Motorola has been one of the best budget smartphone providers from the beginning of their career in the smartphone industry. The Motorola One series is one of the premium smartphone series of the company that offers excellent specifications at a great budget. Just a few months ago, the company has launched the Motorola One Vision (Review) that manages to impress and satisfy the need for a lot of smartphone enthusiasts. Now, to maintain the enthusiasm of buyers, the company has launched something fresh and attractive from the same Motorola One series.
The latest launch from this series is Motorola One Action that comes with a great combination of specs, look, and power. Motorola One Action borrows heavily from the Motorola One Vision (Review) in terms of design as well as hardware. But with Moto One Action, the company has shipped a dedicated wide-angle action camera that is made to shoot high-resolution and detailed videos. The overall package looks quite impressive for the asking price of Rs. 13,999, but is that enough to compete against its rivals like Realme X (Review), Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review), Oppo K3, and Vivo Z1 Pro (Review)? Let’s review it to find out the answer.
Design and Display
As mentioned above, the Motorola One Action is the fresh reproduction of the Motorola One Vision, this smartphone features an almost similar design to that of Moto One Vision. This smartphone features a tall and slim body that looks like a premium device. The rear panel is made of polycarbonate that features a glossy finish that shines when light reflects over it. Motorola has perfectly crafted this device that perfectly sits in your hands as well as in your pocket.
Motorola One Action comes in two color variants in India – Denim Blue and Pearl White. There is also an Aqua Teal color option that is available in the overseas market. Functional buttons on Motorola One Vision are intelligently placed and easily accessible. On the right side of the body, placed the power and volume buttons while at the left of the panel there sits the Hybrid SIM tray.
At the top of the body, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack coupled with a secondary microphone. While at the bottom of the panel, you will find a single speaker grill which is pretty loud, a USB 2.0 Type-C port for charging and a primary microphone.
At the back panel, you will find the fingerprint sensor that sits in the middle of the panel with a Moto logo at the center. While the triple-camera module sits at the top-left of the panel with an LED flashlight just below it.
Now, coming to the display. Motorola One Action features a 6.3-inch Full-HD+ (1080×2520 pixels) resolution IPS CinemaVision display along with a 21:9 aspect ratio and punch-hole design at the top-left corner. Further, the screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
Watching videos at the 21:9 CinemaVision display is a great experience. At the beginning phase, the punch-hole design was quite distracting over a long display, However, as soon as we become familiar with that it doesn’t create disturbance anymore.
As everyone knows, there are two sides of a single coin. Similarly, with the benefits of having a 21:9 display, there are a few downsides too. At this time, there are very few videos available in 21:9 format, while videos shot in other formats may have a huge black bar. You might also encounter some scaling issues with apps that don’t support the 21:9 format, as they will run in their own floating windows, leaving the wallpaper and home screen elements clearly visible.
Apart from this, the sunlight legibility is great on the phone, and so is the brightness levels. The warmer display tone is soothing to eyes and the adaptive brightness works decently to adjust screen brightness in different lighting conditions.
Specifications and Software
As for the specifications, the Motorola One Action is powered by the same processor that powers Motorola One Vision. It is powered by an octa-core Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz which is coupled with Mali G72 MP3 GPU. Additionally, it comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded up to 512GB via a MicroSD card.
As I mentioned above, this smartphone comes with a hybrid-SIM tray which lets you use either a SIM and MicroSD card together or dual 4G SIM at a time. The phone also comes with good connectivity options as it includes dual 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, also, it carries the standard suite of sensors.
On the software end, Motorola One Vision is categorized under the Android One program which means assured OS updates up to Android 11 and three years of security patches. Currently, it runs on the latest stock Android 9 Pie software out-of-the-box with a few worthy additional features from Motorola. It also comes with a couple of pre-installed apps including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It features a clean and immersive UI which makes it easier for the user to handle this phone.
Now, heading over to the camera department. Unlike Motorola One Vision, the Motorola One Action features a triple rear camera. But unfortunately, they ditch out the 48-megapixel camera and replaced with a 12-megapixel snapper, but adds a dedicated 16-megapixel Action Camera.
As mentioned above, the 16-megapixel dedicated action camera is designed to shoop high-resolution and detailed videos. Motorola has mounted the camera sensor 90-degrees off-axis that let you shoot landscape recordings while holding the smartphone vertically. It uses 4-in-1 pixel binning tech to output 4-megapixel images. The rear camera comes with an ‘Enhanced Video Stabilisation’ to reduce jerks and shakes in action videos.
In the daylight situation, Motorola One Action was able to capture excellent images with a healthy amount of detail and a good dynamic range. However, the focus lock was quite shaky at close range, resulting in hazy shots. So, you need to be very attentive and focused while capturing images at close range to get the perfect result.
Apart from this, macro shots looked good as well, retaining nice contrast and surface detail. Also, portrait images shot by Motorola One Action offers decent subject separation and depth, however, the edge detection could have been improved a bit which we expect to have this in future updates.
Although it performed well in daylight situations, the low-light performance of the phone is just the opposite of that. In the low-light situation, this device produced grainy photos with a lot of visible noise and suppressed colors. This is because the phone didn’t have a dedicated night vision mode that the company says is still under process and will ship in future updates.
At the front, this device features a 12-megapixel camera sensor with 1.25-micron pixel size and an f/2.0 lens for selfies and video calling. The front camera also offers decent performance. Selfies taken from this device turned out sharp and vibrant. Also, the AI Beauty mode perfectly tones the face without overprocessing or smoothen out skin textures.
Portrait selfies were also looked good too, and edge detection was accurate for the most part, provided we held the phone steady for a proper focus lock. It also features a handful of filters and effects to play with. You can also tweak the brightness, saturation, and sharpness.
The main camera can shoot full-HD videos at up to 60fps and 4K at 30fps, both in regular and 21:9 aspect ratios. There is no OIS here, but the EIS does a good job of canceling out hand movements, resulting in smoother videos. Even, the stabilization was quite good for the price segment.
Performance and Battery Life
As mentioned above, the Motorola One Action comes with a 2.2GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM. The Exynos 9609 SoC is very capable to smoothly run day-to-day normal uses. Even it can easily perform heavy multitasking without any problem. Although the phone is delivered with 4GB of RAM, the phone does not heat, neither it lags, it is quite snappy.
As far as we have come across to the Motorola One Action, we were able to run some high-end games like PUBG: Mobile & asphalt 9: Legends smoothly in modest graphics setting. Even PUBG smoothly runs on HD Graphic settings without getting lag.
However, we observed a very few frame drops after playing for half an hour or more. However, it was negligible and didn’t affect gaming performance. Overall, the processor and software combination provides a better experience on this device and Motorola should be credited for it.
At another end, Motorola One Action is fuelled by a 3,500mAh battery which is capable enough to run this phone through the day. However, it lasted for around 15 hours on continuous usage which includes few hours of Gaming, social media for about an hour, some online videos streaming and YouTube and about an hour of music playback which looks fairly good.
Additionally, it comes with 10W TurboPower fast charging support that charges the battery from 0 – 50 percent in about 55 minutes which is quite low as compared to the Motorola One Vision. Overall, the battery performance in Motorola One Vision is amazing as we expect from a Motorola phone.
Motorola One Action is definitely an excellent smartphone for this budget range. Motorola has tried to show its creativity by adding a dedicated wide-angle camera in this phone, a change over Motorola One Vision. It offers good performance, a decent camera, and excellent battery life.
So, should you buy Motorola One Action for a price at Rs. 13,999? As from our test, you should definitely go for this device. However, if you are looking for more functions and better performance, you can also look for Realme X (Review), Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review), Oppo K3, and Vivo Z1 Pro (Review).
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