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Motorola One Macro Review: Macro Camera, Massive Potential

Motorola has gained quite the reputation for their affordable range of smartphones and the Motorola One Macro is the latest to hit the market.

The fourth device in Motorola's 'One' series, the Macro rests on a unique selling point; a dedicated macro lens shooter.

Display and Design

The display of the device certainly isn’t macro and is a 6.2-inch IPS HD+ display with a 1520 x 720-pixel resolution at 259 pixels per inch. The waterdrop notch at the top might not be to everybody’s liking, but this does allow for an 82% screen-to-body ratio which is striking to the eye. Indeed, the 19:9 aspect ratio is tall and slender, although a peak brightness of 480 nits and a 1,757:1 contrast ratio is on the lower end of the spectrum; but don’t forget that this is a budget device.

Indeed, you probably get what you pay for when it comes to the display. The large screen size certainly has its pros, however combining this with a low-resolution results in clear pixel density issues.

That said, Motorola allow you to set the colour saturation level of the display, choosing from three presets; Natural, Boosted and Saturated to tailor to your liking. ‘Peek Display’ allows you to view notifications directly from your screen, whilst ‘Attentive Display’ keeps your screen on whilst you’re looking at it, or whilst in front of your face.

Display aside, the Motorola One Action is a generally good-looking device. It is crafted from plastic to save on costs; however, this makes it lighter and more durable than its aluminium and glass counterparts. It weighs just 186g overall and at 157.6 x 75.4 x 9mm is easily pocket friendly. That said, whilst a splash-resistant nano-coating gives it an IPX2 rating, there’s no Gorilla Glass for protection against bumps and scratches, so you might not want to leave it rattling around in a handbag.

The subtle gradient from top to bottom is a really nice touch though, although we did find that the polycarbonate frame has been fingerprint prone.  The fingerprint scanner is to the rear, emphasised by that logo, and has been pretty quick in the time that we’ve had with the device.

  • 6.2-inch IPS HD+ display
  • 1520 x 720
  • 259ppi
  • 82% screen-to-body ratio
  • 19:9 aspect ratio
  • 480 nits peak brightness 
  • 1,757:1 contrast ratio
  • Plastic body
  • 186g
  • 157.6 x 75.4 x 9mm
  • IPX2 rating 
  • Fingerprint scanner 

Camera

Whilst close-up photography is at the heart of the One Macro, it actually comes with a triple-lens rear setup.

This consists of a 13MP main lens with an f/2.0 aperture, that dedicated 2MP macro lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP depth sensor also with an f/2.2 aperture to help with that all-important foreground-background separation for portrait photography.

That dedicated macro camera supports autofocus, meaning it can focus from distances as close as 2cm. Results were mixed in my time with the device and it sometimes took longer than expected for the device to focus, but all in all, an impressive amount of detail is captured.

 Overall, the camera app is very easy to navigate. A number of nifty features are also included, such as Spot Colour; which isolates a single colour within an image and Live Filter. Cinemagraph takes a burst of shorts and then allows you to highlight sections of the image to allow them to move, whilst the remainder is stationary. The One Macro also allows you to shoot a time-lapse and slow-motion video.

Alongside this, video recording is supported at up to Full HD at 120fps from the rear camera. You can also record with macro shots, although this is limited to 720p.

If selfies are more your thing, then the front camera is an 8MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture.

The front camera software also allows for a heap of bonuses, including Face Beauty, Auto Smile Capture, Portrait Mode, Cinemagraph, Slow-Mo video and Timelapse. You can similarly shoot Full HD video through the front lens at 30fps.

  • Triple lens rear setup
  • 13MP main lens, f/2.0 aperture
  • 2MP macro lens, f/2.2 aperture
  • 2MP depth sensor, f/2.2 aperture 
  • Full HD video @ 120fps 
  • 8MP front sensor, f/2.2 aperture 

Performance

The Motorola One Macro is powered by 4GB RAM and a Mediatek Helio P70 processor, which is one of the faster chipsets within the budget smartphone world.

An update to Android 10 is on its way, however the One Macro ships with Android 9.0 Pie in box, modified only slightly by some very small additions from Motorola.

I’m a big fan of Moto Actions which utilise simple actions for basic phone uses. A double karate-like action will turn on your phone torch, whilst two twists works to open your camera. It also has sensors that detect movement, so if you’re close to your device then basic information will show on the display.

For a device of this standing, the 4,000mAh battery is outstanding and should get you close to 2 days of usage – depending upon how you use your device. The One Macro also ships with a 10W fast charger in box, to get you back up and running in no time.

Rounding things up, the Motorola One Macro supports a microSD card up to 512GB if the 64GB internal storage is not enough, has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port but unfortunately no support for NFC.

  • Mediatek Helio P70 Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • 10W fast charger 
  • MicroSD support up to 512GB 
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB Type-C 

Motorola has developed quite the reputation for its range of affordable smartphones and the One Macro – whilst slightly specialised – doesn’t do that any harm. Whether a specialised macro lens is enough for you to purchase a device is your choice, but at only £179.99 inc-VAT from Clove Technology you can’t really go wrong.