Motorola One Fusion Review: Can you get any more budget?

0
792

Motorola has a track record of making its smartphones available and affordable to a wide consumer base. With the Motorola One Fusion, it takes that notion to a completely different level. Now priced at Dh649, it becomes a tempting option for a lot of individuals. But should you look at it as a long term smartphone solution?

Design and build

Fancy is not the right term to describe the One Fusion. It has a simple and familiar look with not much that is unique. The chassis is made of plastic and so is the frame, with the only glass being on the front of the device. Motorola does not clarify if there is any Gorilla Glass protection here but it would be safe to assume that there is not. It does however sport a water repellent design with an IPX2 rating, meaning it is resistant to small splashes.

The glossy back of the smartphone is prone to easy smudging

Despite the dash of rugged, we recommend you use a case with the smartphone, like the one provided in the box. Moreover, it would also be wise to invest in a screen protector. As for the smartphone’s other design features, you find all of its control buttons on the right edge. This includes the power button, volume rocker and a Google Assistant button. They are comfortably positioned and nicely textured however do feel a bit mushy when pressed.

While there is a dedicated Google Assistant button here, it has not been that useful in daily use

Otherwise, the bottom edge sports a Type-C USB port and the primary microphone whereas the left edge has the SIM slot. With the One Fusion, you get access to either a dual nano-SIM slot or one nano-SIM and a micro-SD card slot. Unfortunately, you do not get a 3-in-1 hybrid configuration that you might find on the competition. Also, it is worth mentioning that the SIM tray in general is designed quite poorly. Taking it out of the phone is a chore which is not something we say often on many other phones.

Motorola has done well with its button placements however the power button just seems a bit too mushy

Lastly, the top of the smartphone has the secondary microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This completes the frame, which combines fairly well with the glossy look of the smartphone. It feels a bit cheap but it should not be a problem so long as you use a case with it. Plus, at 205g and 9.4mm, the phone’s heft conveys a sense of premium. The back also houses the smartphone’s camera system and a fingerprint scanner which is extremely well placed. However, the speaker on the smartphone’s rear is a terrible idea.

Display and multimedia

Addressing the display on the One Fusion, it is a flat 20:9 IPS LCD panel at 6.5-inches. It has some fairly large bezels with a tear-drop style notch. The bottom bezel of the smartphone stands out for the wrong reasons but quite frankly, you can adjust to these bezels with any problem. A bigger issue is the smartphone’s display resolution. It is only an HD+ specification with 1,600 x 720 pixels boasting a 270ppi. While corner cutting is not unheard of at this price segment, doing it for the display is slightly disappointing. Even competing brands at this price point provide at least a Full HD+ resolution display, some even with a 90Hz refresh rate so Motorola needs to improve here.

While we forgive the bezels, having just an HD+ display is a big let down

While the experience in general is not bad, people accustomed to sharper displays will be able to notice fuzzier text. Of course, things like brightness, contrast and saturation are also below par due to the inherent properties of an IPS display. Combining with that mono speaker on the rear of the smartphone, the overall package does not make for a good multimedia experience.

Hardware and software experience

Inside the Motorola One Fusion, you find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor clocked at 2.2GHz. This is an octa-core chip coupled with the Adreno 616 GPU. On paper, these specifications are able to push general tasks with no problem whatsoever. However, the One Fusion only comes with 4GB of RAM which is a bottleneck in many cases when multitasking. Technically, you could also get by with playing games but it will not be the most optimum experience.

Motorola has done great to keep the software and user experience clean

As for general usage, Motorola’s software makes the smartphone stay fairly responsive. The smartphone runs an extremely clean version of Android 10 with no bloatware in sight. This is what makes the Motorola experience unique from the rest of the smartphones at this price point. Quite conveniently, you do find a few software features that traditional Motorola fans are used to such as Moto Actions which can come in handy at certain times. With the software being so clean, the One Fusion also receives timely security updates every month which is great.

Camera performance

This is arguably one of the regions where any budget smartphone struggles. While the Motorola One Fusion packs a hard hitting quad-camera setup on paper, it is let down by performance. You find a 48MP main sensor, coupled with an 8MP ultra-wide unit, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. Where this camera will work is in day time situations with decent dynamic range. However, as soon as you transition into low light conditions, the camera takes a hit.

For instance, it struggles to find focus and more often than not, images lack detail. Unfortunately, the software experience on the camera is also far from good. Its user interface is confusing and we wish Motorola improves on this as soon as possible. It is hard to recommend the One Fusion’s camera for extended use but if you are in a situation to take photos, it can do an adequate job.

Battery life

Boasting a 5,000mAh battery, the Motorola One Fusion’s stand out feature is battery life. You can run it to the absolute ground but still be left with plenty of power. This is a result of the mid-range processing power on the smartphone and the HD+ display. With a single charge, you can easily get up to two days of back up and even more which is outstanding. While you will not find fancy features such as wireless or reverse wireless charging, it does sport 10W rapid charging, with the charger included in the box.

Conclusion

It is hard to argue that the Motorola One Fusion is a budget smartphone. But it is not a phone that brings the most value for users at this price tag. While we are happy with its battery life and user experience, its display quality and camera experience is a let down. The latter is may be something users can expect at this price tag. However, with the One Fusion’s 6.5-inch HD+ display, things are far from usable especially for 2020.