Motorola has silently launched the Motorola One and One Power smartphones at IFA 2018 in Berlin. These phones are the first to be made in collaboration with Google and feature Android One branding. They also embrace notch and show how Motorola is trying to adapt to modern consumer needs in the ever-changing industry.
Motorola, which once used to be market leader in India, has lost to brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. With Motorola One and One Power, the smartphone maker is trying to make a huge comeback. Here are some initial thoughts on both the smartphones.
Design and Display
Let’s get this thing straight: critics don’t necessarily like the notch but consumers want it as a priority. With Motorola One and One Power, Lenovo is finally delivering on the promise of notch-based smartphones. The Motorola One and One Power feature a notched display at the front, similar to the one seen on the iPhone X.
Moto One Power First Look
The Motorola One features a 6.18-inch HD+ display while the Motorola One Power has a smaller 5.9-inch HD+ display. Both the phones support a resolution of 1520×1080 pixels, which translates to 19:9 aspect ratio. During my brief time with these devices, I could observe benefits that I have experienced on phones like the Nokia 6.1 Plus, where you get to see more of the screen, especially in scenarios like browsing the web, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram feed.
The Motorola One features a metal and glass design while the One Power switches to a polycarbonate back. The use of polycarbonate back helps with packing a large 5,000mAh battery.
Motorola One is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, unofficially the chipset endorsed by Xiaomi. The One Power, on the other hand, is using more mainstream Snapdragon 636 CPU.
Both the phones come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. Lenovo tells me that there are no plans for a 6GB RAM variant at this moment but it might come at a later stage. The performance would be on par, if not better, with phones like the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Nokia 6.1 Plus. There is also dual camera setup on both the phones.
The Motorola One features a combination of 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel dual rear cameras while the One Power has a more powerful 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel setup. At the front, both the Motorola One and One Power have an 8-megapixel camera. In the past, Motorola has not been the best with cameras and this time, it is promising to be better.
Software and Android One
Motorola has always been against bloatware and has offered near stock Android experience. With Motorola One and One Power, the company is embracing Google’s Android One program to offer stock Android experience.
Both the phones are running Android 8.1 Oreo and offer features like Google Lens integrated into the camera. These two devices also support Google Assistant and offer unlimited storage with Google Photos.
Xiaomi and Nokia have already joined the Android One club. With Motorola One and One Power, Lenovo is also getting a ticket to Google Arena. I would say if you want a smartphone in 2018, you should prioritize software over everything else. Motorola is promising Android Pie and Android Q updates and three years of software update.
I started my real smartphone journey with Moto X in 2013. After checking out Motorola One and One Power, I think I am interested in giving this company another shot. Lenovo has priced the Motorola One Power at Rs 15,999, which seems competitive but it would still be a tough sell against similarly priced devices like the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Mi A2, which are again based on Android One and promise timely software update.
Disclaimer: The writer is in Berlin, Germany, attending IFA 2018 on Lenovo’s invite. Lenovo sponsored his travel and stay.