able to get up to eight hours of use in just a 15-minute charge. That’s not bad at all!

Around back Lenovo included a 12 MP Dual Autofocus Pixel camera, complete with phase-detection, laser autofocus, an f/1.7 aperture, a dual-LED flash, and a 1.4 μm pixel size. The front camera also sounds pretty promising, with its 5 MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4 μm pixel size, and front-facing flash.

The Z2 Play runs the latest version of Android, 7.1.1 Nougat (shocker). Users can expect a near stock version of Android on the Z2 Play, with only a handful of useful Moto features thrown in. Moto Display, Moto Voice, and Moto Actions are all present here.

As far as design is concerned, the Moto Z2 Play doesn’t stray too far off from the original Z Play’s design. That’s partially because this new phone is compatible with Moto Mods (more on that later). The differences in aesthetics seem to be subtle, yet refined. Lenovo implemented a larger fingerprint sensor on the front this time around, similar to the sensors you’d find on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. That means you’ll also get to take advantage of fingerprint sensor gestures, allowing you to go back, home, or open the recent apps menu all from that one button.

The phone is also thinner at 5.99 mm, compared to the Moto Z Play’s 7 mm. The Z2 Play also features a USB Type-C port, and yes, a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Lenovo is also launching a handful of new Moto Mods alongside the Z2 Play, which you’ll be able to pick up later this summer. These include the JBL SoundBoost 2 ($79.99), a Wireless Charging Style Shell ($39.99), a Moto TurboPower Pack charger ($79.99), as well as a GamePad ($79.99).

Now that it’s official, what are your thoughts on the Moto Z2 Play? Will this be your next phone, or are you passing this time around? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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