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Moto One Macro first impressions: Great design and close-up photography for its price

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Lenovo-owned Motorola is back again with a smartphone after launching Moto One Action and Moto One Vision in recent times. This time its device is called Moto One Macro and as you might’ve guessed from the name of the device, this time Motorola is focusing on Macro photography.

Launched at a starting price of Rs 9,999, the smartphone will be competing in a crowded budget space. I spent a few hours with the phone and here are my first impressions.

Moto One Macro.

Build, design and display

I have had very little complaints from Motorola as far as design language is concerned and it is the same for the Moto One Macro. The device is slightly thick and has a wider screen than the 21:9 aspect ratio displays seen on the Moto One Vision, but overall I didn’t have any problems in using the device with one hand. The phone has a shiny polycarbonate back with a subtle black and blue gradient which is just easy on the eye. The glossy finish does make the phone a fingerprint magnet though.

There is the triple-camera setup at the back with an additional time of flight (ToF) sensor housed together vertically along with the LED flash. The traditional fingerprint sensor embedded in the Motorola symbol is also present which is always nice to see. More on that in the full review.

Moto One Macro.

Display-wise, I was slightly disappointed to see that the phone has only an HD+ display as opposed to FHD+ that is more-or-less the norm these days. Even so, it is not a bad display by any means and the 6.2-inch screen is ample for media consumption. There is a waterdrop notch on the top and the bezels on the sides could have been reduced, in my opinion, but it is by no means a deal-breaker. The brightness on the screen also looked up to the mark in bright Delhi outdoors, although it will have to be tested in different lighting situations for a complete picture.

A waterdrop notch on the Moto One Macro.

Software, storage and chipset

The Moto One Macro is not part of the Android One-family, so I don’t know how long the phone will get the latest Android updates. The company, however, confirmed that Android 10 is coming soon to the device along with at least one year of monthly security updates. Apart from that, we get the regular stock Android experience that we have come to expect from Moto phones which I’m a fan of.

A very glossy polycarbonate back on the Moto One Macro.

Internally, on paper, the Moto One Macro is not perhaps the fastest of phones. It does come with the MediaTek Helio P70 SoC with a single 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage variant and an option to expand to 512 GB using a microSD card. With competing devices housing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 and 670 SoC it will have to be seen how does the device performs against them. The full review will put the phone through its paces to see if you are getting your money’s worth in terms of speed.

Camera and Battery

The inclusion of the dedicated 2 MP Macro Vision lens will let you capture images as close as 2.5 cm. The nearest competitor in macro photography is the Realme 5 Pro which had, to put it nicely, not a good macro lens and could capture images up to 4.5 cm. The Moto One Macro has left me reasonably impressed and the photos that I have clicked up until now are quite satisfactory. I did face issues with focussing while using the macro lens, but I will delve into the nitty-gritty of it in the full review.

Dedicated Macro Vision lens on the phone.

Apart from the Macro lens, we also see a 13 MP main sensor with an f/2.0 aperture along with a 2 MP depth sensor for clicking some portrait shots. For the most part, the 13 MP camera does churn out nice pictures but my initial feeling is that there appears to be some detail lacking along with over-saturation of colours. There are other features of the camera as well such as High res zoom, Live filter, Shot optimisation, Smart composition, Auto smile capture, and more which I will cover in detail in the full review. The front of the phone has an 8 MP selfie shooter with slow-motion video capabilities.

Sample macro shots by the Moto One Macro.

In terms of battery, we find that the Moto One Macro has a 4,000 mAh cell with 10W charging capabilities. While this isn’t the biggest battery out there nor the best charging speeds, Motorola has held its own in previous devices as far as the battery is concerned and we will test it out in the full review.

Conclusion

The major selling point for the Moto One Macro is quite frankly the Macro Vision lens which, in my initial usage, has earned my nod. The greater question is how many people are really going to use this feature? Like the Moto One Action before it, the Moto One Macro is also banking on one standout feature to woo audiences. Will it work? We will have to see in due time. Stay tuned for our full review of the device.

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