After leaking basically everywhere, Motorola today took the wraps off its new mid-range smartphone, the Moto Z3 Play. The device is the latest entry in the company’s Moto Z lineup that works with its various Moto Mods and will proceed the flagship Moto Z3 Force that should arrive later this summer.

MotoZ3Play - Deep Indigo - PDP Hero

Whereas last year’s Z2 Play sported an aluminum build, the Z3 Play opts for a glass design that looks very 2018. On the front sits a 6-inch Full HD 18:9 OLED display, while the back houses the necessary pogo pin array for Moto Mod compatibility.

Also on the back of the Z3 Play is a set of dual cameras, a first for any Z Play smartphone. The device sports a main 12MP shooter and secondary 5MP sensor that records depth data for portrait mode photographs. The phone comes with Google Lens built into its camera app and comes with a feature called Cinemagraphs that lets you pause certain sections of a video you’ve recorded while the rest of it plays out. There’s also an 8MP selfie shooter which also works with portrait mode.

Inside, the Z3 Play screams mid-range through and through. It packs a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The device is powered by Android 8.1 Oreo with Moto’s slight customizations and pre-loaded apps which, in the past, haven’t been very bothersome.

MotoZ3Play - Deep Indigo - Dyn Backside Right

Considering this is a Z Play smartphone, you’re probably wondering how big the battery is. After all, it’s what defines the Z Play series and makes it stand out from the pack. For the Z3 Play, Moto includes a 3000mAh cell which is the same size as what was in the Z2 Play last year. It’s also still smaller than what was in the original Z Play. Still, users can likely expect improved efficiency and better endurance throughout the day thanks to Android 8.1’s optimizations.

Of course, since the screen on the front of the Z3 Play is so tall, Moto didn’t have any room left for a traditional fingerprint sensor. Instead, the company has opted for a side-mounted sensor which we’ve seen on phones like Sony’s Xperia. I’m not entirely sure how well this will work in practice, but it isn’t like Moto had a choice in this case. They can’t put it on the back because it’ll be covered by a Moto Mod and the front is entirely out of the question. They could’ve put the scanner under the display, but it would be rather odd to see it in a mid-range phone before lots of flagships even get a chance to utilize it.

In the end, the Z3 Play looks pretty promising. It’s gonna be coming to both Sprint and US Cellular this summer and other retailers unlocked, but we’re not sure how much it’ll cost. We do know it’ll come bundled with a battery Mod for $499, but that’s about it. We’ll let you know when we have more information.

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Posted by Max Buondonno

Founder and executive editor at Matridox (formally MBEDDED). I've also founded and am the sitting CEO at MBEDDED Media, a new kind of media company. Lover of anything and everything involving technology. I know CSS and basic HTML to an extent. Writer, blogger, critic, coder, and self-certified genius. Oh, and I'm told I'm a legend, if that means anything to you.

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