Motorolas are known for durable build quality, almost stock-like Android experience, and those karate gestures. This time it’s tried a different route with Android One booted up, where you’ll find no bloat and clutter. And yes sir, it’s a delight.
Earlier, Moto lead the budget pack for quite some time with its popular G4 and G4 Plus budget smartphone. There was a time we’d actually swear by its capabilities in the sub-₹15k range. But for some reason, it just couldn't keep up with its competition with the G5 or the G6 for that matter. Those phones just couldn’t beat the punch that the others delivered.
Anyhow, it seems like Moto’s shook its head and got back in the game with the One Power. It’s Moto’s first smartphone to sport a notch, run on Android One and all prepped up for its first piece of frosty Pie.
With a mega battery, big screen and a notch, can this trump others in the sub-₹20k range? Let’s find out.
Design and display: Heavyweight bore
The Motorola One Power looks a lot different than its siblings and it certainly does not stand out when compared to other smartphones in the market. If you’re thinking, yes, it does look like an iPhone X with a chin and a fingerprint scanner at the back. Sigh.
Apart from its lack of creative appeal, it’s built to the teeth with its matte finish metal body without the gloss or shine, unlike how others flaunt off.
The phone feels bulky and heavy in the hand, albeit quite muscular, willing to take on cuts and bruises if used roughly. It’s a sturdy bugger if you’ve got hulk-like-manners.
The buttons on the side feel like they’ll wear out within a few months of usage, and underneath you’ll find dual speakers that are averagely loud and a USB Type-C port for juicing up.
Get used to the notch, okay? The 6.2in display is big enough for average sized hands and decent for watching telly or playing games. Its ‘MaxVision’ FHD+ screen isn’t the best out there, but it’s not that bad. Colours seem fine and the screen stays bright and beautiful if used out in the sun. It even shows the HD logo before you play anything from Netflix or Prime. Nice.
At the moment, it sells in one colour option - Black. We’re hoping to see a white variant if it comes out. That’d make it look a little less boring and mainstream. It’s also all about the look you know.
Performance: Smooth and steady
It’s got power in its name, but somehow it doesn't fully live up to what we expected. Housed with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor, which is great for sub-₹ 20k smartphones, it’s able to quickly process and manage without demanding a whole lot of power and battery.
Playing PUBG on low graphics setting felt steady and tireless and low graphics demanding games like Clash Royale, 8 Ball Pool, Alto’s Odyssey felt smooth and silky and run without any hiccups.
4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 256GB) is sufficient for an average user to get around daily multitasking and usage. However, we did wish for a little bit extra in certain scenarios, but if you kill a few heavy apps in the background, you’re good to go.
It’s got Dolby Audio to enhance the experience of music listening...or blasting. Whether you’re using headphones or speakers whilst watching a movie, listening to music or playing games, you can set the type of audio (movie, music, game, voice or custom) depending on what you need and sit back and enjoy.
The sad part however, there’s no face unlock and its fingerprint scanner is as slow as a turtle. Compared to other smartphones, this takes its own sweet time to register your print and unlock. Thumbs down Moto.
OS: Let me lick you
Ah the smell of stock Android. Doesn’t it smell like fresh air with an essence of vanilla and tiny crumbles of Oreo? We think so.
Unfortunately, the Motorola One Power doesn’t run on Android’s latest version right out the box, but it’s happily running on Android Oreo 8.1 and it’s eager for its first piece of Pie. And so are we. Although, expect it to upgrade to Android 9.0 by end of this year. Hopefully.
Running on the Google’s Android One program, it’s bound to get monthly security updates, two years of software upgrades, unlimited Google Photo storage and Google Lens baked right into the camera app. Good stuff.
Moto fans will be pleased to know that the One Power still keeps a few of its Moto actions. You can double chop the device to turn on the flashlight (double chop to shut it), double twist to turn on its camera app for instant point-and-shoot (double twist to change camera modes) and it keeps its Moto Display, so you can peek at the screen to check notifications, calls or check the time without unlocking the device.
Battery: Let’s go on an adventure
The battery may be the best part of Motorola Power One. It houses a massive 5000mAh battery that’s sufficient for a frequent flyer or a travel junkie.
You can play games, edit videos, binge on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, browse on social media and still have juice to manage miscellaneous stuff before you hit the bed. It’s got plenty of battery to pull on an entire day if you’re the kind who forgets to charge your phone in the night.
Best part - it turbo charges through its USB Type-C port within an hour and you’re good to go.
Camera: C’mon, Focus!
So, how’s the camera?
The Motorola One Power has two cameras at the back (16MP+5MP) with portrait and HDR abilities. To be honest, it’s not that great. The camera is slow, pictures turn out to be a little shaky and if you compare it with others in this segment, it doesn’t deliver that quality punch required to take down other smartphones. It even lacks camera modes like - time lapse, panorama, slow-mo and AR emojis.
Don’t believe us? Check out our photo samples down below.
Flip it around for a selfie using its 12MP front camera. It can shoot very okay selfies which are decent for social media apps like Snapchat or Instagram. It’s also got portrait mode for blurry backgrounds and beauty mode if you want to look abnormally pretty.
Like to shoot videos? It can shoot in Full HD and 4K on the go. The video quality is surprisingly great, but it’s very shaky and unstable. Not suitable for moving scenarios.
Motorola One Power Verdict
Moto’s Android One champ doesn’t really live up to expectations. We really tried liking the phone, we really did. Other brands like Nokia, Xiaomi, Asus and Honor have all found its cozy corner and are doing well for themselves. Moto needs to pull off something similar like the G4. Buck up Moto, you can do this.
However, if you’re curious to know whether this deserves your pocket, here’s why you should consider this - It’s built with a sturdy body, the screen is nice and wide, stock Android is a delight to use, it’s got a massive battery with fast charge and loud stereo speakers with Dolby Audio.
The Motorola One Power may not have that glam, that eye for good photos or fancy new tech, but what it does have is to suffice a travel junkie for his/her adventures.