Motorola Z3 Play: Is It a Underrated Phone?

The moto Z3-play a mid-range device from the Lenovo subsidiary that caught my attention. This is the moto Z3 play review.


Performance pleasantly surprised me despite its middling specs with an outdated mid-range chip. 4 gigabytes of ram and an Adreno 509 GPU. The smooth and seamless navigation of basic pre-installed apps. Social media like twitter and using the camera was great.

However, what wowed me, was the stellar 3d gaming performance from what I’ve heard online the snapdragon 636 was never really that good. Even when it came out but from what I could tell it works well.

The very well placed side-mounted fingerprint scanner which unfortunately isn’t in the same spot as the lock button for some reason. And whilst we just happened to be talking about exterior features. The button layout on this device is kind of laughable. I mean what the hell will Lenovo thinking of with this. The lock buttons on the wrong side, the volume buttons are on kind of the opposite side then the fingerprint scanner. I don’t like it I prefer all my buttons to be on the same side.

We also happen to lose out on the headphone port. Which is an unfortunate thing on a device in this value sector of the market. Although USB 3.1 over type c is speedy. So for that most of the time, we only get USB 2.0 over type c or maybe USB 3 but never 3.1.

We get this large camera bump which acts as a guide for the moto mods which connect via these pins.


The feel of a modern moto device in the hand is fantastic with this being no exception. The glass and metal construction screams the word premium. And while the buttons are a little bit loose they click nicely. And the power and lock button that has a rigid pattern very nice.


The included battery back moto mod does do a good job of keeping the battery full until the end of the day. However, if those of you who want to use the phone naked or with a case you are going to have to top-up during the day which is fine because we do get a version of fast charge here.


Motorola software is a tough one because on the surface it seems a lot like something you’d find on a pixel with a very familiar stock aesthetic. But from what I can tell and from what the community has told me. Software updates tend to be a problem after just 18 months. This particular model did get android 9.0 which looks and feels great but the likelihood of the z3 player getting android q is pretty low and if it does get it it’s going to be pretty late.


The near 6 inches wide full HD AMOLED display has a lot to do with that sleek look and feel of the phone. I’ve noticed that more recently displays from motorola sport these fantastic colors. And this is no exception it’s crisp clear detailed and easy on the eyes while sporting great colors. Exceptional viewing angles even for an OLED.

Thanks to the 18 by 9 aspect ratio and rounded corners to things that I did hate on when they first came out but now I’ve really grown on me it doesn’t get as dim nor as bright as my note 8 panels or my one plus but is far better than the majority of mid-range IPS LCD s especially getting dim for comfortable viewing in bed which is an often overlooked.


The 12-megapixel camera on the z3 play is pretty good it’s not going to compete with the recently announced pixel 3a series. But equally shouldn’t disappoint you at all.

It has a 5-megapixel depth sensor attached which supposedly helps with portrait mode and the edge detection and overall. Colors and sharpness I would say are strong points for the camera with a dynamic range just falling short due to the slightly underwhelming processing.

If I had to label a bad point dynamic range would be it. The camera app is pretty plain on the surface which allows for a very clean and easy to use design. However, there are some manual options hidden behind certain settings which is something that I couldn’t figure out.

Moto Mod

A few moto mods. We’ve had this concept since the moto z, this magnetic attachment, and pins on the back of the phone. When you consider that these mods are half the price of a good used phone. It starts to make you wonder why Lenovo even thought this was a good idea. In the box with this device is a bundle package so it gives you a 2000 mah extra battery which I think is good and it makes the phone feel a lot more ergonomic.


  • Dimensions: 156.5 x 76.5 x 6.8 mm (6.16 x 3.01 x 0.27 in)
  • Weight: 156 g (5.50 oz)
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED
  • Display Size: 6.01 inches
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio
  • OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 (14 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260
  • Internal: 128 GB, 6 GB RAM (Brazil only) or 32/64 GB, 4 GB RAM
  • Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.7, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF
    5 MP, depth sensor
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 1/4″, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, magnetic connector, USB On-The-Go


The reason that I cannot recommend this phone and that’s because of the price. This phone comes in brand new 400 pounds or near and around that. And I just don’t think that’s good enough when you consider what you can buy for 400 pounds. There’s so much you can get for that amount of money

If you’ve to think you should upgrade I don’t think you should it’s a good phone and it might not last more than six months going into the future.