Motorola’s latest Edge series handset, the Moto Edge 30 Pro launched in Australia earlier this year for $999, bringing flagship specs for an excellent price which promises an alternative to the usual models.
The phone is Motorola’s flagship, so it’s powered by the latest Qualcomm CPU, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and it also includes what Motorola are describing as a ‘super advanced camera system’ as well as a HDR10+ certified display capable of up to 144Hz refresh rate.
At $999 it’s an attractive price for a phone which includes a lot of the head line hardware of the other flagships on the market currently in Australia.
Motorola has sent us a review unit to check out, and I’ve been using this as my daily phone for two weeks now, and this is how it went.
Design and Hardware
Motorola’s Edge 30 Pro has all the design flair of a flagship phone with a big beautiful display fronting a body which is both thin and light.
The phone sits comfortably in your hand, though it’s a little tall for comfortable single hand use. The volume rocker sits a little high on the right hand side of the phone, just above the fingerprint sensor enabled power button which is delightfully fast. It means a small shuffle with your hand as you reach for the volume, but it’s not a huge stretch.
There’s a USB-C port on the bottom of the phone, flanked by a single speaker which pairs with the phone speaker for stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support on one side and the SIM card tray on the other.
The sound isn’t overly great, but it can belt out music at a respectable volume at mids and high levels without peaking, but as usual struggles a little when the bass kicks in.
The Edge 30 Pro has a matte finish on the rear which comes in a Cosmos Blue colourway which has an iridescent shine to it that almost shimmers in the light. The familiar bat-wing Motorola logo is dead centre, with the Motorola name emblazoned at the base. You don’t tend to notice these details though if you use the supplied clear TPU case in the box, which adds a layer of protection.
There’s ‘Splash Protection’ on the phone, though it’s IP52 rated, which is a far cry from the IP68 we’re used to seeing on flagship handsets.
The camera island on the rear, which contains a triple camera array has an oval shaped glass surround which pokes through the case and it’s slightly raised so there’s some rocking when you put it down on a desk without the case.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro includes a 6.7” OLED display which is ample size for anyone and it offers the deep blacks and bold, bright colours we’ve come to expect from an OLED panel. The 20:9 aspect ratio is great for watching videos or movies on.
While it excels at video, Motorola has also gone all out with the display for gamers with a 144Hz refresh rate. Of course this makes it excellent for scrolling around in the Android UI or in apps, but the games that support the increased refresh rate do show a lot of benefit.
There is a fair bit of bezel surrounding the display, which slightly offsets the premium, flagship status of the phone but isn’t terribly distracting and makes for a buffer against phantom touches which you find on some phones with edge-to-edge displays
The display is fairly easy to read in both indoors and outdoors, though the auto-brightness sometimes fails to amp up the brightness in daylight.
Motorola is selling the Edge 30 Pro as a flagship level phone, and with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB of on-board storage.
Just a note on the storage, while the Motorola website lists expandable storage up to 1TB on their website, there’s definitely no room in the SIM tray for this, but 128GB is a decent size unless you’re going overboard capturing 4K or 8K resolution videos.
The phone itself runs very well with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8GB RAM more than capable of handling anything you can throw at it. There are pauses very occasionally when you’re switching apps, but overall it’s very smooth and combined with the high-refresh 144Hz display it works extremely well.
Connectivity wise, the phone ticks all the boxes. 5G support is excellent, though it is only for sub-6GHz with no support for mmWave – but given the lack of mmWave 5G rollout here in Australia that’s not a dealbreaker. Around the house you’ll find WiFi 6E support a bonus if you have the router to support it.
Battery and Charging
On paper, the Moto Edge 30 Pro is impressive when it comes to talking about the power and charging. The phone includes a big 4800 mAh, and is capable of Super Fast Charging at up to 68W, or wireless charging at up to 15W. It can also reverse wireless charge at 5W if you want to top up a friend.
The phone has solid all-day battery life, racking up some impressive screen time from the time I took it off charge at 6am, lasting until around 10-11pm. I was able to eke out a little over a day, if I made use of the battery saver mode, switching it on at 15%, but you’ll be looking to charge at least once a day.
Motorola has advised that the phone supports 68W Super Fast Charging, but at this stage, the 68W charger isn’t available in Australia, with certification still under way. Perhaps a little down the track.
Motorola has included some impressive camera hardware on the Edge 30 Pro, with a 60MP front-facing selfie camera mounted in a punch-hole notch in the display and a triple camera array on the rear that houses dual 50MP camera sensors and a 2MP depth sensor. One of the 50MP sensors is behind an ultra-wide lens with a 114° field-of-view and also supports macro mode for close up shots as close as 4cm.
The selfie camera is fairly decent, but doesn’t impress with some of the shots in lower light not offering as much detail when you zoom in. The front-facing camera can support 4K video at 60fps which is nice, but I don’t tend to find much use for that type of video at the front.
The rear camera setup for the Motorola is, as usual, quite good under the right conditions. You can capture some great snaps in either standard or ultra-wide during the day, but it does suffer when trying to capture movement, darker subjects and low-light images.
I tend to prefer a zoom lens over the ultra-wide lens, but it can give you a little more information when you’re shooting but the added macro mode function adds something if you need to get right up close.
Night shots tend to be ok but just amp up the brightness of the shot which means it loses some contrast and detail when you zoom in. In brighter low-light shots it’s a fairly respectable shot, but in truly low-light it does tend to struggle to pick up colours and clarity.
The UI is fairly simple to navigate, with easy access to the 0.5x Ultra-Wide and Macro modes, as well as to the video, portrait and pro modes. There’s also a ‘More’ section tucked away at the end of the carousel which brings a few more features for capturing creative shots.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro runs Android 12 with the Motorola My UX software included. Unlike a lot of other manufacturers, Motorola includes thoughtful inclusions to the Android experience including gestures and it also doesn’t change the overall look and feel of Android itself, making it a clean experience that’s easy to use if you’ve used an Android phone previously.
Out of the box, the phone includes Android 12 with the January security update and October 2021 Google Play software. There IS an Over-The-Air (OTA) update available as soon as you check which bumps you to the March security update and June 2022 Google Play Software – but given it’s July, the security update is out of date. Motorola generally operates on a quarterly release schedule so that next update should be here soon.
Motorola has promised 2 OS Updates and 3 years of security patches.with the Edge 30 Pro, but they may not be out as fast as you’d like.
One feature Motorola has been promoting on their phones is ‘Ready For’, a way to connect your phone to a TV or PC to get more out of it.
Using Ready For you can wirelessly connect to a TV using the Miracast protocol and the phone can turn into a pointer to use, or you can even start a video conference call on a TV and prop the phone up to use its cameras.
One of my favourite uses was after pairing a bluetooth controller to it and then playing games on a large screen.
Overall, the Motorola Software experience is what you’ve come to know and love, simple but with some thoughtful inclusions. I would just prefer to get security and software updates faster.
Should you buy this phone?
At $999 RRP, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro offers an excellent alternative to some of the higher priced flagship phones on the market.
Performance wise, the Edge 30 Pro offers all the bells and whistles of the higher end models. It also offers all-day battery life with fast charging options and comes in a body that’s comfortable to hold or slip into a pocket.
The phone does lack the top of the line camera ISP and software enhancements of those flagships, but it’s a good enough camera if you’re not here for mobile photography.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a fast, capable phone without breaking the bank the Motorola Edge 30 Pro offers a solid alternative and you should definitely give it a look.
You can find the Motorola Edge 30 Pro at JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys, and online from Big W, OfficeWorks, Mobileciti and Lenovo.com.