June 4, 2020

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Motorola One Hyper, hands on: A competitive mid-range phone with good screen, cameras and battery life Review

Motorola’s family of One smartphones includes the Macro, Vision, Action, Zoom and Hyper models, each...

Motorola’s family of One smartphones includes the Macro, Vision, Action, Zoom and Hyper models, each designed with (reasonably) self-explanatory use cases in mind. For the £269.99 (inc. VAT) Motorola One Hyper, the standout features are the highest resolution camera, the largest screen and the accolade of being the only One handset with a pop-out front camera.

The One Hyper is a chunky 6.5-inch phone, measuring 76.6mm wide by 161.8 deep by 8.9mm thick and weighing 200g, that’s a bit unwieldy to hold. The resolution is 2,340 by 1,080 pixels (395ppi, 19:9 aspect ratio), and the IPS TFT LCD panel is bright, sharp and clear. There is no camera notch or cut-out because, as noted, the One Hyper has a pop-up selfie camera. This arrangement won’t be to all tastes: selfies can be a pain as you wait for the camera to appear, but against that is the benefit of an uninterrupted screen.

The One Hyper has the largest screen (6.5 inches) of Motorola’s One series, and it’s the only member of the family with a pop-out front camera. It comes in Deepsea Blue and Fresh Orchid colour schemes.


Images: Motorola

The handset is well made, with some distinctive styling on the back. There is a fingerprint sensor in the middle of the top half, and the camera lozenge is raised in two steps so that the protrusion housing the pop-up selfie camera mechanism and the rear lenses seems minimally severe. The Deepsea Blue colour of my review unit was rather nice; there’s also a purple/pink Fresh Orchid option.

motorola-one-hyper-in-hand.jpg

The Android 10-based One Hyper runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.


Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The top edge of the phone has a 3.5mm headset jack, and Motorola provides earbuds in the box. There’s just one speaker, with a grille on the bottom right edge. It’s far too easy to cover this with your palm when you’re using the phone in landscape mode — this isn’t an issue unique to the One Hyper, but it’s still annoying.

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The One Hyper is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 chipset with 4GB of RAM. This is a perfectly capable smartphone platform, but obviously no match for flagship-class handsets. For £269.99 you can’t expect top-flight specifications, but the One Hyper performs when running everyday workloads. There is 128GB of internal storage, of which 14.5GB was used out of the box on my review unit, leaving 113.5GB free. The handset supports two SIMs, but if you install a second SIM you can’t have a MicroSD card for additional storage.

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Battery life is impressive. I ran the PC Mark battery rundown test and got exactly 18 hours, with 17% of charge remaining. In practical terms this has translated to nearly two days of usage for me. In the US the handset supports 45W fast charging that can deliver 10 hours of power in 10 minutes. Unfortunately that’s not possible in the UK and Europe, which has to make do with 27W fast charging.

The One Hyper runs Android 10 and Motorola is very good at keeping additions to Android to a minimum There are some tweaks, though, including a Dark Mode. This isn’t supported by all apps, but where it is supported it’s easier on the eye and conserves battery power too. 

Motorola puts a range of tweaks into a bundle that you can access via an app icon. These include Peek Display, which lets you see notifications when the screen is off, and some physical actions such as double-twisting the handset to quick-launch the camera and doing a double ‘karate chop’ motion to fire up the torch. These are staples of Motorola’s handsets.

The cameras are pretty good for a handset at this price. If you’re prepared to wait for the selfie camera to make an appearance it produces sharp 8MP images from a 32MP sensor, while the dual cameras on the back — a 64MP sensor with an f/1.9 wide-angle lens and an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118°) camera — are pretty decent too.

Motorola may be doing itself a disservice by having quite so many One-series handsets, but the One Hyper is a decent effort with a large screen, a high-resolution main camera, good battery life and a competitive price.

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