Motorola One unboxing and first impressions

Motorola One
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After a hiatus, Motorola is back in Malaysia albeit indirectly via leading e-commerce retailer Shopee. Having quietly backed itself out from some markets including Malaysia, the iconic brand returns with an Android One effort – the motorola one.

Honestly, it isn’t quite the comeback I was expecting from the once leading mobile phone brands in the world, but hey, it’s a start.

The motorola one is the latest addition to the Motorola line-up and is also one of the latest Android One phones in the market.

Motorola One
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Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Motorola One unit
  • USB-C 15W TurboPower charger
  • USB Type-A to Type-C charge cable
  • Headphones
  • Protective cover
  • Screen protector
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Manual and warranty documentation

The phone promises a couple of things off the bat – a pure stock Android experience, good premium build and an accessible price point. Motorola is also harping that its brand name accounts for something and at least appeal to die hards and those familiar with the brand.

First thing’s first, let’s do a quick run through of the specs. Now the Motorola One isn’t going to blow your socks off; it’s unapologetically a mid-range smartphone. It is rather disconcerting though that Motorola has opted for the two-year old octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. Granted it’s a workhorse and has powered some of the best mid-range devices in 2016 through to 2017, but an updated Snapdragon 636 or 660AIE would have at least made the phone not feel like it’s a throwback device. I’m simply basing this on paper specs alone of course, and not at all commenting on real world performance (but I’ll get to that).

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It gets 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, by the way.

Next up, the display. The phone sports a sensible 5.9-inch HD+ 19:9 Max Vision display with a notch. It’s pretty bright and sharp despite the lack of pixels. It has a little bit a of a chin where the Motorola branding resides.

Aesthetically, I’ll describe the Motorola One as pleasant and familiar if unremarkable. It has a good, solid build – body made out of precision-crafted glass with nicely curved sides. What’s cool is the rear mounted fingerprint sensor that’s built into the Motorola logo. The body offers splash resistance, and tips the scales at 162g.

In the camera department, the device more or less keeps up with lower end Android devices coming in with a 13MP f/2.0 + 2MP f/2.4 dual-camera setup with autofocus and a single LED flash. Over on the front, there’s a decent 8MP f/2.2 selfie shooter with a single flash. Really nothing to shout about but autofocus and shutter speed are above average.

The Motorola One comes with an average 3,000mAh battery that supports 15W TurboPower and it charges up via USB Type-C. Motorola says the phone fast charges and you’ll get six hours of use from just 20 minutes of charging.

It offers a triple card tray – dual-SIM and microSD expansion, so you won’t have to sacrifice connectivity if you’re looking to expand storage.

Motorola has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack and the phone also includes two microphones and features Dolby Audio with single down-firing speakers.

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Making a debut with Android 8.1 Oreo, it has since been updated to Android 9 Pie. Being an Android One device, Motorola promises three years’ worth of security updates.

Motorola One
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Pricing and availability

The motorola One is officially priced at MYR799 and is available for purchase exclusively on Shopee. If you’re interested, you can check out the Motorola One product page.

First impressions

I admit I have a soft spot for Motorola as a brand. Its colourful, vibrant attitude promises fun, innovative products. Who can forget the Moto X and Moto Z together with Moto Mods? They’re fantastic.

With the motorola one, there is undoubtedly Motorola DNA in it, but the shortcomings in terms of hardware is glaring. To be outdated from the get go makes it a tough sell, especially when the competition in the sub-MYR1,000 price range is so competitive. The stakes are high, and so is the benchmark for mid-range devices.

For slightly more you could opt for a Xiaomi Mi A2 or perhaps a Nokia 5.1 Plus. I feel Motorola could have done just a tad more.

That said, the motorola one isn’t a bad device. It’s nicely built, looks good, real world performance is snappy, and the cameras aren’t terrible.

There are some things to love about it including the fast charging, triple card tray, Dolby Atmos and pure stock Android experience.

Ultimately, it will boil down to what you’re looking for in a device. If you don’t need gun-totting specs or fancy big cameras then you’ll find the Motorola One ticking most checkboxes.

Nonetheless, stay tuned for a full review.

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