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Review: Moto X Play

Does Moto's new mid-ranger have enough wow factor?

Moto X Play

Moto X Play

The Moto X Play was a surprise announcement in this year’s Motorola line-up, a brand-new handset sandwiched between the top-end Moto X Style and third generation of the popular budget buy Moto G. However, the Moto X Play is more than just a mid-range option for those that want a better screen and faster performance than the Moto G offers, but can’t afford the Moto X Style (or Pure Edition, as its known in the US).

The Moto X Play houses a gigantic 3,630mAh battery that Motorola says will last two days, which is much larger than the Style’s own 3,000mAh power cell. It also boasts a 21MP rear camera, double the size of the camera housed on the new iPhone and, more importantly, it helps distinguish it from other reasonably priced phones like the OnePlus 2, Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and Honor 6 Plus.

Starting at £279, the Moto X Play can’t afford to offer the same premium design details as the £359.99 Moto X Style, which has a metal rim and comes with a choice of rear case choices including genuine leather and wooden backs. However, the Play feels more sturdy and solidly built than the Moto G (2015). This may be in part due to its 148 x 75mm size, but it also has a toughened trim that glistens so it could pass for aluminium and a rubberised backplate with a criss-cross pattern for better grip.

Between this and the Gorilla Glass 3 screen, we’re confident that you could drop this phone without easily scratching it. Sadly though, the Play lacks the IPX7 rating that the Moto G (2015) has, which means you can submerge the budget handset in a cool glass of water for 30 minutes without doing any damage. Instead, it has a so-called ‘nano-coating’ that protects the phone from spills, splashes and light rain.

Find out more about the Moto X play in our review in issue 56 of Android Magazine.