Motorola One Action vs. Moto G7: Which should you buy?

Motorola One Action
Motorola One Action (Image credit: Android Central)

Motorola One Action

Motorola One Action

Although it may not be as popular as the Moto G7, the Motorola One Action deserves a spot at the top of your shopping list. It has a 21:9 display that's great for content consumption, a powerful rear camera system that's perfect for GoPro-like video capture, and NFC so you can use Google Pay. If you want a budget phone that stands out from the competition, the One Action delivers.

Motorola One Action


Unique 21:9 display
Triple rear camera combo
Supports Google Pay
Larger 3,500 mAh battery
Supports all major carriers
Bland design
Camera quality is just OK

Moto G7

Moto G7

For all the Motorola One Action does right, we understand some people's desire to spend as little as possible. For quite a bit less money, the Moto G7 is hard to ignore. It has great build quality, a colorful and vibrant display, respectable dual rear cameras, and Motorola's usual software goodies like Moto Action and Moto Display. For the price, it's one of the best phones in its class.

Moto G7

Best for less

Good build quality
Quality Full HD+ display
Respectable cameras
Moto Actions and Moto Display
Supports all major carriers
Smaller battery and storage
Lacks an NFC chip for Google Pay

With the Motorola One Action and Moto G7, you've got two top-notch budget phones that will serve you quite well. If you want a more well-rounded experience with standout features, it may be worth spending more for the One Action. Its rear cameras allow for more shooting possibilities than what you'll find with the Moto G7, having support for NFC is great, and the battery is quite a bit larger. Then again, if you're all about keeping costs as low as possible, the Moto G7 still offers a fantastic experience at a competitive price.

How the Motorola One Action justifies its higher price

Motorola's selection of Android phones can be tricky to keep up with these days, and understandably so. Among everything the company is offering right now, one of the more appealing handsets is the Motorola One Action.

Announced in August 2019, the One Action stands out for a few different reasons — one of which is hinted at right in the phone's name. Motorola is marketing the One Action as an action camera that can perform like a GoPro. This is thanks to its 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, which is positioned horizontally in the phone instead of vertically like most camera sensors. As a result, you can hold the One Action upright and record video that's captured in a landscape ratio. In other words, Motorola has effectively solved the age-old problem of people recording vertical videos.

Another highlight of the phone is its display. Similar to some other phones we've seen, the One Action's display features a 21:9 form factor. This makes it taller and narrower than most other phones, and while this can make the One Action tricky for some people to hold onto, it also allows for an incredibly cinematic experience when watching movies. The display is also a bit sharper than the G7's with a resolution of 2520x1080.

There are a few other benefits to the Motorola One Action not found on the Moto G7, such as an NFC chip for Google Pay, more internal storage (128GB vs. 64GB), and a larger battery (3,500 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh).

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Motorola One ActionMoto G7
Operating SystemAndroid 9 PieAndroid 9 Pie
Display6.3-inch2520 x 1080IPS LCD21:9 ratio6.2-inch2270 x 1080IPS LCD19:9 ratio
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 9609Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
Storage128GBExpandable up to 512GB64GBExpandable up to 1TB
Rear Camera 112MP primary cameraf/1.8 aperture12MP primary cameraf/1.8 aperture
Rear Camera 216MP ultra-wide cameraf/2.2 aperture5MP depth cameraf/2.2 aperture
Rear Camera 35MP depth camera
Front Camera12MP8MP
Battery3,500 mAh3,000 mAh
Dimensions160.1 x 71.2 x 9.2mm157 x 75.3 x 8 mm
ColorsDenim BluePearl WhiteCeramic BlackClear White
Carrier SupportAT&TSprintT-MobileVerizonAT&TSprintT-MobileVerizon

Why you should stick with the cheaper Moto G7

Moto G7

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The Motorola One Action has some very clear advantages over its less expensive sibling, so why would anyone want to buy the Moto G7 over it? Simple — the G7 is a tremendous value.

Sure, you're missing out on the features mentioned above, but that doesn't make the G7 any less of a phone in its own right. It's built impressively well considering the price, the Full HD+ display looks great, and you can capture some solid pictures with the dual rear cameras that will look more than good enough for Instagram and Twitter.

There are also a lot of features shared between the One Action and G7 — for example, Moto Display and Moto Actions. Moto Display is Motorola's excellent ambient display feature, allowing you to quickly see and interact with notifications without having to fully turn on the screen. Moto Actions are quite useful, too, enabling gestures to open the camera by twisting your phone or turning on the flashlight with a chopping motion. As silly as those may sound on paper, they're surprisingly useful in day-to-day use.

Even more important, the Moto G7 shares the same great carrier support found on the One Action. So, even if you spend less money and get the G7, you still have the freedom to use it on whichever U.S. carrier you prefer.

You can't go wrong either way

Call it a cop-out if you want, but you honestly can't go wrong with either of the two phones talked about here.

With the Motorola One Action, you're getting a mid-range phone that does a great job of standing out from its competition. The action camera-esque video recording and 21:9 display really allow the phone to shine, and compared to the G7, things like Google Pay, a bigger battery, and more internal storage make it worth the extra cash.

Should none of that matter to you and/or you want to spend as little as possible on your next smartphone, the Moto G7 won't let you down. It has everything you need for a reliable experience day in and day out, and for the price, is one of the better values you can find.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.