The Motorola One Zoom is the latest smartphone announced at IFA 2019, and its emphasis is clear: bring the latest in mobile camera technology into the mainstream market.
To achieve this goal, the Moto One Zoom ($449, no contract) comes with four camera modules that are each designed to improve on a specific task.
Three of the cameras have been integrated to capture in different scenarios, with an 8MP 3X telephoto camera for zoom (hence the name) and a desirable 16MP ultrawide camera (117 degrees) lens to capture as much as possible of the scene.
The primary camera system (usually 25mm to 27mm) is backed by a 48 Megapixel sensor which has what Motorola calls Quad Pixel Technology, which is the ability to perform some Pixel Binning and combine the pixels of four pixels into one.
Doing so can help in night shots as we have often shown, thanks to our Uber-G Camera IQ (image quality) benchmark. Quad-Pixel can also be used to improve the dynamic range of photos as some sensors can capture with two different exposures, each using half of the pixels, to mitigate ghosting effects.
Finally, there’s a 5 Megapixel depth sensor, which is there to create a depth map to help with the Bokeh effect (out of focus blur) in portrait or large-aperture mode. In the galley below, watch the difference between standard, zoom and ultrawide lenses:
Motorola isn’t the first phone maker to come up with such an ambitious camera, but it may just be most powerful at this price point.
Motorola is probably the best-positioned company in the US market to make it happen. Others would include OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei or Honor (also a Huawei brand), but the Motorola brand has much more clout in some markets: it’s just the strength of history (and branding).
- 48MP sensor with 12M2P output using Quad Pixel technology, f1.7, 1.6μm, OIS, PDAF
- 16MP ultra-wide angle, 117-degree FOV
- 8MP telephoto, 3x optical zoom, OIS
- 5MP depth sensor, Color Correlated Temperature (CCT) dual LED flash
On paper, this phone’s camera setup looks impressive (for the price), but we will have to dig a little bit deeper before having a complete evaluation and a Hardware score to put it on the map.
The handset looks really good too! Motorola has done a great job with the back cover, which is actually made of (and feels like) glass, but it looks like brushed metal which might be less prone to having fingerprint marks (we’ll see).
The camera module still has a glass feel to it, and the Quad-camera placement (including the Flash) is done elegantly, including the logo integration. It’s very rare that a brand logo actually makes the ensemble look nicer, but Moto did a great job here.
The phone is made of quality material and this is really the top end of what you can do today at this price ~$450 point. Now, let’s look at key specifications:
- 6.39” OLED 2340 x 1080p display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, 4GB RAM
- 128GB storage + MicroSD
- 75 x 158 x 8.8mm for 190g
- 4000 mAh battery, 15W charge speed
- 4G LTE CAT5
- Selfie: 25MP, f2.0, 0.9μm, Low light mode using Quad Pixel technology for 6.25MP, 1.8μm output, Screen flash
- USB 3.1 Type C
- 5mm audio connector
- Protective cover included
This looks good. The Qualcomm processor is a good fit for this kind of mid-range and more importantly, it has enough muscle to support the camera system.
The RAM and storage capacities are very decent, and the battery capacity is very high. The battery’s charge speed is within the norms, but you can occasionally find faster charge speed, but at a higher price.
All in all, the Motorola One Zoom is one of the gems we found at IFA 2019, and we are looking forward to taking it for a spin.