I really appreciate you posting your own Moto X camera experiences and your very recent “firsthand” (pun certainly intended) experience with the Moto Z Play.
The difference with my recent Moto X camera woes was that when the camera was “busy,” even the app launcher icon wouldn’t work at all - same busy error message. If the app launcher had worked 100% of the time for the camera, I could live with that (especially since the wrist-twist feature was about 50% hit-or-miss for me even on the best days).
I researched online tech-site and individual user reviews about the Moto Z Play a good bit last night and the gist of it was that the Z Play was a pretty good mid-range phone with spectacular battery life, not-so-spectacular camera, adequate performance for non-gamers, good screen, and an interesting expansion feature with the Moto Mods attachments. For me, the battery life would be most welcome (since my 3-yr old Moto X’s battery is showing signs of less-than-full-day usage), a better camera would be nice but not a dealbreaker as long as it’s as good as my Moto X’s now (or better), processor performance is not a priority for me, a brighter/larger screen would be a benefit, and I doubt I would buy any Moto Mods.
Being a frugal RW 1.0 service plan and then RW 2.0 service plan adopter, one of the psychological hurdles to move to any new phone now is being “forced” into the new RW 3.0 service plans, which are a shade of the Big Cell Carriers’ set-price plans I left 3 years ago. Still though, based on my approximate 0.5 GB data monthly usage, the net effective cost difference would be about $5 more per month for me under RW 3.0 vs. RW 2.0, where I would get a refund each month. I can afford the additional $5/month wallet hit, but it’s the “principle of the thing,” y’know?..
The other two psychological hurdles are springing for $390.50 ($449 with $100 discount, but added taxes, surcharges, and shipping back in) this morning for the phone, and then later dealing with the larger-than-Moto-X size of the Z Play. I guess I will get used to the size, but in hindsight, the sleek size of the X was always a nice feel in the hand, pants pocket, and the occasional shirt pocket.
In the end, I did bite the bullet this morning and ordered a Moto Z Play - if it wasn’t for the recent sustained problems with my camera, and hearing about other Moto Xers whose cameras got worse and not better, I wouldn’t have even considered buying a new phone. But given the age of my X and the short time window for what seems to be an incredible overall deal for the Z Play, I figured it would be better to buy the Z Play now than pass on the deal only to have my X’s camera completely lock up in 1, 2, or 3 more weeks when the deals would be gone.
As for the net effective out-of-pocket cost of $390.50 today, I rationalize that down to around $270.50 after the first 6 months’ worth of $120 total in service credits, and so $270.50 may not be “that much” to pay for a highly-regarded mid-range phone that hopefully will last 3 or so years. (Plus, if my camera continues to show steady signs of working again, maybe it will be worth something in the secondary used market for someone who wants to be able to qualify for a RW 2.0 rebate service plan and needs a Moto X to do so. That will knock my $270.50 net upgrade cost down a little more, depending on how much a 3-year old Moto X is worth these days… ;->)
p.s.- I look forward to also having 50% more RAM (from 2GB to 3 GB), and twice the built-in user storage memory (to 32 GB), along with the ability to add a microSD memory storage card up to 2 TB; no more worries about always having to transfer off photos to make more room for future photos!