Review: Motorola One Zoom – Flagship Camera on a Budget

motorola one zoom being launched at IFA 2019. {Tech} for Travel.
<center><em>Motorola One Zoom was launched at <a href=httpstechfortravelwpenginecomtech news motorola zoom target= blank rel=noreferrer noopener aria label=IFA2019 opens in a new tab>IFA2019<a> Image Tech for Travel<em><center>
✔️ Display size is perfect for browsing✘ Notch for Front Camera
✔️ ‘M’ Notification Logo works well✘ Mono Speaker
✔️ On-Screen Fingerprint Scanner✘ Noticeable bezel around the display
✔️ Turbo Charging✘ Thicker than other 6.4″ models
✔️ Quad Lens Main Camera✘ Low Water-proof rating

{Tech} for Travel Says….
Hands-On Review: With a Quad Lens rear camera, large 6.4″ OLED display with a on screen fingerprint scanner, the Motorola One Zoom brings some flagship specs to the mid-market.

Motorola One Zoom

Motorola continues its strategy of filling the smartphone mid-market with handsets that make you ask the question “Do I really need to buy that top-end phone?”

As {Tech} for Travel reported back in September, the Motorola One Zoom was first displayed in September at #IFA2019.

It boasts several high-end features on a device priced much lower than what you’d normally pay for some of them and does a good job of smoothing over those left out.

cosmic purple is an exclusive colour option. {Tech} for Travel.
<center><em>Cosmic Purple is an Amazon exclusive colour Image Motorola<em><center>


Unlike other devices in the Motorola One family, the Zoom doesn’t run the Android One software but remains with a very clean, stock version, of Android Pie.

I went straight from the One Action to the Motorola One Zoom Review unit and really didn’t notice a difference.

And with the exception of the Moto Gesture App, there is little to no other bloatware or programs pre-installed to ruin, what is, a very good user experience.

As with the One range, each device has a big selling point and with the Zoom, it’s the feature-rich main camera that will draw many to this new Motorola!

  • a lake surrounded by trees and mountains
  • a lake surrounded by hills and trees
  • a river with trees and mountains in the background

Built-in functions such as Night vision and Cinemagraph do a great job of enhancing your images while switching between the lens options is easy and with a noticeable effect.

Main Quad & Front Cameras

Large camera lenses are commonplace on smartphones nowadays, but few make it onto mid-market handsets. The One Zoom has a 4 lens configuration comprising of 48MP lens, 16MP wide-angle, 8MP Telephoto and 5MP Depth Sensor lenses.

Getting used to, and making the most of, the camera took a bit of time for me with the One Zoom. I’d put this down to me knowing it can deliver and I gave myself more time to familiarise myself with it.

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With a bit of practice, the Zoom could really enhance my travel photography.

  • a reindeer made out of lights
  • a statue of a deer with lights

At the front in the small central notch is a 25MP Front facing selfie cam. When I travel I do plenty of video calls home for which this was up to the task with a good clear resolution.

On-Screen Security

The One Zoom boasts a fingerprint scanner underneath the display and I really didn’t hold out much hope for this working too well. I was therefore pleasantly surprised at just how accurate it was.

Motorola Zoom main rear camera. {Tech} for Travel.
<center><em>A great way to capture share your travel adventures Image Motorola<em><center>

A fingerprint icon is shown on the lock screen so you know where to place your finger. The icon then lights up in a vibrant green to register your finger and unlocks.

It did struggle when the screen was dirty or when it was raining and I would be curious to see how well it performs with a quality screen protector on, as you will need one with the Zoom.

The 2.5D Panada King glass on the display did scratch for me, and with such a big and bright display the last thing you will want is marks on it.

Facial scanning/unlock is possible, however, as with most Android devices, if you configure the handset for Enterprise use this feature is disabled.

All-Day Battery Performance

Motorola has claimed up to 2 days of use based on the average user. Although I think this is not realistic, the One Zoom easily covered me for each day without any concern of being caught short.

Motorola Zoom finished in Denim Blue. {Tech} for Travel.
<center><em>Motorola One Zoom in Denim Blue Image Tech for Travel<em><center>

Inside is a 4,000mAh battery which was still at 20-30% remaining for me at around 10pm at night after first being picked up at 530am that morning.

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An 18W TurboPower charger ships in the box and the device itself can charge at 15W which is good but not great.

Big Display

The 6.4″ OLED display is surrounded by a thin, but still noticeable bezel, with just a small break for the notch where the front cam is located. At full brightness, the picture was too much for me.

I opted instead for around 75% during the review of the Motorola, which worked well for email, social apps and probably contributed to the good battery performance.

At the rear under the quad-camera is the ‘M’ logo. Instead of just being a badge Motorola has made it a silent notification light.

It’s configurable within the settings and instead of having the Zoom vibrate when on silent, the logo will glow for new notifications or calls.

Motorola Review budget smartphone. {Tech} for Travel.
<center><em>A Bright Vibrant 64 Display Image Tech for Travel<em><center>


It’s tough to argue the spec list on this smartphone given the price. The Zoom is very pleasing on the eye with the rounded edges and almost satin-like finish to the rear case.

During the review, the Motorola One Zoom performed perfectly well with enough power and memory to handle my apps and some good long stints using Android Auto.

Power users may notice some apps just take that second longer to respond and open but nothing that would put you off using the device.

But I used it for over 4 weeks and was reluctant to hand it back!

  • Dimensions – 75 x 158 x 8.8mm
  • Weight – 190g
  • Colour Options – Vary by market
    • Cosmic Purple is an Amazon exclusive
  • Ports – USB-C | 3.5mm Audio
  • Rear Quad Camera
    • 48MP Sensor
    • 16MP Wide-Angle
    • 8MP Telephoto
    • 5MP Depth Sensor
  • Front Facing 25MP Selfie Cam with Flash
  • 6.4″ OLED Full HD+ Display with Panda King Glass
  • On-Display Fingerprint Scanner
  • P2i Splash Proof Rating
  • 4,000mAh Internal Battery
  • In the Box
    • 18W TurboPower™️ Charger
    • USB-C Cable
    • Protective Rubber Case

How Much Does the Motorola One Zoom Cost?

The Motorola One Zoom in the UK is £379 and in selected European markets for €381, both direct from Motorola.

Prime members can shop their local Amazon store for the same price, which in the UK gives an additional colour option over the Motorola site.

Buyers in the US can currently get a great deal on the One Zoom.  Buy the smartphone now, direct from Motorola for $449 and they will include a free 32GB Moto G6 (rrp 9) for free!! 
// Media Motorola YouTube Channel.

Final Thoughts…

This is another strong mid-market offering. Over the course of the review, the Motorola One Zoom grew on me for several reasons.

Firstly, the camera, and the software for it, are very good. This is made better when you consider what you’re paying for it.

The OLED display, at 6.4″ is the perfect size for most of the social apps I use and works well for web browsing.

Nearly all sites are mobile-friendly/responsive by now, but the One Action is just the right size for minimal changes.

The problem it does pose if you are looking for a smartphone in this price range is, do you choose the Action or Zoom?

Tom Payne
Tom, Editor. An online publication providing news & reviews on apps, gadgets and luggage for the connected traveller.

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