Motorola has aggressively targeted the lower end of the smartphone market in recent years, with great success. Its latest push is focused on its “One” series of budget phones, with the Motorola One Action being perhaps the most interesting.
The Motorola One Action might look pretty ordinary on paper. It’s got a 6.3-inch FHD+ panel with a hole-punch camera, and has a 12-megapixel rear camera with a 5-megapixel depth sensor – for portrait effects, as you might expect. We’ve got 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, USB-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a 3,500mAh battery. All pretty normal, right?
Not quite. The Motorola One Action’s third rear camera is where the “Action” part of the name comes from. It’s an ultra-wide video sensor with a 117-degree field of view, and Motorola expects it to replace your GoPro.
We know what you’re thinking – ultra wide-angle cameras on phones aren’t a new thing; LG has been doing them for ages. However, the Motorola One Action is different; the sensor has been physically rotated so that when you hold the phone vertically, it records video horizontally. Motorola is also pretty proud of its “Enhanced Video Stabilization”, which should mean you can record super-smooth action footage, just like on a GoPro.
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The other big shock is that the Motorola One Action is powered not by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, but by Samsung’s Exynos 9609.
It’s not smooth sailing as far as software is concerned, either. While the “One” branding makes it clear that this is part of the Android One program – budget phones with stable and secure software updates, direct from Google – the Motorola One Action will only ship with Android One outside of the US. The North America version will apparently come with Android Pie, and won’t come with the guarantee of future software update, as is the case with normal Android One phones.
The Motorola One Action is available in Brazil, Mexico, and some European markets with a starting price of starting at €259. Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific launches will follow, and then it will come to the US and Canada in early October. It’s clearly not a flagship device, then – especially with that focus on emerging markets – but the Motorola One Action is nonetheless an interesting phone, and one to keep an eye on.