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Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Will Moto’s latest be its greatest?

The high-end Motorola Edge 30 Ultra leads the pack with its massive 200MP camera and zippy 125W fast charging

Following a flurry of leaks, the curtain has officially been pulled back on Motorola’s latest series of smartphones: the Edge 30 Ultra, Edge 30 Fusion and Edge 30 Neo.

As its emotive name would suggest, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is the star of the show, bringing a firm challenge to other flagships with its high-power cameras and speedy fast charging.

Alongside it comes the mid-range Edge 30 Fusion, named as such to reflect its goal of combining the best of the Ultra and the Neo. The Neo is the most affordable option, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a budget handset. Offered with an eye-catching array of colours, the Neo could be a popular choice for those who want a striking design but don’t want to spend more needlessly.

With the prices of each smartphone hitting three key areas in the market, there seems to be an Edge device for everyone. But which, if any of them, is right for you? Let’s start with the big ticket item, the Edge 30 Ultra.

Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Key specifications, UK price and release date

  • 6.67in, 144Hz FHD+ pOLED display
  • Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
  • 8GB or 12GB of RAM
  • 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage
  • Triple camera array: 200MP (f/1.9) main camera, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 12MP (f/1.6) telephoto portrait
  • 60MP selfie camera
  • 4,610mAh battery, 125W fast charging
  • IP52 dust and water resistance
  • 161.8 x 73.5 x 8.4mm
  • 198.5g
  • Colours: Interstellar Black and Starlight White (due soon)
  • Release date: Friday 9 September
  • UK price: From £750

Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Design, key features and first impressions

The first thing of note with the design is the “Endless Edge” glasswork, which seamlessly blends into the sandblasted aluminium chassis. As well as providing a sleek aesthetic with the infinity edges, this glass is said to provide better protection against greasy fingerprint smudges. Judging by how easily my fingerprints accumulated during testing, I’m not sure how effective this will be in the long run.

The panel itself is a 6.67 pOLED number, with an FHD+ resolution and silky smooth 144Hz refresh rate – using this highest setting will naturally come at the expense of battery life, and there isn’t a massive range of content that can utilise this refresh rate, but it’s still a neat inclusion. Even at 120Hz, this screen should look fantastic – we won’t know how accurate the colours are until we’ve consulted the Expert Reviews oracle, but the black level will likely be nice and inky thanks to the pOLED panel.

Under 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 an interesting new feature, the status lights. Running around the edge of the display, these colour-changing strips act as notification lights for various apps, pulsing different colours 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 largest and most in charge lens is a whopping 200MP, bringing with it “Ultra Pixel Technology” and optical image stabilisation (OIS), both of which should make for smoother, more detailed photos. The two lenses beneath it are the 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide snapper, which also handles macro duties, and a 12MP (f/1.6) telephoto shutter designed to improve your portrait game.

Running the show is Snapdragon’s powerful 8+ Gen 1 processor, with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage space backing it up. Again, we can’t make any calls on the performance capabilities of this phone just yet, but the hardware is certainly impressive, and everything from daily social media to online games should be on the table. It’s 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 in tandem with another exciting feature – the 125W fast charger. With this, the Edge 30 Ultra is said to be able to go from empty to 50% in just nine minutes, and onto fully charged in around 20 minutes. On top of that, the Ultra also benefits from wireless charging, up to 50W, and is able to reverse-charge other devices wirelessly, 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 to look 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 nice balancing point between the power of the Ultra and the affordability of the Neo. To that end, there’s a lot about the Fusion that is, if not identical to the Ultra, at least close enough. The slightly inferior, but still decent, Snapdragon 888+ processor is used here, once again paired with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.

The 6.55in display is also coated with an Endless Edge display, again bordered by colour-changing status lights. The panel itself isn’t a downgrade either, with the same pOLED FHD+ display and slick 144Hz refresh rate on offer. Along with being slightly smaller, the Fusion is also a bit slimmer, measuring 158.5 x 72 x 7.7mm and weighing 175g.

A smaller 4,400mAh battery contributes to that weight loss, but you still get fast charging – just 65W, in this case. Still, it’s said to be able to take the Fusion from empty to 50% in around 12 minutes, and hit fully charged in under 40 minutes. Cameras also fall into this category of lesser, but still good. On the back, you’ve got a 50MP (f/1.8) main lens, a 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide shutter and a depth sensor, and on the front is a 32MP (f/2.45) selfie camera complete with autofocus.

At the lower end of the budget, we’ve got the Edge 30 Neo. This is the most compact of the bunch, weighing in at just 155g and measuring 152.9 x 71.2 x 7.8mm. To fit on this petite frame, the display is down to 6.28in, but is still a pOLED FHD+ beauty, with a slightly lower refresh rate of 120Hz. There are no status lights around the edges here, but the border of the camera module lights up with notifications. To compensate, the Neo features 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 either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Impressively, the Neo also retains the same 68W fast charging speeds as the Fusion. Cameras manage to maintain the megapixels here, too, with a 64MP (f/1.8) main lens, a 13MP (f/2.2) ultrawide lens and a 32MP (f/2.4) selfie camera.

You can order the Fusion starting at £500, with Cosmic Grey, Aurora White and Solar Gold colours on offer. If you go to Motorola or Lenovo directly, you can also get a tactile vegan leather version in Neptune Blue. The Neo is priced starting at £350 and is available in Aqua Foam, Onyx Black and Ice Palace, as well as a Lenovo and Motorola exclusive Veri Peri purple colour.

Motorola Edge 30 Ultra hands-on review: Early verdict

It’s too soon to tell whether or not the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra can live up to the promise shown in this brief hands-on – the figures are certainly impressive, but only testing will show if all those megapixels and milliamps will have the goods where it counts. The same can be said for the Fusion and the Neo, with the issue there being whether they’ve jettisoned too many quality-of-life features to stand out in the mid-range market.

Still, there’s a lot to like about these phones at first glance, and we’ll be digging into the rest in the coming weeks to find out if there’s anything to be concerned about. Check back soon to see our full reviews, and which of the Edge 30 devices we think is the best value overall.

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