Motorola One Action Review

A couple of months back, Motorola launched One Action, the company’s latest Android One smartphone with almost similar specification as One Vision. While the One Vision targets photographers, One Action is focused on videographers on the go. So, how good is the One Action?, let’s have a look.

Difference between One Action and One Vision?

Motorola One Action looks and carries almost identical DNA of its predecessor One Vision except for the camera (rear and front). To be specific, the One Action comes equipped with identical specifications in terms of SoC, battery, connectivity, RAM & storage, OS, and even display.

Why you should buy

Sleek and solid build

The Motorola One Action doesn’t feel so premium, but the simple aesthetic makes the phone doesn’t look cheap either. Even though it is tall, the device feels comfortable to hold, and interactive elements like the power button and volume rocker are easy to reach. 

Due to its tall form factor, it might peep out when kept in jeans. It measures 160.1 x 71.2 x 9.15mm and weighs around 176g. Overall, the Motorola One Action looks stunningly similar to Motorola One Vision except few in numbers.

21:9 display 

The Motorola One Action sports a 6.3-inch (1080×2520 pixels) Full HD+ LCD with a 21:9 aspect ratio. It has 82.5% screen-to-body ratio with 432ppi. We have seen smartphone displays move from this aspect to 18:9 first, then 19:9 and sometimes even 19.5:9 but watch any movie or even a trailer, you’ll end up with black bars on the top and bottom, making you wish for more. This is exactly the reason why the Motorola One Action has a 21:9 display. 

With One Action, Motorola helps you get close to a movie experience on a smartphone. So, for watching films or any “CinemaVision” video, the device offers a great experience. In addition to multimedia content, it is also suitable for vertical content, especially Twitter and other such social media apps. But, the elongated display has its disadvantage, which we will discuss on the other side of the article. 

On a day-to-day usage, we found the display amazingly good. The screen is bright enough with a good viewing angle, color contrast, and sharp text. The sunlight readability is decent if not excellent. The company offers few color settings to tweak the display as you like – Natural, Boosted, and Saturated. By default, you will get the ‘Saturated’ option.

Android One 

The Motorola One Action is shipped with Android 9.0 (Pie) out of the box. Since it comes under the Android One initiative, the One Action will be updated until Android 11. So if you are looking for a future-proof phone software-wise, this is your option. It has a handful of Moto apps that offer gesture-based features. For example, you can shake your phone to activate the torch or flip it to capture what’s on-screen. Apart from Google’s native apps, it comes pre-installed with Moto, Moto help, and FM Radio. 

Capable cameras 

The Motorola One Action comes equipped with a 12MP rear camera with Dual LED flash, f/1.8 aperture, 16MP 117-degree Ultra-wide Action camera with 2.0um Quad Pixel technology, and a 5MP secondary rear camera with f/2.2 aperture for depth sensing. 

In the right lighting condition, the device offers some decent results. It offers an image with fine details and clarity that you don’t always get in a budget phone. It’s worth mentioning that the pictures are a bit oversaturated. The HDR output is comparatively better with enhanced colors and sharpness. The auto HDR is enabled by default, but you can choose to activate or deactivate as well. 

Unlike Moto One Vision, this device lacks a dedicated Night Mode which lets you capture light where none exists. In low light, the One Action fails as most of the output consists. 

On the front, we have a 12MP front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture. The front camera does a good job as the selfies are detailed and crisp. 

When it comes to video, it can record full-HD videos at 30fps or 60fps and 4K at 30fps. Marketed as Action camera device, the output is nowhere as we expected. Lack of OIS made the video shaky. However, the video quality is decent. It also comes with other photo modes, including Cutout, Spot Color, Cinemagraph, and more. 

Unexpectedly good performance

Just like One Vision, the One Action also comes equipped with Exynos 9609 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz under the hood with Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. This device produces enough clout to handle the day-to-day task and beyond without any lag or hang. This chipset is built using a 10nm fabrication process. We also played PUBG and Shadow Fight 2, and it can handle without any excessive lag or unbearably hot. We felt a bit of heat, though. The RAM management is acceptable as well, considering the price point. 

Why should you not buy it?

Battery life

The Motorola One Action is powered by a 3500mAh with 15W TurboPower fast charging. The battery life is all average and nothing more. On casual usage, we got around a day, which is certainly not great. If you’re a heavy user or planning a trip out for the day, you should bring along a decent portable charger. 

In our One Charge rating, the Motorola One Motorola achieved a rating of 16 hours and 3 minutes, same as One Vision. When it comes to charging, it took about an hour for 0 to 50% and took 2 hours and 22 minutes to charge to 100% with the bundled 15W TurboPower charger.

Ugly punch hole 

First of all, I am not a fan of punch-hole in general, and this looks way big and ugly on the front. For the uninitiated, the punch-hole sports a 12MP front camera on the top left of the screen. 

According to Motorola, the company says the big punch hole is for stability, to avoid the screen cracking under pressure. At times we found it more distracting, especially during gameplay. At 7mm in diameter, it also makes the notification bar chunkier as well. 

21:9 is not for everyone

While this aspect ratio has its advantage, there isn’t enough content that’s viewable in this format at the moment. Having said that some regular content doesn’t fit well to it. But give it a little while, we are sure that streaming companies like Amazon and Netflix will add to its content offering. 

Other factors

It supports connectivity options including 3.5mm audio jack, Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C. The One Action comes with a bottom-firing single speaker and supports Dolby Audio as well. 

The dedicated Dolby audio app lets you change between different presets for music, film, and a smart audio option that adjusts the sound based on what you’re listening to or watching. It is loud and offers good details at a higher volume as well. The call quality through headsets and loudspeakers was good too. 

The Motorola One Action comes in Denim Blue and Pearl White, is priced at Rs. 11,999 and available on Flipkart.