Motorola’s latest Android One smartphone, the One Action, launched in India with a price tag of Rs 13,999. The handset is the first-ever to offer Go-Pro like action camera in the segment. It also carries a 21:9 CinemaVision display similar to the Motorola One Vision. Just like other Motorola devices, the One Action too is a part of Google’s Android One program. The company is offering only one variant with 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. In India, Motorola is selling this phone through Flipkart, and it comes in two color options – Denim Blue and Pearl White. The phone looks a lot similar to the Motorola One Vision, but there are still many things that make it very different. Read my full review to find out.

Motorola One Action: Design, build and display

The Motorola One Action is almost identical to the One Vision launched earlier in India. In my opinion, the phone’s looks are slightly outdated compared to the competition. That said, it still feels solid to hold. Motorola has used a different kind of 21:9 CinemaVision display, which makes the phone look tall and slim. As a result the phone grips well, but one hand-operation gets a little difficult because of the tall display. Unlike the One Vision, the phone doesn’t offer gradient glass back, instead you get a single color treatment on polycarbonate body. I got the Denim Blue color for review, but honestly the Pearl White looks much better.

Coming to the display, Motorola is offering a punch-hole screen with 21:9 aspect ratio. It diagonally measures 6.3-inches, and offers FHD+ (1080×2520 pixels) resolution. Since I had previously reviewed the One Vision, it wasn’t difficult for me to adjust to the tall display. Other than that, the screen offers good touch response, decent sunlight legibility and less saturated colors. But one thing that you might not like, is the big punch-hole camera on top-left corner.

Performance and Software

Similar to One Vision, the Motorola One Action also gets Samsung’s chipset instead of Qualcomm or MediaTek. The handset uses octa-core Exynos 9609 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The hybrid SIM slot allows external storage expansion via a microSD card (up to 512GB). During my review, I found the phone’s performance to be alright, and not exceptional. It can do daily multitasking with ease, but competing devices in its price range offer superior hardware. In terms of gaming, the popular high-graphic game PUBG Mobile played out smooth on the One Action.

Talking about the software experience, Motorola One Action has an upper hand with the Android One program. The phone offers stock Android 9 Pie software with some additional and very useful Motorola-exclusive features. Also, you can be rest assured of monthly security updates for three years, and two major software upgrades. Overall, the handset is okay in the performance department, but only if you evaluate it as a standalone device. Having said that, you do get better options in the similar or lower price range from the Chinese competitors like Xiaomi and Realme.

Motorola One Action: Camera and Battery

At the back, the One Action is a lot different from One Vision, and not just because of one extra sensor. The phone also gets a 12-megapixel primary lens instead of a 48-megapixel quad-pixel sensor. The third extra lens is the dedicated Action camera sensor to shoot Go-Pro style videos, which is the unique thing about this device.

What you’ll get to do with the extra Action camera sensor is record videos horizontally (with 117 degrees wide-angle), while keeping the phone vertically. Also, these videos come nice and steady with ‘Enhanced Video Stabilization’. Talking about the photos, the other two lenses in the primary rear camera include a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 lens, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.2 lens. On the front, you get a 12-megapixel camera sensor in the punch-hole display.

During my review, I found primary rear camera performance to be average at best. It takes some good images in the daylight conditions managing decent details. Overall, the images had good contrast and center sharpness. But when it comes to low-light performance, the camera didn’t live up to my expectations. There is no dedicated night mode like the One Vision. I found the results to be grainy and lacked detailing. You can check the camera samples in the slideshow below.IMG_20190827_160926648_HDRIMG_20190827_151133868_HDRIMG_20190819_181458227

In the battery department, the Motorola One Action also packs the same 3,500mAh battery like the One Vision. It offers USB Type-C support and 10W TurboPower charger, which is essentially not a fast charging speed. It takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery. During my review, the phone’s battery mostly lasted almost one full day, but sometimes I did struggle with heavy usage.

Motorola One Action: Should you buy?

At Rs 13,999, the Motorola One Action is a compelling smartphone which should be considered for its dedicated Action camera. If you love taking videos, then there is no better phone than One Action in this price range. I liked the convenience of not rotating the phone while shooting videos, instead I can just keep the phone straight in one hand without breaking a sweat.

In terms of performance, the device keeps the balance with Android One software, although there are many better options in this price range like Realme 5 Pro, Xiaomi’s Mi A3, Lenovo K10 Note, Redmi Note 7 Pro, and Honor 20i. The design and the battery of the phone isn’t the best out there, but it is functional. In my opinion, the One Action is an overall decent smartphone which brings a unique proposition under Rs 15,000. It flaunts a tall 21:9 CinemaVision display and an innovative video recording solution, which no other phones is offering at present.

FeaturesRealme 5 ProMotorola One ActionXiaomi Mi A3
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoCSamsung Exynos 9609 SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC
OSColorOS 6 based on Android 9 PieAndroid 9 PieAndroid 9 Pie
Display6.3-inch FHD+-2340x1080pixels6.3-inch full-HD+, 21:9 aspect ratio-1080×2520 pixelsOLED-6.1-inch HD+
Internal Memory 64GB storage + 4GB RAM4GB RAM + 128GB storage4GB RAM + 64GB storage
Rear CameraQuad cameras – 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MPTriple – 12MP + 5MP + 16MPTriple – 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera16MP12MP32MP

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