Motorola One Macro is a phone focused (for want of a better pun) on macro-photography. In all other respects, it is a $299 phone offering what has become pretty standard fare in that price range.
Motorola One Macro is the latest in its new ‘One’ family. At $299 it is at the budget end, next is its excellent value One Vision (now $399 – even better as it was $499), and it makes me wonder if we are going to see the quad-camera One Zoom come in at $499.
Whatever the plan for Motorola ‘One’ brand the intent is clear – its an experimental sub-brand aimed at markets that good old-fashioned Motorola does not appeal to. The USP for Motorola One Macro is close up photography.
Motorola One sells exclusively via JB Hi-Fi (who love exclusives as it allows the company to control marketing directions) and my spies tell me that despite the love or hate ‘Bronze’ colour, the value-packed One Vision, is selling very well.
would expect ‘One’ branded phones to share some standard features but alas these
are chalk and cheese.
One Vision (GadgetGuy review here) scores 4.8-out-of-5. It uses a Samsung Exynos 9609 processor (good choice); 6.3-inch, 2520×1080, 21:9 LTPS IPS screen (huge screen real-estate for this category); a massive 48MP, OIS, quad-pixel/5MP depth camera and a 25MP selfie; Wi-Fi AC, BT 5.0, NFC; USB-C quick charge; and a 4/128GB/microSD to 256GB.
One Vision Macro uses a MediaTek Helio P70; 6.2-inch, 1520×720,
19:9 screen; 13MP+2MP depth + 2MP Macro and 8MP selfie; Wi-Fi N, BT 4.2, No
NFC; USB-C standard charge4; and 4/64GB/microSD to 512GB. Sorry, there is nothing
out of the box here.
Spoiler alert: It’s a Motorola, and all that entails. But
unless you need macro (and I doubt you will), I urge you to beg, borrow or AfterPay
for the repriced One Vision that at $399 is pretty well the class leader.
Motorola One Macro XT2016-2 4/64GB, Dual Sim (Hybrid)
Price: $299 via Motorola Online or JB Hi-Fi in-store.
Note: we are trying to reduce the length review to help our
50% plus readers that access the site via mobile. We still do the extensive
tests but cut verbiage by using PASS or FAIL against our major paradigms.
Screen: PASS – as good as it gets for this paradigm, but videophiles will notice some 720p pixelation
The screen is bright and colours relatively accurate
(tendency towards cooler blue). It has a
reflective surface making it hard to read in direct sunlight. You can select Natural
(warmer), Boost (cooler) or Saturated colours.
Despite it being an IPS screen there is an AOD option which
is very useful.
Processor – PASS – typical of this price bracket
It is a MediaTek Helio P70 as used in the lower-cost vivo
S1, OPPO (A9, F11 etc.) and currently 48 other brands/models. MediaTek is like the
AMD/Intel battle – both it and Qualcomm paddle in the same pool (and Huawei
Kirin and Samsung Exynos). There is no downside in buying MediaTek smartphones
in the mass and mid-markets.
However, this SoC throttles to 80% from the moment you start
the 15-minute Throttling test and stays there throughout – it is a design issue
to manage heat. But it is like buying a four-cylinder car and finding only
three work yet it has plenty of power and smooth performance
4GB LPRRD4 and 64GB
eMMC (44GB free) with a hybrid (shared slot with Sim 2) to 512GB complete this.
The Mali-GF72 MP3 GPU is not a gamer’s dream, but it will
play most 720p cloud-based mobile games on medium settings.
Battery – PASS – excellent life
4000mAh but supplied with a standard 5V/2A (10W) which is
fine as it does not support rapid charge despite what Motorola calls it on the website
(we tried it). It has a linear charge from 0-100% in under five hours.
Under 100% load and everything on it exhausts in about 10 hours
– excellent. Discharge speed is 150mA (idle) to about 400mAh (under load)
We expect this a 36-48hour device
Sound – PASSable
3.5mm jack, mono earpiece and mono down-firing
Dual ANC mic
Ringer: 80db, music 74dB, voice 70dB
Sound: Mono, no bass or treble – mid-centric for
Comms – PASS but others are beginning to offer Wi-Fi AC
Wi-Fi N 2.4Ghz -31dBm (excellent) and 72Mbps at 1 metre from
NETGEAR AX12 router.
BT 4.2 SBC performs as any other standard BT does
LTE – PASS with strong reception strength
Dual sim (hybrid with micro-SD)
-83dBm and find next tower at -85dBm (excellent)
Build – PASS with solid, quality build
Plastic polycarbonate frame, gradient paint, and plastic back
IPX2 rated (don’t drip on it).
Comes with a clear plastic bumper case
Space Blue or Ultraviolet.
157.6 x 75.41 x 8.99mn x 186g
Other – PASS – what you expect
Rear fingerprint sensor
GPS (no e-Compass)
Missing – no deal breakers
Android – PASS and its pure Android
Pure Android 9 with some Motorola apps
Motorola’s apps are limited
to gestures including a twist to start the camera, two chops to turn on the
flashlight, flip for DND, and a slightly different navigation bar
Rear Camera – Pass for quality daylight shots
13MP, f/2.0, 1.12um, 67.2° – Samsung S5k3L6
2MP f/2.2, 1.75um, OV2a10 depth
Laser autofocus and single LED flash
Features: Digital zoom (up to 8x), Burst shot, Auto HDR, Timer, High res zoom, Live filter, Shot optimization, Smart composition, Auto smile capture, Cinemagraph, Portrait mode, Cut-out, Panorama, Manual mode, RAW photo output, Active photos, Spot colour, Best shot, Slow motion video, Time-lapse video, Hyper lapse video, Electronic video stabilization, YouTube Live, Google Lens. 1080p@30fps
Daylight- PASS – good detail, reasonably accurate colours,
Office Light: PASS but bokeh is not to my liking
Lower light: PASS – a little too much noise, softness (focus issues)
Macro Vision – PASSable
2MP f/2.2, 1.75um macro, OV2a10 macro sensor
2.5cm – way too noisy unless you have very bright light. 2MP means not a lot of detail. Lack of EIS or OIS means too often blurry and propensity to overshadow the image (literally – see flowers below)