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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  • Laxaa - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    The original Moto X was great. They should have released a compact version this time around.
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Would have been nice to see S618 (dual A72 + quad a53) instead of S615.

    Device looks amazing, would have bought for sure if it was 5"
  • Gogogoran - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    I forgot all about the S618/620. That would have been wicked indeed. I see the 615 as very much mid-range while the 618/620 would have been more befitting of an "entry flagship " that the play seems to be, especially in markets without the style.
  • madwolfa - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    No release in US?? Are they for real? Nothing to replace wife's Nexus 5 with. :(
  • dragonsqrrl - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    This wouldn't be much of a replacement for a Nexus 5, at least performance wise.
  • adityarjun - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    I am curious about why you think so? Other than the processor it seems to be an upgrade in every other aspect.
    I have no idea about the processor. How does the S615 fare against the S800?
  • dragonsqrrl - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    The Cortex A53 is significantly slower than Krait 400, and the Adreno 405 is slower than the 330. Don't really consider the larger display an upgrade. Why do you think this is a performance upgrade over the Nexus 5?
  • Nimer55 - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Guessing: Battery, Battery, Battery.
  • wffurr - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    WTB Moto X Style Mini
  • sonicmerlin - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Ugh I was so excited when I saw the name, thinking it a successor to the Xperia Play. But it's just another stupid rectangular slab. Wth???

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