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Motorola One Zoom hands-on review: Already available to buy in the UK

The Motorola One Zoom has, you guessed it, a camera with long-distance zoom. But what else can it do?

Zooming, zooming and zooming again – that’s what you’ll be doing with the new Motorola One Zoom’s camera. And then zooming a further seven times, because one of its cameras is capable of high-resolution 10x hybrid zoom. Its standout feature rivals that of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, a phone we seriously rate, but the Motorola One Zoom is a heck of a lot cheaper. £300 cheaper, in fact.

The good stuff doesn’t end there, though. Scroll on for a full specs rundown of the Motorola One Zoom, and read our first impressions with the phone in Berlin at IFA 2019.

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Motorola One Zoom review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 6.4in OLED display
  • 19:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 with Adreno 608
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Quad rear camera: 48MP (f/1.7), 5MP (depth), 16MP (ultrawide 117-degrees), 8MP (telephoto 3x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom)
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • P2i splash-proofing
  • 158 x 75 x 8.8mm
  • 190g
  • Android 9 Pie
  • UK price: £380
  • UK release: September 2019

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Motorola One Zoom review: Design, key features and first impressions

As you can see from my photos, this is one seriously good-looking mid-range handset. The Motorola One Zoom has a stunning 6.4in 2,340 x 1,080 OLED display with curved edges, which is interrupted only by a tiny teardrop for the front-facing camera. It’s coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and is as smooth and responsive as any mid-tier handset I’ve ever used. Lenovo didn’t say what the body is made of, but it’s encased in a “satin glass finish” that has the look and feel of a much more expensive phone. It doesn’t deal too well with fingerprints, mind you.

Speaking of fingerprints, the unlock sensor is built into the display itself rather than the circular Moto logo at the rear of the phone, where the reader is often located on Motorola handsets. On the Motorola One Zoom, the Moto logo actually glows (much like the tri-snake logo on the Razer Phone 2) and even changes colour according to the notifications you’re receiving.

For connectivity, the Motorola One Zoom has a USB Type-C charging port and a 3.5mm audio jack (always welcome, these days), both of which are found on the bottom edge. It has a “3-in-2” SIM tray that can fit two SIMs or one SIM and a microSD – this can be found on the phone’s top edge, next to the speakers. There are three finishes to choose from: a grey, bronze, and a psychedelic-looking Cosmic Purple. The latter is exclusive to Amazon and will have hands-free Alexa built-in. Cosmic Purple will only be available in five countries and, luckily, the UK is one of them.

Moving on to the all-important internals, now. Motorola has loaded the Zoom with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset and 4GB RAM, plus 128GB worth of storage. These days, that’s hardly a mind-blowing configuration. When you take into account the price of the Motorola One Zoom, though, it’s a different story. For a sub-£400 phone, the Zoom is an absolute powerhouse. It should have a half-decent charge life too, since its packing a 4,000mAh battery.

Finally, let’s talk about that crazy camera setup. The 25-megapixel, f/2.0 selfie snapper isn’t bad, although it’s nothing to write home about either. It’s that “Quad Pixel” quadruple rear camera that’s going to draw the crowds. It’s made up of a 48-megapixel (f/1.7) main sensor, a 5-megapixel depth camera (for background blurring), a 16-megapixel ultra-wide snapper that has a span of 117-degrees and, lastly, an 8-megapixel telephotos camera with 3x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and OIS.

^Motorola One Zoom camera in ultra-wide mode

That’s a whole lot of camera tech to take in, and we had a great time experimenting with all the different modes during our early hands-on session. It largely involved zooming into the faces of journalists from a great distance away, then saying “target acquired” in a Captain Price voice.

^Motorola One Zoom camera in 10x zoom mode

And it’s not just the hardware that’s cool. Motorola has brought its new night vision feature to the Zoom, which uses frame stacking to produce more dynamic-looking photos in low light environments. Meanwhile, AI Shot Optimisation scans the scene you’re shooting and suggests a more suitable camera mode to help you get a better end result.

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READ NEXT: Lenovo’s TechLife product announcements at IFA 2019

Motorola One Zoom review: Early verdict

At a mere £380, the Motorola One seems like phenomenally good value for money. Obviously, we’ll have to reserve final judgment until we’ve put it through our in-house tests but so far, so good. Most of all, we’re looking forward to pitting its quad-camera against rivals like the OnePlus 6T and Oppo Reno 10x Zoom. We should have a review sample within the next month, so keep a lookout for our full-length review. In the meantime, why not check out all our other Lenovo IFA 2019 coverage – there’s plenty of it!

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