Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review: Flagship Performance on a Budget

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Motorola’s Edge 20 series, which launched last year, helped the company compete very well in the premium smartphone segment, going beyond its familiar G-series and E-series budget smartphones. The Edge 20 and the Edge 20 Pro catered to the sub-Rs. 30,000 and sub-Rs. 40,000 segments of the market, respectively. Motorola has now launched the Edge 30 Pro as the successor to the Edge 20 Pro. While the latter was designed to meet a certain price point, the Edge 30 Pro seems to be aiming for top-end performance. Motorola has opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC to power this new smartphone, while keeping the price relatively affordable. If you’re looking for the latest and most powerful processor in an Android phone for the lowest possible price, is the Motorola Edge 30 Pro your best option? Here’s my full review

Motorola Edge 30 Pro price in India

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is priced at Rs. 49,999 in India, and is only available with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Storage isn’t expandable, which might be a dealbreaker for some. Motorola offers the phone in two colours, Cosmos Blue and Stardust White.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro design

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro has roughly the same design as the Edge 20 Pro (Review). The Cosmos Blue unit I had looked premium. The Edge 30 Pro has a large 6.7-inch display with a tiny camera hole at the top, and thin bezels on all sides. Motorola has gone for a glass back that is curved on the sides, making the phone comfortable to hold. It’s big though. and at 196g, the weight is noticeable. Motorola has opted for a plastic frame for the Edge 30 Pro which is odd for a flagship smartphone.

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro’s power and the volume buttons are on the right, and are positioned a little higher than what I would have liked. The left side is blank. Since the fingerprint scanner is embedded in the power button, I often had to stretch my thumb to unlock this smartphone. Motorola could have lowered the power button and moved the volume buttons over to the left. The top of the frame only has the secondary microphone while the bottom has the SIM tray, primary microphone, USB Type-C port, and loudspeaker.

motorola edge 30 pro Backpaneljpg gadgets360 Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

The Edge 30 Pro has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the back

On the back, the camera module sits in the top-left corner. It doesn’t protrude much, but merges nicely with the rear panel. This prevents the phone from rocking about too much when using it on a flat surface. Motorola has added a metallic ring around the primary camera to prevent it from picking up scratches. I liked the Cosmos Blue colour as it looks very premium. Motorola has given the Edge 30 Pro an IP52 rating, so it should be fairly dust-proof and also able to survive light splashes of water

Motorola Edge 30 Pro specifications and software

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro sports a 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with HDR10+ certification and a 144Hz maximum refresh rate. This panel has good viewing angles and does get bright enough when used outdoors. Motorola also offers a DC dimming option, which helps conserve battery power when the brightness is lowered. The front of this phone is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection, which is a little surprising since the back is made of Gorilla Glass 5. The Edge 30 Pro also sports stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos enhancement.

The headlining feature of the Edge 30 Pro has to be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC that powers it. This is one of the most powerful SoCs you can get on an Android smartphone right now. The iQoo 9 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 series in India are also powered by the same SoC, but are priced a lot higher.

motorola edge 30 pro holepunch gadgets360 Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

The Edge 30 Pro sports a 60-megapixel selfie camera 

You get support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, 13 5G Bands, NFC, and six satellite navigation systems. Motorola also claims that more 5G bands can be enabled via software updates. The Motorola Edge 30 Pro has two Nano-SIM slots and is capable of dual-5G and dual-4G VoLTE.

Motorola has packed a 4,800mAh battery into the Edge 30 Pro and it supports 68W fast charging. The company bundles a charger of that rating in the box. The Edge 30 Pro can also charge wirelessly at 15W and has a 5W wireless power share capability for charging other Qi compatible devices and accessories.

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro ships with Android 12 and has Motorola’s lightweight My UX skin. My unit had the January 2022 Android security patch. The company promises updates to Android 13 as well as Android 14, and three years’ worth of Android security updates, which should help the phone stay relevant for a while. Motorola’s customisations aren’t intrusive, and you get UI elements such as big toggle buttons just like with stock Android 12 and privacy indicators that notify you when the camera and microphone are being used. You can customise elements such as the icon shape, colour, and font style. The Edge 30 Pro doesn’t let you change the accent colour of the UI based on your wallpaper, which I would have liked. Realme offers this on the 9 Pro+ (Review), and it’s similar to Google’s own implementation on Pixel phones running Android 12.

motorola edge 30 pro android 12 gadgets360 Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

The Edge 30 Pro runs Android 12 out of the box and is promised to get updates up to Android 14

The UI is super easy to use and you won’t really have to look hard to find what you’re looking for. You get Moto gestures, which let you perform certain actions using, well, gestures. Legacy ones such as a double-chop to toggle the flashlight and a double-crank to launch the camera still work. Many other actions can be enabled from within the Moto app. I liked the Power-touch gesture which brings up a panel with shortcuts to preset apps and contacts by simply double tapping the power button. Apart from a few Google apps, I only found Facebook preloaded on the Edge 30 Pro, and it could be uninstalled.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro performance and battery life

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is the first smartphone I’ve used with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. It was very quick to load apps and could handle pretty much anything I threw at it. Thanks to the 144Hz display, scrolling was buttery smooth. The AMOLED panel on the Edge 30 Pro produced punchy colours and contrast was good. The stereo speakers helped make the video watching experience even better. However, I did notice that these speakers weren’t properly balanced; the bottom-firing one was audibly louder. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner was a bit out of reach but was consistent at unlocking the smartphone.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 helped the Edge 30 Pro post some fantastic scores in benchmarking apps. In AnTuTu, it managed to score 9,41,189 points. In Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Edge 30 Pro managed 1,194 and 3,542 points respectively. In GFXBench’s Car Chase test, it managed 81fps. While these scores were higher than what the competition at this price level can manage, I noticed that the phone got quite hot when the SoC was under load. That’s not all – battery drain also seemed higher than usual.

motorola edge 30 pro side mounted fingerprint gadgets360 Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is higher than the ideal position and needs a stretch to reach

I played Call Of Duty: Mobile and it ran well without any stutter or lag. The stereo speakers did make the game engaging. However, after playing for about 20 minutes, I noticed that the phone was warm to the touch and battery life took a noticeable hit too. With the benchmarks and my gaming experience, I can say that while the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is very powerful, it doesn’t seem to be very power-efficient when stressed.

In our HD video loop battery life test, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro ran for 13 hours and 38 minutes which is average given the capacity of its battery. With my typical light everyday usage, I was able to get over one full day per charge, but an increase in camera usage or gaming meant that I had to plug it in sooner than I would have liked. The 68W charger took it to 78 percent in 30 minutes, and it was fully charged in under an hour.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro cameras

Motorola has packed three high-resolution sensors into the Edge 30 Pro; the highest being the 60-megapixel selfie shooter. On the back, the primary camera has a 50-megapixel resolution, optical stabilisation (OIS), and an f/1.8 aperture. The second one is a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 114-degree field of view, and it is capable of macro photography too. The third sensor on the back is a 2-megapixel depth camera.

motorola edge 30 pro camera module gadgets360 Motorola Edge 30 Pro Review

The Edge 30 Pro has a triple camera setup on the rear

Motorola has left the camera app unchanged in the Edge 30 Pro, and it retains camera features that were introduced with the Edge 20 Pro. Dual capture lets you use any two camera sensors to record video simultaneously. There is an audio zoom feature that tries to focus and amplify just your subject’s sound as you zoom in.

Photos taken during the day had good detail, and the phone was super-quick to lock focus. The Motorola Edge 30 Pro managed to capture decent dynamic range, and objects at a distance were recognisable. The wide-angle camera managed to reproduce colours as well as the primary camera, but there was a noticeable drop in detail, which was more evident on magnifying these shots. I also noticed some barrel distortion.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro camera samples. Top to bottom: primary camera, ultra-wide-angle camera (tap to see full size)

Close-up shots taken with the Motorola Edge 30 Pro were crisp, and it also managed to accurately capture fine textures. The phone prompted me to switch to Macro mode when I was close enough to a subject. Since it uses the 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera for macros, the output was quite detailed. Portrait shots had good edge detection as long as the subject was steady while shooting.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro camera samples. Top to bottom:  close-up, portrait, and macro (tap to see full size)

Low-light photos weren’t as impressive, and the phone struggled to capture detail in darker areas of the frame. Night mode needed about three seconds to take a shot but often messed up the highlights. I preferred regular shots over ones taken with Night mode since I barely noticed any improvement in the details.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro camera samples. Top to bottom: low-light photo, night mode (tap to see full size)

Selfies were consistently good, both during the day as well as in low light. The phone also managed good selfie portraits. In low light, shooting with a light source nearby helped improve the output.

Motorola Edge 30 Pro camera samples. Top to bottom: daylight selfie portrait, low-light selfie portrait (tap to see full size)

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro can shoot 8K footage with the primary rear camera, but videos taken by the selfie camera are restricted to 4K. Daylight footage looked oversharpened at 1080p but 4K footage appeared better. Video was well stabilised at both these resolutions while walking around and shooting handheld. Low-light footage was acceptable but I did notice noise and jitter when shooting at 4K.

Verdict

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is a huge upgrade over the Edge 20 Pro (Review).and competes in a much higher price segment. The highlight of the Edge 30 Pro has to be the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC which is currently the best you can get in an Android smartphone. Camera performance was good, except in low-light conditions where it could do with a few tweaks. Motorola has managed to undercut a lot of the competition by pricing this smartphone at Rs. 49,999, which makes it quite tempting.

However, the Edge 30 Pro isn’t entirely perfect. While it is powerful, it heats up easily under load. Casual usage was trouble-free, but playing demanding 3D games did cause the phone to get warm. If you are okay with this trade-off, you should be happy with the Edge 30 Pro, but if you want to play a lot of games on your smartphone, the Asus ROG Phone 5s might just be a better fit at the same price.

For details of the latest Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, and other product launches from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2022 hub.

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