The "1-Minute" Review
- So-so camera
- Low-resolution screen (720p)
- Fingerprint magnet
Motorola’s One series combines the brand’s history of affordable yet capable phones with the clean software and rapid updates of Google’s Android One program. The Motorola One Macro comes with a few nifty camera tricks and is the lowest-priced Motorola One phone to date. But is it worth buying?
Looking at the phone, it’s easy to see its budget-friendly roots. The chassis is plastic and reviewers were split on the two-tone rear cover. Some thought the effect was interesting while others felt it made the phone look cheap.
However, apart from the phone being a fingerprint magnet, reviewers had no complaints about build quality or the way the phone felt in the hand. They also felt the fingerprint sensor on the rear was well-placed and accurate, making the phone easy to unlock when needed.
Around front, the phone follows a similar trend. The 6.2-inch curved IPS display has minimal bezels and plenty of brightness. However, it’s running at 720-by-1520 pixels so it’s not the most detailed screen around. Reviewers frequently mentioned the resolution impacting image quality, and many felt the color was far from accurate.
There is also the camera notch at the top of the display. While it’s a teardrop and takes up less space than older notch designs, many reviewers felt the drop was bigger than required.
Trusted Reviews notes, “It isn’t that the Motorola One Macro’s display is bad. It’s clear and balanced and plenty bright enough ... But hold it next to a similarly proportioned 1080p phone ... and the difference is clear to see.”
The phone’s 2Ghz octa-core MediaTek Helios P70 processor paired with 4GB of RAM impressed reviewers for the price. However, it will not be a powerhouse processor capable of running the latest games at the highest settings or jumping between multiple apps.
Still, if you’re looking for a phone to cover the everyday tasks or don’t mind dialing back settings in games, reviews indicate it keeps things moving along smoothly enough. Memory will limit your multitasking abilities though. So be prepared to wait for apps to reload often.
Tech.co put the phone through its paces and notes, “... If you keep the workload light, it should be enough to get all your jobs done. If you’re looking for a phone for gaming, however, you should look elsewhere.”
Ships with Android Pie (9.0) with minimal tweaks and two years of guaranteed updates thanks to its Android One status.
The phone includes 64GB of internal storage. While this isn’t as much as many phones these days, support for microSD cards up to 512GB makes it affordable and easy to expand your storage if needed.
The camera setup on the Motorola One Macro is where the phone gets its name. On the rear of the phone, you’ll find a three camera setup including a 12MP lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro lens.
When compared to higher priced phones, the cameras cannot keep up. You must be patient when focusing. Lighting will also have a huge impact on getting good shots from the camera. The macro lens received mixed reviews as well. While many found the camera interesting and applauded the detail on objects in focus, many noted substantial noise in macro photo backgrounds.
Low-light performance was also well below average for today’s phones.
The front-facing 8MP lens is good enough for selfies and video chat, but don’t expect amazing results.
All of that said, reviews show the phone stands up well to similarly priced competitors and is capable of decent photos in the right conditions.
Tech.co summarized reviewer thoughts well, saying, “... Considering the One Macro’s low price, the images it gives are pretty good. Photos are colorful and, thanks to the depth sensor, have a good level of contrast. There are occasional instances where photos lack a bit of detail, but for this price, you’ll always have some compromises to deal with.”
Battery life is the starring feature of the phone. Combined with the phone’s modest specs, the 4,000mAh battery lasted many reviewers two days or more on a single charge.
Unfortunately, while the phone supports USB Type-C fast charging the 10W charger included with the phone takes nearly half an hour to boost the charge by 25%. This means you’ll want to leave the phone plugged in overnight just to be safe.
The phone includes one feature many phones two to three times its price do not -- a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has stereo speakers which reviews show can crank out respectable volume. However, many reviews also felt the audio was rather flat and dull.
Android Authority found the audio lacking, saying, “Audio output from the Motorola One Macro is a bit of a letdown. Headphone output lacks dynamic range and simply doesn’t sound that great. Even when I plugged in a quality pair of headphones, audio sounded muffled and lacked separation.”
A budget phone is always about compromises. The Motorola One Macro cut corners on screen resolution and materials. If you’re a casual phone user, these choices are probably not a big deal. However, if you love to play games or watch videos on your phone, you’ll notice the difference pretty quickly.
Still, for the price, most reviewers considered the phone a good value.
Trusted Reviews notes, “Motorola’s line of One phones offers clean design, elegant software, and competent performance across the board. The Motorola One Macro offers all of these things at the lowest price of them all.”
Good Gear Guide praises the phone, saying, “The Motorola One Macro is a fast, clean and highly-usable phone with a nifty trademark feature and longer-than-average battery life. It’s no flagship but it nails the essentials - which is the most important thing.”
Expert Reviews UK was more critical, declaring, “In some areas, the Moto One Macro really shines, but with every single positive there’s a negative. It feels cheap, the battery takes forever to charge, and the display suffers from wildly inaccurate colours. It’s fun to shoot things up close, and it has a long-lasting battery, but that’s about all there is to it.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Motorola released the One Macro on October 12, 2019.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola One Macro user manual here.
Motorola backs up the One Macro with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your One Macro has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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