Earlier this year, Lenovo owned Motorola released two new phones, the Moto One and the Moto One Power. In India, only the Moto One Power launched in September 2018.
The Moto One Power brings a lot to the table. To begin with, this is Motorola’s first phone affiliated with the Android One Program. This means two years of guaranteed security updates and updates to Android P and Q. In fact, the Android P update has already rolled out.
Specs-wise, the phone is mid-range. The onboard Snapdragon 636 processor provides more than enough power to run the phone. The screen is a 6.2-inch FHD with a pretty wide notch. The phone comes with a pretty average 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage.
- Processor: Snapdragon 636 Octa-core 1.8 GHz + Adreno 509 GPU
- OS: Android One (Running Android 8.0 out of the box, promised updates to Android P and Q)
- Memory and Storage: 4 GB RAM and 64GB Internal + microSD support up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
- SIM support: Dual-SIM VoLTE (Available on both SIMs after updating to Android P)
- Display: 6.2″ IPS LCD FHD Panel (1080×2240) with Corning Gorilla Glass 2.5
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0. Dual-band WiFi
- Sensors: Fingerprint, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, proximity, compass.
Motorola has done a commendable job on the hardware side of things. The phone is built like a tank with a clean, minimalistic design. There are gaps that can be filled, but otherwise, the phone is solid.
The Motorola One Power isn’t going to turn any heads around when it comes to looks. The phone is just a plain black slab of hardware with a metal back. The phone is also relatively thick and heavy because of the 5000 mAh battery.
The fingerprint sensor has finally been blend in the Moto badge at the rear which is a good design choice.
If you want a good looking phone, this isn’t going to be your first choice.
For all the critics out there, the headphone jack is still there. The phone features a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer. The SIM tray has two SIM slots and a dedicated microSD slot which is a nice addition.
Aforesaid, the phone is built like a tank. Just a thick black slab of metal. The back can be a bit slippery at times. It also comes with a transparent silicone case.
The phone features a fingerprint sensor hidden into the Moto logo dimple. Rest all the mid-range sensors are present. You get a gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor and the NFC has been replaced with a compass this time.
There are no dedicated navigation buttons on the phone. The volume and power buttons are on the right side.
The buttons have this soft, mushy feeling to them. They’re made of plastic and overall feel quite cheap. However, we noticed that depending upon what case you put on the phone, this feeling can change.
Since this is an Android One device, you get clean, stock Android 8.0 (Oreo) running right out-of-the-box. The Android 9 update has rolled out for the device as well. Now, while Android 9 is great, the software from Moto’s side leaves a lot to be desired.
Once again, out-of-the-box, Android 8.0. Promised security updates for two years and updates to Android P and Q. With Android P already rolled out.
There is absolutely no bloatware. The only Moto apps are the moto actions and moto camera.
Clean, stock Android. Nothing else. No skins, no launchers, nothing. You’ll love it.
The notification shell nicely blends in with the notch and provides quite a lot of functionality. There’s a little gimmick though, because of the wide notch, there’s not a lot of space for the notification icons and hence they’ve been shifted to the notification bar.
It doesn’t make or break the deal, but you just won’t be able to see that many notification icons as compared to a phone with a smaller/teardrop notch.
If you’ve used a Motorola phone before, you already know that Moto loads their devices with a few very useful apps. Since the last few generations of Moto devices, the most prominent of these apps have been Moto Actions and Moto Display.
Moto actions allow for some quick functionalities like twisting the phone to launch the camera and double chop to open torch. The Moto display fades in and out showing you notifications and even allow you to reply without unlocking your phone.
Still, since it is an Android One device, Moto has really muted all these features. Only the basics are available as of now.
The phone takes about 20-25 seconds to completely boot up.
This phone has got some good camera hardware. The rear camera is a 16+5 MP dual camera setup with a 16MP main camera at f/1.8. The secondary 5 MP camera at f/2.2 is used as a depth sensor. The huge apertures really help with low light situations.
You get a dual-tone flash. The camera can shoot videos in 4k@30fps along with 1080p@30 and 60FPS
The front camera is a standard 12MP at f/2.0. The front cam also has a dedicated flash with the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30FPS.
Make no mistake, the camera hardware is just great on the Moto One Power. But if you go ahead and read the reviews, people are saying it’s an average camera.
That is because of the half-baked stock Moto Camera app. The camera on this phone is held back completely by the software.
There’s not a lot of photo modes available. The standard mode can manage decent pictures in daylight. The Pro mode is total garbage town and video recording is sluggish. Somehow, Portrait mode works great.
The solution to this is using a third party camera app. A good suggestion would be Adobe Lightroom. With a little bit of effort though, you can sideload the GCam app on the phone and see the camera doing wonders.
On to the biggest strength of the phone, the battery.
The Moto One Power as the name suggests is made for power users and the 5000mAh battery certainly lives up to that.
With moderate uses, the phone will easily last more than two days. Even with heavy usage, the phone managed to last one and a half day. The battery life is obviously going to deteriorate with time, but it’ll still give you more screen time than most of the other devices.
The screen on time is somewhere between 9-12 hours depending upon what you’re doing on the phone. Heavy games, movies, streaming, browsing this phone can crush it all. In fact, after three hours of continuous PUBG gameplay, the battery only came down from 100% to 75%.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a screenshot to put things in context.
The phone also supports turbocharging. The supplied 15-watt turbocharger can charge the phone from zero to hundred in about two hours. Getting the phone from 0 to 60 takes about 55 minutes, which is seriously impressive taking into consideration the massive battery.
Although the phone is not exactly marketed as a ‘gaming’ phone, it can play any game you throw at it with ease. PUBG and Asphalt 9 ran on the highest graphics settings without any lags.
The phone heats up a bit when charging, which is in the very nature of turbocharging. During heavy usage, gaming, you might experience some heating but nothing uncomfortable.
Should you buy this phone?
Overall the Moto One Power really stands out among the competition. The INR 16,000 price tag is justified well with the hardware and the overall user experience.
However, Motorola, since its acquisition by Lenovo, has been notorious for delivering updates very late. We’re yet to see if that happens with the Android One program too, but chances are, owing to Motorola’s nature, updates might be a bit late.
If you’re okay with that, there’s no reason to not recommend the phone.
Personal experience: Upgrading from a previous Moto phone
I upgraded to the Moto One Power from my Moto G5S Plus. The Moto G5S Plus was a great phone, but it took Moto almost a year to fix the loopholes on that phone. By the time I upgraded, it was a solid phone.
Coming to the Moto One Power, I feel that Moto will take its time to fix the loopholes and add new features to the phone. Several Moto Actions I had on my last phone are not on this one and it feels like a bummer.
Despite this, it is a great phone hardware wise and gradually it’ll mature into a much more functional device as you keep on using it.