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My Favorite Way to Open the Camera on Motorola Phones Involves No Buttons – CNET

Let me take a minute to sing the praises of my favorite phone feature I’ve used this year. And to make this fun, I’ll give you a second to guess.
No, it’s not Circle to Search on the Galaxy S24 series or the ingenious Rain Water Touch feature on the OnePlus 12, which lets you use the phone even when the screen is wet. And you can get out of here with any of that new-fangled generative AI that’s been stealing the spotlight. It’s not the Google Pixel 8 Pro’s thermometer, or even the iPhone 15 Pro’s StandBy Mode.
Read more: Best phone to buy in 2024
The feature that stands out to me is simple and involves a double-twist of my wrist. If you’ve owned a Motorola phone in the past decade, you know exactly what I mean. And if you haven’t, I’m sorry you’re missing out.
Motorola phones, like the $300 Moto G Power 5G I just reviewed, have a handful of slightly silly, instantly memorable and wonderfully useful shortcuts called Moto Gestures. For example, depending on the Moto you have, you can flip your phone over to put it into Do Not Disturb mode. You can also make a double-karate-chop motion to turn the flashlight on or off. But my favorite is the ability to open the camera by twisting my wrist twice.
If you’ve tried taking photos of your kids or pets, or really any fast-moving unpredictable subject, you know a precious moment when you see it. And you also know that moment can pass by as you fumble to get your phone out. With Moto Gestures, I can double-twist my wrist as I bring my phone from my pocket up to eye level, ensuring the camera app is open and ready by the time I can see the screen. It’s discreet, it’s fun and it truly brings me joy. I can’t tell you how often I use this shortcut.

Yes, on some Android phones you can double-press the power button to do something similar, but it’s not the same. And if you’re an iPhone fan and have the 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, there’s that Action button for quickly opening the camera with a long press. That’s all well and good, but neither of those approaches are fun. The twist-gesture is nice because you don’t have to worry about finding a physical button. And when you use the shortcut, you get haptic feedback that you’re opening the cameras, even if you can’t see what you’re doing.
So whether you have the Motorola Razr Plus or a new Moto G 5G, make sure to try out Moto Gestures, especially the camera shortcut. And if you’re wondering about other unique phone features I’m obsessed with, I’ll leave you with this: OnePlus phones have a mode called Xpan, named after a famous analog camera called the Hasselblad XPan (also branded as the Fujifilm TX-1), which takes a super-wide photo with a 65:24 aspect ratio. Check out my OnePlus Open vs. Google Pixel Fold camera test to see what I mean.
Here’s a portrait of CNET’s Abrar Al-Heeti that I took using Xpan mode on the OnePlus Open.
Patrick Holland/CNET

I Tested the Moto G Power 5G’s Cameras at Trader Vic’s in Oakland
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