There are many users who haven’t got on the GoPro bandwagon. For many of them it’s the cost factor and for some others it’s the hassle of lugging an additional device in a slim man bag or backpack. Motorola’s new smartphone makes a play for this band of users. It’s certainly not claiming the same functionality or video quality as a GoPro but is certainly taking the high ground on action video quality in the mid-market segment.

A couple of months ago, we put the Motorola One Vision under the scanner. There were three things that made an impression. First, the build quality – clean lines and an elegant presence with a couple of interesting colour options. The lowlight images were quite impressive for a device at a sub Rs 20,000 price point. But it was the 6.3-inch IPS LCD display (that Motorola calls a cinematic display) with its unique 21:9 aspect ratio that was the highlight of the device. The One Action looks almost indistinguishable from the One Vision. It’s an elegant device with a solid build quality for a smartphone at its price tag. While the One Vision opted for a glass back, this one sticks to a polycarbonate shell but it certainly doesn’t look inferior. 

The display specs are unchanged too – 6.3-inches (1080 x 2520 pixels / 82.5% screen: body ratio / 432 PPI). The camera cut-out (for the 12MP camera) is slightly large but doesn’t affect the viewing experience on the immersive 21:9 display. Colours are vibrant, videos play out really well on this aspect ratio; the challenge is finding Content that’s been tailored for this display resolution. Motorola tells us that more 21:9 Content is on its way on popular platforms and cites a growing number of titles on Netflix as a case in point.

Just like it’s older sibling, the Motorola One Action is powered by the Exynos 9609 processor that teams up with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of Internal memory. You can expand the storage by up to 512GB with a Micro SD card. In terms of performance it handled gaming and multiple-tasking requests without huffing and puffing, just like the One Vision. It also features the same battery – 3500 mAh, but there’s one key difference. While the One Vision offered fast charging, this one (with its 10W charger) takes longer to power up. Battery performance is acceptable and you should be able to stretch it for a full day unless you go overboard with gaming or shooting videos. That brings us to the One Action’s key USP – it’s video cam.

‘Shoot vertically but play horizontally’. Moto believes that this is a feature most camera users will appreciate and they’re probably right. It’s easier to shoot on portrait mode when you’re shooting action videos especially when you plonk your phone on a mount. The One Action boasts of a dedicated 16MP video cam aside from a 12MP lens and a 5MP depth sensor that complete its triple rear camera set up. Videos shot in ambient light were quite impressive and a couple of action videos I shot were also quite blur free. The coolest touch is being able to shoot ultra-wide videos on portrait mode. Images shot in ambient light were quite impressive too but started to get noisy in lowlight an area where the Motorola One Vision succeeded. Moto tells us that a software optimisation to enhance lowlight photography is on the cards. 

The Motorola One Action is one of the best looking devices in the sub Rs 15,000 price range (we tested the Denim Blue variant) and also benefits from the Android One Platform. You get a pure-play Android experience and the latest software and security updates. The One Action is part of Motorola’s larger game plan;  Moto believes that one size doesn’t fit all and no one device can please all users. If you shoot more videos than images, this device deserves your attention but if videos are not your thing, there are other options in this price band. 

The Motorola One Vision costs Rs 13,999 and comes in Denim Blue and Pearl White.