I’m a girl who loves gadgets! Give me a new tech device and I’m in heaven.
Being both a Mac and Android user, it can be challenging to get new gadgets to work together with my existing technology. But, when I was given the chance to test-drive Motorola’s Moto X Play smartphone and the Moto360 android watch late last year, I jumped at the chance. I reviewed them for my Holiday Gift Guide, outlining my initial thoughts, and I was thrilled with their functionality. You may have even seen my Instagram posts, showing all of the cool ways I’ve been able to customize my Moto360 watch face to match my outfit or my mood.
But, to me, the real test is how technology performs after you’ve had it for a while. So I thought I’d follow up with another review, outlining the pros and cons of these products, based on daily usage.
Motorola makes it really easy to transfer data from an existing phone to the Moto X Play, right out of the box. I was pleased that it wasn’t a time consuming task, but be prepared to spend some time setting up preferences.
Pros of the Moto X Play and Moto 360
- Moto X Play is sleek, not-too-big and fits easily in my back pocket
- Beautiful screen clarity and resolution
- Takes crisp, high-quality pictures with its 21 MP camera, especially in daylight
- Camera’s light meter is helpful in low light environments, or for areas where the background is brighter than the foreground (or vice versa)
- Processor is snappy for the average user
- Can be upgraded with an external SD card, up to 128GB*
- Easily connects with Moto 360 (set-up was painless)
- Moto app (Motorola Assist) makes hands-free and convenience features easy to set up and use
- Hands-free functionality is wonderful and integrates seamlessly with Moto 360 via Bluetooth
- Phone/watch integration with apps (especially Google apps) is awesome
- Motorola Connect makes it easy to customize watch face
- Moto 360 tracks physical activity – steps, heart rate, etc.
- Easily access activity stats via Moto Body app
- Set reminders, take notes and more via speech-to-text functionality on both devices
- Moto 360 has music playback controls on face
- Google Maps’ turn-by-turn directions appear on watch (super convenient when driving)
- Moto 360 can be set up to receive notifications (email, calendar, reminders, etc) so it’s unobtrusive in social settings like restaurants (and your kid’s ballet recital!)
- Moto 360 has remote camera functionality; set up your Moto X Play anywhere and initiate the shutter via your watch.
- Battery life is good, and hasn’t decreased even after using it for many months. (Note: I’ve yet to get a 48-hour charge out of it, per the phone’s specs, but I’m an above-average user.)
Cons of the Moto X Play and Moto 360
- Moto X Play has 16 GB internal storage, which can fill up pretty quickly.
*Adding an SD card to the Moto X Play will increase storage (for things like photos), but unless you want to root your phone (this seems too complicated – and scary – to me), and employ an app like AppMgr III, you won’t be able to move apps to it. Note: you can format your SD card so it’s treated like internal storage, but that might not be your best option.
- Power users like me (who, for example, do Social Media for a living) might find the Moto X Play gets a bit laggy if there are too many apps installed / in use / open.
- Video quality is average; zoom clarity is lacking
- Front (selfie) camera performs below average in low light
- Camera responsiveness can be slow at times (opening app, capture speed)
Overall, the Moto X Play – a mid-range phone – functions above its class. It’s got lots of premium features, which makes it a great option for those who want a great phone at a great price. And I love the functionality of the Moto 360; it complements the Moto X Play perfectly, taking convenience (and style!) to the next level.
Disclosure: This review is based on my personal experience using the Moto X Play and Moto 360 as my exclusive mobile devices over a period of 8 months. Many thanks to Motorola Canada for furnishing these products for review.