Review: Motorola Moto Z Play and Hasselblad True Zoom Mod
All things considered, the Z Play from Motorola makes far more sense than the Z Droid or Z Force Droid. The Z Play's hardware is every bit as good as the Z and Z Force, and the performance of the lower-cost device is close enough that the differences aren't worth qualifying.
The Z Play is an attractive piece of hardware that was designed with care and manufactured to the highest standards. The phone has a nice screen, solid wireless speeds, and just about the best battery life I've seen from a modern smartphone. Call quality could be a smidgen better, and — aside from some undeletable bloatware — the Android user interface is straight-forward and downright useful.
I'm pleased with the camera app and the performance of the built-in camera. The optional True Zoom mod from Hasselblad adds 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization, but isn't as quick on its feet and it's hard to say that it adds any real value. I do like that the Z Play handles the full ecosystem of other Moto Mods, including speakers, projectors, rear shells, and batteries. That's a stronger selling point for me.
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Let's talk economics. The Moto Z Droid Edition is $625 and the Moto Z Force Droid Edition is $720, give or take. The Z Play Droid is far less at $400. Given how similar the Z Play is to its stablemates in appearance, quality, and performance, I wholly recommend you save $200 - $300 and go with the Z Play. Think of it as extra cash for the Hasselblad or some other Moto Mod. The Z Play may not be the best Z on paper, but it's the best Z for real people.
Last, we have to point out that the full lineup of Z-branded handsets will soon be sold in unlocked GSM variants in the near future. If you're Verizon-averse, you can pick up AT&T/T-Mobile compatible versions in a few weeks.
5 Best Unlocked Smartphones
Unlocked smartphones let you use your device on the carrier of your choice, whether at home or travelling overseas. Though unlocked phones tend to be pricey, you can't really put a price on the freedom they offer.
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