Motorola One Zoom review: Poor performance poisons potential

Looking to shore up its mid-range offerings, the Motorola One
Zoom sees the company target camera lovers with an affordable
quad-camera array. It joins the
Motorola One Action
and Motorola
One Macro
, forming a trio of devices that aim squarely at
social media-loving folks who’re always looking for that perfect
shot.

About this Motorola One Zoom review: I spent
a week using the Motorola One Zoom in and around New York City. The
device was running Android 9 Pie with the July 2019 security patch
installed.

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Motorola One Zoom review: The big picture


Motorola Moto One Zoom home screen on table

There is a dearth of phones in the $300 to $500 range. Many of
today’s devices are either pricey flagships costing over $1,000
or affordable entry-level fare with retail points under $200. This
leaves the middle of the market underpopulated and somewhat
muddled. You’ll find phones such as the Samsung Galaxy
A70
/A80,

Google Pixel 3a XL
, and Nokia
7.2
filling this void, and now Motorola has another affordable
mid-ranger of its own.

Moreover, flagships from
Apple
,
Huawei
, LG,
and
Samsung
have largely adopted three- and four-camera systems on
the rear panel to expand the possibilities of phone-based
photography. Motorola is here to show us that one needn’t spend
$1,000 to get that flagship camera experience.

What is it like to use the Motorola One Zoom?


Motorola Moto One Zoom home screen in hand 1

Like many modern phones, the Motorola One Zoom is a
metal-and-glass slab. It’s comparable in size to the
Google Pixel 3 XL
, standing 158mm tall, 75mm wide, and 8.8mm
deep. The Zoom features Panda King glass on the front and Gorilla
Glass 3 on the rear. The metal frame is robust. It’s a large and
somewhat heavy handset, thanks in part to the generously
proportioned display, and may not be the best device for those with
smaller hands.

Motorola offers the Zoom in three colors: Brushed Bronze, Cosmic
Purple, and Electric Grey. All three feature a finish that looks
like brushed metal, with a grain that runs from side to side. I
really like all three shades, though perhaps the purple is my
favorite. At the very least, the finish helps the Zoom stand out
from the me-too stylings of many modern slabs.

Motorola Moto One Zoom quick settings in hand
Motorola One Zoom review rear panel

About the camera module. First, let me say:
Finally! Motorola has finally
chosen to use its “batwing” logo as a notification beacon. The
rear-mounted logo lights up and glows when you have unread messages
or incoming calls. Finally! The phone’s four cameras are
positioned in a square above the logo. The whole module is set on a
large glass platform. You can’t miss it.

The phone has a robust set of controls and ports. A ridged power
button and thin battery toggle are on the right edge, while the
USB-C port and headphone jack are on the bottom, and the SIM tray
and speaker are on the top.

Finally! Motorola has finally chosen to use its ‘batwing’ logo
as a notification beacon.

Motorola does not waterproof its phones, at least not yet. That
means the One Zoom has a protective nanocoating meant to ward off
light splashes, though it is not enough to keep the phone safe in
the event of submersion. In other words, no
IP rating
; and it’s not rugged, either.


Motorola One Zoom review screen closeup

Last, but not least, the Moto One Zoom has a large 6.4-inch Max
Vision display. It’s an
OLED panel
with Full HD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080) and a 19:9
aspect ratio. Motorola says the screen-to-body ratio is 85%. The
side bezels are slim enough, but there’s a bit of a chin and a
forehead with a U-shaped notch for the selfie camera. It’s a fine
screen. I found it to be bright, crisp, and accurate. Viewing
angles were great, and it was easy to read outdoors. Web sites,
Instagram, and video content all looked good on the screen.

The Motorola One Zoom looks good and works well.

Does it have good battery life?


Motorola Moto One Zoom notch and earpiece speaker

Motorola gave the One Zoom a massive 4,000mAh battery. That’s
the size we expect to see in high-cost handsets, and it’s a
welcome addition to the mid-range Zoom. In addition to the
high-capacity lithium-ion power cell, the phone supports 15W rapid
charging and ships with Motorola’s TurboPower charger for rapid
refills.

In everyday use, I found the One Zoom easily pushed through a
full day with power to spare. That means you can use the phone hard
from morning through midnight without worry. The phone often had
more than enough juice to get through another half day before
requiring a recharge.

Also read:
Fastest charging phones

Recharging the battery doesn’t take too, too long. A 30-minute
top-off gives you a 40% boost. Specifically, the Zoom went from 25%
to 65% in that time. A full recharge from 0% takes just under 100
minutes, which is on par with other devices in this category.

You won’t find wireless charging here, but that’s not
surprising given the price point.

Bottom line, the battery is more than adequate.

What is it like to use the camera?
Motorola Moto One Zoom taking photo front

Motorola Moto One Zoom camera app crowd

Source: FS – Android
Motorola One Zoom review: Poor performance poisons potential