The camera built into the Motion is a mixed bag. Good news first: there are lots of software bells and whistles: touch focus, 15x digital zoom, face tracking, geo-tagging, a timer, continuous shot, HDR, and panoramic shooting. There's also a flash, which is usually cut at this budget price point. Additionally, there's an exposure meter, various image sizes, numerous scene modes, ISO options, white balances, and even various color effects.
It's a nice list, but the anemic 5-megapixel camera basically undermines all those options. As expected, pictures taken under a bright sun have better color reproduction, while those taken during the evening have faded color and a loss of definition.
To make matters even worse is the aforementioned subpar display. It's hard to make fine-tuned adjustments when you can't grasp the image on-screen in the first place.
For shooting video, the quality can get up as high as 1080p, but once again the lackluster optics hold it back.
When it comes to data speeds, the phone is confusing. Advertised as having 4G LTE speeds, the Motion does indeed open up web pages and streaming video quite handily. However, it sometimes struggles to keep up, and one gets the impression that performance could be better.
This was confirmed during speed tests. Using the Speedtest.net app, the Motion achieved an average ping of 100ms, 4600kbps download, and 4200kbps upload speed. While certainly not terrible, it's not great either. The test was repeated several times over the course of seven days, and from various different parts of NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens).
Overall, location services were an issue with the Motion 4G. Even after toggling them on and off several times, the Motion never caught onto the fact that its location was New York. We are not sure if this is a defect with the phone or if it's just MetroPCS's end. Which is hardly the most far-reaching network out there.
When it came to casual usage, as in downloading apps and surfing YouTube, the Motion performed just fine.
As for the final test, how a smart phone performs as, you know, a phone, the Motion sadly did not come through. Sound quality on both ends was muffled, and we had a particularly hard time hearing finer details on our end, via the earpiece.
Using the speakerphone helped considerably, but that's obviously not going to be the best solution for most situations.