Motorola - Motorola One Action


Motorola One Action: a real action-cam in a mid-range terminal?

Aprox. 249€ - see price -

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A few months after a rather convincing One Vision, Motorola takes advantage of the summer to announce a new version of its terminal with an "action-cam". Sufficient particularity to justify the purchase of such a device? Verification.

Our review


The third model in Motorola's One series in less than a year, the Motorola One Action is the market most "special" smartphone. If apparently everything is classic and it seems out of the same mold as the One Vision, its "action-cam" mode intends to allow it to stand out against the competition.

Launched at a price of 289 € (and only on Amazon), it is strangely positioned. Comparable to a terminal like the Wiko View3 Pro (yet 40 € cheaper), it can also be opposed to the Xiaomi Mi 9T, or the Samsung Galaxy A50. What if its main rival was none other than the Motorola One Vision? Finally, the smartphone closest to One Action in terms of aesthetics and price.


Ergonomics and design

While the One Vision inaugurated the 21: 9 format at Motorola, the One Action does not cause any "wow" effect. Indeed, the terminal is a true copy, with the exception of an additional video sensor, of its predecessor. Also we find this same "large" 6.3 inch slab, the same buttons positioned a little too high - for those who do not have the hands of basketball players. Handling the terminal with one hand requires great elasticity of the fingers that not all One Action users will have.

However, the external controls are fairly reactive, like the back fingerprint sensor, which works without a hitch. The One Vision panel thus occupies a little more than 82% of the front face. This ratio, in the standard of what is currently being done, is made possible thanks to the punch where the selfie module is housed. However, the diameter of a little more than 7 mm of this punch is much larger than that of the Samsung Galaxy S10e (about 4 mm), for example.

Sold from € 289, the smartphone does not overlook any of the attributes of more high-end devices. It can accommodate two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. It also has 128 GB of storage, of which a little over a dozen already occupied by the OS. It has a USB-C port as well as a 3.5 mm mini-jack socket. Note that if it is not waterproof, it is still IP52 certified, which protects it from splashes and dust.

The only visible difference with the One Vision is to be found on the back of the device. The One Action has an additional video sensor. Intended to film sequences like an action-cam, it brings a little singularity to a very wise terminal.

The One Action always has a 3.5mm mini jack. Located on the upper edge of the smartphone, it is not among the best of its kind, but it gives more convincing results than that of the One Vision. It has a very wide dynamic range, the distortion is fairly well contained. Crosstalk management is not without all reproaches. Likewise, the power delivered is really limited, and a helmet requiring too much energy will not give its full potential.

The single speaker offers a correct sound, but we will not push it to the maximum to avoid an overdriven sound.

Ergonomics and design


The Motorola One Action has the exact same panel as the One Vision. So we find a 6.3 inch IPS LCD screen, with a definition of 2,520 x 1,080 px and a resolution of 432 ppi. And unfortunately, we also find many faults with this poorly calibrated screen. However, this time, Motorola has revised its copy and offers to choose between several color profiles: natural, contrasting or saturated. We opted for the first profile, the most neutral; the last two profiles really saturate the colors too much.

Alas, even in this "natural colors" mode, we get a far too high color temperature of 9.037 K (where the expected standard is 6.500 K). The result is a shade that is far too cold, fairly clearly visible on the screen. The colorimetry only partially corrects the shot, reaching 4.1 (it is estimated that below 3, the human eye no longer perceives the color drift). The pastel colors drifting particularly, this ensures that the terminal has a fairly poor color reproduction. Finally, despite the possibility of having several profiles, the One Action misses the mark.

Since the panel is IPS, the infinite contrast ratio is not appropriate and here capped at 1,238: 1. Regarding the maximum brightness, the One Action does a little worse than the One Vision with a brightness measured at 421 cd / m², it is correct without being great. But, combined with a fairly contained reflectance, it will allow the terminal to be used under the sun. For lovers of night activities, the minimum brightness of 4.6 cd / m² may be a little too strong, so the exposure time will have to be limited. Concerning the fluidity, we observed a tactile delay of 82 ms and a persistence of 19 ms, that is to say almost the same values as those noted for the One Vision, and which remain in the low average.



As with the panel or even ergonomics in general, the One Action is similar in all respects to the One Vision. It thus embeds the same Samsung chip, the Exynos 9609, octa-core clocked at 2.2 GHz and supported by 4 GB of RAM. We are not dealing with the most powerful of terminals, but the opening or closing of applications and the sequence between them is carried out smoothly. Android 9 and its One overlay are very well optimized to provide a good user experience.

By applying our new test protocol, the One Action does not fail. For the RAM test, he obtains a very correct score of 87.54, when the first in our ranking, the OnePlus 7 Pro, reaches 100 points.

On the side of the game test, the result is worse. With a score of 58.04, it is slightly below the average in our ranking. But it does not deserve. With an average of 32 i / s in play, this remains fluid enough to play on a daily basis, provided you are not a professional "gamer". In this case, this terminal is not necessarily intended for you.

Finally, the temperature rise of the terminal does not exceed 35 ° C. Even after a rather intense session of capturing videos and photographs. In addition, the heating dissipates fairly quickly.



Here we come to the sensitive point of this Motorola One Action. It differs from One Vision only by the presence of a third sensor. Only intended for video, with a resolution of 16 Mpx, with a very wide-angle optics of 117 ° and opening at f / 2.2, it is put forward as being an action-cam.

True UFO in the world of smartphones, there is a similar device on the Crosscall Trekker-X4, for example. We have devoted an article to this "action-cam" in which you will find all the details of our evaluation. Attention "divulged", it is not famous ...

Motorola is trying to regain its splendor of yesteryear, and this requires the launch of an intriguing product. The new Motorola One Action stands out ...

Otherwise, the rest also differs from One Vision. Reduced price requires, it no longer has a 48 Mpx sensor, but a simpler one, 12 Mpx, with a lens opening at f / 1.8 (equivalent to 26 mm in 24x36). The latter is accompanied by a 5 MP sensor to improve portraits. Finally the front camera is 12 Mpx and its lens opens at f / 2.0, where on the One Vision, it reached 25 Mpx.

By day, the main sensor of the One Action is doing well. We would of course have preferred the One Vision 48 MP sensor, but we will be content with 12 MP. Obviously, facing the Xiaomi Mi 9T, one of the best in its price category, it is lagging behind. The colors returned by the Motorola are quite bland, the details are lost a little and the sharpness is far from exceptional. At least we can't blame him for having a heavy hand on software enhancement as is the case with the Mi 9T.

At night, the One Action displays its limits a little more. The noise is very present, the details tend to disappear and the colors are duller. However, the picture is also not as degraded as what can be observed on entry-level smartphones. He manages to hold - a little head to the Mi 9T. But the latter, it must be admitted, is not a lightning of war in low light.

Borrowing once again the portrait mode of the One Vision, that of the One Action is rather satisfactory. The subject is fairly well isolated from the background. The vagueness does not seem too artificial, without however reaching heights of realism. This bokeh effect is more successful in the rear thanks to the 5 MP sensor dedicated to the measurement of the depth of field. At the front, the 12 MP sensor offers acceptable selfies, but on condition of not activating beauty mode, because the software straightener then transforms anyone into a doll of wax.

Finally, the video left us perplexed in many ways. On the one hand, the main sensor is capable of filming in 4K and up to 30 fps, and even of offering slow motion in 120 fps. The quality of the videos is reasonable despite a sometimes capricious autofocus.

On the other hand, the One Action therefore offers an "action-cam" function that we detailed at length in a previous article. This last function is not very common on smartphones; for the record, the Sharp Aquos R2 and R3, like the Trekker-X4, had tried the experiment. And the result is quite mixed: the poor quality of the images, the stabilization and the lack of accessories provided to maintain the device, limit the use as well as the interest of this function.

Recommended article: Lab - Motorola One Action: a camera really ready for adventure?



The Motorola One Action comes with a battery capacity equivalent to that of the One Vision, or 3,500 mAh. By using our SmartViser protocol (which simulates intensive daily use with sending SMS, calls, downloads, watching videos, etc.), the One Action did a little better than the One Vision, only switching off at after 16 h 31 min (against 15 h 22 min for the One Vision). To explain this difference, we lean towards a slight software optimization. This result is quite correct and will allow you to hold, theoretically, a little more than two days before having to recharge the terminal.

For recharging, moreover, do not rely on astronomical speeds, since the smartphone is not compatible with fast charging. It therefore takes 2 h 25 min to go from 0 to 100%, with the charger supplied.



The Motorola One Action has no major unacceptable flaws. It offers everything you would expect from a smartphone in 2019, without standing out completely. There is indeed this "action-cam" mode, but it is not well enough thought out or exploited to be a real strong point. In front of it, for lower prices, we can turn to the Wiko View3 Pro, or even the Realme 3 Pro, which are generally better. The main competitor he can triumph over is, ironically, the Motorola One Vision. Sold for around thirty euros cheaper, the One Action ultimately offers more innovations than its predecessor.