Motorola One 5G phone review

Sajjad Hussain
Oct 7 · 6 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Motorola One 5G is a rugged mid-range phone with excellent battery life, an eye-catching design and a beautiful display. It is priced at $449.99 on AT&T (Verizon model will be launched in the future), and it is also one of the most affordable 5G phones on the market. Unfortunately, we encountered slower speeds when testing on AT&T’s 5G network (we know, this is ironic), and couldn’t disable it to get it back to the faster 4G. Therefore, unless you want to get to the bottom of 5G now, you can use the $350 Google Pixel 4a (or wait for the 5G model) to get value for money.

Design, display and durability

Motorola One 5G has a universal but harmless design-it looks just like your regular tablet. The phone measures 6.6 by 2.9 by 0.4 inches and weighs 7.4 ounces.

6.7 inches, 2,520 x 1,080 LCD and 90Hz refresh rate dominate. This is a bright, clear display with excellent viewing angles, suitable for almost anything from Netflix to games.

The back of the phone is made of glossy blue plastic, which can easily accumulate fingerprints and smudges. There is a cutout in the upper left corner of the camera module, next to Motorola and carrier brands. The USB-C charging port, speaker and headphone jack are located on the bottom of the phone, while the top is empty. On the left is the location of the hybrid SIM card slot, and on the right is the opposite of the volume button and power button. The power button is used as a responsive fingerprint sensor with dual functions.

Durability is uneven. The plastic rear panel can withstand a few drops of rain without causing much damage, while the reinforced glass display may withstand minor scratches. The phone also has a smaller protection against splashes, but it is not waterproof. As always, you should invest in safe boxes.

Connectivity and audio

Motorola One 5G is unique to AT&T and Verizon. The AT&T model is only suitable for low-band 5G, while the Verizon version supports below 6GHz and mmWave. As mentioned earlier, we reviewed the AT&T model.

We tested the data speed on the AT&T network within a 12-mile radius of Chicago and recorded poor 5G results (as we saw in the “Fastest Mobile Network” test, 5G is not necessarily better than 4G be quick). Outdoors, the average speed only drops by 6.2Mbps, indoors increases by 1.4Mbps, indoors drops by 1.8Mbps, and increases by 0.6Mbps. Although Motorola offers an option to turn off 5G connections on unlocked phones, you can use 4G for possibly faster speeds, but AT&T seems to have disabled this feature (although Verizon said it won’t).

The call quality on the AT&T network is surprisingly poor. We made nearly a dozen test calls, but half of them encountered problems. About one-third are not connected or disconnected, and the rest are charged with static electricity. In a call that is indeed no problem, the noise cancellation effect is very good, the maximum earpiece volume is 86dB, you can easily hear the other party’s voice on busy streets.

The maximum volume of the bottom launching speaker is 92dB, the sound is fine and the midrange is distorted. It is suitable for video calls or scrolling TikTok feeds, but not ideal for multimedia.

The phone also supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.

Hardware and performance

One is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor and 4GB RAM. This is slightly less than the 6GB RAM you find on the $599.99 Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, but this does the job. There is also 128GB of internal storage space, of which 109GB is available. If you need more storage space, the phone supports up to 1TB microSD memory card.

Before discovering any delays, we were able to open two applications at the same time and open almost as many tasks as Chrome browser tabs. The game performance is also very stable, although the time required for the game to load is longer than that of the Galaxy A71 5G. We played Alto’s Odyssey on Moto One for nearly an hour without any delay or frame loss.

On Geekbench 5, a set of benchmark tests used to measure raw computing power, the phone had a single-core (SC) score of 589 and a multi-core (MC) score of 1,840. This is slightly lower than the A71 5G’s 609 (SC) and 1,879 (MC), and much lower than the Apple iPhone SE’s 1,331 (SC) and 3,299 (MC).

The phone’s 5,000mAh battery lasted 11 hours and 41 minutes in our battery drain test, and it can stream HD video at full brightness via Wi-Fi. The adapter included with the One supports 15W Turbo Power charging. Wireless charging is not available.

Camera

Motorola One 5G can accommodate a total of 6 cameras. On the back, you will find a 48MP main sensor with f/1.7 aperture, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro lens with a ring light, and a 2MP depth sensor. There is a 16MP main shooter and an 8MP ultra-wide sensor on the front.

In good light, the main lens and ultra-wide-angle lens can take excellent photos with good depth of field with little loss of detail. Macro lenses can also do well, although the image may look a bit flat.

In low light conditions, we noticed that in several tests with the main lens, the noise was excessively eliminated. The ultra-wide-angle lens is great for social media sharing, but with a full-size lens, you will notice edge noise, blurred backgrounds, and some bursts around lights.

Surprisingly, due to the ring light, in this price range, low-light macro shooting is the best photo we have seen on a mobile phone. To get a perfect shot, you need a stable hand and a non-reflective background, but the final result is worth sharing on Instagram.

Portrait mode works well in sufficient light. The depth map works on almost all lenses, and the bokeh can be easily controlled using the slider in the viewfinder. However, when using the night vision function, the portrait mode is not available.

Both front cameras can work normally in good light. Our test lens is clear, accurate in color, and excellent in depth. In low light conditions, the 16MP lens performs well in night mode, but we noticed some slight noise around the edges. On the other hand, the 8MP sensor is still struggling in dim light conditions. Most of our test lenses are flat and muddy.

Although 16MP sensors tend to do better, the portrait mode of the front camera is easy to come across. In our test shots, about one-third of the images taken with the main shooter had some problems with accurately separating objects. When using ultra-wide-angle lenses, we found that about 60% of the test lenses had problems. Similarly, when the night vision function is enabled, portrait mode cannot be selected.

Software

Motorola One 5G comes with Android 10 and My UX, which is Motorola’s customized user interface for Android. On unlocked phones, Motorola provides an essentially inventory experience. “My User Experience” only adds useful features such as Moto Game Time and Moto Gestures, allowing you to customize your phone for games and enable gestures. Access frequently used functions.

n addition to disabling the function of turning off 5G, the AT&T model also adds more than two dozen bloatware applications. Of course, most applications can be uninstalled, but it is frustrating that operators still enjoy these freedoms without providing any price subsidies.

Motorola has confirmed that One 5G will get Android 11 processing and a two-year bi-monthly security update. Although Motorola can usually promote operating system upgrades for unlocked phones soon, once operators are involved, the process will not be so smooth. Although we are confident that Motorola will fulfill its promise of bringing Android 11 to One 5G, the time required for the upgrade depends on your carrier.

Motorola One 5G provides stable performance, long battery life, exquisite display and 5G, and is about $150 cheaper than Samsung Galaxy A71 5G. In other words, AT&T’s call quality and network performance did not perform well in the test, even if 4G may provide a better experience, AT&T will disable the option to turn off 5G. This makes it difficult to recommend, especially when the Pixel 4a offers a better experience for almost $100. Of course, the Pixel 4a does not have 5G, but Google plans to provide a 5G model at a price of $499 in the near future, and we think this is a better choice.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store