Review: Moto z3 play

Stephen Watson
November 14, 2018

Price:  The Moto Z3 Play is available £439 from

The Moto Z3 Play is a Mid-ranger with a bag of tricks to keep anyone entertained and keep those who are fans of the Moto Mods in a happy place. This Phone offers loads in terms of performance with an expansive 6-inch display and most importantly it is not a bad looking phone. You can see Motorola have taken time to design this and what makes it unique is  Moto Mods who else are making Mods? ( Answers on a postcard).

The Mods can turn your phone into anything you want with the likes of a portable gaming handheld, Instant Camera printer and even an Alexa speaker this phone does it all.  The only issue I have with this phone is if you have a few mods you like using where do you keep them all? Having Said that the Z3 Play stands alone in this sector of the market but can they keep market Share.

The Design

 The design of the Z3 has not really changed compared to previous models maybe Motorola thinks if it’s not broke don’t fix it. The phone has an aluminium frame with a glass front display (6-inch display) and on the back, you see the connection point where the magic happens and also a camera.

The left side of the phone is where the screen lock is held and the right is where most of the controls are such as volume and a side mounted fingerprint scanner which I have mixed views about. I have found to have unlocked the phone by mistake in my jeans and that can cause all sorts of problems if you’re on the commute and you unlock your phone by mistake. Personally, I wish it was not on the phone. If you get the hang of this and don’t unlock all the time it can be a useful feature.

At the bottom edge of the Z3 Play is a USB-C Jack but no headphone jack ( Sorry Cable headphone fans). The resolution is full HD+ and granted there are other better displays on a phone in the market the Z3 Play was good for what I wanted,

A negative here is the phone is not got great water resistance (IP68)  but with how its designed just keep water away and if you did drop it in water lets hope you have the Moto Lifeboat lol. Also, something you will have to consider is if you use a phone case you cant use the Moto Mods so you have to simply be careful or have the case and bring round a bundle of Mods in your bag.

The Performance

The Moto Z3 Play has a Snapdragon 636 octa-core chip with 4GB of Ram and 64 GB of Storage. You can expand the storage with a TB microSD card. The hardware that makes it all tick is the Android 8.1 Oreo which uses the stand apps you come to expect. The Moto Z3 Play also comes with Moto Voice Service but most of us who use Android will simply use the Google assistant so on this occasion I did not use the Voice service.

The built-in Camera is not the best on the market by a long shot but yes its a dual sensor system with the primary lens 12 megapixels and the secondary camera is only 5 megapixels they take ok pictures but that is what you have the mods to improve things like this. One thing that the Z3 Play does have on its camera settings is a cutout feature which removes the background on a picture.  Taking a video with the Z3 Play gives you a crisp and nice looking footage but it can get shaky every now and again.

As for the Battery at 3,000mAh it’s quite a standard for a mid-range handset. Where you get the bonus is the turbo power charging just like a OnePlus it can charge a phone from 0% to 100% in less than an hour. You can also get the Moto Mod Power Pack that can give the phone a boost when out and about.

So Overall the Moto Z3 Play has plenty of positives in performance and the operating system and the fact most of the Mods are not overly expensive and there is a wide range to chose from such as a stereo speaker, Insta-Share projector, Polaroid printer and 360 camera to name a few. At less then £500 it’s not a bad option if you like collecting the Mods.

The only downfall is the built-in camera could do with being better and they could do with moving the fingerprint scanner or simply add face recognition to avoid unlocking it in future.  

The Specs:

Operating System: Andriod 8.1 (oreo)

Processor: Snapdragon 636

Screen: 6.1 inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels

Memory: 4 GB

Internal Memory: 64 GB

Water-Resistance: NO

Camera: Duel Pixel 12 MP

Video: YES

Available £439 from

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