Motorola One Fusion+ review, Prakhar Khanna

Motorola used to be a household name in India six years back. Soon after, Chinese smartphone manufacturers came and conquered the mid-range segment leading to the slump in sales for Motorola’s G-series. Fast forward to six years later, Motorola itself is now owned by a Chinese company, Lenovo and it is delivering pretty good smartphones lately. The Moto G8 Plus was a decent offering for the price last year. Now, with Motorola One Fusion+ the company seems to have made the right compromises to deliver a surprisingly good package. I’ve been using the device for about two weeks now, and here’s our Motorola One Fusion+ review.

Motorola One Fusion+ key specifications

Display6.5-inch Total Vision LCD
2340 x 1080 pixels
395ppi pixel density
19.5:9 aspect ratio
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730G (Indian variant)
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Expandable up to 1TB via microSD card
Rear Cameras64MP (f/1.8) primary
8MP (f/2.2) wide-angle
5MP (f/2.4) macro
2MP (f/2.4) depth
Front Camera16MP (f/2.2)
Battery5,000mAh
18W TurboPower charging
SoftwareAndroid 10
Dimension162.9 x 76.9 x 9.6mm
Weight210 grams

Hardware and Design

One Fusion Plus review

The first thing you’ll notice when you unbox the Motorola One Fusion+ is how heavy it is. The device comes encased in clear plastic case straight out of the box. It weighs 210 grams and the weight distribution isn’t the best out there. If you use your phone with the pinky finger resting at the bottom of the device, you are sure to feel the bulk within thirty minutes of use. The wrist gets tired too, but that’s the case with most of the heavy devices. Hence, I recommend you to use it without the provided case. Notably, it sports a plastic build and lacks the presence of a Gorilla Glass even on the display.

Motorola One Fusion+

As for the rear, if you have seen any of the Motorola devices lately, this one isn’t any different. It sports a quad rear camera setup with three cameras stacked in a vertical module and the fourth one sitting above the three. The flash lies adjacent to the first camera lens.

There is also the Motorola logo at the top-center of the back, which doubles as a fingerprint sensor. I had absolutely no issues with the biometric authentication system. It is quick and easy to setup. It unlocks and locks the smartphone within a second. However, there’s an animation that takes a few milliseconds to unlock the phone. You are likely to notice it if you look for it. Overall, authentication is reliable and quick.

Motorola One Fusion+ review

We received the Twilight Blue color review unit. The phone is quite a looker, but the glossy plastic back invites fingerprints and it is easily scratchable. I use most of my phones without a case and within two weeks of use, my device has been exposed to scratches by just keeping it on hard surfaces. If you are worried about scratching the back or the camera lens, please use the clear case provided in the box. On one hand, I don’t recommend using the case because it adds to the size and heft of the phone, but on the other, it is a necessity if you want to keep your phone clean.

The dedicated Google Assistant button, volume rockers, and powered button lie on the right edge of the phone in that order. Unfortunately, the Assistant button cannot be remapped to anything else. I would have preferred to use it for opening one of my favorite apps, but the option isn’t there. The power button is easy to reach and locate as there’s a slight texture that differentiates it from the volume rockers. However, it lacks the clickiness I like.

Coming to the left edge, it is clean without any buttons. The top of the phone houses the pop-up selfie camera and SIM card slot. As for the bottom edge, it comes equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack, Type-C (USB 2.0) port, and a single bottom-firing speaker. The speaker can get loud, which enhances the media consumption experience.

Display

Motorola One Fusion+ review

The Motorola One Fusion+ sports a full-screen display just as I like it. No notches or punch-hole cameras here. From the design perspective, I love it. There is no obstruction while viewing media and I prefer it that way. However, the bezels aren’t the thinnest in the budget. The chin is slightly larger too, but I didn’t notice it in day-to-day use.

The Motorola One Fusion+ comes with HDR10 and DCI-P3 support, which the company is focusing on since it is the only device to tout both features. In simple terms, HDR10 support means that the screen can display a wider range of colors than standard sRGB phones. While it lacks a high refresh rate that the likes of POCO X2 and Realme 6 Pro offer in this price segment, it isn’t a deal-breaker.

Motorola One Fusion+ review

It features an LCD display that sports an FHD+ resolution. It offers three color modes to choose from: Natural, Saturated, and Boosted. It is set to Saturated by default. In my experience, the display is bright, has good contrast, and is vibrant. It was easily visible in direct sunlight but in the dark, I’d like it to go lower than it does. Overall, the experience is amazing. I loved watching videos from YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix on it. It is undoubtedly one of the best displays in the segment.

Software

First things first, the Motorola One Fusion+ runs Android 10 and the company has promised that it will provide one major update (Android 11) and two years of security updates. We trust the brand to deliver one major Android update, but when? That remains a mystery. I’m being skeptical because my unit still has the April 2020 Android security patch in July 2020. While Motorola has said it will be rolling out security updates for two years, it hasn’t specified the frequency. Is it once every quarter? It is once every six months? Nobody knows. But I’m hoping the company supports this device in the long-term. It deserves that.

Motorola One Fusion+ review

As for the UI, it is Motorola. It delivers what you expect from the brand. No ads. No bloatware. Clean and close to stock Android. Just the way I like it. Not many devices in the price range offer an ad-free and bloatware-free experience. It comes preloaded with the Facebook app, but worry not. It is easy to uninstall.

Plus, it comes with Moto Actions gestures. Use double-chop to turn on the flashlight and a double-crank to launch the camera. Then there’s one of my favorite implementations of the always-on display, the Moto Peak Display. On the lock screen, it shows small icons of the apps you have received notifications from. You can hold the icons to check the notification and swipe down to dismiss it.

For those of you asking if the Motorola One Fusion+ is part of the Android One program, the answer is no. And it is not bad by any means. The Android One program isn’t synonymous with quick updates any more. Since Google handed over the updates part to the OEMs, the Android One program has gone down the drain.

Coming back to Motorola-only features, there are few other gestures as well. You can use a three-finger swipe to take screenshots, flip for DND, and pick up to silence. Further, Motorola Gametime is another addition here. It lets you block incoming calls and notifications while gaming while also enabling you to add shortcuts for messaging apps.

Overall, the My UX skin on the Motorola One Fusion+ is a win. It doesn’t take away Android 10 features, and the additions it makes are actually useful and worth exploring. It also gives you options to customize the icon styles, the system font, icon colors, and layouts. While setting up the device it prompts you to make adjustments to the theme. Later, the feature can be found in the Settings app.

Camera

The Motorola One Fusion+ sports a quad rear camera setup: a 64MP (f/1.8) primary lens + an 8MP (f/2.2) wide-angle sensor + a 5MP (f/2.4) macro camera + a 2MP (f/2.4) depth sensor. Further, the 16MP selfie shooter is housed in a pop-up camera module.

Motorola One Fusion+ camera sample
64MP shot

The main 64MP camera is the same Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor present in the Realme 6 Pro, and Galaxy M31. It clicks 16MP pixel-binned images by default. However, you have the option to click 64MP images too. And if you want to improve the quality of your image, I suggest you use the 64MP camera mode. It improves the details and exposure over the usual pixel-binned photo. Remember, it takes time to render so it will take some time to preview the 64MP photo as well.

The pixel-binned 16MP images captured by the primary sensor are color-rich and the dynamic range is good most of the time. The photos I captured felt a bit over-saturated at times. However, the photos come out with good details. Moreover, it is quick to set exposure while capturing scenes. It also enables HDR automatically in bright scenes. However, low-light camera performance is average at best. Details are absent in low-light photos.

Previously, I have tested Motorola’s take on Night mode on the Motorola G8 Plus. It looks like the company has worked on the feedback as the Night Mode given on this phone is better than before. The low-light complaints are taken care of by the night mode. You have to hold the phone steady for slightly longer, but the output you get is a lot brighter and with improved details and shadows. Overall, I’m satisfied with the main-camera quality of this phone.

Turning to the ultra-wide lens, it offers a wider field of view. It has a different color tone than the primary sensor. Moreover, the details are blown out and you see a washed off image when you zoom in. It is on par with other offerings in the segment.

Coming to the macro camera, the 5MP sensor is certainly better than the 2MP cameras offered on similarly priced phones. It lets you get much closer to an object than the primary camera. It locks focus quickly. Further, the details are good as per macro sensor standards.

As for the selfie shooter, it captures details and the contrast is good too. The edge detection in portrait mode works well most of the time. However, when you zoom in you’ll notice a haze on the edges, which can make a good shot look bad. The low-light camera quality is bad, but the Night Mode can help somewhat.

As for video recording, the Motorola One Fusion+ maxes out at 4K for the primary camera while the selfie shooter is limited to 1080p. It can also shoot videos with the macro camera. The stabilization is good at 1080p in bright light, but struggles in low light.

Performance

The Motorola One Fusion+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. It is expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. The chipset takes it on-par with the competitors. I didn’t notice any lags while using the device. The RAM management isn’t aggressive either. And switching between the apps is smooth as ever.

It handles day-to-day duties as well as gaming without any hiccups. PUBG Mobile defaulted to the High preset with graphics set to HD and the frame rate set to High. I played the game for 25 minutes straight, and it didn’t get noticeably warm to touch. It resulted in five percent battery drop.

Motorola One Fusion+ review

Coming to the battery life, man this thing is amazing! The 5,000mAh battery lasted easily up to two days for me. My daily usage includes browsing, reading on Amazon Kindle app, switching between Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and Twitter, and of course, calls. As for calls, the earpiece quality could be better.

The phone gave me 10 hours+ SOT on each charge every time. It is the best I’ve gotten after I gave up the HUAWEI P30 Pro last year. While it gives super-long battery life, it takes a lot of time to charge too. Being an OnePlus user, I’m accustomed to 30W fast charging, and the Motorola One Fusion+ comes with 18W fast charging support. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge. It went from 8 to 85% within 95 minutes, whereas charging it from 86 to 100% took 45 minutes.

Conclusion

The One Fusion+ marks Motorola’s return to form in the mid-range segment. It is easy to recommend at Rs 16,999 (~$228). If you are in the market for a smartphone with excellent battery life, good display, and a decent set of cameras, the Fusion+ is the way to go. Add the bloatware-free and ad-free software experience to the set of benefits, and the Motorola One Fusion+ is a no-brainer choice for Rs 17k.

ProsCons
+ Superb battery life– Bulky
+ Good display– No high refresh rate display
+ Excellent software
+ Smooth performance
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