Should I buy the Motorola One Vision?
Motorola has proven itself to make excellent phones at affordable prices and the One Vision appears to be no exception.
This is a gorgeous device with some specs and features you wouldn't expect for under £300 including a decent screen and a 48Mp camera.
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The Motorola One Vision is a sleek bit of kit with an impressive display, great cameras and a price tag of less than £300, making it appealing in a market where flagship devices can cost upwards of £1000. Motorola claims that the One Vision brings flagship specs to the mid-range, and while that’s correct on the spec front, does it truly perform like a flagship?
We’ve spent a couple of days with the Motorola One Vision, and here’s what we think so far. Check back in the coming days for our full review, complete with verdict and score.
Release date and pricing
Despite the high-end design and impressive feature set, the Motorola One Vision will only cost £269 in the UK when it’s released later this month. Pre-orders of the smartphone are due to kick off tomorrow, 16 May, from the Motorola website, before shipping on 30 May.
We’ll update this section once pre-orders go live, so check back tomorrow for specific pre-order details!
To see how it compares to the competition, take a look at our selection of the best mid-range smartphones.
The Motorola One Vision is a stunning smartphone, especially when you consider the mid-range price tag. It’s a gorgeous combination of glass and metal, sporting a full glass front and rear with a metal band and giving it a premium look when compared to similarly-priced products on the market at the moment.
The rear sports contoured glass that has been rounded on all sides, allowing the phone to fit the curves of your hand for comfortable use. That even extends to one-handed use, as the combination of contoured glass and a tall 21:9 aspect ratio display means it’s tall, but not very wide.
In fact, Motorola claims that it has the width of a standard 5.7in smartphone while managing to fit in a 6.3in display. And despite being fairly tall at 160.1 x 71.2 x 8.7mm, the phone weighs a relatively lightweight for a big phone at 180g.
The glass on the rear is the first in the Motorola range to sport a new finish that gives the rear the illusion of depth, with a lighter colour around the edges and a deeper, darker colour towards the centre. It’s slick, eye-catching and, we think, really enhances the overall look of the mid-range smartphone. The only disappointment is that it’s only available in two variants; Sapphire or Bronze, aka Blue or Brown.
There’s a noticeable camera bump on the rear, but despite sporting two sensors, it’s not technically a dual-camera setup – but we’ll go into more detail about that below. Next to the camera, you’ll find a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner with Moto branding that works incredibly well – during our limited time with the smartphone so far, anyway.
It’s powered by USB-C, and you’ll also find a headphone port along the top too. What’s not to like?
The centrepiece of the Motorola One Vision is undoubtedly the 6.3in CinemaVision display, boasting a FHD+ (1080 x 2520) resolution that equates to a pixel density of around 432ppi.
It’s also one of few smartphones in the market that boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio, which allows you to ditch the black bars on ultra-wide Netflix and YouTube content. It’s clear that this smartphone is aimed at those who watch TV and movies on their mobile devices, and according to Motorola, that’s a growing number of us.
The use of a hole-punch camera in the top-left of the display means that there is no notch present on the One Vision, and although it’s not quite as bezeless as high-end rivals, it still boasts an impressive screen-to-body ratio.
The impressive display puts the One Vision up against high-end rivals, though it’s worth noting that the display features IPS tech, rather than the crisp OLED favoured by other manufacturers.
That may be a deal-breaker for some, but there have to be some sacrifices when putting together a mid-range smartphone, and we’re confident that the average smartphone user won’t notice the difference between the two – it’s bright, clear and crisp with great colour reproduction, making it perfect for catching up on the latest YouTuber vlogs.
It’s not just the display that stands out from the competition; the camera setup is surprisingly impressive for a device that costs less than £300. The headline features are a 25Mp, f/2.0 front-facing selfie snapper and a whopping 48Mp, f/1.7 camera on the rear, complete with OIS (similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro) and a range of shooting modes, but there’s more to it than that.
The highlight of the camera setup is the inclusion of Quad-pixel technology, otherwise known as pixel binning, and explains why the smartphone has such high-res cameras. As the name suggests, the sensor combines four pixels into one to increase not only the amount of detail captured, but light too, providing well-lit, detailed photos even in challenging situations.
There’s even a dedicated Night Vision Camera mode that allows you to take great images in the dark, utilizing the quad-pixel tech alongside AI to improve the final image. It’s not exactly Google Pixel 3-level quality, but even during early tests, it looks like it performs better than other similarly-priced handsets on the market.
In place of a depth sensor, the Motorola One Vision sports a secondary 5Mp camera sensor on the rear. The secondary sensor is used to detect depth in images, and is used in conjunction with the phone’s Portrait mode with impressively accurate results – in well-lit environments, anyway. We’re not sure the focus will be as accurate as laser autofocus-enabled smartphones in low light environments, but that’s something we’ll be putting to the test.
We’ll be testing the camera setup more thoroughly in the coming days, so head back soon for more detailed analysis and image comparisons.
Not a powerhouse, but close
Under the hood of Motorola’s latest smartphone, you’ll find a 2.2Ghz Samsung Exynos 9609 processor alongside a Mali G72 GPU and 4GB of RAM too. You’ll also find 128GB of Ultra-Fast Storage (UFS) as standard. That’s not exactly flagship-level, at least in terms of numbers, but we’ve not noticed any form of lag during our time with the Motorola One Vision so far.
Battery life is another area where the mid-ranger excels, offering a 3,500mAh battery that should provide most users with all-day battery life. On the off-chance that it does need a top-up throughout the day, 15W TurboPower charging provides around seven hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.
In terms of software, the One Vision offers Android 9 Pie out of the box, but thanks to Android One support, the phone will receive not only two years of Android updates, but three years of security updates. That’s certainly an attractive feature for a smartphone of this price.
Being a Moto phone, you’ll also find a range of Moto Experiences that allow you to quickly capture images, turn on the torch with a flick, take a screenshot with three fingers and more. These are all optional and can be toggled on or off via the Moto app (the only branded app installed on the smartphone).
At less than £300, the Motorola One Vision certainly looks like a contender for the title of best mid-range smartphone, and we can’t wait to put it through its paces in the coming days.
Motorola One Vision: Specs
- 160.1 x 71.2 x 8.7mm, 180g
- 6.3in FHD+ CinemaVision 21:9 display
- Samsung Exynos 9609 processor
- Mali G72 MP3 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB UFS storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 3,500mAh battery with 15W TurboCharge
- IP52 protection
- Rear-facing 48Mp camera with OIS and f/1.7 aperture. Secondary 5Mp depth sensor.
- 25Mp front-facing holepunch camera
- Quad-Pixel photography
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Wi-Fi 5
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm headphone jack