In a somewhat interesting twist, Motorola has announced a new version of the Moto X designed to slot in between the Moto X’s traditional flagship position and the Moto G’s mid-range position. As a result, this is probably the closest thing to a competitor to the OnePlus Two and similar phones in the 300-400 USD price range. To figure out what you gain or lose in the move from the high-end Moto X Style to the Moto X Play, I’ve placed the specs below to provide some perspective.

  Moto X Play Moto X Style
SoC Snapdragon 615 1.7 GHz A53 Snapdragon 808
1.8/1.44 GHz
Cortex A57/A53
NAND 16GB NAND + microSD 16/32/64GB NAND + microSD
Display 5.5” 1080p
5.7” 1440p
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 4 LTE) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 6 LTE)
Dimensions 148 x 75 x 8.9-10.9mm, 169g 153.9 x 76.2 x 6.1-11.06mm, 179g
Camera 21MP Rear Facing Camera
21MP Rear Facing w/ PDAF
f/2.0, 1.1 micron 1/2.4" sensor
5MP Front Facing 5MP Front Facing w/ LED Flash
Battery 3630 mAh (13.79 Whr) 3000 mAh (11.4 Whr)
OS Android 5.1 (At Launch) Android 5.1 (At Launch)
Connectivity 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n +
BT 4.0,
2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac +
BT 4.1,

As one can see, the Moto X Play seems to fit somewhat squarely between the Moto G and Moto X Style. Rather than a Snapdragon 808 SoC or Snapdragon 410 SoC, the Moto X Play has a Snapdragon 615 SoC. However, due to the octa-core Cortex A53 CPU and Adreno 405 GPU the Snapdragon 615 SoC is arguably closer to an upgraded Snapdragon 410 rather than a detuned Snapdragon 808. There’s also less RAM at 2GB, but this shouldn’t have an enormous effect on the experience. The display is also smaller and lower in resolution at 5.5” and 1080p, respectively. However, the Moto X Play retains the 21MP camera with dual color temperature flash, but this seems to have a different module as there’s no mention of PDAF although the aperture is the same f/2.0. It is nice to see that the NLP and sensor hubs are shared across the two versions, although it isn’t clear whether there are using the same SoC. One major advantage of the Moto X Play over the Moto X Style is likely to be battery life, as the 3630 mAh battery is 21% larger. There’s also no dual stereo speaker system like the Moto X Style, which makes it a bit more like the Moto X (2nd gen) with its single front-ported speaker.

Overall, the Moto X Play seems to a reasonably cut down version of the Moto X Style, but the cuts are relatively even all around rather than any critical loss in a single area. Of course, it will take a review to see just exactly what was lost. The Moto X Play will go on sale in August, but it doesn’t seem like there are plans to bring this device to the US. Given the fierce competition in this segment with companies like OnePlus, it remains to be seen if this device will be a success.

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  • Shadow7037932 - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    >The Moto X Play will go on sale in August, but it doesn’t seem like there are plans to bring this device to the US.

    Nooooooooooooooo :(
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    They should've named it Moto P instead. It is the middle letter from G to X.
  • junky77 - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    I agree. This is far from a Moto X. Yet, that is actually the strategy of smartphone companies by using the flagship and create its smaller brother. Samsung and Sony has mini, while LG has the "s". It's quite misleading to most consumers.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Holy crap, we (Canada) get something you don't for once!
  • junky77 - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    tipoo, you still got Canada..
  • meacupla - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    don't worry, that just means canada won't get something else.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    lol I was mildly interested despite the size, mainly because of that beefy battery, then I read that, dunno why they wouldn't bring this stateside... How is there NOT room for a midrange model between $200 & $400? Are the margins that slim on this model?
  • NGC5189 - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    A rumor, and I must stress this is purely a rumor, I keep seeing is that in order to get compatibility with all the different carriers, Motorola had to negotiate with all of them. It's speculated that Verizon wanted to maintain their Android battery dominance with the Droid Turbo. So the Play can't come to the US, unless it gets rebranded as the Droid Play or some other nonsense and is made a Verizon exclusive. Now I repeat that this is all rumor and no intel on the decision has been given by Motorola themselves.
  • tipoo - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    How much better is the Adreno 405 than the Adreno 306 in the Moto G?

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