Review: Motorola X Play

Something a little different from us this time! :)

Twitter and Facebook followers may have noticed us posting photos tagged with “Taken with Motorola X Play” like this one:

Alexander Graham Bell Museum
Alexander Graham Bell Museum

That’s because Motorola Canada sent us the Motorola X Play to review. Although they sent us the phone to use for a couple of weeks it didn’t influence our review.

Product shot provided by Motorola Canada

This review won’t be overly technical about the photography side – for that check out our blog entry on Stuff We Made.

Things I really liked:

  • Very capable camera (21megapixels, f2.0, 1080p video at 30fps and a slow mo ability)
  • Quick shake to turn the camera on
  • Ability to have camera brightness control on screen
Brightness control
Brightness control
  • A solid and easy to use photo editing program built in
  • Vivid, clear screen
  • Sound quality on calls is clear
  • Battery life is amazing
  • Price: $450 Canadian
  • Ability to add microSD card (more storage)
microSD card holder
microSD card holder


  • Really only one thing, the power and volume buttons feel cheap

That’s the quick version. :)

Having used this phone for a couple weeks two things really stood out – battery life and the camera.

In Motorola’s press release for the phone they claimed you could get a day’s use from the battery. I usually take with a grain of salt, but with normal use (including photos, editing, social media, GPS use) I could easily come home with 30% battery left.

With this being a travel blog I always look for a good camera in a phone since I don’t always have my dSLR with me. The X Play easily replaces a point and shoot for most every application.

Cape Smokey HDR - unedited
Cape Smokey HDR – unedited
Cape Smokey area - unedited
Cape Smokey area – unedited

I printed off the second image at 4×6 and it turned out good, certainly enough to share with people or make a card from. I also tried at 8.5×11, which was passable, but I think I’d stick to prints on the smaller side.

The Motorola X Play has another thing in its favour – no clutter. Motorola has done a really great job of only adding things that make sense and it’s very unobtrusive. It also contributes to the long battery life (less stuff running) and the snappiness of the phone. I experienced no slow downs and no resets.

I’ve used phones before that had radio tuning but they all required you to listen through the headphones. The X Play needs headphones plugged in to use as an antenna, but goes that extra step and lets you  play through the speakers. Great if you stop somewhere to eat and want to listen to what the local station has on the go – something we often do while travelling to hear about events in the area we may not have known about.

At just $450 dollars the Motorola X Play is an absolutely fantastic option for people that want a budget priced phone that’s loaded with great features – and a battery that goes all day. :)


Gallery (all photos have been edited):

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