Review: Motorola Edge 30 Pro offers serious specifications for surprisingly nice price

Motorola 30 Edge Pro
It may not be the first brand you think of, but is it worth pickup up a Motorola? Photo credit: Newshub

It's been a while since I had a Motorola phone, with the brand becoming something of an afterthought compared to the bigger names on the market in recent years.

Now owned by Lenovo, it's about time to see whether this blast-from-my-past could make a comeback.

With impressive specifications - including the top of the range Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip - expectations are high. Could the company's flagship phone convert me from my current favourites?

I've been using the Motorola Edge 30 Pro for a few weeks now and here are my thoughts.

The good

There's no doubting the Edge 30 Pro is a stylish device.

It's got a relatively small camera bump on the rear and just two buttons on the side, including one which doubles as a fingerprint scanner.

That minimalist style is mirrored in the way the phone operates too, with a near stock Android 12 build operating system instead of some of the bastardised versions other brands use.

That makes it easier to use and I don't have to choose from multiple versions of the same kinds of apps.

The screen itself is very nice, particularly when you push the brightness level up. Adaptive brightness has its place, but keeping it above 95 percent meant I always enjoyed using it and found it easy to read.

The 6.7-inch OLED display has a maximum resolution of 2400x1080 pixels and is a joy to watch streaming movies and television shows on, particularly when partnered with a decent set of Bluetooth headphones.

The Dolby Atmos stereo sound from the phone itself is fine, but it comes into its own when you're not losing any to the environment. I was quite happy lying in bed, watching Murderville on Netflix as my partner slept.

Interestingly, the screen has a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, above the standard 120Hz most Androids have offered for the past few years and which Apple finally embraced in 2021.

Motorola 30 Edge Pro
Photo credit: Newshub

The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the scrolling experience is and the better games can look - but I'd be lying if I said I was able to identify any real difference between 144Hz and 120Hz. I dare say some will be able to.

For the size of phone, it's also quite light and thanks to the newest Snapdragon chip and the 8GB of RAM inside it - generally - zips along, playing games and multitasking without much of an issue.

More on the rear cameras shortly, but I really liked the selfie camera on the front, a 60 MP beast that made me look about as good as I possibly can.

One thing I really liked was the moving white circle around the camera lens when in selfie mode, meaning you always know exactly where to look to ensure your eyes aren't pointing in the wrong direction.

It's just a little thing, but it stands out as the kind of attention to detail that lets you know how people use the phone has really been considered.

Motorola 30 Edge Pro
Photo credit: Newshub

That flows through to what's in the box too, with a 30W fast charger included. Any company providing fast chargers as part of the package gets bonus points from me!

The 4800 mAh will easily get you through an entire day of use and maybe a little more depending on how frequently you play your favourite games.

If you're an infrequent user then you'll get even more from it - I had more than two days life when I was in a particularly anti-technology mood a couple of weeks back.

The bad

Of course the Edge 30 Pro isn't perfect. Coming in at just under NZ$1099 at the moment because of an online sale (it usually retails at $1200) there have to be some trade-offs for the price.

Part of that is the feel of the phone, with a plastic-y rear that feels quite slippy in the hands. I liked the colour, but the first thing I'd do is put on a case which will cover that up.

I can definitely see this sliding out of my grip and hitting off the floor without some added grip.

I also found the camera app a bit slow, particularly after a reboot.

I don't know if the lag is software specific or not. I was able to play games - like Subway Surfer - without any kind of issue so it may be something that can be sorted with updates down the line.

Given the top-of-the-line processor, speed problems should definitely be infrequent.

Motorola 30 Edge Pro
Photo credit: Newshub

The photos themselves aren't terrible, but they're also not the best either, particularly some of the lower light efforts.

There's also no telephoto lens on the back. It's become something of a standard for higher-specification Android phones and so it's a bit of a miss.

It means the phone might not be quite right for you depending on what kind of photos you like taking.

If you don't consider yourself a professional, the 50 MP main camera and 50 MP ultra-wide lens will take nice looking shots and you can take 4K video at 60fps, but there are definitely better options out there - albeit for generally much higher prices.

Lastly, the Motorola is only IP52 certified, unlike comparable phones on the market which are waterproof.

That means it might handle a little bit of Aotearoa rain, but I wouldn't be taking it anywhere it can potentially get properly wet. If you're a pool bunny, then it's definitely something to think about.

The verdict

With its impressive screen and near stock Android 12 operating system, I thoroughly enjoyed using Motorola's Edge 30 Pro.

I understand why manufacturers want to stamp their own style over the operating system on their phones, but when something's as usable and good looking as Android 12 then it seems a shame.

Who needs two different browsers or two different app stores? It just makes it needlessly complicated.

Motorola 30 Edge Pro
Photo credit: Newshub

At under $1100 at the moment the Edge 30 Pro isn't expensive, and at that price it's going to compete with Oppo's Find X5 and X5 Lite as well as Samsung's Galaxy S22 or A73.

Then it comes down to personal preference and what's important to you. Are cameras a priority? No bloatware? Battery life? That's where individual choices matter.

For me, other brands still have the edge, no pun intended. However, if someone were to give me one of these phones and tell me I had to use it, it wouldn't bother me.

It's sleek, easy to use and packs a punch and definitely needs to be considered an option for those wanting the latest tech without paying a premium price.

Newshub was supplied with an Edge 30 Pro for this review.