Motorola has been an experimenting ground for Lenovo since acquisition. The company has gone through certain trades, resulting in changes in the way it works. Earlier this year, Motorola introduced the first offering to its One series which was then followed by the launch of Motorola One in India.
Despite having dated specs, Motorola One still seems to be a simple yet long-lasting Android smartphone that doesn’t break the bank. Moreover, it’ll attract a lot of eyeballs considering the premium looks and Android One. Having said that, let’s see if it manages to impress us in the Motorola One Review.
Motorola One Specifications
Before starting with the Motorola One review, let’s have a glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing and things we get with the device.
- Display: 5.9-inch LTPS IPS LCD display, HD+ (720×1520 pixels) resolution, 19:9 aspect ratio, 287ppi
- CPU: 14nm-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor (Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: Adreno 506
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie
- Main Camera: 13MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm, PDAF) + 2MP depth sensor (f/2.4, 1.75µm)
- Selfie Camera: 8MP (f/2.2, 1.12µm)
- Connectivity: USB type-C 2.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS/ GLONASS, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, Capacitive
- Battery: 3,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
Price: Rs. 12,499
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Motorola One
- 15W Turbo Charger
- USB Type-C Cable
- Transparent Silicon Case
- Sim Ejector Tool
Motorola One Review
Design & Display
The company has lately been making premium looking smartphones, and Motorola One is no different. The phone, however, resembles a lot of similarities with the iPhone X which we really can’t complain of as it’s not the only one going that way.
Notably, the Motorola One gets a plastic back which is finished to look like glass. While it seems pretty decent, the in-hand feel is just sub-par. Yet, the aluminium frame holds up quite well. The cameras are stacked vertically at the back, segregated and with an LED flash in mid. Furthermore, the Moto batwing logo sits right in the middle and doubles up as a fingerprint scanner.
Coming to the front, you get a considerably large-sized notch akin to the iPhone X. It’s further accompanied by a broad chin at the bottom and thin bezels running all around the corner.
The display here is a 5.9-inch panel with an HD+ resolution. As a matter of fact, Motorola claims there is a Gorilla Glass layer covering the screen but hasn’t specified the version. The contrast ratio is apt, while the colour accuracy is decent enough. Sunlight legibility is good as well, but nothing to brag about. We’d have loved to see a sharper display at this price point.
The buttons give tactile feedback, and we praise the inclusion of a USB Type-C port. Overall, the device looks really premium, and Motorola has managed to pull the visuals off amazingly well.
For photography, the Motorola One gets a dual camera module at the back. It comprises of a primary 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture, supported by a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
While the device runs stock Android, Motorola has managed to put its own camera app from the G-series. The camera interface is quite neat and offers nifty features, including HDR mode, depth-sensing portrait mode, and Google Lens integration.
Considering the limited hardware, the camera does a respectable job of capturing good looking images in daylight. The colours, as well as the dynamic range, are just decent, nothing extraordinary here. Moreover, things turn worse in low light situations. The pictures exhibit washed out colours, evident noise and a lack of detail.
Portrait shots, on the other hand, reveal that the depth sensor isn’t adding any value to the module. The blur looks more of software-driven, and edge detection takes a hit in most of the case. The 8-megapixel front camera too is average at its best. Overall, you can expect decent pictures from this phone, nothing more than that.
Performance & Software
Under the hood, the Motorola One gets powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Despite having an age-old chipset, the phone performs flawlessly in day to day tasks. Be it calling, using social media apps like WhatsApp and Facebook, browsing the web or watching YouTube videos.
However, the phone simply can’t handle demanding games like PUBG or Asphalt 9. We tried playing PUBG Mobile on the phone, and as expected it struggled with stutters and lagged even on the lowest graphics setting. Same goes with heavy multitasking. In the end, if you’re a heavy user or gamer, there are much better options available in the market.
The software, however, tends to rescue the hardware limitations. While launched with Android Oreo, the device has now been updated to Android 9 Pie under Google’s Android One programme. The software is further adorned by Moto’s own camera app Moto Actions. When turned on, you can double karate chop to turn the torch on and off and twist the phone twice quickly to open the camera. The experience is highly intuitive and straightforward.
Battery & Connectivity
The device gets a small 3,000mAh battery which doesn’t drive much confidence on paper. Nonetheless, the low-resolution display, paired with a power-efficient chipset and vanilla Android, does give a day worth of use on a single charge. Furthermore, the supplied TurboCharger gives you a decent juice boost within 10-15 minutes of charging.
As for the connectivity features, the Motorola One gets Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band WiFi, a 3.5mm audio jack, GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS. Interestingly, the company has also given support for NFC and a USB Type-C port onboard which still are not the mainstream features in the current mid-range smartphones.
- Modern and premium looks
- Fast & fluid Android One
- NFC, USB Type-C
- Dated processor
- Average Cameras
- Overall, not a value for money offering
Motorola One Review- Should you buy it?
As you’d acknowledge, Motorola One is not a phone made for gamers by any means. It’ll neither suit photography enthusiasts nor heavy media consumers. The biggest limitations of the phone are its low-resolution display, dated processor and average set of cameras.
Instead, what we feel is that this device is solely made for Android purists. If you’re someone who wants a sober-looking phone that is easy to live with and offers vanilla Android experience, the Motorola One seems to be an apt choice to go with. While the phone doesn’t ring any bells and whistles, it still managed to excite us with the overall experience during the review period.
However, if you’re looking for value for money, we’d suggest checking out other phones like Realme 3 Pro, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy M30. Even Motorola’s own Moto G7 offers a better proposition than the former.