Moto Z2 Play shaping up to be as good -- or better -- than its predecessor

 digitaltrends.com  4/21/2017 11:02:33 PM   Kyle Wiggers

Why it matters to you

Lenovo's original Moto Z was a big hit last year, and the next version is shaping up to be just as good -- if not better.

Lenovo’s Moto Z Play was one of the most popular midrange smartphones of last year, and for good reason — it stuffed reasonably high-end hardware into a compact, affordable package. But it’s getting a little long in the tooth. Luckily, rumors about its successor — reportedly dubbed the Moto Z2 Play — have begun to emerge, and they suggest that it’ll be just as compelling as the original.

Here’s everything we know about the Moto Z2 Play so far.

Design

One thing about the Moto Z2 Play that isn’t a mystery is its design. TechnoBuffalo managed to obtain an early rendering, and it looks a lot like last year’s model.

Perhaps the most obvious holdover from the earlier model is the 16-prong connector for Lenovo’s Moto Mods, the hardware add-ons that extend the phone’s functionality. Among the growing library of peripherals are high-end cameras, external batteries, speakers, projectors, and even physical keyboards.

The front-facing flash on last year’s Moto Z Play seems to have remained in place, as has the prominent circle-shaped rear camera hump.

But the Moto Z2 Play isn’t without appreciable design tweaks. According to TechnoBuffalo, the home button now doubles as a fingerprint sensor, and supports swiping gestures that can replace on-screen navigation keys (much like the Moto G5 and G5 Plus). And the overall frame is slightly thinner.

Specs

The Moto Z2 Play’s specs are currently a mystery, but last year’s model gives a good frame of reference.

The Moto Z Play sported a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080 pixels) screen shielded with Gorilla Glass 3, and a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 3GB of RAM. Rounding out those internals was 32GB of base internal storage (expandable via microSD), a fingerprint sensor, and a USB Type-C connector

If the new Moto Z2 Play is anything like the original, it’ll take great photos. Last year’s model packed an impressive pair of cameras: A front 5MP sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and 1.4 µm pixel size, and a rear 16MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection and laser autofocus, and dual-LED flash.

It should also have fantastic battery life. The Moto Z Play boated a 3,510mAh battery that lasted about a day and a half on a charge. Better yet, it supported Motorola’s TurboPower fast-charging technology, which can deliver up to hours of battery in 15 minutes of charging.

Pricing and Availability

It’s unclear just when Motorola will take the wraps off the Moto Z2 Play, but if history is anything to go by, it won’t be long.

According to TechnoBuffalo, Lenovo could announce the Moto Z2 Play as soon as June 8.

That’s early. Last year, Motorola launched the Z Play at an event in August and began shipping it in September.

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