Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: What’s Different in Features, Specifications, Price Between The Motorola Flagships?

The Moto Z3 Play and the just announced Moto Z3 are quite identical in terms of specifications and features, but there are a few notable differences.


Motorola just announced the Moto Z3 smartphone. The 2018 flagship device sounds quite similar to another Motorola smartphone, called the Moto Z3 Play. Although they have very similar names, there are a few differences between the two smartphones.

The Moto Z3 is undoubtedly Motorola’s latest flagship smartphone. The company launched the smartphone along with an interesting module or mod, called the 5G Moto Mod. This module allows the smartphone to access 5G mobile connectivity. The Moto Z3 is yet to be available for purchase, while the Moto Z3 Play is currently available in Brazil, and is expected to launch in India very soon. Let’s look at the fundamental differences between the two Motorola smartphones

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Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: Price in India

Both the Motorola smartphones are yet to officially launch in India. Incidentally, the Moto Z3 is yet to be available for purchase in the country it was launched. However, the Moto Z3 Play is available in Brazil and the U.S. The smartphone is available in Brazil for R$ 2,299, which translates to about Rs.41,400. In the US, the smartphone is priced at $499 (Rs.34,000 approx.) with a Battery Moto Mod bundled along. Tech experts estimate the Moto Z3 Play could cost somewhere around Rs.30,000 in India.

The Moto Z3 was recently launched for a full retail price of $480, which translates to about Rs. 32,600. But being a flagship device, the smartphone might get a slightly higher price tag when it launches in India. One particular specification for the device certainly demands a little better pricing than the Moto Z3 Play.

Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: Performance, Hardware Specifications

Incidentally, both the Moto Z3 Play and the Moto Z3 have 6-inch Super AMOLED Max Vision display with 1080 x 2160 Full HD+ resolution, an 18:9 aspect ratio, and 2.5D shaped Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Both the smartphones have 4GB of RAM. In terms of storage, the Moto Z3 Play is available in 32GB and 64GB storage variants, while the Moto Z3 is available in a single 64GB variant. These devices do support micro-SD cards.

The most notable difference between the Moto Z3 Play and the Moto Z3 is the processor and GPU combination. The Moto Z3 Play runs on a 14nm octa-core Snapdragon 636 chipset from Qualcomm, clocked at 1.8 GHz. It comes with an Adreno 509 GPU. The Moto Z3, on the other hand, has octa-core Snapdragon 835 SoC clocked at 2.35GHz. It comes with an Adreno 540 GPU. Needless to mention, the chipsets are quite different, and the Moto Z3 should be able to outperform the Moto Z3 Play in this department.

Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: Camera Features

Motorola has embedded some interesting camera sensor combinations within the smartphones. The Moto Z3 Play has a 12MP + 5MP dual-camera setup on the back. Motorola has coupled the primary 12MP sensor with a f/1.7 aperture, while the secondary 5MP sensor is coupled with a f/2.2 aperture. The Moto Z3, on the other hand, has one color 12 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. The effective resolution of the camera is 1.25um pixels that’s paired with another 12 MP monochrome sensor. A dual-LED flash accompanies the rear camera.

Motorola has baked in Google Lens into the rear camera of the Moto Z3. This facility unlocks dynamic information presentation to Moto Z3 users when they point the camera at any object, building, shop, establishment or geographical landmark. The Moto Z3 Play gets the same ability.

Although both the smartphones have 8MP front camera, the specifications differ. The Moto Z3 Play features an 8MP snapper on the front with a f/2.0 aperture. The Moto Z3 has an 8MP front camera with 1.12um pixel size and a wide-angle 84-degree lens.

Interestingly, Motorola has embedded a fingerprint scanner on the side of the smartphones instead of the back or front. This uniquely placed biometric authentication system could turn out to be quite ergonomic and practical.

Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: Battery, Operating System

Motorola is popular for the TurboPower solution that offers fast charging of the batteries. Both the devices pack identical 3,000mAh batteries. Motorola includes a TurboPower charger in the retail box of both the smartphones.

The Moto Z3 Play ships with the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system out of the box. The Moto Z3 will also run on the same OS. However, Motorola offers an interesting gesture navigation UI powered by a single slider button.

Moto Z3 vs Moto Z3 Play: Verdict

The internationally available Moto Z3 Play and the just announced Moto Z3 are quite identical in terms of specifications and features. They have the same screen, camera, battery, and the operating system. However, the chipsets that power these devices are quite different. The Moto Z3 certainly has a better SoC. Perhaps the biggest deciding factor, besides the processor and GPU, could be the prices of these Motorola smartphones.