TechnologyMotorola One Action is a phone with a GoPro-like camera
Motorola’s One Action tries to stuff a GoPro into a smartphone
Can Motorola fix the scourge of vertical video?
Motorola wants the camera on its latest midrange phone, the One Action, to wow you. Like the just-announced Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and other 2019 phones , the Motorola One Action has three rear cameras. But unlike the competition, it ups the ante by giving you one major feature you might find in a GoPro camera -- the ability to film action shots. Think skateboarders, skydivers and back flippers. Although not the first to try to appeal to active lifestyles (Samsung has a "super steady" feature on its latest phones for this purpose), the One Action is using its physical camera hardware rather than just software for its headline trick.
Motorola One Action adds a GoPro-like camera for active shots
Calling all skaters, skydivers and backflippers.
Flanked by a main 12-megapixel shooter and 5-megapixel depth camera for better portraits, the middle sensor on the One Action is a 16-megapixel lens with a 117-degree ultrawide view. Motorola has also positioned it so that the lens will record landscape video even while the phone is being held vertically.
The goal is to give an easier, more natural way to capture wide-screen videos and hold your phone, while partaking in these more adventurous activities.
Motorola has GoPro aspirations for its latest budget handset
Good on Motorola for keeping it interesting. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how large a market there is for a budget “action camera” phone, but in a world of samey electronics, at least the Lenovo-owned brand continues to shade in interesting corners. Honestly, I’m surprised more phones didn’t attempt to position themselves as action devices in the heyday of the GoPro. For most consumers, that trend has largely blown over, and for GoPro itself, it’s become tough to compete with cheap knockoffs and the recent entrance of DJI into the market.
The action camera also takes advantage of video stabilization and pixel binning (or as Motorola calls it, Quad Pixel), combining multiple pixels together for better low-light capture. The end result is a 4-megapixel shot.
Beyond the cameras, the One Action features an edge-to-edge 6.3-inch full HD+ display with a cutout for the 12-megapixel front camera in the upper left corner.
Motorola One Action specs
- 6.3-inch FHD+ (1,080x2,520) display with a 21:9 aspect ratio
- 2.2GHz Samsung Exynos 9609 octa-core processor
- 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD) with 4GB of RAM
- 12MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, 1.25μm, PDAF; 5MP depth sensor; 16MP action camera ultrawide 117-degree field of view, Quad Pixel pixel binning, 2.0μm and f/2.2 aperture.
- 3,500mAh battery with 10-watt fast charging
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Fingerprint sensor on the back
- Splash resistance
- Android 9 Pie (upgradable to Android Q)
In briefly using the phone, I found it feels significantly more premium than the company's budget Moto E6. The glass back and higher-resolution display both look nice, though the cutout for the camera is a bit thicker than ones found on Samsung's Galaxy S10 line.
I didn't have a good environment to really try out the action camera, but in quick use, it seemed to do its job recording video as promised. While it is nice that it records in wide-screen (horizontal video) while held vertically, flipping the phone horizontally will actually make that camera record vertically. So there could be a potential learning curve there.
The One Action will be available Friday in Brazil, Mexico and "various European countries" for €259 (roughly $290, £235, AU$425) in either denim blue, pearl white or aqua teal. A US release is slated for October, though it won't include the aqua teal color option and pricing for the US version hasn't been announced.
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