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Motorola One Zoom has four cameras, huge battery and a freaking glowing logo (hands-on)


The Motorola One Zoom seems to have it all: four cameras on the back, a beautiful modern design, huge battery, a gorgeous AMOLED screen with a fingerprint embedded in it, and a $450 price that undercuts most rivals. It also comes with a glowing Moto logo on the back that replaces a traditional notification light in a really cool way.

We got to spend some time with the brand new Moto One Zoom at IFA 2019 in Berlin, but before we tell you all about our first impressions, let’s start by taking a quick look at the specs:

It’s all about the cameras

Four cameras for a lot of versatility

Motorola says camera quality is the number one factor for phone buyers these days and that is why it has focused on delivering a comprehensive camera package in the Motorola One Zoom.

As evident by its name, the Zoom comes with a telephoto lens in addition to the main camera and this tele lens has got serious zooming capabilities. It is an optically stabilized (OIS) lens that gives you a 3X native zoom. And while 3X is the native zoom level, you can also smoothly zoom in even closer, up to 10X using a combination of the telephoto lens and the main camera (hybrid zoom).

The main camera, on the other hand, features a 48-megapixel resolution, but by default it is set to 12MP. This is done so that Motorola can combine the information from four adjacent pixels into one to get more light and ultimately a better looking image, and Moto calls the technology Quad Pixel (we have already seen it on previous One series devices).

You then also have a third camera, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, that captures a much wider field of view equating to a 13mm traditional lens in classic camera terms. Earlier, Motorola released the One Action phone where you use the ultra-wide angle camera to shoot super well stabilized action videos that automatically turn horizontal, even if you hold your phone vertically. Unfortunately, this particular trick is not available on the One Zoom and it remains reserved for the One Action.

Lastly, you have a depth camera sensor that comes in handy when shooting portraits as it allows you to get a better bokeh and better separate your object from the background.

Up front, the Moto One Zoom sports a 25-megapixel shooter that uses the same Quad Pixel technique as the main camera to capture better low-light photos.

Yes, a glowing logo instead of a notification light

A really cool idea

In terms of size, the Moto One Zoom is a rather big phone (still a bit smaller than say a Galaxy Note 10+ or an iPhone XS Max), and in terms of design and looks it’s quite a stylish. The back is frosted glass, a finish that Motorola calls ’satin’ because of that smooth, pleasing feel in the hand. Such a matte finish is also much better at resisting fingerprint smudges and does not look nearly as nasty and messy as most other glass phones out there that are absolute fingerprint magnets. You get a choice of three colors: Electric Gray, Cosmic Purple, Brushed Bronze, and all are gradients with a lighter hue in the center and slightly darker tone at the edges.

Unlike some way more expensive phones, the One Zoom has little conveniences like the 3.5mm headphone jack on board (thanks, Moto!). Interestingly, the loudspeaker here is on the top, so it looks like you are holding the phone upside down.

The coolest thing about this phone is a little touch: the M logo on the back glows whenever you get a new notification. It’s just one color, but it looks really cool. The phone does not have a traditional notification light, so this solution replaces it.

Under the hood

The Snapdragon 675 chip under the hood is not quite on par with flagship hardware like the Snapdragon 855 chip you find on expensive phones these days, but we found the phone to be quite snappy and perform very well in daily use. You get 4GB of RAM, which is not a ton, but again, we did not encounter any issues with speed.

Storage is 128GB and we find this to be enough for most users, but it’s also nice that Motorola has left the option to use a microSD card and expand the storage even further.

Battery and Charging

The One Zoom sports a big, 4,000mAh battery that should provide enough juice to last through a full day for even the heaviest of users.

The phone does not support wireless charging, but it does come with a fast charger in the box. The adapter support 18 watt speeds (the phone will charge at a maximum of 15 watts).

Price, Release Date and US Carrier Availability

We have seen a feature set similar to that of the Moto One Zoom in quite a few phones this year, but it’s the first time that we see it at such a low price point.

The One Zoom price is set at $450 in the United States, where the phone will be sold as an unlocked phone exclusively via the portal. Remember that this is a GSM phone, so it is only compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, but will not work with Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

In Europe, the price of the phone is set at 430 euro.

All in all, we quite like this new Motorola One Zoom: it brings a capable telephoto camera, it feels fast, its battery will last a long time, it feature the clean and clutter-free Android experience that we like, and it has a beautiful AMOLED display. Add to that an elegant design and you have a very strong contender in the $400-$500 price range that we can recommend to pretty much everyone.

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