Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Old flagship, new mid-range

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Old flagship, new mid-range

A top-of-the-line from last year or a mid-range from this year? Both are attractive options for the savvy shopper. With the Galaxy S7 Edge and Moto Z2 Play in hand, I’ll break down the similarities and differences so you can make the right choice.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Design is important

The difference in design between these two models is night and day, but neither of them is ugly. The build of each model plays a big part because it will dictate which you like based on the design.

The Galaxy S7 Edge is beautiful, thin and elegant. It’s much better looking than its brother the standard Galaxy S7. It comes with that famous Edge display, with long curves down the sides that give it a smaller and slimmer feel. The backside is entirely made up of glass.

IMG 7970
Almost the same size, but the S7 Edge looks much smaller. / © NextPit

The borders aren’t just easy on the eyes either, they’re actually useful. They have exclusive apps and features that have direct access to notifications when the screen is off. The fingerprint sensor is on the front. Although it does have quite a bit of a bezel on the top and bottom, on the sides, it’s pretty much nonexistent. However, this does end up harming the ease of use since you can easily touch things without meaning to.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Size comparison

Model Dimensions Weight
MOTO Z2 PLAY 156.2 x 76.2 x 6 mm 145g
GALAXY S7 EDGE 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm 157g

The Moto Z2 Play has a more practical, modern and stripped-down look. It feels solid in your hand, and even though there isn’t much difference in size compared to the S7 Edge, it just looks bigger. The fingerprint sensor is on the front as well, and on the back, the finish is metal with a camera that sticks out quite a lot.

That lump on the back is actually there for a reason. The Z2 Play supports Moto Mods, modular snap-on accessories that connect using magnets on the backside of the device. They can come with different features like a speaker, projector, gamepad, 360º camera, extra batteries and a lot more.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Super AMOLED is king

Once again, the design comes into play here, because although they both have 5.5-inch displays, the Moto Z2 Play seems bigger. Apart from that, as I said above, the screen on the S7 Edge is less user-friendly, but it is better looking, and it comes with more features.

They both have similar displays with Super AMOLED technology since that’s something that more advanced users are looking for. Comparatively, it’s worth it to mention that the colors on the Moto Z2 Play are more balanced, whereas the S7 Edge tends towards slightly bluer hues, but that can be tweaked in the settings menu.

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Both devices are Super AMOLED  / © NextPit

The screen on the Moto Z2 Play seems to be slightly more intense, but if you’re not looking at it straight on, the colors are bit fuzzier than those on the S7 Edge, which maintains excellent definition in that aspect. Both are protected by Gorilla Glass, but the S7 Edge has version 4, where the Z2 Play comes with version 3.

Another difference between them is that the S7 Edge is Quad HD while the Z2 Play is Full HD. To the naked eye, this doesn’t really mean much, but it does make a difference when you look up how much area each one uses. In this, the S7 Edge comes out ahead.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Display comparison

Model Display Size Display Technology
MOTO Z2 PLAY 5.5 inches Super AMOLED, Full HD (1.080 x 1.920 pixels), 16:9, 401 ppi, takes up 70.1% of the display
GALAXY S7 EDGE 5.5 inches Super AMOLED, Quad HD (2.560 x 1440 pixels), 16:9, 534 ppi, takes up 76.1% of the display

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Similar hardware, different cameras

This is the exact reason that we’re comparing a top-of-the-line from 2016 with a mid-range model from 2017. From one year to another, components evolve, and mid-range devices can hold their own against the hardware of last year's top models.

You can take a look at the specs below, but what we’ve got here is a battle between an Exynos 8890 against a Snapdragon 626. Both with 4GB of RAM which makes this a very even contest. Either device can handle practically anything you throw at it.

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As for camera, the S7 Edge comes out on top. / © NextPit

We already know that hardware on mid-range models is good enough to compete with high-end models in a lot of different categories, and this is even more evident when it’s compared to last year’s model. They may not be able to run the most demanding games out there, but they’ll do just fine with any other task you can think of.

The Moto Z2 Play is dual SIM, with slots for two chips, whereas the Galaxy S7 Edge is, unfortunately, just a single SIM.

The cameras are also quite a bit different. Although they both have 12MP cameras with f/1.7 aperture on the back, the S7 Edge has the advantage in quality as it has much better post-processing.

Not that the photos on the Z2 Play are bad, they’re actually quite good. But the S7 Edge takes excellent pictures, easily better than a lot of phones launched this year. They both have autofocus with face recognition, but the Z2 Play has dual flash, and the S7 Edge comes with optical stabilizers.

They both can take 4K or Full HD videos with up to 60fps, but the slow-motion camera on the S7 Edge can take up to 240fps whereas the Z2 Play can only take up to 120fps, both in HD. Both front cameras are 5 MP, but the S7 Edge has an aperture of f/1.7 against f/2.2 on the Z2 Play. So, as we can easily see, the camera on the S7 Edge once again, comes out on top.

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Moto Z2 Play supports Moto Mods. / © NextPit

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Moto Z2 Play
Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm 156.2 x 76.2 x 5.99 mm
Weight: 157 g 145 g
Battery size: 3600 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 7.0 - Nougat 8.0 - Oreo
User interface: TouchWiz Stock Android
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 8890 Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz 2.2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Battery for more than a day

This aspect, which is very important to all users, is well done on both devices. They aren’t incredible, but in the hands of less demanding users, they should last throughout the day or even more. The Moto Z2 Play was under scrutiny for having a smaller battery than its predecessor, Moto Z Play, which was a massive success in this category.

However, with 3000 mAh, it lasted up to 36 hours with normal use which included an hour of gameplay, two hours of WhatsApp, half an hour of video and an hour of Facebook, among a few other things.

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The fingerprint sensor on the Z2 play has some unique features. / © NextPit

With the same use, the S7 Edge and its 3600 mAh battery last about the same amount of time. It uses a bit more energy because of its more demanding and year-old processor, but it can easily handle a full workday.

The advantage on this one goes to the Moto Z2 Play since it comes with a Turbo charger and in just a few minutes you can have up to 3 more hours of battery life. Plus, it also has the Moto Mods battery option, which adds up to 2200 mAh to the total.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play Space: A pure system or not?

If space is something that’s important to you, you’ll have plenty of it with these models. The Moto Z2 Play has 64GB, and there are about 48.5GB for you to play with. It doesn’t have the hybrid slot like the Z, but you can have a dual chip and use a microSD card of up to 2TB.

The Galaxy S7 Edge has a microSD slot as well since it’s a single SIM device, and you can add up to 2TB of space as well. One significant advantage here is that there are currently 128GB versions of the S7 on the market, which is more than enough for almost any user.

The Z2 Play brings with it Motorola’s fame of putting the purest version of Android possible on their devices. And, although that is the case here, Motorola still adds some extras like the Moto App.

IMG 7974
They both come with audio jacks. / © NextPit

With that app, all you need to do is shake your device to activate the camera or flashlight. You can even see relevant info when you tap on the display or wave your hand over it, among other features. They’re really cool features, and the system is fluid and light, without being too flashy.

The S7 Edge has TouchWiz, which is Samsung’s modified version of Android. It’s already been heavily criticized, but it’s starting to become cleaner and lighter, as is the case on this device. It’s still full of features, and so it's perfect for someone who likes to personalize as much as they can on their devices.

TouchWiz is heavier than the Moto App, and it demands a bit more from the processor, but since this device is top-of-the-line, that shouldn’t be a problem. The features on the S7 Edge are really nice and comprehensive, giving users the ability to tinker with a lot of different aspects.

No need to worry either, both will be updated to Android Oreo 8.0. However, they probably won’t go past it.

Both are solid options, but which one is better for you?

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Moto Z2 Play: Which is a better choice for you?

After all that, we're left with the question: which is a better choice for you? It’s going to depend on what you’re looking for. Let’s recap:

  • Design: the S7 Edge is better looking and with a glass finish. Plus it uses more of the display while being thinner and with curved edges. The Z2 Play has a better feel, with a metal back and it works with Moto Mods, which opens up a lot of extra possibilities
  • Display: they both come with solid displays that are practically identical.
  • Hardware: even though one is top-of-the-line, it’s from last year. Whereas the other is from this year, but it’s a mid-range model. This evens it all out, and the only difference here is if you’re looking for a dual SIM device, then Z2 Play is the one for you.
  • Camera: The S7 Edge takes this one. That doesn’t mean the Z2 Play is bad, it's just that the Samsung device is a lot better and it will please anyone looking to take high-quality photos. Pictures on the Z2 Play won’t have any problems on social media, and they both come with manual controls.
  • Battery: Both can last for more than a day if users aren't too demanding. With heavier use, you can get up to 18 hours out of them, which really is a decent number.
  • System: a purer and lighter Android with fewer features or a more modified version with more features and personalization? That’s something that only you can answer.

To make your decision, you should consider the design, camera usage and the type of system, whether you want something simpler or more complicated. However, the S7 Edge and Z2 Play are very similar devices, and they deliver an almost identical user experience.

How about you? Which would you go with if you had to choose?



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  • Manuel C. Feb 22, 2018 Link to comment

    I have been a fan of Samsung since S3, through S7 edge.
    Sadly, always I've been disappointed about the batteries performance of every Samsung mobile device (i.e., mobile phones, smartwatch and tablet).
    I've got the S7e for the "great" 3600 mAh battery (instead of the flat version with 3000 mAh assuming I was going to have a greater battery than the one I had with my previous Samsung S4), but in real life, I have struggled and suffered a lot. I thought it was my phone, and I changed it twice under warranty, then I visited the service center three times for a new battery replacement (by this moment, I have tried five batteries for the S7e). All this because the battery drains really fast. I cannot get more than 12 hours of battery from a full charge. The battery consumption app, always tells that Android is using 20% of the resource. Incredibly in Stand By, I can see how a 10-12% of battery is lost in 1 hour!
    I do not consider myself a user that is on the phone all the time, believe it or not, I work and have a life out of the phone. The times mentioned before (1 hr of gaming, FB, and WhatsApp... ) I will love to make it. I bearly use the half of time of that before the phone is dead
    I know, I know, everybody will say "try shutting down this, turning off that," and of course, I've done it, but, What is the point to have a "great flagship" in your hands with all the services turned off?
    Anyway, for the other hand, I've seen that my partner at work, received a Z2 play from the company, I asked them about the battery, and all of them say that is awesome, more than a day.
    Actually, I saw the battery app measures, and in all of them, the consumption was "20+ hours discharging and 1d+ remaining".
    Definitely, for people that do not work on a desktop or in a car where the cell phone can be connected at any time, the S7 (and may I say every Samsung device) will not be the perfect fit, because you will need to depend on an electrical cord.
    Bottomline, I'm seriously thinking in divorce from Samsung brand (at least for mobile devices)

  • Stefan Vasiljevic Dec 12, 2017 Link to comment

    A flagship is a flagship, and a mid-range phone will always be midrange.

    If you value your money always go for old flagship instead of new attractive mid-range phone.

  • Dazzler Dec 12, 2017 Link to comment

    I've still got an S7 Edge, easily the best phone of 2016. Considering an upgrade next year but I don't like the new trend of no front buttons with a fingerprint on back or gone.

    As for this article, they probably run at a similar pace but I'd pick the S7E every time, it still looks great even compared to this year's flagships, plus I'd guess the cameras are much better?

    • David Martrano Dec 16, 2017 Link to comment

      To me there is no comparison the edge is definitely the better phone. Better processer, camera, ip68, wireless, & the duel pixal camera focus is much faster. A much better comparison would have been with the z2force. Again the older flagship wins hands down.
      Being a Motorola fan for 10yrs the Lenovo takeover just plain sucks, it's that simple!

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