Reviews

Motorola Edge 30 Review: The Real Deal

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Performance and software

The best performing phone without a flagship?

There are no complaints about the performance of the Edge 30. With its snappy Snapdragon 778G+ chip, this phone is noticeably faster at opening apps compared to the Galaxy A53. It’s not a huge improvement over its predecessor, but the Edge 20 was already a pretty snappy phone. Despite the fact that this phone is very thin, it does not heat up quickly.

8 GB of RAM is more than enough to ensure smooth launching and switching between apps. Our test model has 128GB of storage, but you can also buy a version with double that. Android 12 doesn’t take up that much space on this phone, so if you’re someone who doesn’t make videos every day or keep more than 20 games on their phone, the Edge 30’s basic storage should be fine.

Speaking of Android 12, this phone has Motorola’s MyUX skin on it. But the word skin is not really accurate in this case. As with the rest of Motorola’s lineup, changes to vanilla’s original Android software are minimal. However, you do get the company’s best software features, such as the double heel to turn on the flashlight and the ReadyFor platform. Overall the software experience is very good and the phone feels very stable and well optimized.

ReadyFor is a platform that allows you to turn your phone into a PC-like machine when you connect it to a TV or monitor. This can be done both wirelessly and via a USB-C to HDMI adapter. ReadyFor also makes it easier to access your phone’s files and apps from your Windows PC. The platform works great on this phone, especially when connected via USB-C. It also works fine wirelessly, but then you need fast internet and an excellent WiFi connection.

Camera

A hit or miss

As for its cameras, things weren’t great for Motorola. In recent years, the brand has made many attempts to catch up with the competition, but most of them have failed. Unfortunately, while the Edge 30 brings some camera-wise improvements over its predecessor, it still doesn’t compare to the best of its rivals.

The Motorola Edge 30 has a three-camera system. The main sensor is a 50MP f/1.8 camera with OIS. This shooter is capable of taking nice photos during the day, but not as sharp as those taken with a Galaxy A53. Still, the results should be more than satisfactory for most people.

There’s one advantage the Edge 30 has over its main camera rival. It is found in the colors it captures. Photos from the Motorola are much more accurate in color than the photos taken with the Samsung. This is because the software does not oversaturate the shots, making them look very close to what you see in real life. But when you zoom in, the detail is just average.

The second sensor is a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a viewing angle of 118˚. It’s significantly better than the ultra-wide sensor in the Edge 30’s predecessor. Daytime photos look good, though a little less bright than those with the main camera. This sensor is also used for macro shots.

The third camera is a 2MP depth shooter, which should help with portrait shots, but I believe it’s usually just there to have a third camera, and it doesn’t seem like it adds anything to the result. †

At night, the Edge 30’s main camera works just fine. Night vision helps brighten the image and the details are good. Still, there is something to be desired. Photos taken with Night Vision often look way too bright, and turning this mode off results in an image that looks soft.

The ultra-wide camera tends to suffer at night. Low light is no friend to this sensor, as it struggles to capture enough light even with Night Vision enabled, and shots look way too noisy.

As for selfies, the 32MP f/2.3 front camera does a great job during the day. There is a lot of detail, although colors look a little washed out in some scenarios. At night, the front camera struggles and takes way too long to take a photo with Night Vision on. If you turn it off, you can forget about sharp selfies.

The Edge 30’s video recording capabilities are good, but not great. This phone can record 4K video but only at 30fps. In 4K, you can’t switch between the main and ultra-wide cameras, this feature is reserved only for 1080p videos. The OIS (optical image stabilization) helps a lot to keep the shot stable even in 4K, which is a big improvement over this phone’s predecessor.

At night, however, the video quality deteriorates as the images are less stable and have way too much noise.

Audio quality and haptics

Finally, this phone has dual speakers. That was not the case with the Edge 20 series, which was a major drawback. The Edge 30’s speakers support Dolby Atmos audio. These get quite loud and have good mids, but I still wanted a bit more depth. See, the bass and treble are a bit muffled on this phone, but that’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just that it isn’t the best.

The call quality is quite good. I could hear people loud and clear and they didn’t complain about how they heard me. When on speakerphone, the phone does a good job of eliminating nearby noises.

In terms of haptics, I can’t say this phone is good. The vibration motor is on the weak side and doesn’t spread haptic feedback all over the phone’s body.

Battery life and charging

Surprisingly good

The Motorola Edge 30 comes with a modest-sounding 4000 mAh battery. While it’s really a bit on the small side compared to other phones at similar prices, this battery still gets the job done. There wasn’t a day that I found myself looking for a charger for this phone. Most users will spend at least a day on it, some even a day and a half.

Some phones will last longer, of course, but as I mentioned earlier, the Edge 30’s software optimization is very good, so there’s nothing to worry about.

The Edge 30 comes with 33W fast wired charging. This charging speed is more than enough to fill the battery from 0 to 100% in about 45 minutes. Especially fast if you charge it between 40% and 80%. This takes about 25 minutes, which is very convenient.

What’s also handy is that you get the 33W charger in the box. You also get a protective case with it, which is very nice from Motorola and further increases the value of this phone.

competitors

Which competitors? The Motorola Edge 30 is a beast of a phone and offers the best value for money in my opinion. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro is cheaper but less powerful and with an inferior display.

We have already mentioned the Samsung Galaxy A53 in this review. This phone is indeed the closest competitor to the Edge 30. The Samsung is better in terms of fit and finish and camera. However, the Motorola feels significantly faster, has a cleaner software and is both slimmer and lighter.

The OnePlus Nord 2T is another alternative to the Motorola Edge 30. It is slightly cheaper, offers comparable performance, but has worse cameras and display. So again, it’s a no-no.

And what about Motorola’s own Edge 30 Pro? What’s so Pro about it compared to the Edge 30? Well, I’ve been asking myself this question since I got the non-Pro model. The Edge 30 Pro offers better performance but is almost twice as expensive as the Edge 30. The camera performance is very similar, both haptics and audio output are close too, and the screen, except it is bigger and has an LTPO panel, doesn’t bring much to the table anymore.

If you like games, the Edge 30 Pro is the way to go. For everyone else, I believe you’d better not spend all that money and get a phone that’s both cheaper and more beautiful, and the Edge 30 is just that.

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