Motorola One Macro review: A very focused budget phone

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The Motorola One Macro provides reasonable performance and good battery life, but it is let down by rather cheap construction.

6.2 inches

Display size

720 x 1520px

64GB

Internal storage

13MP + 2MP + 2MP

Rear camera

4,000 mAh

Battery size

Finder rated as Good vs similar phones

Details

Display

Camera

Physical dimensions

Connectivity

Power, storage and battery

Device features

Display size 6.2 inches
Resolution 720 x 1520
Pixels per inch (PPI) 270
Rear camera megapixels 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Rear camera aperture size f/2.0 + f/2.2 + f/2.2
Video recording 1080p
Front camera megapixels 8MP
Front camera aperture size f/2.2
Dimensions 157.6mm x 75.41mm x 8.99mm
Weight 186g
NFC No
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Network category speed N/A
Processor MediaTek Helio P70
RAM 4GB
Operating system Android 9
Internal storage

64GB

External storage support Up to 512GB
Battery capacity 4,000mAh
Headphone jack Yes
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Water resistance IPX2
Wireless charging No
Launch price (RRP)$299
Launch date2019-10
Motorola Moto One Macro

The good

  • Dependable battery life
  • Clutter-free Android
  • Macro lens can deliver pleasant shots

The bad

  • Macro lens can be very temperamental
  • Mediatek processor is a little low-end
  • Plastic body loves fingerprints
  • Regular camera delivers ordinary results

2019 is a year where we've seen an explosion in the budget and mid-range phone spaces. Not in the bad, exploding batteries way, but in the features and performance that a phone that sits in either category should include.

It's a space that Motorola has occupied very well for many years with its G-series phones, many of which have gone through our labs and significantly impressed us. But with a plethora of competitors from the likes of TCL, Oppo, realme, Mintt and more, Motorola clearly saw that it needed to do a little bit more.

That's been the focus behind its Motorola One series. They're phones with a different value skew, and the Motorola One Macro certainly fits that bill. It's the equivalent of a DSLR shooter opting to take an additional lens with them when they go out shooting, except in this case, it's in phone form.

Design

  • 6.2-inch display
  • Preinstalled case
  • Teardrop notch
  • Headphone jack
Motorola One Macro

Camera

  • Primary 13MP lens is OK, but that's all
  • Macro lens is annoyingly inconsistent
Picture not described

Performance

  • Mediatek P70 isn't particularly powerful
  • Motorola's Android approach is light
  • Moto actions onboard are still fun
Motorola One Macro

Battery life

  • 4,000mAh battery is good at this price point
  • USB C charging with 10W supplied charger

Should you buy the Motorola One Macro?

  • Motorola needs to work on its macro tech
  • Doesn't compare well to other budget to mid-range models
Motorola One Macro

Excluding the macro lens, the Motorola One Macro almost feels like Motorola is doing what it's been doing for years. It's an acceptable budget device, but not one with a killer "feature" or benefit that would make it stand out. In years gone by, that would well and truly have been enough, because budget phones were always about compromises.

In 2019, we've seen a big change in this space, with plenty of mid to high end features creeping in on other handsets. At that level, the Motorola One Macro comes across as a decent phone, but far from best in class.

That's where the macro lens should save the day, presuming you're keen on macro photography specifically. I love the fact that Motorola is doing something truly different here, but I'm ultimately a little underwhelmed by the actual camera results you can get out of that primary macro lens. I'd love to see an updated model with more macro ability built in, but for now, there are better alternatives at this price point.


Pricing and availability

The Motorola One Macro is available in Australia with 64GB of onboard storage in Space Blue or Ultra Violet finishes for $299 outright.

Motorola One Macro

Macro magic

Get better close-up photos with the macro capabilities of the affordable Motorola One Macro.

Promoted

Alternatives

At the same price point, if you wanted to stay within the Motorola family, it's well worth considering the Motorola Moto G7 Power, a phone with truly astonishing battery performance.

If you want some photographic flexibility, it's well worth considering the realme 5 Pro. You could also consider the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 in that price range.

Motorola One Macro Specifications

Display

Camera

Physical dimensions

Connectivity

Power, storage and battery

Device features

Display size 6.2 inches
Resolution 720 x 1520
Pixels per inch (PPI) 270
Rear camera megapixels 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Rear camera aperture size f/2.0 + f/2.2 + f/2.2
Video recording 1080p
Front camera megapixels 8MP
Front camera aperture size f/2.2
Dimensions 157.6mm x 75.41mm x 8.99mm
Weight 186g
NFC No
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Network category speed N/A
Processor MediaTek Helio P70
RAM 4GB
Operating system Android 9
Internal storage

64GB

External storage support Up to 512GB
Battery capacity 4,000mAh
Headphone jack Yes
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Water resistance IPX2
Wireless charging No
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