Moto Z2 Play Review: Bad Sequel, Better Smartphone

Last year’s Moto Z Play was a smartphone with legendary battery life that didn’t break the bank. So, for the sequel, Motorola decided to shrink the battery – and bump up the price. Because … capitalism?

I was as irritated as anyone to see Motorola make that choice, since I really admired the original Z Play’s unique package of affordability and endurance. But what surprised me is that, even despite its shrunken battery (and my accompanying consternation) the Motorola Z2 Play is still a really good phone. Even more surprising: it’s also a pretty good deal — as long as you get it from Verizon. To see how that’s possible, check out MrMobile’s Moto Z2 Play Review! Then be sure to follow it up with Android Central’s Moto Z2 Play review for the deeper dive, and visit my Channel Page here on YouTube if you want the full take on all the new Moto Mods coming down the pike!



“Stay Mobile, My Friends” T-Shirt:

Motorola Moto Z2 Play:

Motorola Moto Mods 2017:

Fonesalesman Qi Wireless Charger:

mStand by Rain Design:

Scientific Sci-Fi Scanner (tricorder app):


MrMobile’s Moto Z2 Play Review was produced following seven days with a Moto Z2 Play review device on loan from Motorola/Lenovo. The device was used on Verizon Wireless and was connected to an Android Wear-powered Casio ProTrek for the duration of the review period, which took place in Greater Boston.


Android Central’s Moto Z2 Play Review:

Moto Mods Homepage at Motorola:


“Sensational” by Cymatix, available at Premium Beat:

“Lifetime Travels” by Cymatix, available at Premium Beat:



This post may contain affiliate links. See Mobile Nations’ disclosure policy for more details:


Kyle Netherwood says:

Excellent intro as always.

Alexy Vazquez says:

where do you get the star trek themes?

Krishna Chaitanya says:

+MrMobile Your reviews are of highest quality and its really hard to find one similar to yours. And I love your sense of humour.

derekisthematrix says:

Great review Michael. What’s your opinion on the best “non-flagship” phone camera? (budget or mid-tier)

Vinay chinthla says:

how said Moto will not updates Moto is ment for updates and excellent in software optimisation

StplyZ says:

I don’t know why, but I tend to love your reviews more than MKBHD’s…. No hate on Marques, but there’s something about your voice and editing that is so smooth and works well. Keep it up Tony Stark.

Nikolas Manuelides says:


Kaustubh Kadu says:

400 for the Phone+Powerpack Mod
It would be a sweet deal then

Partha Lele says:

5:30 Is this a shoutout to Apple to slap on a headphone jack on their newest iPhone??

Crazcompart says:

If you’re going to pay more, just wait for the Z2 Force – D’UH! The mods have done pretty well, although I’m not hip on carrying around a backpack just for handset accessories… It’s bad enough pocketing the wire and charger necessities as it is – and then there’s the matter of my big, ugly, cumbersome, beautiful sounding Pro Sennheisers…

Bilal Mughal says:

this, 3T or LG G6?

Elusian says:

I was looking forward for your review. As other reviewers cover mostly the same it is a bit dissappointing though.

The Z Play battery was the reason why I bought it and reducing it literally makes me wonder if the 3rd generation will stick to the lower battery or they listen and go back to the first Z Play. Cause I don’t buy this thing for its thin body, its camera or anything but the battery life coupled with the Moto Mod experience!

The battery was super great with Android 6, sadly 7 reduced my battery life tremendously. When I was able to hold the phone 3 to 3,5 days, it’s down to a lucky 2 days battery life with one full charge while maintaing the exact same phone behaviour so I cannot grasp to see why they cut the battery after they still havent improved the Android 7 software.

If I wanted a thinner body I would have went for the Moto Z (without Play) and get the same result so did they scrap the normal Z generally?

If someone would ask me which one to buy (cause he wants the Mod experience) I would have to tell him either the original Moto Z or the Z Play but definately not the Z2 Play. For me this piece of hardware is a potencial backstep.

Eric Price says:

Awesome review as usual! The hearing test booth was a nice touch. Always look forward to your videos.

Idi B says:

That shot a 5:17 is beautiful! bravo Mr.Mobile!

Aaron Morgan says:

Came to say I’m wearing that same watch in black. Great choice lol

MrMobile [Michael Fisher] says:

[UPDATE] Motorola replied to my request for comment concerning the poor charging rates:

“Since the first generation Moto Z Play came with a 15W charger, we chose to maintain that charge rate for the second generation device. Historically we have used the TurboPower branding for 15W chargers – these chargers help users fuel up fast by providing up to 8 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging, or 50% more battery life in 30 minutes.”

(Note that the charge rates I actually achieved in real life fell substantially short of those lofty promises.)

Ben Aviani-Bartram says:

3:09 the phone looks really flexible here.

Queen Hyo Purchase ' It's Me ' says:

great review! this is the way I’ll be going now that the price has dropped w/ verizon just a tad more. the speaker is still being offered.

just hate going from a lg g4 to this camera quality, but so many pros for the price.

Screaming-Muffin says:

i´m extremely hate the soft keys and fingerprint sensor on the front.

moto stop trying to be different, just stick a goddamn capacitive button on the side of the fingerprint sensor. jeez, fatal design flaw.

iTechUOutGuy says:

I want one! But I also want the new Moto x4! I love my Moto G5 Plus, Michael! Man! Moto has some great devices. Great work!

cerealkiller says:

They probably reduced the battery capacity so people would buy the mod.

DMD says:

Thumbs up for the Bullet Force gameplay:)

Root says:

I’m disappointed. A smaller battery in favour of thinness is not something the original Z Play stood for. Couple that with a higher price and it would be a no-go for me. Here’s hoping there will be something better when I will replace my S6 in a year’s time or so.

Edgar Valverde Camacho says:

Production is so good is ridiculous. This guys is just unique.

Justin Moyer says:

I’m curious to know how much more “forceful” the Z2 Force can be if the Z2 Play has hit a nice mix of specs. I guess it’d come down to the camera?

TheWolfHowling says:

I think this would a prime example of where it’s better to get the now cheaper last gen for the unlocked GSM model. The 626 might be more power efficient that the 625 but it’s basically the same in all the ways that matter and works with all the same MotoMods. Also, it’s true, Updates have been crap under Motonovo, my Moto X Force [AKA Droid Turbo 2] still has yet to receive the Android 7.0 Nougat that the company confirmed it would get back in October 2016. However, Motorola has sort of become my de facto choice by default and I’m thinking about getting the Z2 Force as I don’t like the glass sandwich that seems to have swept flagship design and their smallish battery capacities. I just hope that they don’t shrink the battery again as it’s gone from 3900 in the original Turbo, down to 3760 in the sequel , to 3500 in the current Z Force.

FINN t says:

game at 3:30?

Abhishek Rawal says:

which mobile should i choose… z play or z2 play……???? i hve no idea about battery life of z2 play….

Yash Goyal says:

Wait, what??

Kanwar Anand says:

Should I get this or the lg g6 or the u11?

Neo Kgatla says:

Since when is CPU speed responsible for the camera and Internet speed?

vs karni says:

still waiting for xz premium review…… just want to hear ur thoughts before buying it.

xz premium please

omegaPe says:

How the hell are those videos still getting better ? This is for sure the best review channel EVER ! Also, the phone looks very nice ^^ Too bad I bought a OnePlus 3T just a month ago

Modified67 says:

Thanks for the, as usual, great review. It’s very sad how Lenovorola has killed my enthusiasm for the brand. I love the tweaks they made to stock Android and I thought I’d never be able to live without them, but I’m having serious doubts now. None of their upcoming or current phones make me want them; quite the opposite. And the lack of timely updates is a real turn-off, not to mention their crappified customer service reputation. 😐

Q0T0J says:

I miss the old intro music… :c

Gautam Bajaj says:

this or G6?


You have so many headphones on the wall damm

sina jany says:

and how is htc’s squeeze gesture gimmick and the gestures on Motorola phones useful?!?!?!

Nitin Kanal says:

Hi this is Nitin you finally answered my request to do a review of the moto z2 play thanks again sir you are the best !!!

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