I have received the moto Z2 play and all accessories and had some time to adjust to it. Since I was asked, I’ll leave a record of my experience here. Hopefully it will be useful to future upgraders. I talk about different topics and if you are interested in only my experience with the new phone, scroll down to the last topic.
SHIPPING and getting the phone and sim:
Although I received both the Phone which I had ordered from the motorola website and the republic sim on time, I had problems tracking both orders. In the case of the phone motorola just sent me an email with the order number and I could not lookup the tracking number on their site. I had to chat with an agent on facebook to get it. In the case of the sim from republic, the UPS tracking status never really updated till the sim had already reached me.
ACCESORIES: I purchased some accessories from Amazon.
Case: One of them is a ~$15 bumper case, which I believe is the same as those sold by Verizon. The case fits perfectly (contrary to what some amazon reviews may have you believe), but it might be blocking the FM radio signal (I’m not sure about this) and was a bit expensive for what it is. It sometimes also causes the power button to be pressed when you are trying to press vol down. Also, audio jacks with bent or connectors don’t fit.
Moto mods: Got a Moto Power Pack (non turbocharged version). Fits with this case but is a bit difficult to remove. I got a JBL speaker mod which also fits and is easier to remove as it has a cutout at the bottom).
Screen protector: A ~$7, set of 3 tempered glass screen protector which I purchased was of high quality, but seemed superfluous to me. Next time I’ll go with plastic protectors which are easier to apply. There are two small dust particles under my screen now and it is too much work to replace the protector.
Dongles and SD card: Another accessory which I tried but did not work was mag-safe type USB to USB-C charging cables from Netdot. A USB to micro-USB one worked for my older 1st gen moto X. I also got a Sandisk 64GB SD card which works fine.
The setup of the new sim was a breeze, especially the republic wireless part and my number was easily transferred over. Kudos for that. The only annoyance was the four system updates that the phone required with reboots taking 5-10 mins every time. I cannot for the life of me understand, why the upgrades cannot be downloaded and applied all at once, instead of sequentially. I saw another thread on this same topic for someone with a new G5. Oh, well.
IMPRESSIONS of the MOTO Z2 Play:
Coming from the gen1 X, the z2 play looks and feels HUGE. I am firmly in the “prefers small phones” camp, but I guess it is impossible to avoid the zeitgeist that is the slim design paradigm. The slimness is somewhat squandered by the camera hump, but the size is put to good use with a great screen, and most importantly a decent battery (3000 mAh). I can happily report that even with all my apps loaded in, I see at worst 1-2%/hour of idle battery drains with the screen off (used to be 5-8% for my aging moto X). I easily end heavy use days with 40% battery left. The rear camera is pretty decent for my purposes. What really helps is better view finding on the large screen. In my old moto X I’d often over expose the shot manually because I was judging the lighting wrong on a small screen, which had to be kept dim to conserve battery power. Hopefully, that is a thing of the past. The selfie camera is an even bigger improvement with a much better resolution and there is also a front facing flash. The Z2 play also has two (I think) front facing speaker sources. Now, I do not have to cup my hand over a rear speaker to redirect the sound while watching a video like I had to with my old X. The fingerprint sensor, is also a welcome upgrade from having to swipe to unlock everytime. The sensor also doubles for navigation with right and left swipes replacing the onscreen buttons and netting you even more screen real estate. While the swipe sensing works very well and is my preferred navigation method, the experience is somewhat inconsistent across apps, with back sometimes taking you back to the home screen in certain apps. However, I feel this is android’s/the apps’ fault and not motorola’s, and overall is a minor annoyance to live with. Swiping on the easy to reach fingerprint button at the bottom means you don’t have to move your hands over across to the top of the HUGE screen to press software back buttons which is a big plus. I also got the “fine gold” color because it was on a $150 discount and to my welcome surprise, it wasn’t as gaudy as it looked on the website. The aesthetics are quite tasteful IMO. The performance is quite snappy with 4GB of RAM and a octa-core processor. Oh! and it still has a headphone jack in 2018, which means I can use it in my car which does not have bluetooth. So, overall my only “real” complaint is about the size and I guess I will just have to adapt to it.