Battery life, battery life. Seems like a never-ending pursuit of perfection. Phones come and go every year with varying size of battery. Some brought big juice on its pack, some brought okay-ish juice, while some others maybe think a phone can live without its battery (looking at you sub 3,000 mAh phones).
Last year, we saw the rise of long-lasting battery life thanks to the widespread use of the universally acclaimed Snapdragon 625, arguably one of the most efficient mobile CPUs of all time. One of the many phones that used this CPU was Moto Z Play, it was one of the best phones in terms of battery life thanks to its above average battery size (3,510 mAh), near stock Android OS (means it’s lightweight and not resource hungry), and, of course, the Snapdragon 625.
In the past, battery life was not as important as it is today for me. As the phones were significantly underpowered and most (if not all) of them had shitty battery life anyway. So, prior to 2016, I never bothered to look for the phones with good battery life because it would have left me with no choice. Instead, my focus was more on raw power and RAM size because it was arguably more important at the time (that’s how I ended up with my current Zenfone 2 to be honest). However, as the CPUs get more powerful and efficient. My focus got shifted pretty quickly from raw power centric to battery life centric. Don’t be mistaken though, I still think raw power plays an important part in a phone, it’s just now it’s not the only thing that defines a phone anymore, unlike in the past. It’s safe to say now the smartphones world has matured to the point that almost all CPU can handle day-to-day task without significant lags.
As phones are getting faster, my focus on phones gets more and more divided into two other areas, the battery life and the camera. But I won’t be talking about the camera today, that’s a story for another day. It’s the battery life that concern me the most nowadays.
As I’ve said earlier, the Moto Z Play was one of top performers last year in the battery department. While it wasn’t the best in terms of performance to price ratio, it has won many people’s heart with its long-lasting battery life. I personally think that it was an incredible job both at software and hardware department since there are other phone with bigger battery but having a somewhat similar battery life with the Z Play (e.g. Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4 Snapdragon version).
Around April and May this year, we had started seeing some leaks about the then upcoming Moto Z2 Play. My main focus upon reading the news was pretty clear, to find out how much battery capacity it will bring. I kinda think it’s also the same for everyone who knows how great the battery life was on the Z Play considering the folks over at TheVerge was also hoping Motorola could retain its battery size. So, at this point, I think it’s pretty clear that the primary selling point for this phone line is its battery life. Now I’m gonna ask you one question, what would you do if you were the head of marketing department at Motorola? Put a decent-sized (means at least the same) battery and market this phone for its long-lasting ability or cut down the battery size to borderline unacceptable (As I said, for me 3,000 mAh is bare minimum) and leave this phone without its sole competitive advantage?
I think any sane person would choose the first option. I’m sorry if you choose the second one, go find some mental help, seriously.
But what happened was exactly the opposite, they cut down the battery to 3,000 mAh for the Moto Z2 Play and leave everyone dumbfounded. “What was happening? Are they out of their mind?” I asked myself repeatedly. Aside from the slight clock speed and RAM upgrade, Moto Z2 Play is barely an upgrade to its predecessor. Hell, I would even say it’s a major downgrade considering its battery size. And you know, I’m not a fan of a downgraded phone whatever the reason.
Also, keep in mind that this phone line could not be categorized as budget. It starts at $499 officially (which puts it above the OnePlus 5 and more than twice the price of the Redmi Note line). It’s a mid-range phone with a slightly above mid-range price. I think that a phone like this should at least has its own major advantage like battery life, maybe.
But I think they have another idea. An idea which would not be successful, though. Upon seeing the release of the new Moto Mods, it becomes clear that they want to sell more of these things. The Moto TurboPower Pack was released with a significant bump (3,490 mAh vs 2,200 mAh) in battery size over last year’s model but it adds another $80 to the price. Not only that, even the JBL Soundboost 2 (which costs the same) has about 1,000 mAh battery attached to it.
They’re like saying “Want more battery? Just buy Moto Mods!”
Seems clever at first glance but it’s a really stupid move in my opinion. Sure, putting on the TurboPower Pack will bump the battery to 6,490 mAh and pair that with Snapdragon 626 (an overclocked version of 625), you will get an out-of-this world battery life. I’m pretty convinced it will even put the current battery king, which by the way came from the same company, Lenovo P2, to shame. But the Lenovo P2 costs significantly less than the Moto Z2 Play. Price is the biggest factor here considering that the group of people that are buying these phones are usually those who know enough about the smartphone market.
In my opinion, the Moto Z2 Play is a perfect example of a missed opportunity due to corporate greed. They denied this a phone a chance to stand out as one of the best smartphone for battery life of 2017. With that price tag and battery size, I don’t think it’s worth buying anymore.