Slowly but surely, Motorola is carving out a place for itself among the mobile manufacturers to be taken seriously. Also when it comes to the absolute top models.
Last year’s Motorola Edge 20 Pro was certainly a good phone, combining a sharp price with impressive performance. Still, Motorola didn’t come close to the absolute Android top models like OnePlus 9 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for the simple reason that the Edge 20 Pro “only” had the second best Qualcomm processor, Snapdragon 870, under the hood.
But this year, things are going to be different, apparently Motorola thought. In any case, the Edge 30 Pro is among the first smartphones to be equipped with the latest and so far most powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and that’s actually quite a feat.
Faster than Samsung
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 equals towering performance, and our benchmark tests show that the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is seriously in the mobile top league. For example, in all tests it’s faster than Samsung’s new top model, the Galaxy S22+, which we tested a short while ago.
It should be said, however, that the Samsung Galaxy S22+ comes with the South Koreans’ own Exynos 2200 processor, which can’t quite compete with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but the Samsung phone is still almost 3,000 kroner more expensive. And why is that?
Is it because it has a better screen than the Motorola Edge 30 Pro? Comme ci, comme ça. Motorola’s 6.7-inch OLED screen is nice and sharp, and it supports a refresh rate of a whopping 144 Hz (this is set manually, but you can also choose dynamic refresh rates of up to 120 Hz), but unfortunately the brightness isn’t that impressive. We’re up to a maximum of 660 nits, where the Galaxy S22+ boasts a maximum brightness of an insane 1,750 nits. So Samsung’s top mobile is definitely more usable outdoors when the sun is shining.
Continuing the comparison with the Galaxy S22+ for a moment, it’s worth noting that despite the significant price difference, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro comes with a bigger battery than the Samsung handset, and so the Edge 30 Pro even supports up to 68 watts of fast charging, where the Galaxy S22+ has to make do with 45 watts.
By the way, the charger is included in the box if you buy the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, while those who buy a Galaxy S22+ will have to shell out extra for a charger if you don’t have a Samsung charger lying around already. It’s probably good for the climate, but less good for the wallet.
Long-lasting with “pure” Android
To sum up, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is simply the fastest Android phone money can buy right now (the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models with Apple’s A15 Bionic processor are significantly faster, but that’s another story), despite the fact that other top Android models are significantly more expensive.
In terms of battery and charging, Motorola is also right on the bus, and performance is further helped by 12 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of on-board storage. Then there’s 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, the fastest commercially available wireless networking standard right now. It should also be mentioned that, unlike its predecessor, the Edge 30 Pro has built-in stereo sound, which is a very welcome improvement.
The whole thing is based on Android 12, and Motorola promises a minimum of two software updates (that’s up to and including Android 14) as well as three security updates, so the Edge 30 Pro should be long-lasting enough for most.
By the way, note that Motorola’s phones always come with an almost “clean” version of Android, which is also the case this time. So, with few exceptions, it’s Google’s own apps that power the work, while the presence of Motorola-specific apps is minimal.
But of course, trees don’t grow into the sky. On a few points Motorola has had to chop a heel and clip a toe to keep the price down.
As already mentioned, the screen isn’t the brightest, and the Edge 30 Pro also has to do without eSIM, just as the memory can’t be expanded further using an external memory card.
The camera comes up short
And the camera isn’t the best either, although Motorola has improved on this point over the last few years. For example, the Motorola Edge+ from 2020 was plagued by bugs in the camera software, which also partly plagued the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, where we had trouble with it taking too long – at least over a second – to switch from the other lenses to the telephoto lens at 5x optical zoom.
This time we have to do without a telephoto lens, because Motorola has opted for a different camera solution with three camera lenses of 50 megapixels each (wide angle with so-called Quad Pixel technology and OIS), 50 megapixels (ultra wide angle and macro) and 2 megapixels depth sensor, as well as a front camera of a full 60 megapixels (also with Quad Pixel technology).
In practice, this means that the Motorola Edge 30 Pro delivers fine images in most everyday situations, as well as offering plenty of little touches such as slow-motion videos at up to 960 fps and a wide range of filters that make it easy to give your ordinary photos a creative look. Motorola has also improved the camera software, which now responds promptly when you want to change lenses or modes.
But conversely, the absence of the telephoto lens from the previous model means the Edge 30 Pro has had to wave goodbye to optical zoom, which feels like a downgrade. And compared to more expensive smartphones, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro simply falls short when it comes to image quality, which is plagued by both noise and a sometimes slightly unnatural rendering of colours.
You shouldn’t go specifically for the Motorola Edge 30 Pro if you’re looking for the best mobile camera on the market, but less will probably do for most people.
The screen is good enough, but nothing to brag about, so it’s the raw performance and durability in the form of a big battery and support for fast charging that should be the tongue on the scales if you’re going to consider a purchase of the Edge Pro 30.
The extremely attractive price is a good argument in itself, and the fact is that you certainly get a lot for your money with the Motorola Edge 30 Pro.
But it might be worth waiting a few weeks, because as mentioned, both OnePlus and Xiaomi are coming out with their top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 models, and once those phones make their way to stores, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro might lose out at the finish line after all.
At the time of writing, however, there is every reason to give the mobile our Special Recommendation.