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The plethora of mid range phones available can be rather daunting, especially considering all the high-end features developers try to cram into budget products. The Motorola One Zoom is one such product. This phone attempts to feel and look like the premium competition, and while it might succeed for some, others will be frustrated by what mostly feels like a step back. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad phone, and it’s a pretty great phone for the cost, but it’s far from being the best dual sim phone out there.
Motorola didn’t design a masterpiece with the Motorola One Zoom, and you could easily find better quality smartphones for the original asking price. But now that it’s deeply discounted, this phone offers a pretty stellar experience for under $300.
Performance on the Motorola One Zoom is passable, but rather sluggish when held up to the comparable Samsung Galaxy A50. If you’re already coming from an older phone, this probably won’t feel too bad, but if you’re used to the quality performance from higher-end models, you’re likely to be displeased. But the real standout that Motorola clearly focused on in this phone is the implementation of a quad-camera system. Among these are a 48MP main camera, a 16MP ultra wide angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 5MP depth sensor. On the front is a selfie camera that utilizes quad pixel technology meant to ensure that all of your selfies turn out great. The cameras all perform amicably, though the results tend to be less impressive than those taken on the Google Pixel 5, particularly in low light. The camera app itself is, like the overall performance of this phone, rather sluggish at times as well. The Moto One Zoom doesn’t have the best camera system, but, for a mid-range phone, it still manages to impress overall.
The vast majority of reviewers found the battery life of the Motorola One Zoom to be quite impressive, with just a few commenting that they wish it lasted longer given the battery’s huge size. Still, most people found the phone could make it through the day with a battery to spare, something that a lot of phones with huge displays like this can’t always do. Motorola also includes with the Moto One Zoom a fast charging 15W charger that can give your phone the pick-me-up it needs whenever the battery runs low.
The Motorola One Zoom’s display is rather impressive for its price point, but don’t expect the same visual quality as something like the Samsung Galaxy S10. The 6.4” OLED panel has Full HD+ resolution that renders images rather sharply. The brightness isn’t the greatest on this display, making it difficult to see in direct sunlight, and several reviewers found that, overall, the screen tended to take on a bluish cast. Inside the screen is an in display fingerprint sensor, which is OK, but definitely not the greatest implementation of this technology out there.
Mid range phones tend to cut corners when it comes to durability, and the Motoroloa One Zoom is no different. The metal frame itself is solid, and the front and back are protected by two different types of glass: on the front is Panda Glass, while the back is covered in the more recognizable Gorilla Glass 3. Unfortunately, this phone is not IP certified, so it isn’t water- or dust-proof like most high-end smartphones. If you want a rugged smartphone that can withstand falls then you can get the Jitterbug Smart2. One other point of contention about this phone’s body is the camera bump on the back. While the brushed metal Electric Gray exterior otherwise looks like many other premium devices on the market, the camera bump is unmistakable. Some reviewers love it, others hate it, so this is mostly a matter of opinion, but I can’t help but worry that having the cameras stick out so far from the body will ultimately lead to some unfortunate lens damage.
Available in Electric Grey, Brushed Bronze, and Cosmic Purple, the Moto One Zoom is a solid mid range phone that is a good value now that it’s on sale. Originally retailing for $450, this phone can now be purchased for $250, a hefty discount that truly makes this phone worth considering if you’re on a budget. Unlike other phones in Motorola’s “One” series, the One Zoom doesn’t support Android One, instead going for something closer to stock Android 9 Pie. The lack of Android One support is rather disappointing, seeing as the Android One program offers a bloat-free user experience, three years of security upgrades, and two years of Android OS upgrades.
If there’s anything to take away from this Motorola One Zoom review, it’s that this is a pretty good phone that, when purchased on sale, is quite a good bargain. It’s camera and CPU don’t perform as well as high-end phones, but those typically cost at least twice as much. More concerning, though, is the lack of Android One support, which means this phone isn’t guaranteed every security update or Android upgrade. If, however, you need a mid range phone that still has a decent display, above-average camera, and good battery life, the Moto One Zoom is a good choice.