Motorola One Action debuts with unique camera feature and a solid price

Motorola One Action
Motorola has just announced its latest smartphone – the Motorola One Action – and its arguably the company’s best offering since the Moto G7 which arrived earlier this year. It’s available to purchase in Denim Blue and Pearl White across Europe and Latin America right now and retails at €259. 

The US, on the other hand, will receive the phone in early October. Pricing hasn't been confirmed yet but it'll likely retail at $299.

Film horizontal video while holding the phone vertically

Giving the Motorola One Action its unique name is the triple-camera setup that can be found on the rear. It sits within a vertical module and includes the industry’s first “ultra-wide action video camera” which lets you record in 4K quality with a 117º field-of-view and fit up to four times more in the frame. The most intriguing feature, however, is the ability to film horizontal videos while holding the device vertically, something that's made possible by software and hardware wizardry.

To further improve the experience of the ‘Action Cam,’ Motorola has added enhanced video stabilization to the camera and integrated Quad Pixel technology which delivers four times more light sensitivity for sharper and brighter videos. 

As a bonus for buyers, the Motorola One Action also boasts a main 12-megapixel sensor that features phase detection autofocus and an f/1.8 aperture and a 5-megapixel depth sensor which helps add a “natural blur effect” to portrait shots. The intensity of this can be adjusted later when editing a photo.

Rounding out the photographic setup is a dual-LED flash and Motorola’s range of Moto AI features which include shot optimization, smart composition, and auto smile capture that can recognize up to five people inside the same frame.

A 21:9 CinemaVision display and pure Android

Following in the footsteps of the Motorola One Vision, the One Action boasts a 6.3-inch CinemaVision display that offers a FHD+ (2520 x 1080p) resolution and a pixel density of 432ppi. The combination of a small punch hole for the 12-megapixel selfie camera and slim bezels creates an impressive 84% screen-to-body ratio. This leaves no room for a fingerprint scanner up front but Motorola has embedded one beneath the phone's rear logo.

Coupled with the sleek exterior is a pure Android experience in Europe and Latin America. Like previous Motorola One-branded devices, this model is part of the Android One program and therefore ships with stock Android 9 Pie pre-installed, which itself includes popular Google features such as Assistant and Digital Wellbeing. Motorola has, however, already promised updates to both Android Q and Android R once available. Moreover, three years of security patches are guaranteed from August 2019.

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Regarding the US and Canada, Motorola says the smartphone will ship with its own version of Android rather than Google's. Disappointingly, the Chicago-based company has only promised an update to Android Q in these markets.

Keeping the smartphone running is a decent 3,500mAh battery. Motorola says this will provide “a day of power on a single charge” and our own tests with the relatively similar One Vision earlier this year corroborate this. The latter achieved an “excellent” rating and lasted 9h 13min in our benchmark. For those of you wondering, the One Action supports 10W fast charging via the bundled accessory.

Samsung processor, lots of storage, and other specs

As indicated above, the Motorola One Action is pretty similar to the One Vision in terms of specs. Aside from the battery, it also uses the same Exynos 9609 octa-core processor which is akin to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable internal storage. 

Rather unsurprisingly, the Motorola One Action supports Bluetooth 5.0 and 4G LTE networks as standard. It also includes a dual-SIM slot, NFC, and a single bottom-firing speaker which supports Dolby Audio. Lastly, the One Action features splash resistance, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port.

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