Chinese smartphone manufacturer Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, has for a while been trailing in the mobile phone segment, thanks to its delayed software upgrades, pricey new launches and irregular product refreshes. However, things look set to change with the company’s new Motorola One Power smartphone.
Unlike any other Moto-branded smartphones, this one has a new design, modern notch-based screen, a capable hardware and the Android One promise of timely software and security upgrades. Interestingly, it is the 5,000 mAh battery that makes this phone an attractive bet in the mid-range smartphone segment.
Design and display
In terms of outlook, the Motorola One Power looks nothing like any other Moto-branded smartphones. It has a metallic body with plastic on top and bottom, and antennas underneath. The phone has a tall stance due to a mammoth 6.18-inch screen of the 19:9 aspect ratio on its front. The screen has a notch on top to accommodate the front camera, soft LED flash, earpiece and sensors. Compared with other smartphones in the same segment with notch-based screens, the Motorola One Power’s notch is neither too big nor too small in size. However, it would appear to some that a smaller one would have been better.
Speaking of the display output, the screen is vivid and has ample brightness to stay legible in bright sunny outdoors. The colour rendition is good and the overall pixel-per-inch (PPI) density is satisfactory, thanks to a fullHD+ panel. However, due to its curved edges, the on-screen content gets cropped and that is noticeable while watching multimedia content like images and videos.
Coming on to the back side of the device, there is a dual-camera module placed vertically on the top-left corner. The camera module protrudes from the chassis, making the phone uneven when kept on flat surfaces like table. Thankfully, there is a metallic rim keeping the glass on the camera module safe from scratches. The back is also home to a circular fingerprint sensor with the Moto logo embossed on it. The sensor’s placement is well within the reachable zone while you access it with your index finger.
Overall, the design of the Motorola One Power is nothing extraordinary, but it looks refreshing when compared with other Moto devices. But if you compare it other companies’ offerings, the new design is neither interesting nor exceptionally innovative; it resembles the likes of the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
Software and performance
This is one area where the phone exceeds expectations. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 system-on-chip, paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, the phone boots Android Oreo. But it is planned to get the Android Pie soon.
Specifications aside, the phone feels smooth all across and show no lags or stutters in day-to-day operations. The thermals remain well within limits and the phone continues to operate without any signs of weakness. Gaming performance is satisfactory, as the phone manages to run graphic-intensive titles like the PUBG and Asphalt 9 at graphics set to medium. Stock operating system makes it easy to use and the additional software included by Motorola, such as Moto Display and Moto Action, improves the overall utility. The Moto Display wakes the screen to show time, date and notifications. It allows you to interact with notifications without unlocking the device. The Moto Action, on the other hand, allows you to turn on the phone’s camera or flashlight using simple hand gestures.
The Motorola One Power’s dual-camera module on the back features a 16-megapixel primary sensor of f/1.8 aperture size, coupled with a 5MP depth-sensing lens. There is a 12MP camera lens on the front for selfies of large 1.25-micron pixel size.
The camera is basic and has no add-on features like spot colour and selective focus which are part of the Motorola camera app in Moto-branded smartphones. While the camera output is satisfactory in good light conditions, it is sub-optimal in low light. For an entry-level midrange smartphone, the output is satisfactory. However, it would fall under the phone’s weak areas.
Powering the smartphone is a mammoth 5,000 mAh battery. This battery, coupled with an efficient processor and good software-based optimisation, keeps the phone going for more than a day. However, charging the battery from zero to 100 per cent using the bundled charger takes more than three hours. The phone with such a mammoth battery size should have had new-generation fast charging.
Priced at Rs 15,999, the Motorola One Power seems to be a new beginning for the company in the right direction. The phone has strengths in all areas, except imaging, where the output is satisfactory but not class-leading. The stock user interface, coupled with a mammoth battery and useful software-based add-ons, makes it an interesting product in the midrange segment.