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Motorola seems to be up on its feet again and plans to stay around for a while in the market. The company had recently launched its first Android One smartphone by the name- Motorola One Power. The latest mid-range smartphone by the company is also the first handset from the house of Motorola with a notch screen. Apart from the notch display the smartphone also packs some other latest trending features such as dual-rear camera setup, USB Type-C, and others. The major highlight of the device is undeniably its humongous 5,000mAh battery unit.
The Motorola One Power falls under sub Rs. 16,000 price segment in India and competes for head-on with Xiaomi Mi A2, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Samsung Galaxy J6+ among others. We have used the One Power smartphone for some days and this is our detailed review of the device.
Design: Premium looks but on a bulkier side
Motorola One Power features a metal unibody design which has a matte feel to it. The rear panel sadly picks up fingerprints easily; however, it is not prone to smudges which come as a relief. This is the first Motorola smartphone which comes with a notch display. The notch up top is not as small as the ones you can spot on Nokia devices and covers a large area on the display. But it is reasonable and most of the apps and videos adjust themselves to the notch which doesn't hamper the viewing experience.
Coming back to the build quality, the metal back panel ensures a tough and sturdy feel but it also adds to the weight of the smartphone. The Motorola One Power feels bulky when held in hands and the big 6.2 inches display makes it slightly harder for the thumb to reach all the corners during one single hand use.
As for the placement of the keys, the volume rockers and the power key is placed at the right panel, whereas the 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the top of the smartphone. The SIM card tray is placed on the left panel, the bottom panel houses the USB Type-C for charging and data transfers. There is also a fingerprint scanner which is mounted at the rear with the Motorola's ‘M" logo inscribed within it. The fingerprint scanner is placed ideally where our finger will rest naturally upon picking up the device. The rear panel also houses the dual-rear camera setup at the top left corner along with an LED flash. In terms of design, the Motorola One Power is a premium looking smartphone; however, the added bulk is one of the negative aspects of the design.
Camera: Dual-rear camera setup
For imaging, the Motorola One Power makes use of a dual rear camera setup which comprises a 16MP primary lens with f/1.8 aperture and a 5MP secondary lens that functions on f/2.2 aperture. The rear camera also supports 4k video recording feature and has the ability to create a software-driven bokeh effect.
Upon testing the camera we found that the image quality captured by the device is good in ample light. The camera app, however, feels half baked and feels somewhat sluggish when you try to access images from within the app. The HDR modes work well but then the low-light performance is disappointing.
The bokeh effect captured by the rear camera is also not satisfactory and the blur effect seems artificial. Being a stock Google camera you also get Google Lens integration in the camera app and it functions completely fine without any lags. Overall, the camera performance on One Power is not the best and needs many improvements.
Up front, there is a 12MP front camera with an f 2.2 aperture and an LED flash to capture selfies and to make video calls. The front camera captures average quality images and lacks in capturing details. The beauty mode is also not exceptional and you might not be impressed with the overall results.
Hardware: Snapdragon 636 SoC
The Motorola One Power might lose some points in the camera department, however, it makes up for it in the hardware and software department. The Motorola One Power is backed by an octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC which is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The onboard storage is further expandable up to 256GB via microSD card. The same processor is also found some other mid-tier smartphones such as Nokia 6.1 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and others. The processor is apt to carry out daily tasks such as surfing the web, watching videos and consume other media without any lags or delays. At this price range, this is one of the best performing chipsets which makes the smartphone user experience more satisfactory. The device, however, tends to get slightly warm with continuous game playback of more than 30 minutes or if you are watching high-resolution videos for a longer period of time.
Software: Stock Android UI:
The major highlight of the Motorola One Power apart from its big size battery is the stock Android UI. The device runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and Google promises the support for Android updates for 2 years and 3 years of security update support. This means that the One Power will also be upgraded to Android 9 Pie in the coming days. The stock UI feels premium and it allows us to interact with the device without any fuss. Downloading and using third-party apps on the One Power is also fairly simple.
Battery: A massive 5,000mAh battery
Powering the Motorola One Power is a humongous 5,000mAh battery. The smartphone comes with Quick charging support and you get a Motorola Turbo charger along with the smartphone. The Turbo charger takes approximately one hour to charge the smartphone form 0 percent to 100 percent. We found the device to last for an entire day with one single charge and with easy-to-moderate usage. However, if you are someone like me who streams a lot of videos on the phone throughout the day, you would need a charger handy even if you are using the One Power. Overall, Moto One Power offers better battery backup when compared to other handsets in its respective price-point.
The Motorola One Power is a perfect option if UI and performance of a device is your priority. If you want a device with exceptional imaging capabilities then this is not the perfect smartphone for you in under Rs. 16,000 price-point. In this price range, you also have the option to buy Xiaomi Mi A2, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, Honor 9N, etc. The MI A2 offers the best-in-class camera in this list and also runs the stock Android UI. However, it is backed by a smaller battery unit and also lacks 3.5 mm headphone jack. Motorola One Power seems like a better option for multimedia usage as it has a bigger battery, 3.5 mm headphone jack and a big Full HD+ screen.
Also, being an Android One smartphone the device will be first in line to receive the Android and security updates, this adds to the positive aspects of the smartphone. So, if you are looking for a smartphone to take care of your photography then this is not the device for you, however, if overall performance is your criteria then you can go with Motorola One Power.