From Play to Z: An increasingly comprehensive, yet decidedly non-authoritative Moto Z Play review

Discussion in 'Smartphones' started by Mi An, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    I dropped my Z Play the other day. On concrete. Despite my obsession with screen protectors and cases, I rarely drop a phone, or anything else. I got a flick of dust on my m500 stylus ages ago, made a miniscule scratch on my unprotected plastic screen, and have been overdoing protection ever since. Paid off this week.

    This was only a fall from about waist high, but it could have been a doozy. It appears to have hit on a corner, which can be a really bad spot to hit. I also heard, on impact, a sort of scattering noise, which turned out to be the style back popping off and the metal anchor on the inside of it sliding across the concrete. For a fraction of a second my heart was in my throat before I realized my phone hadn't really cracked open.

    The phone is untouched and even the verizon bumper case only showed a tiny bit of a scuff on the corner after a very detailed examination. If I didn't know I'd dropped it, I might not have found the scuff. The verizon case is not the greatest case in terms of in hand feel, but it gets the job done. Hopefully there won't be any additional durability 'testing'. :vboops:
     
  2. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Whew! I've been on both sides: despair after a screen break (one time), and relief that nothing was damaged. I'm so glad for you there was no harm beyond a scuffed case.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Not to be outdone by Hook's Gemini/Psion thread, I figured I'd update on the keyboard motomod. 5 months ago, they hit full funding of $100k, but remained on indemand at the end of the campaign, continuing to allow orders, and have raised $150k total, 3x the next biggest campaign. As far as I know, they're one of only 2 mods to come out of the some 50 odd Transform the Smartphone concepts to be on track for delivery.

    I think November might be possible. They've produced and run their working prototype through motorola and certification. They made some size and battery capacity refinements and should start manufacturing in October -- they still haven't given up on shipping in October, which is good, you gotta aim high to get anywhere. Personally, I'm happy if it gets delivered anytime this year.

    If interested, visit https://twitter.com/LivermoriumLtd and scroll down a bit for 3 videos of the keyboard in action a month ago. More recently they've rounded the body of the keyboard so it curves more smoothly. The original design curved right at the edges, and was kinda flat between curves. The final revision looks more comfortable to hold. They also made it a little thinner and added about 300mah to the battery.

    In other Z Play news, Motorola finally released the source code for their 7.1.1 kernel, which means that soon I can get up to date and still keep kcal color control. These days, I'm drooling over a smartphone, and it's the one I already own. That's a nice feeling.
     
  4. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I hope it's water resistant! ;)

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  5. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    I miss Nexus and wugs toolkit SO MUCH right now. Upgrading stock rom while rooted with a custom kernel is a much bigger deal than the super fast, super easy wugs toolkit way. I never imagined having custom recovery as a downside -- to me TWRP always looked like a great safety net, but apparently I need stock recovery to sideload an OTA update from motorola. There's a twrp flashable nand that looks stock, but isn't fully functioning and is no longer updated. I can't even figure out if it's possible to get back to stock and receive OTAs as per normal (my preferred strategy, after updating I would root and tinker again), or if having tinkered I may now never receive ota updates again. Documentation on everything is scattered, shorthanded and written from a lot of varying perspectives. I probably made a nand backup before rooting, maybe. Might even have backed up my original recovery with adb, but it's been so long, I barely remember what I did originally.

    My favorite kernel has been updated for 7.1.1, so I want to get in there and test it, but I haven't even decided the safest way to get my ROM upgraded. Stock rom is non-negotiable because AFAIK, only the stock ROM supports motomods, and while I don't have one yet, I wait with bated breath for the keyboard mod. It occurs to me that I've never actually bought a non-nexus android smartphone before my Z Play, which is kinda weird because I never really intended to be a nexus guy, they just kept going on sale at opportune times. Tinkering outside Nexus is a much bigger headache than I imagined.

    I understand there is a water resistant nano coating on it. Still probably safest to get one of those water tight smartphone cases they make for swimming.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  6. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    somewhat off the topic of this thread but related to Mi An's latest post, my S5 is currently stuck on a splash screen, after a factory reset. I still have ODIN on my other pc, so time to see if the phone can be brought back to life....
     
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  7. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Very sorry to hear that. :vbfrown: I always get a sinking feeling when I see something like that. Hope it works out.
     
  8. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Today I unrooted, wiped everything, restored stock firmware and recovery, let a dozen OTA updates slowly apply, then, as I went to reroot, terror occurred. TWRP hung in the middle of flashing the magisk zip. I let it hang an hour before giving in and restarting, and couldn't even get back to recovery for a while. I had made a nand backup before trying of course, but in addition to trwp hanging again while restoring that more than once, when it did restore, I still couldn't boot. Oddly, successfully flashing magisk again after restoring the nand made it boot, but not before hours of bumbling about and redoing stuff in slightly different ways. Even before the snafu, this took forever. I love nexus now more than I did when I had one.

    Now I'm booting fine, but I need to go repeat about hour's worth of stuff that I already restored a few hours ago and restore titanium. Tomorrow... or well, later today I guess. I'm too old for this... bit? dalvik? kit(kat)? I'm lucky it came back around and I didn't mess it up any more than I did. I shouldn't grouse. I probably will a little more, but I shouldn't. :vbrolleyes: :vbtongue:
     
  9. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    Mi An, what tool are you using to flash -- wait, that didn't come out quite right. What is the name of the software you're using to do the above? <a little better> I now have the latest Odin and ADB versions, but am still looking for details on how to correctly use ADB. Rather than re-post everything here, here's a link to my cry for help at androidforums:
    https://androidforums.com/threads/s...t-up-screen-after-a-nandroid-restore.1196126/
     
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  10. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    Oh dear, I had hoped you were already squared away. :vbfrown: Well, FWIW, getting back to recovery involved me popping my sim tray open and a couple of restarts obviously holding down the power and volume down keys. Not sure what the sim tray had to do with it, but I got nowhere before doing that, so. I'm not clear if you can get to recovery right now. Are you using twrp?

    As to adb, I'm using minimal adb I got from here: https://devs-lab.com/download-minimal-adb-fastboot-tool.html But in order to use it, AFAIK, you have to be able to get to the screen that lets you choose recovery with the volume keys. I also don't exactly recommend you take adb instructions directly from me, since that'd be a little like the blind leading the blind (as might be any tips I give you below, caveat emptor). You really need s5 specific instructions to follow. Once you have those, and you've installed minimal adb, direct your command prompt to whatever directory you have the stuff you want to flash, and you can execute the commands from there. If you find a thread that specifically addresses your bootloop problem and what to flash, but isn't specific on commands, I'll be happy to clarify them if you'll post it here. Not sure if it matters, but I told the installer to install everything globally (might not have the wording right on that, but it's something like that), and I'm not sure if that meant for all users, or merely that adb commands are accessible from any directory so you don't have to specifically hunt down the adb executable and put your firmware in its directory.

    I'm following instructions from like 40 different xda threads that all apply specifically to the moto z play, and what i'm learning is little quirks make big differences (thus all the 'i love nexus' whining). If you can still flash from odin (which I have no idea what is), can you flash whatever root package you prefer? That's what finally got me booting into android again. And alternatively, have you considered, if you can get into custom recovery, flashing a 3rd party rom or a different one than what you have?

    Not sure i can be of much help, but I do hope you get sorted. I found most of the threads I was looking for at xda. They aren't always the friendliest bunch, but there's usually really good info there.

    edit: https://thedroidguy.com/2015/06/how...hat-wont-turn-on-troubleshooting-guide-107410
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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