What Is It? Motorola – owned by Lenovo – has long been a good name in smartphones, and the latest offering is a Moto Z2 Play the second generation of their Android phone with the “Play” name. The whole Moto Z line has one neat trick not found much elsewhere – modules that attach magnetically to the back of the phones that give them extra features. More about that in a moment. The Moto Z2 Play is billed as “thinner, lighter, faster” than the first generation, and that’s generally true, with a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3 or 4 GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of built-in storage – plus room for a microSD card holding up to 2 TB more. It has a 5.5-inch full super AMOLED display under Gorilla Glass and is water-resistant but not waterproof – so some raindrops won’t hurt, but dropping it in a toilet will. The front & rear cameras are 12 megapixels and 5 MP respectively with good low light vision and most of the usual smartphone camera features. The maker of the Moto Z2 Play touts its long-life battery, said to last up to 30 hours in mixed use, with a TurboPower charge that can add 8 hours in 15 minutes of plug time. Of course, the phone has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM radio; it uses a USB-C port, but there’s a regular 3.5 mm headphone jack, as well as a front-aimed speaker and 3 mics.
So back to the modules: all the modules available previously for the earlier versions of the various Motos are still usable for the Moto Z2 Play, but there are also some new ones. For instance, there’s the JBL SoundBoost 2, an upgraded version of the snap-on speakers with kickstand that includes 10 extra hours of battery time; a Moto Gamepad that is exactly what it sounds like; a Moto Turbopower Pack that attaches to give an extra day of battery life; and a Moto Style Shell that is both a nicely designed back for the phone, and also allows wireless charging with a Qi or PMA charging pad (not included).
Is It 50+ Friendly? This is a nice phone for any age group, weighing a little over 5 ounces (without any add-on modules) and about 6 inches high by 3 inches across. My wife found it a little too long for her hands (she has an older Samsung) but it felt fine to me.
Frustration Factor? You need to put something on the back, whether it’s one of the Moto modules or a simple shell because without them the camera lens sticks out and the 16 little connectors for the modules are visible. The long-lasting battery was a little longer-lasting in the previous model.
Is It Worth It? The Moto Z2 Play is a good value for a mid-range phone, and all the add-on modules are a plus, even if you never buy or use one (I’ve seen the phone “packaged” with one or two modules). It is available now from Verizon for about $400 for the 32 GB model and will be available unlocked elsewhere later this summer.