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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  • mszew - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    What about wireless charging. I'd love to update Nexus 5 with something with better camera, but also love the AirDock mount in the car. You get in, place the phone on charger and voila. In Lolipop it can unlock when connected to car Bluetooth and works great. Only the camera...
  • exmachiner - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    Well, comparison of Moto X Play to OnePlus 2 16GB is inevitable, due to simultaneous launches, similar price points and (probably) the same targeted markets.

    The latter has a much better processor (S810 vs S615), more RAM ( 3GB vs 2GB), fingerprint scan, newer gorilla glass (4 vs 3) and probably a better camera (at lower resolution). The advantages of Moto X Play are - a card slot, a bigger battery and pure android (which means faster update to Android M).

    Overall, I think S615 is a bad choice - if this phone is priced equal to the OnePlus 2 it should have a S808. But since it doesnt, hopefully there will be a price differential to balance it.
  • HuHey - Saturday, August 15, 2015 - link

    Moto Play - 300$
    Moto Style - 400$
    One Plus 2 - 389$

    Why are you comparing Play to the OP2 , when Style is much closer to the price , or is it because the Style is just better that you don't want to compare ?
  • sicyo - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link


    This is the one I want the most, and it's not coming to US apparently.

    Guess I'll have to wait for the next Nexus or Project Ara.
  • Hrel - Thursday, July 30, 2015 - link

    Eh, they're all 1440 screens, pass! I want 1080p damnit!
  • KhushBohra - Sunday, March 27, 2016 - link

    Hi, Please help me. I am very confused. Which phone should I buy - OnePlus 2 or Moto X Play. Please suggest me the perfect phone. I also will root it and want a phone with less restrictions as per my usage. It is very difficult to choose between the two. Suggest the best one IRRESPECTIVE OF PRICE...i just want better one...price does not matter....pls help..

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