Motorola has built quite the family on their Edge series phones. The most recent launch included the Edge 30 Neo, Fusion and Ultra, covering the bases from the mid-range through to flagship.
The Edge 30 Neo fits the mid-range bill, offering a thin and light design with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695G processor including 5G support with a large 6.28″ 120Hz pOLED display and dual rear camera system and hi-res selfie camera on the front.
Priced at $599, the spec list sounds good and the price is right – but is it the phone for you? I spent three weeks with the Motorola Edge 30 Neo and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is a slim device at just 7.8mm thin and weighs very little as well at a mere 155 grams. It sits comfortably in the hand with easy to reach volume and power buttons on the right and USB-C port, bottom firing speaker and SIM tray on the bottom.
It comes in two colour choices, both of which are Pantone colours thanks to a new partnership between Motorola and Pantone. The Pantone deal also apparently includes branding in the form of a Pantone swatch on the back of the phone.
The first colourway is the ‘Black Onyx’ option sent over by Motorola for review which is classic looking with a matte finish. There’s also ‘Very Peri’, a purple colour which also looks good, but if you like the understated look then the Black Onyx will definitely be the right choice.
The Edge 30 Neo comes with a case, but it’s a hard-shell plastic unlike the softer TPU bumpers normally included with phones these days. I haven’t had any incidents to test the durability of this case, but have always liked the amount of give in a TPU case when accidents happen. It’s no biggie, and certainly protects the back from any bumps and scratches.
The rest of the design includes a large 6.28” pOLED display which has a very impressive 120Hz refresh rate – and also houses the 32MP selfie camera in a punch-hole notch in the centre. There’s bezels around the screen, though they’re minimal on all sides and just enough to stop any accidental touches while gripping the phone.
On the rear is a camera bump that houses the dual camera array that’s headlined by the 68MP main sensor which is paired with a 13MP ultra-wide camera with 120° field of view which doubles as a macro sensor. The bump protrudes a fair distance, so even with the case on, the phone rocks when you sit it flat on the desk.
The bump is fairly large for one reason: an LED band that wraps around it as a notification light. It lights up when you have a new notification, with the plastic bumper case acting as a refractor so that it lights up almost the entire phone. You can configure this under Settings > Sound & Lights > Light Effects, though it won’t let you change the colour, just the types of notifications.
It’s a cool addition to the phone for those who have the nostalgia for a notification LED.
Powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 695 5G with 128GB of on-board storage (no microSD card) and 8GB of RAM, the Moto Edge 30 Neo has a decent amount of performance, though does take a little longer than most to load larger games and apps. That said, it’s a decent performer and will just plug away getting the job done.
The 5G performance is decent on the Boost network, and the 4G option offers good speeds as well. There’s obviously going to be differences between the two depending on how busy the network is, but both offer good speeds.
The phone unfortunately doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but does include a bottom firing speaker which is paired with the top speaker for stereo sound. The phones audio is Dolby ATMOS certified, with a Dolby Logo on the top of the phone. It’s a decent audio setup and includes a Dolby app for selecting your preferred sound profile, as well as a custom option which includes a 10-band Equalizer.
The display on the Edge 30 Neo is good quality with good colour representation and brightness whether you’re indoors or outdoors. There’s good viewing angles so you don’t tend to have to worry there either.
There’s options under settings to customise your colour profile between Natural or Saturated, with a slider that lets you opt warmer or cooler on either.
There’s an in-display fingerprint sensor which is decently fast and accurate for the most part. The sensor is located very far down on the display from where other phones have it, you may take a little while to get used to it.
For those who love the Always-On-Display, Motorola includes it and there’s great configuration options for what Motorola call ‘Peek Display’ in the Moto app included on the phone by default.
The Motorola Edge 30 Neo includes three cameras, a 64MP main sensor and 13MP ultra-wide on the rear with a 32MP selfie camera on the front.
Overall, the rear camera setup delivers decent quality images in good light, with an additional ‘Night Vision’ mode for low-light conditions. The main sensor delivers a binned 16MP output from the 64MP main sensor which stacks the images for a better overall result. The images can look a little under-focused in some lighting conditions, but overall it’s a pretty solid effort. The zoom is purely digital, but works if you need something in a pinch.
The inclusion of the ultra-wide camera which acts as a macro camera is also a decent addition, though the macro shots are a little more impressive than the ultra-wide.
The camera app includes your most used features on the main page (Photo, Portrait, Video, Slow Mo and Pro Mode) with some special features tucked away in the ‘More’ section. You’ll find the full 64MP option in there alongside Spot Color (Spelt the American way) and Dual Capture for photo and video, as well as manual Night Vision, Time Lapse and Panorama modes.
Battery and Charging
The Edge 30 Neo with its smaller frame includes a 4020 mAh battery and includes support for wired charging up to 68W and a 68W charger in the box as well. For those who love wireless charging there’s support there as well up to 5W.
In terms of battery life you’re looking at a phone that will easily get you through the day unless you really try to drain it. I regularly removed the phone from charge at 6am and there was 25% left on the battery by the time I hit the hay at night, but it did continue to drop overnight, so you’d be best charging overnight.
To say the phone charges the phone quickly is an understatement with a full charge in a little over 40 minutes, with a quick charge letting you get just under 50% charge in as little as 15 minutes – nice.
Wireless charging at 5W is, as you’d expect, fairly slow to charge but if you’re after a nice trickle charge through the day or are charging overnight it’s available.
The phone comes with Android 12 installed with the Motorola ‘MyUX’ software running on top. The MyUX skin is so light it can be barely called a skin, with only minor changes made that are all quite functional.
The latest Android 12 build for Edge 30 Neo includes the September 1st 2022 Security update with the October 1st, 2022 Google Play Update. Motorola delivered the November update just prior to the end of November and Motorola are generally on a quarterly update cycle for their phones for updates.
There are very few pre-installed apps, the Moto app being the main one where you configure your Motorola MyUX experience. The app controls all your personalisation settings for how the phone looks, as well as gestures, notifications, Always On Display and even offers you tips and tricks. There’s also a couple of others including the Dolby Atmos app to control sound profiles and a Gaming Hub which lets you control notifications, gestures, auto-brightness and more.
Should you buy this phone?
There’s a lot to like about the Motorola Edge 30 Neo, starting with the light and thin profile that fits both neatly into your hand or pocket and the ‘Very Perri’ purple colour option looks surprisingly nice – if that’s your thing.
It also includes that large, high-refresh display which works super well when paired with the stereo Dolby Atmos speakers for a great A/V experience. The all-day battery life and excellent fast charging capabilities with wireless charging are also very attractive in this mid-range device.
At $599 though, the Edge 30 Neo has some stiff competition from phones which can offer a little more in performance or even better camera. That said, there are always deals and with a good discount, it’s a great phone to check out.