Here’s how “Action Cam” on the Motorola One Action might work
Motorola unveiled its latest smartphone, the Moto E6, earlier today, but it’s your typical low-priced budget smartphone. We know the brand is working on more exciting devices like its foldable Razr, the quad-camera Motorola One Pro, and the tall Motorola One Action. On the surface, the Moto One Action seems really similar to the Motorola One Vision that launched earlier this year. They both have the Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC, a 6.3-inch FHD+ (21:9) LCD with a hole punch in the top left, a 3500mAh battery, stock Android 9 Pie, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the One Action has an extra rear camera over the One Vision, and this camera seems to be the One Action’s main differentiator. Here’s how it might work.
Action Cam — One-Handed Wide-Angle Videos on the Motorola One Action
If you zoom in on the render shown in the featured image or the image shown below, you’ll see text next to the camera bump that reads “117° Action Cam 2.0µm.” This likely means one of the cameras is an ultra wide-angle sensor. The Motorola One Vision, on the other hand, has a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 48MP primary rear camera joined by a 5MP depth sensor.
Now, there’s nothing particularly special about the inclusion of an ultra wide-angle camera. This phone wouldn’t even be Motorola’s first Android One smartphone with a wide-angle camera. At this point, you may have written off this “Action Cam” as nothing more than a marketing gimmick, but we’ve obtained information from a reliable source that reveals how this feature might work.
According to its description, Action Cam is designed to let you record wide-angle videos with a single hand. You can do that on any phone with a wide-angle lens, but what the Motorola One Action appears to let you do is record a landscape wide-angle video while holding the phone in portrait mode. When recording a video, users will have access to the “Action Cam” via a button to the left of the shutter button. Here’s an illustration we made (courtesy of Zachary Wander) showing what this might look like in practice:
Although the Internet loathes vertical videos, many people still record them because it’s simply more convenient to hold your smartphone up when recording. Daniel Marchena, who reviewed the Xperia 10 and is currently reviewing the Xperia 1 for us, tells me he finds it difficult to hold those phones in landscape with only one hand. Since the One Action will also have a tall 21:9 display, I would imagine it’ll also be easier to hold the phone in portrait with one hand. For those users who record videos in portrait only to later switch to landscape, they might find Action Cam to be helpful since it’ll let them continue holding the phone more comfortably. Parents who record their children playing a sport, for example, might enjoy starting a recording that focuses on their kid but later expands the view to show more of the field.
There’s one unanswered question about this feature, though. Will it involve cropping a portrait video (diminishing the resolution) or is the camera rotated 90° so it records a landscape video while the phone is held in portrait? We believe the latter is more likely based on the information we obtained, but we won’t know for sure until the phone is announced. In any case, the widescreen video on a 21:9 display will be pretty small, so I can’t imagine this feature being used by most users except for when it’s really needed.
Since the device has recently appeared on the Google Play Developer Console’s Device Catalog as well as on the list of Android Enterprise Recommended devices, we expect it to launch soon. Here’s a summary of the rumored specifications:
- Processor: Samsung Exynos 9609 (an underclocked Exynos 9610)
- Display: 6.3-inch 21:9 FHD+ (2520×1080)
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie (Android One)
- NFC: Yes
- Battery: 3500mAh
- Front camera: 12.6MP
- Rear cameras: One “117° Action Cam” wide-angle camera, two other unknown cameras
- 3.5mm headphone jack: Yes
Featured image: Leaked press render by 91Mobiles