Moto X Play review

It's time for Motorola to entertain you

Moto X Play
Moto X Play

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People are shouting about the Moto X Style offering Quad-HD resolution on a cheaper smartphone, and it does look beautiful. The Moto X Play, meanwhile, is still restricted to 1080p resolution.

I'd argue that that's not a bad thing, and I'd actually prefer to have this display on the Moto X Play. There's no denying a QHD display is a big bonus when you're watching video, but I really think Full HD is the best option for the Moto X Play.

Moto X Play

It's a 5.5-inch TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, meaning it has 403 pixels per inch. It won't compete with the Google Pixel XL and Samsung Galaxy S7 with their beautiful QHD displays, but if you're just using it to watch the odd video, and when you take price into account, this is the exact screen quality you need.

Full HD means less of a drain on the battery. It's bright when you need it to be and it offers good viewing angles in bright light, unlike some other phones in this price bracket. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

Key features

Motorola is aiming the Play at the outgoing person who wants a durable smartphone that isn't going to let them down when they most need it.

That's why the phone has a water-repellent coating, which I mentioned briefly earlier. It does mean your phone will be okay if you're caught in a shower – but that's about all.

When testing the Moto X Play's water resistance I always felt nervous about pushing it too far, which left me wondering why didn't Motorola go the whole hog.

The Moto X Play should have full-blown IP67 water and dust protection. You should be able to jump in a lake with it and happily use it in the rain.

I appreciate that incorporating such protection would impact on the design, but having covers on a few ports isn't a great inconvenience if I know my phone will be capable of surviving anything I throw at it.

Moto X Play

Fast charging is another key feature on the Moto X Play, and it's a big selling point if you're running low on juice. The problem here is that the charger needed to take advantage of fast charging isn't included in the box.

I assume this is to do with keeping costs down, but as it's such a major selling point of the phone Motorola should really have stuck one in the box.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.