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Motorola One Macro for close up photography
4.2Overall Score
Name: Motorola One Macro
Price (RRP): $299
Manufacturer: Motorola

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’ 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.

I am not saying Motorola as a brand is stuffy or staid, but its G-series (just below the flagship Z-series) sells well via Officeworks and has a reputation as a bullet-proof fleet phone.

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.

Now you 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)

Website here

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

6.2”, 1520 x 720, 270ppi, 19:9, 81.3% STBR, IPS, teardrop notch

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