This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
While OnePlus succumbed to trends, Moto's One Hyper successfully mixes nostalgia with modernity at a great price. No-drama plastic build, standard audio jack and expandable storage, meet true "all-screen" design and utlrafast charging.
You know what OnePlus fans call its phones? Flagship killers, of course, and many a Chinese manufacturer has used this phrase to describe its value-for-money handsets that combine premium design with top-shelf hardware sold at midrange prices.
Well, if OnePlus is a flagship killer, and there is a phone now sold in the US that can show OnePlus how it's done without much strain on the imagination, what would then this phone be? An odd bird, that's for sure, and we are talking about none other than the newly-announced Motorola One Hyper.
First, the commonalities with OnePlus - a huge battery with ultrafast charging, a high-res camera with multiple lens on the back, the works. It's not a flagship device, though, what with the midrange chipset and "just" 4GB of RAM.
Motorola, however, cut corners where it doesn't count much to arrive at the $399 price (throwing in another free Moto phone to boot), which is commensurate with what the lowly Pixel 3a charges when not in promo, and there is another 10% discount to stack.
Moto didn't skimp on the all-important camera set, offering a setup similar to the iPhone 11, with extra ultrawide lens added for a good measure. Where it did save is the ubiquitous glass-and-metal build that has become such a cliche in the past two years that some are longing for the unapologetically plastic days of phones you don't have to always baby and be careful with.
Throw in a regular 3.5mm audio jack and expandable storage, and about the only thing missing from nostalgia heaven is a replaceable battery. With a 4000mAh pack on a 1080p display and ultrafast charging, though, one is unlikely to be needed.
To recap, performance-wise the new Moto Hyper may not match the OnePlus 7T, and its camera may not perform as the one on the Pixel 3a, XL but as an overall value and with true "all-screen" design at $399, it's really hard to beat at the moment, ending Motorola's 2019 with a bang.
No wonder Moto is the fastest growing brand in the US, doubling its market share from 2018 to 2019, mostly to the chagrin of LG and lesser Android phone brands. Motorola must be doing something right, even with the "cheapest" foldable phone, the Razr (2019). As for OnePlus, it's still way deep into the "other" category, despite a fairly robust US carrier presence. What do you think?