We have repeatedly called Motorola the king of the middle class, and the company has given us several excellent mobiles in the reasonable price segment – such as the budget model Moto G30, the premium mobile Moto G100 and the super cheap 5G mobile Moto G 5G Plus.
But until now, Motorola has had greater difficulty gaining a foothold in the absolute high-end class mobile phone market. Thus, the dead-expensive foldable Motorola Razr 5G was a nasty disappointment, while the company’s first attempt at a real top mobile, the Motorola Edge+, was a lukewarm and rather unfinished affair.
Among other things. we experienced definite errors in the camera software when we tested Edge+, just as 5G was not activated on the rather expensive smartphone when it came on the market. And the violently curved screen was decidedly user-unfriendly.
However, Motorola did not abandon the Edge series for that reason, but they have apparently been thinking things over thoroughly before the direct successor to the Edge+, the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, was launched.
A lot of annoying mistakes have been corrected, just as the price has been reduced to almost half! That is an important difference.
Appearance and construction
Where the Motorola Edge+ was both slim and chubby at the same time, the Edge 20 Pro looks more like a completely normal smartphone. It also measures only 7.99 mm in thickness, where its predecessor had a waist width of 9.6 mm, and that makes a big difference in practice.
Unlike the Edge+, the Edge 20 Pro comes without access to headphones, and on the left side you will find just a small button that activates Google Assistant, while you both turn on and off and adjust the volume using the two larger buttons on the right side of the phone. The fingerprint reader is integrated in the power button and not in the screen, which worked fine for us when we tested the phone.
Edge 20 Pro has a fairly large camera module that sits furthest to the left on the back, which unfortunately means that the phone tends to tilt when lying on a table, and then it is quite slippery, as both the back and front are made of Gorilla Glass 5, so we did not always feel that we had a good grip on the phone.
It’s a bit annoying – especially since the phone otherwise feels both well-built and robust, and despite the smooth back, it is also not prone to collecting fingerprints from greasy fingers.
A significant improvement over its predecessor is that the Motorola Edge 20 Pro has been IP-certified, which the Edge+ was not. However, this is only IP52 certification, which can be translated to the Edge 20 Pro being protected from dust (and ergo not dustproof), just as it is drip-proof. So it can not stand to be dropped in the toilet, but does not come apart just because it rains a little. Not entirely unimportant when considering the British weather.
Screen and sound
The OLED screen has the same size as on the Edge+, namely 6.7 inches, and the FHD+ resolution has the two mobiles also in common, but here the similarities end.
The new Edge 20 Pro comes with a screen refresh rate of up to an impressive 144 Hz, which makes all navigation and operation feel lightning fast. At the same time, Motorola has dropped the extremely curved screen edges from its predecessor, which is clearly an improvement. Not least in terms of usability.
The refresh rate can be set manually, and you can choose between 60 Hz, 120 Hz and then the maximum 144 Hz. However, there is no significant difference between the last two options, and since the Edge 20 Pro comes with a smaller battery than its predecessor – but with a screen that, due to the higher refresh rate, consumes more power – it is recommended to choose 120 Hz as a compromise if the mobile is to be able to retain battery power all day.
In terms of sound, the Edge 20 Pro represents a full two steps back compared to its predecessor. As mentioned, the mobile comes without headphone input, and then it also lacks stereo speakers, which is a big annoyance if you play games or watch video. It’s a shame, because the audio experience was one of the great advantages of its predecessor.
Just like its predecessor, the Edge 20 Pro comes with a large 108-megapixel wide-angle sensor. In addition, the phone has an ultra-wide angle of 16 megapixels and a telephoto lens of 8 megapixels.
The predecessor struggled with an error that meant the optical zoom did not work as intended. But that problem is solved now, just as the primary sensor now comes with 9x pixel binning (where nine pixels from the sensor are combined into one pixel each time a picture is taken) to create razor-sharp and better-lit images.
The telephoto lens is also Motorola’s first periscope – style telescope lens ever, which bends the light 90 degrees, which has mad it possible to get 5x optical zoom in the Motorola Edge Pro 20. And sure enough, the zoom feature lets the user get really close to their subject without compromise on the sharpness and dynamics of the images.
The camera can also record video in 8K resolution, just as it can produce slow motion videos with up to 960 fps, which you can see an example of below. Here, too, you get all the details, and all in all, we must state that Motorola has really been successful in producing an efficient and extremely useful camera for the Edge 20 Pro.
However, we were still struggling with a bit of software issues related to the zoom feature. But it was mostly about the fact that it takes a little too long – at least over a second – to switch from the other lenses to the telephoto lens at 5x optical zoom. But one can hope that Motorola can fix that problem with a software update at a later date.
Performance and features
The Motorola Edge+ was the fastest smartphone we had tested to date when we had it on the test bench last summer. With its Snapdragon 870 processor and 12 gigabytes of RAM, the Edge 20 Pro is just as fast as its predecessor, but has been overtaken by mobile phones from other manufacturers. In other words, the new model is certainly lightning fast, as our benchmark results also testify; it’s just not the absolute fastest mobile on the market this fall 2021. But less will certainly do.
In daily use, the mobile is experienced as an absolute top model. Even big apps start in an instant, and the Edge 20 Pro does not even get hot, even if you run a big game like Asphalt 9 on it.
On the other hand, the fast screen update combined with a smaller battery as mentioned means that the Edge 20 Pro is far from holding power for as long as its predecessor. In just over six hours, it could be in our stress test, where Edge + could actually hold power for almost nine and a half hours.
It also supported wireless charging, which the Edge 20 Pro does not, but Motorola saves the day by including a 30 watt charger that can charge the phone from 0 to 60 percent in just 30 minutes, which makes the lack of wireless charging bearable.
We came down on the the predecessor very hard, because Motorola launched it without 5G being fully approved and thus activated on the major operators’ networks, but the Edge 20 Pro does not have that problem. We have also tested the mobile on the 5G network (Telia’s network in Denmark), and it behaves exactly as it should. In our benchmark test, it thus achieves a download speed of 756 Mbit/s, which is not the best we have seen, but absolutely approved.
Last but not least, the Edge 20 Pro comes with Motorola’s Ready For platform, which lets the user connect their Motorola mobile to the TV, computer screen or laptop – a technology that’s basically reminiscent of Samsung DeX.
We tested Ready For in connection with our review of the Moto G100, but the technology now also offers wireless connectivity and PC compatibility. Thus, one can i.a. access mobile apps and PC files from the same screen by connecting wirelessly and opening Ready For. You can also work on two files at the same time or move files back and forth between the devices.
Motorola has committed a stroke of genius by chopping off a heel and cutting a toe, as far as individual specifications on the Edge 20 Pro are concerned compared to its predecessor. It has gotten the price so far down that it is hard to think of another mobile in the price range where you get just as much for your money.
Well, the phone does not have the most elegant design, the screen resolution could be higher and it is especially annoying that it comes without built-in stereo speakers. But the performance is top notch, the camera works excellently, and then the Motorola Edge 20 Pro is the first mobile we have tested in the price range, that offers 144 Hz refresh rate. And the Ready For feature is just the icing that makes the overall package even more delicious.
Hats off to the fact that Motorola has turned something resembling a disaster into being close to a hit.