Motorola One Macro review: A very focused budget phone
The Motorola One Macro provides reasonable performance and good battery life, but it is let down by rather cheap construction.
- Dependable battery life
- Clutter-free Android
- Macro lens can deliver pleasant shots
- Macro lens can be very temperamental
- Mediatek processor is a little low-end
- Plastic body loves fingerprints
- Regular camera delivers ordinary results
720 x 1520px
13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Finder rated as Good vs similar phones
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Power, storage and battery
|Launch price (RRP)||$299|
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.
- 6.2-inch display
- Preinstalled case
- Teardrop notch
- Headphone jack
- Primary 13MP lens is OK, but that's all
- Macro lens is annoyingly inconsistent
- Mediatek P70 isn't particularly powerful
- Motorola's Android approach is light
- Moto actions onboard are still fun
- 4,000mAh battery is good at this price point
- USB C charging with 10W supplied charger
- Motorola needs to work on its macro tech
- Doesn't compare well to other budget to mid-range models
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
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.