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June 30, 2018

Moto Z3 Play: Everything you need to know!

by John_A

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Motorola packs a punch for round three of the Z Play.

Motorola’s Moto Z Play line has gone through a lot of changes in the few short years it’s existed. The original Z Play was an excellent alternative to the much more expensive Moto Z and offered tremendous battery life with support to take it even further with Moto Mods.

The Z2 Play decreased the battery capacity while increasing the price by $50, and this year with the Z3 Play, we’re met with the same 3,000 mAh battery and $499 price tag of its predecessor while also getting dual cameras, a full glass back, and a new on-screen gesture system.

If your interest has been peaked by the Z3 Play, here’s everything you need to know!

The latest Moto Z3 Play news

June 29, 2018 — The Z3 Play is now certified for Verizon Wireless

Even though the Moto Z3 Play isn’t sold on Verizon, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it with Big Red.

On June 29, Verizon officially certified the Z3 Play for use on the network — meaning that you can bring it over with peace of mind knowing you’ll get talk, text, and LTE data without any problems.

June 21, 2018 — Pre-orders are open now!

If you want to be among the first to own the Z3 Play, you can pre-order it now from not only Motorola’s website, but at Best Buy and B&H, too.

The Z3 Play will set you back $499 at any of the above retailers, but if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can pick it up for just $449 through Amazon’s Prime Exclusive program.

See at Amazon

All the big details

Check out our hands-on preview

If you want to know what it’s like to play around with the Moto Z3 Play, why not take a look at our hands-on coverage?

AC’s Daniel Bader got a chance to go up close and personal with the Z3 Play, and you can read and watch his thoughts in both written and video form ✍️📺.

Moto Z3 Play hands-on preview: Three’s company

Review the specs

If you like playing the numbers game, the Moto Z3 Play does a pretty solid job at holding its own compared to other phones in its price range. Some of the highlights include a Snapdragon 636 processor, Android 8.1, and a healthy 4GB RAM.

To learn even more about what makes the Z3 Play tick, check out our full spec rundown below.

Moto Z3 Play Specifications

See how it compares to the Z2 Play

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The Moto Z3 Play might be newer and flashier than last year’s Z2 Play, but should owners of its predecessor shell out another $499 to upgrade?

You’ll find a lot of improvements with the Z3 Play, such as a newer processor and slimmer bezels, but the Z2 Play still puts up a fight in mid-2018 with a 3.5mm headphone jack (something the Z3 Play doesn’t have), a more traditional fingerprint sensor, and sturdier aluminum back.

This one’s a toss-up in a lot of ways, so be sure to give our detailed, hands-on comparison a look.

Moto Z3 Play vs. Moto Z2 Play: Should you upgrade?

Motorola’s toying with a new on-screen gesture system

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Previous Moto phones have featured a unique navigation system that replaces Google’s on-screen buttons in favor of a series of swipes performed on the front-facing fingerprint sensor.

With the Z3 Play, Motorola’s evolving that idea and taking some inspiration from Android P by moving those gestures from the fingerprint sensor and making them on-screen. Swiping left goes back, Swiping right brings up your recent apps, and a single tap takes you home.

It’s unclear if Motorola will continue to offer this once Android P rolls around, but it’s a fun and unique way to make your way around the phone.

The fingerprint sensor is in a unique place

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A quick glance at the Z3 Play might lead you to believe that Motorola forgot to include a fingerprint sensor, but there is one there if you know where to look.

An indented area on the right side of the phone is where the Z3 Play’s fingerprint sensor lies, and because of its position, the power/lock button has been moved to the left.

This positioning of buttons could cause for some confusion/irritation in day-to-day use, but at the very least, it’s a unique implementation we really don’t see all that often.

There are dual cameras

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One of the biggest upgrades to the Z3 Play over its predecessors lies with its camera. This is the first entry in the Z Play lineup to come equipped with dual rear cameras, and on the Z3 Play, we’ve got a 12MP and 5MP combo.

Motorola’s upgraded processing should allow for improved low-light photos compared to the Z2 Play and the secondary lens allows for much better (if not the best) portrait shots.

You’ll also find features such as 4K video recording at 30 FPS and a built-in cinemagraph tool.

It’s compatible with all existing Moto Mods

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Motorola promised its lineup of Moto Mods would work on Moto Z phones for three full years, and it’s keeping that promise with the Z3 Play.

This is the last Z Play phone that’ll work with all existing Moto Mods, and in mid-2018, you have a lot of them to choose from.

Motorola’s done a great job at building up its library of Mods over the years, with some of the highlights including a Nintendo Switch-like gamepad, external speaker, an assortment of battery packs, and much more.

Here’s every Moto Mod you can buy for the Moto Z series

You’ll pay $499 to own the Z3 Play

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If you’re interested in picking up the Moto Z3 Play, Motorola’s charging $499 for it.

For comparison’s sake, the Moto G6 offers a vastly similar experience for around $260 less and the OnePlus 6 costs $30 more while offering a much more capable processor, better cameras, and a headphone jack.

The Z3 Play certainly isn’t a bad phone, but unless you plan on making full use of the Moto Mod ecosystem, don’t be afraid to broaden your horizon’s and see what else is out there.

See at Motorola

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