Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Will Moto’s latest be the best?
Following a flurry of leaks, the curtain has officially been drawn on Motorola’s latest series of smartphones – the Edge 30 Ultra, Edge 30 Fusion and Edge 30 Neo.
As its soulful name suggests, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is the star of the show, firmly challenging other flagships with its high-powered cameras and fast, fast charging.
Alongside that comes the mid-range Edge 30 Fusion, named so to reflect its aim of combining the best of Ultra and Neo. Speaking of which: the Neo is the more affordable option, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a budget handset. Offered with a range of eye-catching colors, the Neo could be a popular choice for those who want a striking design but don’t want to spend more unnecessarily.
With the prices of each smartphone hitting three key areas of the market, there seems to be an Edge device for everyone. But which, if any, is right for you? Let’s start with the big item, the Edge 30 Ultra.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Key specs, UK price and release date
- 6.67-inch, 144Hz FHD+ pOLED display
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
- 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM
- 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage
- Triple camera array: 200MP main camera (f/1.9), 50MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12MP portrait telephoto (f/1.6)
- 60MP selfie camera
- 4,610mAh battery, 125W fast charge
- IP52 dust and water resistance
- 161.76 x 73.5 x 8.39mm
- Colours: Interstellar Black and Starlight White (coming soon)
- Release date: friday september 9
- Prices in the UK: From £750
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Design, key features and first impressions
The first thing to note with the design is the “Endless Edge” glassware that blends seamlessly into the sandblasted aluminum chassis. Along with offering a sleek aesthetic with the infinity edges, this glass is supposed to offer better protection against greasy fingerprint smudges. Judging by how easily my fingerprints accumulated during testing, I’m not sure how effective it will be in the long run.
The panel itself is a 6.67pOLED count, with FHD+ resolution and a silky-smooth 144Hz refresh rate – using this highest setting will naturally come at the cost of battery life. battery, and there’s not a massive range of content that can use that refresh rate, but it’s still a neat inclusion. Even at 120Hz this screen should be fantastic – we won’t know how accurate the colors are until we check out the Oracle Expert Reviews, but the black level will probably be nice and inky thanks to the pOLED panel.
Beneath that slick screen, you’ll find the 60MP (f/2.2) selfie camera and an optical fingerprint sensor. Other quality of life features include dual SIM compatibility, Dolby Atmos tuned stereo speakers and a cool new feature, status lights. Running around the edge of the screen, these color-changing strips act as notification lights for various apps, pulsing different colors to indicate that various apps want your attention.
On the back of the phone, you’ll find a fairly chunky module, housing the triple camera array. The biggest and most loaded lens is a whopping 200MP, bringing with it ‘Ultra Pixel Technology’ and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), both of which should result in smoother and more detailed photos. The two lenses underneath are the 50MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide snapper, which also handles macro functions, and a 12MP (f/1.6) telephoto shutter designed to up your portrait game.
Running the show is Snapdragon’s powerful 8+ Gen 1 processor, with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage backing it up. Again, we can’t make any calls on this phone’s performance capabilities just yet, but the hardware is certainly impressive, and everything from daily social media to online gaming should be on the table. It has also been confirmed that the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra will run Android 12 out of the box.
Keeping the whole ship afloat is a 4,610mAh battery, which goes hand in hand with another great feature: the 125W fast charger. With that, the Edge 30 Ultra would be able to go from empty to 50% in just nine minutes, and fully recharge in about 20 minutes. On top of that, the Ultra also benefits from wireless charging, up to 50W, and is capable of reverse wireless charging of other devices, up to 10W.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Fusion and Neo
While the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is the most feature-rich offering, it’s also the most expensive, so some people may prefer looking at the more affordable entries in the Edge 30 range.
First up is the Edge 30 Fusion, a mid-range handset that serves as a balance point between the Ultra’s power and the Neo’s affordability. To that end, there’s a lot about the Fusion that’s, if not identical to the Ultra, at least pretty close. The slightly inferior, but still decent Snapdragon 888+ processor is continued here, once again paired with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.
The 6.55-inch screen is also covered by an Endless Edge display, again lined with color-changing status lights. The panel itself isn’t a downgrade either, with the same pOLED FHD+ display and smooth 144Hz refresh rate on offer. As well as being slightly smaller, the Fusion is also a bit slimmer, measuring 158.48 x 71.99 x 7.68mm and weighing 175g.
A smaller 4,400mAh battery helps with that weight loss, but you still get fast charging – just 65W, in this case. Still, it is said to be able to take the Fusion from vacuum to 50% in around 12 minutes and fully charged in less than 40 minutes. The cameras also fall into this lesser, but still good category: on the back you have a 50MP (f/1.8) main lens, a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide shutter and a depth sensor, and on the front is a 32MP (f/2.45) selfie camera with autofocus.
At the bottom of the budget we have the Edge 30 Neo. It’s the most compact of the bunch, weighing just 155g and measuring 152.9 x 71.2 x 7.75mm. To accommodate that small bezel, the screen is downsized to 6.28-inches, but still a pOLED FHD+ beauty, with a slightly lower 120Hz refresh rate. There are no status LEDs on the edges here, but the border of the camera module lights up with notifications. To compensate, the Neo has a custom shortcut, allowing you to double-tap the rear panel to launch an app of your choice.
The older Snapdragon 695 5G processor comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. Impressively, the Neo also retains the same 68W fast charging speeds as the Fusion. The cameras also manage to maintain the MPs here, with a 64MP (f/1.8) main lens, a 13MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide lens and a 32MP (f/2.4) selfie camera.
You can order the Fusion from £500, with Cosmic Grey, Aurora White and Solar Gold colors on offer. If you go direct to Motorola or Lenovo, you can also get a tactile vegan leather version in Neptune Blue. The Neo starts at £350 and comes in Aqua Foam, Onyx Black and Ice Palace, as well as a Veri Peri purple color exclusive to Lenovo and Motorola.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: first verdict
It’s too soon to tell whether or not the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra can deliver on the promise shown in this brief hands-on test – the numbers are certainly impressive, but only testing will show whether all those megapixels and milliamps will get the goods where it counts. The same can be said for the Fusion and the Neo, the question being whether they’ve given up too many quality of life features to stand out in the mid-range market.
Still, there’s a lot to like at first glance about these phones, and we’ll be digging into the rest in the coming weeks to find out if there’s anything to worry about. Check back soon to see our full reviews and which of the Edge 30 devices we think is the best value for money.