Motorola no longer launches devices in the One line, but those that hit the market between 2018 and 2020 have gained many followers. Among them, one still attracts consumers a lot: the Motorola One Macro, which had a low launch price, with a set of cameras that stood out for the presence of the macro sensor.
The device arrived in Brazilian stores at the end of October 2019 and, almost two years later, it can still be found in the range of R$1,000. Considering the specs and its main proposition, will this model still be worth it in 2021? Let’s remember all about ‘Moto One Macro’, as some people call it, and find out if it’s a good investment right now.
- Good performance for basic tasks;
- Macro camera;
- Good battery life;
- Outdated operating system.
Check out the best price for the Motorola One Macro
Motorola One Macro: design and construction
The One Macro’s appearance follows Motorola’s trend at the time of its launch, with a vertical column for the photo set in the upper left corner of the back. The queue starts with a single hole, which opened one of the cameras, and follows with a line that has two other sensors, in addition to a laser focus and LED flash. A fingerprint reader is horizontally aligned with the latter in the center.
Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Access and subscribe to our new youtube channel, Canaltech News. Every day a summary of the main news from the tech world for you!
The finish is all in plastic, and the back cover has a gradient finish that starts in a darker tone and clears up to the bottom. The device can be found in two colors in Brazil: blue or violet. The device is reasonably sized for a 6.2-inch screen and is slightly lighter than newer phones in the same category.
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 157.6 x 75.4 x 9 mm mm
- Weight: 183 g
The sides, also in plastic, have the three buttons (increase and decrease volume and energy) on the right side, while the chip drawer is on the left. There are two slots for carrier cards, one of which is hybrid and also accepts a micro SD — that is, you have two lines or one line and a memory expansion card.
At the bottom, you’ll find the sound output, a Type-C USB port and a microphone. At the top, there is one more microphone and the headphone jack, present in all cell phones of the line that ended up known as Moto One.
At the front, the screen is protected by glass and has very small edges, with only the chin being larger. At the top, a teardrop-shaped cutout houses the front camera, and the call speaker is a little less discreet than what we’re used to on newer smartphones.
“The Motorola One Macro looks very interesting, with the gradient effect on the back. For those who are bothered by fingerprints, its finish is not the best, but it comes with a TPU cover in the box — even already inserted at the factory”.
Motorola One Macro: Screen Quality
The display, as already mentioned, is 6.2 inches and has a resolution with pixel density considered a little low, lower than the 300 dpi recommended by experts. The image itself prioritizes natural colors, with slightly cooler tones and black not as deep as you’d find in OLED panels. On the other hand, models in the same price range rarely have this type of technology, even the most current releases.
The overall image is quite reasonably sharp, although more trained eyes might be a little annoyed by some gaps between the pixels, which cause slight aliasing. But overall it’s a good screen, which won’t displease most users. Touch response time is also good, with no noticeable delays.
For those who like the technical part, the Motorola One Macro screen has a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with HD+ resolution (720 x 1520 pixels). The aspect ratio is 19:9, while the pixel density is approximately 270 dpi. The display occupies about 81.3% of the front of the device.
Motorola One Macro: Configuration and Performance
Currently, the most important question to think about before buying a cell phone released more than a year ago is its hardware. Intermediate models generally offer a processor powerful enough to deliver up to three years of use without problems, while entry-level models tend to last less than that.
In the case of One Macro, here we have a platform — which brings, in addition to the processor, some other important components such as modem and GPU — launched in 2018, almost an exact year before the Motorola device hit stores. MediaTek’s Helio P70 doesn’t bring the latest technologies from its time of release, but it was still a pretty decent SoC in 2019.
In terms of memory, it offers the minimum for 2021, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. It will support running a good amount of applications without having to restart processes and you can install a lot of things and save a good amount of photos without having space problem.
The question is whether two years later it still runs satisfactorily. For simpler day-to-day use, you might be able to extract a good experience. But the ideal, since you are going to invest now in a new cell phone, is to look for a newer model with a similar proposal, such as a Samsung Galaxy A02s or a Moto E7 Plus.
MediaTek’s Helio P70 platform is produced in 12-nanometer lithography, comparable to recent SoCs in this regard. The eight-core processor is split into four 2.0GHz Cortex-A73s and four 2.0GHz Cortex-A53s. The difference in architecture influences actual power and energy efficiency. It’s a processor that can still deliver good performance in 2021, but, as already mentioned, there are newer models that will last longer even for basic use.
battery and system
The cell phone line that ended up being known as Motorola Moto One has a battery of 4,000 mAh. It is a very reasonable capacity that will guarantee a day of use away from the socket without any problems, and in some cases it can even exceed this period.
Recharging is also pretty decent, with a 10W wall adapter already in the box. This, incidentally, is the maximum power, which should guarantee filling from 0% to 100% in about 2 hours.
Despite being part of a line that started with cell phones that belonged to Google’s Android One program, the One Macro features an operating system modified by Motorola. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as at least the company’s customizations are lightweight, and there are no redundant factory-installed apps.
Motorola One Macro has Android 10 installed and should not be upgraded to version 11. In other words, you will be stuck with a slightly outdated operating system, despite not having very significant changes between the updates made by Google.
According to Motorola at the time of launch of the device, the security packages are only guaranteed until October 2021, so even in that sense it’s not worth thinking about the One Macro. It doesn’t take long and your phone could be too vulnerable to attacks, or start experiencing issues with newer apps.
Motorola One Macro: Photo Set
Motorola Ones have always been released with some specific feature different from the entire Motorola catalog. In the case of One Macro, its name leaves no doubt: it was the company’s first cell phone to offer a macro camera, which takes pictures of very close-up objects with high detail.
To help with this task, a laser spotlight has been included, which does a great job of finding the object in the image when you bring your cell phone very close to it. The quality isn’t the best, as it’s only 2 MP of resolution, but it’s affordable. And you end up with a sharper image than if you crop the same frame taken with the 13 MP main camera. The focal length makes all the difference.
In addition to these two sensors on the back, the device also has a 2 MP depth camera. It is an extra sensor that helps in photos with a blurred background, in the so-called portrait mode. At the front, the selfie camera has 8 MP and takes reasonable quality self-portraits for use on social media.
“The main purpose of the Motorola One Macro is to offer good quality macro photos, being the brand’s first cell phone to offer this feature. It’s not the best for it these days — the Motorola G100 and G60 capture even more detail — but it’s affordable. Besides being one of the best with this feature in its price range”.
Video recording can be done in 1080p resolution (Full HD) with either the main camera or the selfie camera. At the rear, you can even increase the frame rate to 60 fps.
Motorola One Macro: is it worth it?
The Motorola Moto One line, as it became known in Brazil, despite not having the ‘Moto’, had its last release here in December 2019. The One Macro was one of the last and is possibly the biggest success in the catalogue, with a very high volume of searches almost two years after it arrived in stores.
“The Motorola One Macro is a good mid-range phone, but it was quite dated two years after launch. The model has not been updated to Android 11 and will soon stop receiving security updates as well.”
It is not so easy to find new units of this model for sale, and its price has increased recently. Considering the history of the last six months of the Zoom price comparison, the Motorola One Macro used to cost R$ 1,100 between the beginning of June and the end of July, but since August it has risen, even surpassing its launch price, which was of BRL 1,399.
But even thinking about the lowest historical price of this last semester, I don’t think it’s worth investing in this model now. There are phones that offer better performance, more battery and memory than the One Macro at an even lower price, like the Galaxy A02s or even the Galaxy A11. If you insist on buying a Motorola, you can look for the Moto E7 Plus, G9 Play or even the Moto G30, if you want to make an even longer lasting investment.
Do you want to take macro photos? Look for the Galaxy M12, from Samsung, or the aforementioned Moto G9 Play and Moto G30 from Motorola. All of them will deliver better performance experience, plus more battery life. The screen will look pretty much the same, with similar resolution and panel type. Or you can think of the Galaxy A22, which has a Super AMOLED display, and will cost little more than the Motorola One Macro currently.
An addendum: the assessment here is whether it’s worth buying One Macro now, whether it’s new or used. In both cases, I believe it is more interesting to look for a more recent model that has a similar value. If you have the device in your hands now and are satisfied with it, you have no reason to think about making a switch yet.
Did you like this article?
Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.