Motorola has largely slipped under the radar when it comes to conversations around the latest and greatest smartphones.
And that’s mostly because they tend to go hard on mid-range and budget phones that tend to be some of the strongest in those categories.
Their latest releases, the Motorola One Macro and the Moto G8 Plus are no exception. Priced at $299 and $499 respectively, they operate on the lower rungs of the smartphone ladder, but pack in a great punch, phenomenal battery life and unique camera quirks that make them both appealing in their own right. I’ll be diving deeper into this functionality in a subsequent review, but for now, I’m going to talk about the macro lens on the Moto One Macro.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the frustrating of a camera not being able to focus on a single, small object — like the avocado toastie I paid $15 for last week at a café. According to Motorola, the decision to go macro was born from a desire to focus on smaller moments and memories, making it the perfect quick snapper for the Instagram fiend.
Moto’s One Macro lens isn’t the fanciest tool in the shed – with the likes of Huawei and Samsung dominating in this space with their flagship devices, but it is a load of fun, and I couldn’t stop photographing the smallest and most insignificant things with it.
For example, here is a photo of a small coin from my jewellery hanger.
This was taken from a distance of about 2 centimetres away, and the focus never failed. While the photos themselves aren’t particularly hi-res and are prone to blurring, the results are still pretty great for a $299 camera system. In fact, the camera system is actually pretty solid for the price, consisting of a 13MP main sensor, 2MP depth sensor and 2MP dedicated macro lens, as well as an 8MP front camera. When you consider that the $1,049 Google Pixel 4 has a similar 8MP front camera and only a 16MP rear camera, you can see that the One Macro is really pulling its weight in the pricing stakes.
Despite my love for taking photos of tiny things, there are also a number of other modes available for the camera, including but not limited to an 8x digital zoom, burst shot, cinemagraph, portrait mode, cutout, panorama, slow motion video, timelapse video and hyperlapse video. There’s nothing particularly impressive about the wider angled shots of the One Macro, but they still go fairly well with the right lighting! Not bad for the price point.
But this is almost forgivable — as the name implies, the lens on the One Macro is designed solely for macro photos. With that in mind, here’s a close-up of a garden gnome.
And of a nice little cactus.
Or some more cute little flowers.
When you zoom in on these photos, the detail they pick up is also very impressive, beyond what the human eye can even see.
I took a photo of my thumb to test it, and it showed me all the gross little cracks and crevices on my skin, which was definitively awful — like that one episode of Dexter’s Laboratory where Dexter gets eye surgery and everyone looks really ugly.
Anyway, here’s a cool leaf.
I had a heap of fun with the One Macro, and anyone interesting in macro photography on a budget should definitely give it a whirl. As far as Insta-game goes, it’s totally upped mine.
Stay tuned for an in-depth review of the Moto G8 Plus, and how the One Macro stacks up against it.