One Vision is a model, which under many aspects is revolutionary for Motorola.
This is the first Motorola with the Exynos CPU, and the first one with the display with a 21:9 ratio. In addition, there is a hole in the display and Android One. This is an interesting mix – how does it work in usage?
|Motorola One Vision - video review
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
- Construction, set, quality of assembly
- display, interface
- Efficiency, battery
- Communication, sound, security
- Pohotography and video
- Summary. Advantages and disadvantages
Construction, set, quality of assembly
We shall start – traditionally – from looking inside the box. Besides the phone, we can find everything needed for the start. There is a USB cable and a quick TurboPower charger, as well as pretty decent, in-ear earphones. The packaging consist of necessary papers, as well as a needle for opening the tray for cards. Everything is finished with a silicone, transparent cover.
The phone comes in two colours, Sapphire Gradient and Bronze Gradient. Both please our eyes with interesting transitions, from brighter to darker shades of a particular colour. The brown version is particularly intriguing, because it transcends to black. There was not anything like this before, though the form of the housing itself is rather simple. However, thanks to the interesting colour, the smartphone is original and eye-catching.
The front and the back of the phone is finished with glass panels, and the whole is created by a frame made out of plastic, which imitates metal perfectly. We can be fooled. And what I do not like? The usual things: the frame of the camera that stands above the housing, around which dust gathers and it makes the phone wobble while the phone lies on a flat surface. This problem is levelled out by putting on a cover – unfortunately, Moto loses a lot of its charm this way.
Power and volume buttons are placed perfectly on the right side. They are comfortable. At the bottom of the housing we can find the USB-C socket, speaker and the microphone, while on the left there is a tray for cards. Unfortunately, the socket is hybrid, but it is solid and it has a plug. At this point I will mention that the housing of Motorola One Vision is resistant to splashes to some extent – IP52.
It means that the smartphone should not be bothered by a rain or minor splashes – but it is best not to take it under shower, not mentioning about a full submersion. I have not mentioned what hides at the top of the housing yet. Besides the additional microphone, we can find a minijack socket, which is not suit everyone. For me this is a comfortable solution, but I know people who prefer it at the bottom…
The quality of assemble is great, just like the housing stiffness, though I am slightly concerned about the durability of the front glass. On my reviewed device I can already see micro-scratches, which cannot be found at the back, and it should be the other way around. I recommend buying some display protection.
Let us take a look at the front, because here we can find one of the most distinguishable features of this phone – the display with “cinema” 21:9 ratio. This is a display created for watching movies, but I appreciate it for something else. Thanks to prolonged proportions, we receive a bigger workspace, while maintaining a reasonable wideness, thanks to which the device remains handy. It is easier to use the phone with one hand, and in addition – it is more comfortable to use apps on a divided screen.
However, we can find here something that will not be enjoyed by everyone, and some may say that it ruins the pleasure from watching movies. I am talking about the front camera, which is placed in the left, upper corner of the display. The hole is large, it has a 6.3mm diagonal.
There is a funny thing connected with this hole. Some apps work appropriately, stretching to the whole display, but some – do not, reaching only the height of the hole and keeping black bars. The most hilarious thing is that this happens, for example, with Netflix, which begs for the 21:9 ratio. On the other hand – there are no problems with YouTube. I suspect that we need to wait for an update and the problem will disappear. If you are interested whether the hole is bothersome in an everyday usage – it is not. After a while I stopped noticing it.
The quality of image is average. The 6.3-inch matrix is created in the IPS technology, so we cannot count on an impressive contrast or a deep black. Colours are rather subtle, not too intensive – and even though we can change their intensity in the menu – after switching from AMOLED it still leaves something to be desired. As a consolation – the image is sharp and readable under a wide angle, even in sunny days. The only problem is when we are wearing glasses with polarizing filter. In the vertical orientation it is all right, but in the horizontal one – the image fades completely, we need to remove them.
As a consolation there is the eye-protection mode, the automatic brightness control works great, we can switch to the grey mode and there is a nice (though it could have been lower) minimum brightness level.
As I have mentioned in the beginning, One Vision belongs to the Android One series, we will not find any additional interface add-ons and useless apps. But that does not mean that Motorola left us with nothing.
There is everything that we need for a start, and in addition the manufacturer adds Gestures and Actions known to all fans of the brand. We can quickly turn on the torch with the almost iconic chopping gesture, or run the camera by twisting the phone vigorously. We can take a screenshot using three fingers, there is the possibility to replace three system buttons with a single one that supports gestures. They are easy and intuitive, you can quickly learn to use them. There is a function of keeping the display lit when we are looking at it and the phone can show notifications on the screen.
And here is a thing – there is no notifications LED, so Moto Display is the only way to check omitted events. The image is not OLED, so notifications are not shown constantly. They will only appear when we will wave our hand above the phone, or when we will pick it up. The way in which they are presented is readable and clear. The list of additions is complemented by the Dolby Audio app – but more about it later.
Using an unusual (for Motorola) CPU turned about to be a good choice, because both benchmarks results and the everyday usage are good for this price shelf. Motorola One Vision pleases us with a smooth and mostly stable work, though sometimes it will remind us that it only has 4GB of RAM and we should be slightly more patient. Still – I did not notice any irritating lags, there were no problems with utility apps and games run without any problems – though in some cases there was a message about a lack of compatibility.
It is worth appreciating benefits coming from Android One, like quick and regular updates. My device, during the review, received security updates from the 5th of May. And it is supposed to happen for the next three years. Another nice addition is a large internal UFS memory – 128GB, out of which we have over 110GB of free space from the beginning. We cannot forget about the possibility of using a microSD card – but I will remind you: we do it on the expense of a second SIM card, because the slot is a hybrid one.
The battery’s capacity, which is 3500 mAh, is a bit far from the current standard for middle-shelf smartphones. Just like the lifespan of One Vision. The smartphone cannot impress us with its battery, but do not worry – it will last a whole day.
With another one – there can be some problems, it all depends on how you use the phone. The lifespan with the display on is 4.5-5.5 hours, depending on the chosen scenario. Average lifespans are, to some degree, compensated by quick charging. The battery can be filled in around an hour and a half.
As it befits a contemporary smartphone, One Vision has a fingerprint scanner and a facial recognition system. There is the SmartLock function as well, which can “omit” locks in selected scenarios, for example in a specified GPS location. The fingerprint scanner is great. It works fast and without any errors – it is of course an active one, that is why we do not need to press the power button before placing our finger on it. The facial recognition uses the image from the front camera – so this is not the best and the fastest security option. Still – it works decently, though in a weaker lighting it works definitely slower. Putting on glasses does not disrupt its work – unless they are sunglasses – the camera needs to record at least one eye open.
One Vision has a full communication background – besides obvious things like a dual-channel Wi-Fi or Bluetooth in the 5.0 version, there is NFC, which in this price segment is not so common. All communication modules work correctly, I did not notice any abbreviations.
The sound quality during calls is good, there is nothing bothersome. The external speaker does its job – it is a single one, but it plays loud and clear. There is a built-in FM radio, as well as a minijack. What is more, earphones added to the set are decent, we do not want to replace them from the start. The sound is great, especially when we will take the price of the phone into consideration. We can use the Dolby Audio app mentioned before, thanks to which we can select one of the predefined corrections, or – after plugging earphones – choose our own settings. There is an automatic sound correction as well.
Photography and video
One Vision proudly presents its camera with the 48 Mpx marking. This is of course a trick, because we are talking about a matrix that uses the Quad Pixel technology, which is connecting four adjacent pixels into a single, bigger one. To sum up – we have 12-megapixel photos, which are supported by an additional, 5 Mpx matrix.
The camera needs to have (fashionable in these days) AI, which hints us what theme we should use – and we can accept this or not. A simple courtesy. The camera has a simple and readable interface, in which there is the manual mode as well.
One Vision pleases our eyes with decent photos. Decent – this does not mean that they are ideal. After zooming in we can see some problems with representing details, but still – for this price segment – we can talk about good photos quality.
The autofocus gives no reasons to complain about, it is worth turning on the automatic HDR. This way we do not need to activate it every time, and photos in this mode come out great.
Connecting panoramas works appropriately, and thanks to the additional lens we can achieve different special effects – from the “regular” background blurring, to underlining a single colour, cutting out the foreground object or using a virtual studio light while making portraits.
There is the possibility to animate a whole photo or its fragment as well. The cut-out is rather precise – but not perfect, sometimes, with ragged edges the software makes some mistakes.
Night time photos turn out to be a strong side of Motorola One Vision. Those taken in the auto mode looks nice, for a phone from this price shelf. In the night mode – we can “squeeze” even more, but a lot depends on the particular shot. With the light from a city at night the camera does great, but when it is extremely dark, we will not see much, details will change into colourful spots.
Still – if there is some light, the night mode from Motorola will enhance it in the shot a bit more, and details will be reflected rather accurately.
The front camera is much weaker. It has decent 25 megapixels, but at the same time – it has a tiresome manner of overexposing the background. It does not have to be particularly bright, for example there does not have to be a full sunlight, in order to a white wall appear behind us. Saving a photo takes a lot of time – or rather processing the image. I do not like the beautifying mode, it often gives artificial effects.
On the other hand, we cannot see any major problems. The video can be captured in the maximum resolution of 4K, and videos are smooth and clear. The sound is normal, there is nothing to complain about. The only thing that can bother us is the nervous reaction of autofocus, which happens when there is a fast moving object in the shot.
|Motorola One Vision - sample video
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
With its price, Motorola One Vision is one of the most interesting propositions on the market. Not everything in it is perfect, but most flaws are compensated with its advantages, sometimes even outmatching its competition. We must commend the good quality of assembly and the stylization, and the basic protection from splashes – almost unseen in this market segment.
Many buyers will appreciate the pure Android with the promise of regular updates and practical Moto additions. The large internal memory and decent efficiency are definitely an advantage, we can mention about a decent sound, minijack and the FM radio as well. NFC – this is another element that can draw our attention towards this Motorola. If you ask about the photography aspect - One Vision has nothing to be ashamed of, and photos in the night can sometimes (I repeat sometimes) surprise us.
The display evokes mixed feelings in me – but maybe I am too spoiled by AMOLEDs…? During summer we can have some problems with polarization, and selfies can be disappointing. I do not like the hybrid solution for cards, which forces us to choose between DualSIM and enhancing the memory, I am worried about the small capacity of the battery, though it is slightly compensated by the quick charging. In addition, not everyone will be pleased with the lack of notifications LED and the placement of the minijack, it is worth protecting the display as well.
Advantages and disadvantages
- pure Android
- Moto gestures
- lack of bloatware
- minijack and radio
- Dual SIM
- cover in the set
- characteristic stylization
- fingerprint scanner works great
- quick charger and an appropriate charger in the set
- interesting background blurring
- videos in 4K
- night mode
- capacious UFS memory
- decent main speaker
- lack of a full waterproofness
- overexposed selfies
- lack of notifications LED
- hybrid solution for cards
- large hole in the screen
- colours are not saturated enough
- problems with polarization in horizontal orientation
- the battery is too small