The Moto Z Play from Lenovo has the best battery life of any smartphone I’ve ever used. It’s so good and so superior to the competition that this — the third member of the Moto Z family — just became my top recommendation if battery life is your most important criteria in choosing a smartphone. Smartphone makers have claimed again and again that their devices can last for “up to two days” on a single charge. It’s almost always braggadocio and overpromising. Inevitably you find yourself reaching for a charger by 6PM or, in the case of phablets, at the end of the night. But not this time.
Lenovo found an approach that allowed the company to make a phone you can charge up overnight, unplug the next morning, and use for two days straight. No asterisks. No buts. It’s been such a refreshing thing to experience over the few weeks I’ve spent with the Moto Z Play. And it turns out the formula is pretty simple! You combine a big battery, a new, mid-range Qualcomm processor that slowly sips power, and then “settle” for a 1080p screen and 3GB of RAM.
But the Moto Z Play rarely feels like you’re doing much settling. Even when you add together the negatives like an average camera, Verizon’s annoying bloatware, and Lenovo’s poor track record with software updates, the Moto Z Play’s affordable price, zippy performance, and unbelievable battery life still add up to something very compelling. And yes, unlike the Z and Z Force, there’s even a headphone jack built in. Forget the Z’s before it; this is the practical Moto Z that most people should get. It’s available exclusively from Verizon Wireless for a limited time for $408, but starting in October you can get it unlocked on GSM carriers (and free of carrier bloat) for $450.