Moto Z Play Review: Playmodo: Performance

By 06:30 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

The Moto Z Play is not a powerhoutilize by any standards. The Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) panel and 3GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) are nice touches and ones indicative of an above average offer. However, driving the handset is the Snapdragon 625. Modest as it may be, as already made clear in the battery section of the review, its efficient 14nm production process yields a major advantage to battery life.

This is definitely a plus and a selling point to note, however, with a price point of $450 or so, the Moto Z Play finds itself amid a very competitive crowd. That just happens to be the relatively recent extreme value segment, spearheaded by fantastic offers, like the OnePlus 3T or the ZTE Axon 7. Along with a few other devices, these raise the hardware stakes significantly, throwing in things like the powerful Snapdragon 820 or 821 chipsets in the mix.


That being said, there isn't really any significant value to be had hardware-wise if you opt for the Moto Z Play. Its eight simple 2.0 Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 cores, coupled with 3GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) and an Adreno 503 GPU will power through most everyday tasks with ease. However, you can't really expect anything more from them. The real pickle is that a similarly priced competitor can really blow it away, in terms of raw performance.

To illustrate the point, we have picked out a few such popular powerful and budget-conscious devices to pit the Moto Z Play up against. These include the Asus Zenfone 3, ZTE Nubia Z11 and Xiaomi Mi 5s, to name a few more. However, we were equally interested to find out how fine the Moto Z Play actually utilizes the efficient Snapdragon 625 SoC.

That is why on the other discontinue of the spectrum, we threw in a few other devices, based on the same hardware. Notable mentions include the Samsung Galaxy C7, Oppo R9s and the quite compelling Lenovo P2. The last of the bunch could actually turn out to be a remarkable alternative to the Moto Z Play - one that checks all of the same boxes and more, loosing mainly the Moto Mods. And since efficient chipsets seem to be the norm in this comparison, we also couldn't fail to mention the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). Particularly its Exynos 7870 variant - also rocking eight Cortex-A53 chips, made on an efficient 14nm FinFET process.

Kicking things off with the all-round AnTuTu benchmark, we see the Moto Z Play destroyed by its competitors. There is some consolation to be found in the fact that the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) still lacks behind, which seems to be a trdiscontinue across all the benchimprint tests. However, the latter is cheaper.

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AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    165097

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    151619

  • LG G5

    134541

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    131758

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    131666

  • ZTE Axon 7

    129926

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    129461

  • Nubia Z11

    129099

  • Meizu Pro 6

    99195

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    97392

  • Huawei Honor 8

    94892

  • Meizu MX6

    92377

  • Huawei Mate 8

    91609

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    82744

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    77442

  • Oppo R9s

    66081

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    63358

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    62818

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    62217

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    49094

If we attempt to dissect that a small further, we quickly come to the conclusion that the low score of the Moto Z Play is on all front. No one component, like the CPU, RAM, GPU or storage can be singled out and blamed for the lack in overall performance.

That being said, the eight Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 2.0 Giga Hertz (GHz) can only do so much, as evident by the Geekbench results.

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6660

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6427

  • Huawei Honor 8

    6380

  • Huawei Mate 8

    6323

  • OnePlus 3T

    5956

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    5566

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    5543

  • LG G5

    5362

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    5358

  • Nubia Z11

    5249

  • Meizu MX6

    5215

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    5103

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    5026

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    4869

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    4584

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    4140

GeekBench 3 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    2560

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    2345

  • LG G5

    2328

  • Nubia Z11

    2313

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    2312

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    2305

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    2118

  • Meizu Pro 6

    1905

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    1892

  • Huawei Honor 8

    1831

  • Meizu MX6

    1724

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    1505

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    933

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    922

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    745

Performance remains equally unimpressive in the graphics department. The Adreno 506 is clearly struggling to push pixels on the 1080p panel in most every demanding scenario. Perhaps 720p might have been a better fit.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    49

  • OnePlus 3T

    49

  • LG G5

    47

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    45

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    44

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    39

  • Nubia Z11

    31

  • Meizu Pro 6

    18

  • Huawei Mate 8

    18

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    18

  • Huawei Honor 8

    18

  • Meizu MX6

    17

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    15

  • ZTE Axon 7

    15

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    15

  • Oppo R9s

    10

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    9.9

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    9.8

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    9.8

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    4.9

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    48

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    44

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    43

  • Nubia Z11

    34

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    31

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    28

  • LG G5

    28

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    19

  • Huawei Honor 8

    19

  • Meizu Pro 6

    18

  • Huawei Mate 8

    18

  • Meizu MX6

    17

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    15

  • ZTE Axon 7

    12

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    10

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    9.7

  • Oppo R9s

    9.7

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    9.6

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    9.5

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    9.2

Even in OpenGL ES 3.0 scenarios, you can't really expect to run most games in native resolution well. However, most casual games shouldn't be an issue, as they are typically quite well optimized.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    33

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    32

  • ZTE Axon 7

    31

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    30

  • LG G5

    30

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    28

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    26

  • Nubia Z11

    22

  • Meizu Pro 6

    11

  • Meizu MX6

    11

  • Huawei Mate 8

    10

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    10

  • Huawei Honor 8

    10

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    9.5

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    9.3

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    7.2

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    6.2

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    6.2

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    6.2

  • Oppo R9s

    6.2

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    33

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    29

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    26

  • Nubia Z11

    22

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    18

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    15

  • ZTE Axon 7

    15

  • LG G5

    15

  • Meizu Pro 6

    11

  • Meizu MX6

    11

  • Huawei Mate 8

    11

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    11

  • Huawei Honor 8

    11

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    9.5

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    6.7

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    6.1

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    6.1

  • Oppo R9s

    6.1

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    5.1

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    3.2

There is one more note to be made here, to address the quite obvious variance between onclassy screen and offclassy screen rendering results. The thing is, most benchmarks we ran didn't really manage to cover the Moto Z Play's onclassy screen navigation bar, which means they ran at a slightly lower resolution.

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    20

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    19

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    17

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    16

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    16

  • LG G5

    16

  • Nubia Z11

    16

  • ZTE Axon 7

    15

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6.4

  • Huawei Honor 8

    6.3

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6.2

  • Meizu MX6

    6

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    5.6

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    5.4

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    3.4

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    3.4

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    3.4

  • Oppo R9s

    3.4

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    20

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    17

  • Nubia Z11

    17

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    16

  • ZTE Axon 7

    16

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    12

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    8.8

  • LG G5

    8.8

  • Huawei Honor 8

    6.9

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6.8

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6.4

  • Meizu MX6

    6

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    5.4

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    3.7

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    3.4

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    3.4

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    3.4

  • Oppo R9s

    3.4

The Baseimprint X results are quite consistent with those from GFXBench. Still, looking at the different arrangement of the Snapdragon 625 phones on the chart between high and medium quality mode, it almost seems like the Moto Z Play can't handle the increased video memory loads from the higher quality modes and is thus taking a performance hit.

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    36958

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    36322

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    36240

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    33874

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    33110

  • ZTE Axon 7

    32243

  • LG G5

    29456

  • Nubia Z11

    23899

  • Huawei Honor 8

    16592

  • Huawei Mate 8

    15593

  • Meizu Pro 6

    15209

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    15058

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    14651

  • Meizu MX6

    12621

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    12190

  • Oppo R9s

    10519

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    10445

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    10401

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    5383

Baseimprint X (medium)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    43333

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    42493

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    41785

  • ZTE Axon 7

    38812

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    35292

  • Nubia Z11

    30864

  • LG G5

    29148

  • Huawei Honor 8

    28832

  • Huawei Mate 8

    27425

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    27158

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    27147

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    24507

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    23846

  • Meizu Pro 6

    23774

  • Meizu MX6

    21962

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    21300

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    21164

  • Oppo R9s

    21128

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    11199

Last, but not least, Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II paints the final touches to the overall unimpressive picture that is the Moto Z Play performance report.

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) II

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3T

    3328

  • Lenovo Moto Z Droid

    2698

  • Nubia Z11

    2591

  • Xiaomi Mi 5s

    2507

  • LeEco Le Max 2

    2494

  • Xiaomi Mi 5

    2444

  • LG G5

    2425

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    2155

  • Huawei Mate 8

    2033

  • Huawei Honor 8

    2029

  • ZTE Axon 7

    1889

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro

    1648

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S

    1575

  • Meizu Pro 6

    1446

  • Samsung Galaxy C7

    1368

  • Motorola Moto Z Play

    1226

  • Meizu MX6

    1203

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    999

To put it simply, the Moto Z Play performance is lower than some competing smartphones in the same price point. It is also accurate that the Moto Z Play won't fail you regardless how you utilize it. It's just you could acquire a faster performing device - granted, perhaps not with this long battery life. You just have to pick your priorities.


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