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Moto Z3 Play specs: A leap in power, but what about everything else?

A Snapdragon 636 processor makes for the biggest performance leap between generations yet... But is it enough?

Published onJune 6, 2018

The Moto Z3 Play has just been announced, marking the latest entry in the “budget-but-not-really” family of devices.

Read Next: Moto Z3 Play review: The value is still in the Moto Mods 

Is it a huge upgrade over the original Moto Z Play? What about the Moto Z2 Play? Does it have any flagship-level features? Well, we’ve got all the Moto Z3 Play specs you need to know in the table below.

Motorola Moto Z3 Play
6-inch AMOLED
2,160 x 1,080 resolution
18:9 screen ratio
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Octa-core Kryo 260 at 1.8GHz
Adreno 509
MicroSD up to 2TB
Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, f/1.7 aperture
Secondary: 5MP

Front camera
8MP sensor with 1.12-micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture
Front-facing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
24-bit audio at 94kHz
3,000mAh battery
IP rating
Water-repellent coating
No IP rating
LTE Cat. 12
Android 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions and weight
156.5 x 70.5 x 6.75mm
deep indigo

Moto Z3 Play specs walkthrough

Starting with performance, the Moto Z3 Play is looking like the biggest generational leap for the series yet. The original Moto Z Play made do with an unspectacular Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. Meanwhile, the Z2 Play delivered a slightly faster Snapdragon 626 chip, 3GB/4GB of RAM, and 32GB/64GB of expandable storage.

The Moto Z3 Play, on the other hand, cranks things up with a Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4GB/6GB of RAM, and 64GB/128GB of expandable storage. (The U.S. version will get the 4GB/64GB model.)

The RAM bump is sure to be welcomed, but the new chipset makes for a claimed performance boost of 30 percent over the Z2 Play. In fact, Qualcomm says the Kryo 260 CPUs in the new processor offer up to 40 percent better performance than the Snapdragon 630. So if your mid-range phone must have solid performance, the Moto Z3 Play spec sheet looks great, at least in this regard.

This is all powered by a 3,000mAh battery, which is the same size as the Z2 Play. It’s a little disappointing that Lenovo hasn’t returned to the Z Play’s 3,510mAh battery — those Power Bank Moto Mods won’t sell themselves, right? Nevertheless, we still get Turbo Charging here, giving us 50 percent capacity in 30 minutes.

The latest Moto phone gets dual-camera technology this year too, in the form of a 12MP f/1.7 main camera and 5MP secondary camera. Of course, this enables depth-of-field tricks and a portrait mode.

Switch to the front-facing camera and we see an 8MP f/2.0 snapper, which makes for a solid resolution boost over the older phones. The company has slapped portrait mode on the front too, using software processing instead of depth information from two cameras.

All in all, the Moto Z3 Play ticks the boxes for a mid-range smartphone camera experience in 2018. But if all you care about is a no-frills photography experience, you’re looking at what seems to be the same main camera as the Z2 Play (down to aperture, pixel size and lack of OIS). Here’s hoping Lenovo has tuned the image processing, then.

Moving on with our Moto Z3 Play specs overview, Lenovo beat Apple to dropping the port with the original Moto Z, so we can’t be surprised when they do it again. But it still stings when a company does this to its cheaper devices.

Our Moto Z3 Play specs overview

Finally, Lenovo has made a song and dance about the phone coming in at 6.75mm thin. What is this, 2013? Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d prefer a slightly thicker phone with a bigger battery.

What do you think of the Moto Z3 Play specs? Do Moto Mods make for a great selling point? Let us know in the comments below!

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