Having settled into its niche of providing smartphone experiences that straddle the line between mid-range and premium, Motorola has once again delivered on that approach with its latest flagship, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro.
It's a phone that absolutely keeps up with the big players when it comes to performance, even managing to outmatch Samsung's premium Galaxy S22 series, which shares the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.
Throw in an ultra-smooth 144Hz FHD OLED display and near-stock implementation of Android 12, along with lightning-fast 68W charging capability and commendable battery life, and what you have is a surprise contender for our best phones of 2022 roundup – and all at a very reasonable price.
That said, the Edge 30 Pro's aggressive price point does come with some significant trade-offs in other areas. For starters, its 50MP primary camera isn't as great as it sounds on paper – particularly when tested in low light scenarios.
And, in terms of toughness, the Edge 30 Pro cuts costs by offering a plastic frame and older Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on its display, making it great against scratches but more susceptible to shattering if dropped.
It's also worth noting that while the Edge 30 Pro has ditched the headphone jack this time around, it still only carries IP52 certification, meaning it will survive splashes of water but not a full submersion.
And, if you're looking for a device that will go the distance, you should know that Motorola only promises three years of security updates for the Edge 30 Pro, and just two major Android updates.
Still, there's plenty to love about Motorola's latest flagship – if you're happy with merely a decent camera experience, and don't mind replacing your handset after a few years, the Edge 30 Pro's exceptionally snappy performance and brilliant display make it well worth the asking price.
Motorola Edge 30 Pro price and availability
Taking into consideration that it carries a premium-level Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, we're impressed that Motorola was able to keep the Edge 30 Pro's price point squarely in upper mid-range territory.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is priced at AU$999 (around $690 / £584) for a model that sports 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, and is available to purchase now in Australia.
Motorola has yet to confirm release dates for the US and UK, though we will update you as soon as we hear anything related to pricing and availability. The phone launched in Australia in March 2022.
- Value score: 4.5/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro design
While it probably won't win any awards for originality, Motorola's Edge 30 Pro is nevertheless an attractive phone, particularly in its Cosmos Blue color option, which offers a stylish petrol green iridescent streak across its dark matte finish.
At first glance, you may think the Edge 30 Pro sports an aluminum frame, however, the old flick test quickly reveals its to be made of glossy black plastic, which is a bit disappointing from a quality standpoint.
Still, the frame itself looks the part, despite being a fingerprint magnet. Thankfully, the brushed Gorilla Glass 5 backing itself does a good job of resisting visible fingerprints and smudges.
Alternatively, there's also a Stardust White version with a silver-looking plastic frame for those who really want to trick their friends.
Meanwhile, on the Edge 30 Pro's front you'll find a flat glass display with a slim-yet-noticeable bezel, along with a single hole-punch selfie camera resting right in the middle at the top of the display.
Along the Edge 30 Pro's right edge, you'll find a power button with integrated fingerprint reader and a volume rocker right above it – both of which are positioned a little higher than than we'd have preferred, meaning you really have to either reposition your hand or stretch your thumb out to the max to reach them.
The top edge of the phone is completely smooth, save for a tiny microphone hole, while the bottom edge holds another mic hole, along with the phone's USB-C port, speaker grille and SIM card slot.
In terms of water resistance, the Edge 30 Pro only carries IP52 certification, which means it'll survive small splashes and rain, but not full submersion in water. That's a little disheartening for a device the feels premium in a lot of other areas.
- Design score: 3.5/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro display
As we mentioned earlier, the Edge 30 Pro boasts a flat 6.7-inch FHD OLED display with an astonishing 144Hz refresh rate. That puts it well above current top-end flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of smoothness, if not in resolution.
It's impossible to overstate how luxuriously smooth the Edge 30 Pro's refresh rate is, making the sheer act of navigating around the device's home screen an absolute joy to behold.
Although the Edge 30 Pro's 20:9 screen maxes out a resolution of 1080 x 2400, images are sharp and well defined, making its lack of QHD support kind of a non-issue on a display this size.
Being an OLED screen, you can expect excellent contrast and inky blacks, while its HDR10+ support brings impressively vibrant colours. By default, the screen's color temperature may seem a little on the cool side, however, it's possible to tweak this to be warmer in the device's settings.
Admittedly, the Edge 30 Pro's display isn't the brightest around, with a maximum brightness of around 650 nits making it a bit of a struggle to view outdoors on a sunny day. That said, its brightness-level should be more than adequate in practically every other situation.
- Display score: 4.5/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro cameras
Despite a lower megapixel count than last year's Motorola Edge 20 Pro, which boasted a 108MP primary sensor, the new Edge 30 Pro delivers a more balanced overall camera array with dual 50MP wide and ultra-wide lenses which are joined by a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the Edge 20 Pro serves up a 60MP wide angle selfie camera.
By default, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro employs “pixel binning” technology in order to produce convincing images at a quarter of the usual file size. In this case, the phone uses a 9.4MP quad pixel structure which allows it to group four adjacent pixels into one.
For images intended for viewing on social media or on a small phone display, this should be more than acceptable. That said, you will notice a drop in sharpness and overall quality when those same photos are viewed on a high resolution monitor.
Alternatively, the Edge 30 Pro's camera app proves a 50MP 'ultra-res' setting which delivers beautifully sharp pictures with an excellent level of detail. You also have access to a Pro mode which lets you apply manual focus, tweak ISO and more.
Regardless of which mode is used, we found the Edge 30 Pro's camera produced accurate photos in terms of color and contrast, at least in normal daytime situations. More on that later.
While many premium phones offer ultra-wide sensors these days, they often seem like an afterthought – even Samsung's S22 Ultra, which is arguably the best flagship phone in the world right now, only offers a measly 12MP ultra-wide lens. So color us surprised to find a 50MP ultra-wide lens on Motorola's Edge 30 Pro.
In our tests, the Edge 30 Pro's ultra-wide sensor delivered a similar level of image quality to its primary wide sensor – ultra-wide images looked great when viewed on the handset itself, but exhibited a drop in sharpness when viewed on larger displays.
Next, we tested out the camera app's Portrait Mode to see how well the Edge 30 Pro's depth sensor handled bokeh-style blurry background shots. For the most part, we found it delivered some fairly convincing results, albeit with some minor instances of wonky edge detection.
We also appreciated how straightforward the mode was to use, with a simple slider for adjusting blur intensity and the ability to tap on the part of the image that you want to be in focus.
Unfortunately, the Edge 30 Pro fails to impress when it comes to the camera's Night Vision setting – every photo we snapped in low light situations suffered from a significant amount of digital noise, while also exhibiting a lack of fine detail and poor contrast.
While we weren't expecting the Edge 30 Pro to deliver night photos on par with a premium flagship like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the fact that it was outshined by a far cheaper phone like Google's Pixel 6a leaves a lot to be desired.
Selfies, on the other hand, faired much better. Apart from their overall clarity, we were pleased to find that Edge 30 Pro's camera didn't lean too heavily on beautification tricks, resulting in natural-looking photos for the most part.
Of course, the quality of your selfies will depend on your lighting conditions, with some minor motion blur cropping up in low light scenarios. To combat this, the Edge 30 Pro will extend your selfie's exposure time, just like with the rear camera's Night Vision mode. In these instances, you'll want to keep your hands as steady as possible.
It's also worth noting that while the phone offers a number of editing tools which allow you to apply post-processing effects like background blur and portrait lighting to your selfies, many of these features are frustratingly locked behind a Google One membership.
As for its video capabilities, the Edge 30 Pro is surprisingly ambitious, supporting a maximum resolution of 8K at 30fps. Though the phone offers image stabilization, our 8K recordings appeared a little shaky at times. Of course, very few people will opt to record video at the highest resolution setting, which is fine because videos looked great at FHD and 4K.
Additionally, the Edge 30 Pro also provides a 240fps slow-mo movie mode, along with a super slow-mo movie mode when is capable of a whopping 960fps.
- Camera score: 3/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro performance and specs
It may surprise you to read this, but very few Android handsets can rival Motorola's Edge 30 Pro at the moment, which is powered by the mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 –the fastest chipset available for the Android platform up until Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4. Not only is the phone extremely fast and snappy to use, the 144Hz refresh rate on its display makes it feel even smoother.
It's no surprise that the Motorola Edge 30 Pro ranks at the top of Geekbench's results. In our tests it we got a single core score of 1203 and a multi-core score of 3498 and a single core score of 1195. The phone also scored 8040 in 3DMark Wild Life which, again, puts it near the top of the list.
On top of that, we've found that the Edge 30 Pro's real world performance actually lives up to what its benchmark tests show. The everyday user experience is fast and consistent – apps start quickly and switch fluidly.
If you play games on your mobile and are committed to always having top performance, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is a great choice. You'd be hard pressed to find a faster Android phone in its price range.
- Performance score: 4.5/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro software
Like previous Motorola handsets, the Edge 30 Pro offers a near-stock Android experience (in this case, Android 12), meaning we didn't find any bloatware or huge cosmetic tweaks to speak of.
We're also pleased to find that Motorola has been keeping on top of its security updates, with the latest August 2022 patch already applied.
That said, we were a little surprised and disappointed by the phone's half-hearted implementation of Google's Material You design, which debuted with Android 12.
While it's entirely possible to personalize the handset with colors that carry across to its menus, Google apps and specific widgets, the Material You styling basically stops there, with app icons sticking to their default colors.
- Software score: 4/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro battery life
Motorola's Edge 30 Pro also impresses with good battery life. It easily lasts a full day even with intensive use such as playing games, listening to podcasts and extensive web browsing. With more moderate usage you can also push it to go for two straight days before needing to plug it in.
Thankfully there is a charger bundled in the box which is definitely appreciated at a time when companies like Apple and Samsung have stopped including them. Motorola provides you with an exceptionally fast charging 68W brick, which can charge from 0 to 50 percent in just 15 minutes.
You also wirelessly charge the Motorola Edge 30 Pro with 15 W wireless charging – again not as impressive but glad that its back since it has been a missing feature on Motorola flagship phones from the last couple of years.
- Battery score: 4/5
Motorola Edge 30 Pro score card
|Design||An attractive device which is let down slightly by cheaper materials||3.5/5|
|Display||A gorgeous OLED display with a buttery smooth 144Hz refresh rate||4.5/5|
|Performance||Outstanding premium-level performance at an upper mid-range price||4.5/5|
|Camera||The Edge 30 Pro’s cameras are fine during the day but terrible at night||3/5|
|Battery||Great battery life is backed up by incredibly fast charging capability||3/5|
|Software||A near-stock implementation of Android 12 which lacks some Material You features||4/5|
Should I buy the Motorola Edge 30 Pro?
Buy it if…
Don't buy it if…
- First reviewed August 2022