Motorola One Action review: A value-for-money smartphone under ₹15,000
Motorola One Action is aimed at those looking for a budget phone that takes great videos. Here’s our detailed review of the smartphone.
Product: Motorola One Action
Key specifications: 6.3-inch full HD+ 21:9, 12MP+5MP+16MP triple rear cameras, 12-megapixel selfie camera, Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3,500mAh battery
Motorola One Action is an acquired taste. After having used several 19:9 phones this year, it takes a considerable amount of time to get accustomed to a taller 21:9 aspect ratio phone. The new form factor has its own advantages provided more content and apps are optimised and upscaled for the 21:9 format - said to be the next standard for cinematic viewing.
Design, however, isn't the marquee feature of One Action. Motorola is taking a shot at Go Pro-like action cameras with several optimisations for videos along with an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 117-degrees field of video. These are rare features for a phone priced under ₹15,000.
Design & display
Motorola One Action looks exactly like Motorola One Vision. There's a small difference, however. One Action comes with a plastic back panel whereas One Vision has a glass panel on the back.
The front is dominated by the display but also has an omnipresent punch-hole camera on the left top corner. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge, all within the reach of your fingers. The base has USB Type-C port along with speaker grilles whereas the top panel houses the 3.5mm headphone jack. The rear panel has a triple-rear camera setup along with LED flash and fingerprint sensor with Motorola logo engraving. At 9.2mm depth, Motorola One Action is quite thick and also feels heavy at 170 grams.
Talking about the display, it's unique for sure. At 6.3-inch full HD+ resolution, One Action is on par with other competing phones in the segment. Outdoor and indoor legibility are satisfactory. The punch-hole camera, as pointed out in our One Vision review as well, looks considerably bigger than what could be acceptable. There are minor optimisations around the punch-hole camera but doesn't ensure a seamless experience.
21:9 aspect ratio does look promising but there's still not enough to make the most of the new standard. It's good to have a phone that is future-proof but we still think a notch-less screen would have been a much better deal.
As the name implies, Motorola is marketing the new phone as an 'Action' phone. It's not a Go Pro killer, not yet. What you can actually do with Motorola One Action is take some really smooth high-quality videos, especially when the subject is moving. You can shoot a vertical video to have it later view in landscape mode - the standout feature of the phone. During our usage, we were able to take some near excellent videos in daylight settings. As far as still photography experience goes, it's on par for a sub ₹15,000 phone. Motorola One Action doesn't offer a 48-megapixel sensor like Redmi Note 7S or Redmi Note 7 Pro. The onboard 12-megapixel primary sensor, 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 16-megapixel sensor, however, help you decent quality photos across light settings.
For performance, Motorola One Action depends on Samsung Exynos 9609 processor with 2.2 GHz Octa-core CPU and Mali G72 MP3 GPU coupled with 4GB of RAM. Exynos 9609 isn't slouching but it doesn't really outperform the competing Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 which runs on phones like Vivo V15 Pro and Samsung Galaxy M40. The gaming performance of One Action leaves more to be desired. But if you're not a power user, One Action will definitely meet your expectations. During our usage, we faced no lags or app crashes. On medium to light usage, we could draw almost a day of battery back up. For power users, results may vary. The stock Android experience is a big advantage, though. The UI is ultra-smooth. If you're an Android purist, you will like Motorola One Action.
Motorola One Action is an interesting phone with a unique design. The video capabilities of the phone are much better than a number of sub ₹15,000 market. But if you're looking for more powerful options, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 5 Pro are our top recommendations.
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