Motorola One Action is the fresh addition to Lenovo’s Moto lineup. The ‘One’ here alludes to the phone being part of Android One program (read: stock android, assured updates) and the ‘Action’ alludes to the interesting wide-angle Action camera on board. Add to that the elongated 21:9 aspect ratio ‘Cinema Vision’ display, and you have a got yourself a very distinct affordable phone.

Save for the difference in camera hardware, the Moto One Action is quite similar to the One Vision that preceded it. Starting at a price of Rs. 13,999, the handset will be primary up against Xiaomi’s Mi A3 (review). It’s also caught right in the middle of a fierce online exclusive war raging between the likes of Xiaomi, Realme, and even Vivo (Ironically, it was Moto G that pioneered the Online Exclusive concept in India).

Is the One Action up for the task? We went up close with the new One at its India launch and here we will share a few takeaways from our first-hand experience.

Motorola One Action Specs

Model Motorola One Action
Display 6.3-inch IPS screen 2,520 x 1,080 resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio, punch hole
Processer 2.2GHz Samsung Exynos 9609 octa-core
RAM 4GB
Internal Storage 128GB UFS (expandable up to 512GB, Hybrid slot)
Software Android One (Android 9 Pie)
Rear Camera 12MP (f/1.8) OIS + 16MP 117-degree Ultra-wide , dedicated video camera, 5MP (f/2.4) depth sensor
Front Camera 12MP (f/2.0)
Battery 3500 mAh, 10W Charger bundled
Indian Price Rs 13,999

Motorola One Action Design and Display

First thing first. The 21:9 aspect ratio screen on the Moto One doesn’t look as weird in person (as it does in photographs). Many movies and 70% of Netflix originals are shot in the same aspect ratio and should be a pleasure to watch on the One Action screen. Perhaps. You’d still have to deal with thick black sidebars for most YouTube content and while playing games.

The display felt sharp and the settings have the option to switch between saturated, standard and boost mode. With a 6.3-inch screen size, the Moto One Action is actually a compact phone that’s quite easy to wield and operate. It’s not super slim, but it felt reasonably light compared to most other contemporary phones it will rival.

That blotch on the top left, however, is really hard to ignore. For some reason, the selfie camera housed within a punch-hole is highlighted with a thick black ring that makes it more conspicuous and intrusive. And the notch further warrants an extra thick status bar.

On the rear, the One Vision has glass finish with a refined crosshatch texture underneath. The white variant is the one we’d endorse. And yes, we take this look over shimmery blue gradients any day.

Oh, and yes, the audio jack and USB Type-C port are both there.

Motorola One Action Performance, Battery, and Software

The One Action has the same Exynos 9609 chipset as the One Vision launched earlier. The upside of using the Exynos chip is that the internet won’t get judgemental for the get-go. But jokes apart, the 10nm process based Exynos 9609 is a trimmed down version of Exynos 9610 that we had on Galaxy A50 and is comparable to, say, Snapdragon 660 (going by the benchmarks).

The chipset is assisted by 4GB RAM and ample 128GB storage, and altogether the hardware sounds reasonable for the price. That said, it can’t be denied that Xiaomi, Realme, and Vivo are offering phones with more competent chips in the same budget.

The battery stats don’t sound very assuring. One Action relies on a 3500mAh battery and has a standard 10W charger bundled in the box.

The Android One software is an advantage, one that isn’t exclusive to Moto phones anymore. If you aren’t particular about your software needs, Stock Android is generally deemed as a safe bet. It’s light and well-designed skin that’s simple to navigate and not very imposing. At the same time, lack of basics like call recording can feel really inhibiting. Motorola retains signature elements like Moto Action gestures and Moto Display that lets you peek at notifications from settings.

Being an Android One phone, the Moto One Action is also a good contender for Android 10 and 11 version upgrades.

Moto One Action Camera Hardware

The action camera is what sets the One Action apart. It has a wide-angle camera that’s mounted at 90-degree orientation, and that enables you to shoot wide footage while holding your phone in Portrait orientation, which Motorola assures is a more natural way of holding your phone.

This kind of makes sense, but we will need to test the phone further to be sure. This wide-angle action camera has 16MP resolution and this one cannot be used for still photography. This wide-angle camera also has a large pixel size for better lowlight performance and benefits from, what Lenovo calls, “extreme image stabilization”.

Other than that, the triple camera system includes a 12MP primary sensor and a 5MP depth sensor.

Moto One Action First Impression

The 21:9 aspect ratio display, clean Android One software, and the unique take on wide-angle cameras help the Moto One Action stand apart. If you see value in these extras, the Moto One Action could surely be worth your while.

Of course, we will need to test it further to be sure before we pass it on as a recommendation.

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