A lot can happen in a year in the tech industry. And despite – or maybe even because – so many smartphones look so similar, it’s often the tiny margins that make the difference when buying a new mobile phone.
Last year, Motorola was the first to market with a mobile phone with the then brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. It was the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, which was very fast – we referred to it then as the fastest Android mobile phone on the market – but unfortunately also fell a bit short when it came to the camera, which had to do without optical zoom, and the screen, which was not very bright.
A year has passed since then, and the world has changed. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor has been launched, and it’s about 10 to 15 per cent faster than its predecessor. Samsung has launched the Galaxy S23, which has this processor sitting under the screen instead of the Koreans’ own Exynos, and the OnePlus 11 5G has also hit the market, also with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. We had a hard time getting our arms down when we tested the latter just two months ago.
Now Motorola has entered the fray with its latest premium smartphone, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro, which also boasts the fastest Snapdragon processor to power it.
In terms of price, Motorola’s mobile phone is just slightly below both the OnePlus 11 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S23. So even though the Edge 40 Pro is actually more expensive than its 2022 predecessor, it’s still the cheaper choice compared to other smartphones on the market with roughly the same configuration.
This is definitely an interesting development, especially considering that the Motorola Edge 40 Pro is in most respects not only better than its own predecessor, but also gives the two aforementioned competitors a run for their money.
Construction and appearance
You can see with the naked eye that the Motorola Edge 40 Pro is different and more luxurious than the previous phones in the Edge series – or any other Motorola smartphone for that matter. With the exception of the luxury Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, which it takes some inspiration from.
The phone is available in two stylish colours – Lunar Blue and Interstellar Black – and the back of our black test sample is matte with a subtle Motorola logo in the middle. In other words: No fingerprints from greasy fingers!
The mobile phone is slim, but since the camera module stays within reasonable limits, we avoid the annoying tendency for the mobile phone to tilt if it lies on a hard surface, which we know from so many other smartphones. Not least the aforementioned Edge 30 Ultra.
Overall, this is a very well-constructed and robust smartphone with a slightly curved screen, aluminium frame and both buttons (for adjusting volume and power) on the right side, which is a nice touch.
The phone is IP68 certified, while both the screen and the back of the phone are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. It’s significantly better than both predecessors, and among the closest competitors, only the Samsung Galaxy S23 boasts a similar configuration.
Screen and sound
The pOLED-type panel measures 6.67 inches and has FHD+ resolution, as well as a refresh rate of up to an insane 165 Hz (this is manually set, but you can also choose a dynamic refresh rate of up to 120 Hz), which we’ve only seen in wild gaming mobiles like the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.
We’re a little surprised by the resolution, which doesn’t exactly signal high-end. On the other hand, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro offers bright colours and good contrast, and the screen is extremely bright (up to 1015 nits), so it can also be used outdoors in sunshine without any problems. This is a significant improvement compared to its predecessor, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, where one of our criticisms was the screen’s low brightness (max. 660 nits).
As mentioned, the screen is slightly curved along the edges and also offers so-called edge lights, which light up e.g. for incoming calls, alarms or app notifications.
The Edge 40 Pro also delivers excellent stereo sound from its in-built speakers, making it ideal for gaming and other entertainment.
The Motorola Edge 40 Pro has the same camera as its predecessor, the 30 Pro, with one major exception. The somewhat indifferent 2 megapixel depth sensor from last year’s model has been replaced by a true 12 megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. That’s still no reason to pop the champagne, of course – 2x optical zoom is still on the low end compared to other models in the same price range – but the lack of optical zoom was, as mentioned, one of our main criticisms of its predecessor.
All in all, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro offers a camera solution consisting of three camera lenses of 50 megapixels (wide angle with so-called Quad Pixel technology and OIS), 50 megapixels (ultra wide angle and macro) and 12 megapixels telephoto, as well as a front camera of 60 megapixels (also with Quad Pixel technology).
In practice, this means that the Motorola Edge 40 Pro delivers acceptable images in most everyday situations, and for example, the portrait function with bokeh effect gives good results, and the camera offers lots of little niceties, such as slow-motion videos at up to 960 fps.
However, while Motorola promises that the camera will deliver sharp and bright images, we found that our test shots were a bit flat, even though the subjects are actually colourful and detailed, with plenty of natural contrast.
In short, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro does not live up to expectations as far as the camera is concerned. Of course, it can be used by most people to take satisfactory pictures in everyday situations, but photo enthusiasts should probably look for another mobile phone.
Performance and features
If you’re looking for high performance and fast charging, Motorola Edge 40 Pro is an obvious choice, especially considering the price. Remember, it’s cheaper than both the OnePlus 11 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S23, but only the latter performs better in our benchmark tests. The Motorola Edge 40 Pro is better than the OnePlus 11 5G across the board, and since it’s more than 10 per cent cheaper than the Galaxy S23, you can live with the fact that Samsung’s phone is infinitesimally faster than Motorola’s latest smartphone.
The performance is helped along by 12 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of inbuilt storage. In addition, the Edge 40 Pro is ‘Wi-Fi 7 ready’, which is why it of course also supports Wi-Fi 6E, which is the fastest commercially available wireless network standard right now.
In addition, the battery life is top notch, and the Edge 40 Pro also offers extremely fast charging, whether we’re talking wired or wireless charging. A 125 W charger is included in the package, which charges the battery from 0 to 100 per cent in less than half an hour.
So the mobile phone is unstoppable, and if you still need power at the end of the day, the Edge 40 Pro can be fully charged in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. That’s impressive.
Note that Motorola’s mobiles always come with an almost “clean” version of Android, which is also the case this time. With a few exceptions, Google’s own apps are the driving force, while the presence of Motorola-specific apps is minimal.
The Motorola Edge 40 Pro is an excellent bid for a top mobile phone from the Lenovo-owned mobile phone manufacturer. In particular, its towering performance, long battery life and fast charging significantly lift the overall impression. The same goes for the sleek and elegant design, which is both IP68-certified and protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.
The screen is beautiful and bright, while the fast refresh rate ensures a smooth user experience. It’s acceptable that the screen resolution could have been higher.
Unfortunately, the camera drags down the overall rating. Ambitions may have been high, but perhaps Motorola should consider following in the footsteps of Xiaomi and OnePlus, who have both teamed up with camera experts from Leica and Hasselblad respectively. This has given the two manufacturers’ flagship products a boost that Motorola could also use.
If the camera is not so important, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro is perhaps the best Android mobile phone you can buy right now. It’s a great value for money.