Motorola has GoPro aspirations for its latest budget handset


Good on Motorola for keeping it interesting. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how large a market there is for a budget “action camera” phone, but in a world of samey electronics, at least the Lenovo-owned brand continues to shade in interesting corners.

Honestly, I’m surprised more phones didn’t attempt to position themselves as action devices in the heyday of the GoPro. For most consumers, that trend has largely blown over, and for GoPro itself, it’s become tough to compete with cheap knockoffs and the recent entrance of DJI into the market.

The “action” part of the Motorola One Action is largely a reference to the three camera array on the rear — specifically the 117 degree, ultra side angle that offers a more GoPro-style shot. What’s really interesting here (and could have broad implications) is the decision to change the sensor’s orientation. Holding the phone vertically (wrong) results in landscape videos (right).

And listen, I realize that there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to shoot phone video, but come on, let’s be real for a minute. Those bars a really awful way to watch a YouTube video.

The handset is pretty much a standard budget Moto device in ever other way. It arrives in Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe today. The U.S. and Canada will get their hands on it in October. Expect it to be priced under $300.

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