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Motorola One Zoom hands-on: is just good still good enough?

Motorola One Zoom hands-on: is just good still good enough?

Motorola is continuously expanding the One series. After the One, One Vision and One Action, the fourth model follows, whose name suffix says it all. With the One Zoom, Motorola is targeting photo enthusiasts who don't want to get into debt to take telephoto shots.

Motorola One Action release date and price

Rarely does a smartphone manufacturer announce a smartphone that can be ordered at almost the same time, as Motorola has managed to do with the launch the Motorola One Zoom. From now you can order the Amazon exclusive Cosmic Purple version with Alexa at Amazon for €429 (around $470). According to Motorola, the Electric Gray and Brushed Bronze color variants will be available from September 6.

 

A modern look with luminous Batwings

Motorola has designed the One series to suit the tastes of a younger target audience. The One, One Vision and One Action were also released in the 21:9 format. The Motorola Zoom is not produced in 21:9 but in a 19:9 format because it is designed for photography. So it is a bit wider again and maybe not as handy for smaller hands as its three siblings.

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Good workmanship and a nice feel / © AndroidPIT

From the front, the One Zoom looks just like a conventional smartphone, but it gets more exciting when you look at the back. Motorola has a quad camera and the underlying Motorola logo, affectionately called Batwing, in a rectangular and protruding frame. The logo is backlit so that you can recognize the Motorola One Zoom as a Motorola smartphone in the dark.

Following the trend, the fingerprint sensor has now migrated under the display and is an optical variant that the manufacturer says improves its recognition during daily use. It uses a simple trick: whenever the Motorola One Zoom is unlocked via fingerprint, a picture is taken to train the sensor.

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Chic design a la the Motorola One series / © AndroidPIT

When the question of IP certification comes up, one has to be disappointed again, because Motorola One smartphones, at least to this day, go without it. Nevertheless, Motorola says that the smartphone has been given a P2i coating to protect it from water splashes.

Big and beautiful

With the One Zoom display, Motorola leaves the direction taken by its siblings. Instead of the 21:9 format, the One Zoom comes in at 19:9. The OLED panel measures 6.39 inches and has a U-shaped notch for the selfie camera in its upper edge. The display has a native resolution of 2,340 x 1,080, thus FullHD+.

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The display of the One Zoom is nice and big and, thanks to OLED, also color-intensive / © AndroidPIT

Nothing new about the software, which is good

As the name of the series already says, Motorola relies on Android One for the entire One line. This has the advantage that security updates are more or less quickly delivered by Google and at least two large software updates are considered to be guaranteed.

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Alexa comes pre-installed on the Amazon exclusive Motorola One Zoom / © AndroidPIT

But of course Motorola Android One adapts things a bit. Motorola's typical gestures, as well as its own camera app including night scene and AI-supported scene recognition, come from Motorola.

Equipped for everyday life

For sufficient power, Motorola uses the Snapdragon 675 Octa-core processor and Adreno 608 graphics unit. This is supported by 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be expanded using a microSD card.

When it comes to network performance, the Motorola One Zoom supports LTE Cat 12 with a maximum of 600 Mbps for downloads. All of this should make the Motorola One Zoom a solid companion for everyday use.

With four eyes you see better

As a smartphone designed primarily for photography, the One Zoom has a total of four cameras on the back. These are composed as follows:

  • 48MP Sony IMX 586 with Quad Bayer Mask, f1.7, OIS and PDAF
  • 16MP ultra-wide angle lens with a 117-degree field of view
  • 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS
  • 5MP depth sensor

On the front Motorola uses a 25MP camera, which like the main camera can bundle four pixels to one to deliver better images in poor lighting conditions. Night shots are then taken with 6.25MP.

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These four cameras are supposed to make the One Zoom a photographer's joy / © AndroidPIT

In general, the camera setup of the Motorola One Zoom is prepared for all situations, but whether the quality of the pictures will be good, we have to wait to find out when we do our full review.

More than enough battery

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The battery of the One Zoom is quickly charged at 15 watts. / © AndroidPIT

The Motorola One Zoom Motorola uses a 4,000 mAh battery. That's 500 mAh more than its One siblings. With mid-range hardware, the battery should be more than sufficient to power the smartphone over even intense everyday life. It's just a pity that the battery is only fast-charged at 15W, other manufacturers are already further ahead in this regard.

Big promise, but there's a tough opponent

Everything depends on the final quality of the photos, because after all, this is a smartphone that is fully designed for photography. I can't find anything to complain about with the new Motorola One when it comes to the operating system, hardware and build quality. The price also sounds very attractive at first glance, but in this price range, the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are a top dog that has to be beaten first. Will Motorola succeed? We'll see.

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