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Motorola Edge 30, hands on: A very thin mid-range phone with a 144Hz AMOLED screen

The Edge 30 is extremely thin and light, performs well and has an excellent 6.5-inch screen, although battery life could be better.
sandra-vogel.jpg
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer on
Pros
  • 144MHz AMOLED screen
  • Slim and light
  • Decent performance
  • Affordable price
  • No bloatware
Cons
  • No MicroSD storage expansion
  • Moderate battery life
  • Cameras could perform better in low light

Costing £379.99 in the UK, Motorola's Edge 30 is an affordable mid-range phone, although some trade-offs have been made to achieve this price point. 

As far as looks go, the Moto Edge 30 punches above its weight. It's available in just one colour, which Motorola calls Meteor Grey, although it's actually rather bluish in tone. The back is plastic rather than glass, but it still tends to pick up finger marks. 

The 6.5-inch screen sits in slim bezels, and the handset measures 159.38 mm tall and 74.236 mm wide. That results in a claimed screen to body ratio of 87.6%, although we calculated it at 86.2%. The Edge 30 weighs 155g and has an extremely thin profile at just 6.79mm.  

Obviously this means that the rear camera bump protrudes significantly, resulting in instability on the desktop when the screen is pressed. Motorola provides a clear plastic bumper, which although it obscures the Meteor Grey livery, does provide both protection and stability. Dust and water ingress are prevented, to some degree, thanks to an IP52 rating ('dust protected' and resistant to 'dripping water'). 

Motorola Edge 30

The 6.5-inch Motorola Edge 30 has a 144MHz AMOLED screen and three rear cameras -- 50MP wide angle, 50MP ultra-wide angle and 2MP depth. It runs on Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ 5G chipset with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There's no MicroSD card slot for storage expansion.

Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The screen is this phone's most impressive feature. It's a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080, 20:9, 405ppi), HDR10+ support and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. This can be set to be always on, or you can opt for 60Hz at all times, or let the handset handle the refresh rate automatically. I found the screen clear and sharp on auto mode. There is an in-display fingerprint sensor. 

Unfortunately the speakers don't live up to the screen in terms of quality. They pump out plenty of volume, but audio is rather tinny and lacking in bass tones. There's no 3.5mm headset jack. 

There are three cameras at the back: 50MP f/1.8 wide angle with OIS; 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118°); and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. You can shoot 4K video at 30fps, 1080p video at up to 120fps and 720p video at up to 960fps. The front camera is a 32MP f/2.25 unit that can shoot 4K video at 30fps. 

SEE: Best cheap 5G phone 2022: No need to pay flagship prices for quality devices

The test photos I shot were acceptable as everyday snaps, and the front-facing camera, sitting in the top centre of the screen, takes good enough selfies. My limited night-time testing revealed some weaknesses, with over-exposed lights and brighter areas, and under-exposed darker areas. 

The Motorola Edge 30 is powered by Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ 5G chipset with 8GB of RAM. This platform turned in Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 819 (single core) and 2843 (multi core). That's pretty respectable, given that leading-edge handsets currently score around 1000 and 3500 respectively. The Edge will accommodate two Nano-SIMs, but there is no support for a MicroSD card to boost the 111GB of storage that remains when the OS has taken its share of the installed 128GB. Motorola provides a refreshingly light-touch Android 12 install without bloatware. 

The Edge 30's 4020mAh battery kept the handset running for just 7 hours and 22 minutes under the PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life test. The 33W 'TurboPower 33' charger is no match for the 150W chargers of leading flagship handsets, but you'll need to keep it handy for top-ups during the day if you're running any demanding workloads. 

Motorola's Edge 30 is something of a mixed bag. It's very slim and light, with the 144MHz AMOLED screen the star of the show, along with decent mid-range performance. It looks smart enough, although the build quality reflects its affordable pricing. Other trade-offs include the lack of MicroSD storage expansion, moderate battery life and so-so cameras – especially in low-light conditions.  


Motorola Edge 30 specifications

OSAndroid 12
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G
RAM8GB
Storage128GB
Micro SD card slotno
Display6.5-inch AMOLED
ResolutionFHD+ (2400 x 1080, 20:9, 405ppi)
Colours1.07 billion (10-bit colour)
Refresh rate144Hz
HDRHDR10+
Colour gamutDCI-P3
Dimensions159.38mm x 74.24mm x 6.79mm (6.28 x 2.92 x 0.27 in)
Weight155g
Dust & water resistanceIP52
Screen to body ratio (claimed)87.60%
PortUSB-C
SIMs2x Nano SIM
Networks2G GSM, 3G UMTS/HSPA, 4G LTE, 5G (sub-6GHz)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6E (802.11ax, 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz)
Bluetooth5.2
NFCyes
LocationGPS, AGPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS, Galileo
Audio2x speakers, 2x mics
3.5mm headphone jackno
Rear cameras50MP f/1.8 wide angle (OIS) • 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (118˚) • 2MP f/2.4 depth
Front camera32MP f/2.25
Battery capacity4200mAh
Battery life (claimed)32.7 hours
ChargingTurboPower 33
In the boxEdge 30 handset, TurboPower 33W charger, USB-C cable, guides, SIM tool, protective case
Price£379.99

Alternatives to consider

As the cost of living rises, many smartphone buyers are shifting their focus from expensive flagships to mid-range and budget handsets. There's an increasing range of choice at lower price points -- here are three leading contenders.

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