Let me take a minute to praise 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 your phone even when the screen is wet. And you can walk out of here with any of those new generative AIs that are stealing the spotlight. It's not the Google Pixel 8 Pro's thermometer, nor even the iPhone 15 Pro's StandBy mode.

See more information: Best phone to buy in 2024

The feature that catches my eye is simple and involves a double twist of the wrist. If you've owned a Motorola phone in the last decade, you know exactly what I mean. And if you haven't already, 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 turn the phone to put it in Do Not Disturb mode. You can also do a double karate move to turn the flashlight on or off. But my favorite is the ability to open the camera by twisting your wrist twice.

If you've ever tried to take photos of your kids or pets, or any fast-moving unpredictable subject, you know a precious moment when you see it. And you also know that moment may pass as you fumble for your phone. With Moto Gestures, I can rotate my wrist twice while bringing my phone from my pocket to eye level, ensuring the camera app is open and ready when I can see the screen. It's low-key, it's fun, and it really 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 thing. And if you're an iPhone fan and have the 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, there's that Action button to quickly open the camera with a long press. That's all well and good, but neither of these approaches is 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, give Moto Gestures a try, especially the camera shortcut. And if you're wondering about other unique phone features that I'm obsessed with, I'll leave you with this: OnePlus phones have a mode called Xpan, named after a famous analog camera called Hasselblad XPan (also known as the Fujifilm TX-1), which takes a super wide photo with a 65:24 aspect ratio. Check out my OnePlus Open vs. Open camera test Google Pixel Fold to see what I mean.

A photo of a talented woman

Here's a portrait of CNET's Abrar Al-Heeti that I took using Xpan mode on the OnePlus Open.

Patrick Holanda/CNET

I tested the Moto G Power 5G cameras at Trader Vic's in Oakland

See all photos