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Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Not quite living up to the name

Our Rating :
£544.00 from
Price when reviewed : £600
inc VAT

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro offers a telephoto camera on the cheap but makes some big sacrifices to hit its price point


  • Excellent curved display
  • Relatively affordable telephoto camera
  • Speedy charger included in the box


  • Weak performance for the money
  • Middling low-light photography
  • Video options feel undercooked

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is the first of the brand’s latest Edge smartphone series that I’m looking at, ahead of the more affordable Edge 50 Fusion and the flagship Edge 50 Ultra. That leaves the Pro in a middle-ground position and, after testing it out, it feels less like the best of both worlds and more like it’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

There’s a lot to like here – telephoto cameras are still quite rare at this price, so that’s a big plus in and of itself – but there are also some glaring issues that put the Edge 50 Pro at a disadvantage to similarly priced alternatives. With mediocre performance and a relatively rudimentary video suite, can the Motorola Edge 50 Pro compete with more fully featured mid-range phones?

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Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: What you need to know

With the Ultra variant returning to the lineup, the Edge 50 Pro gets shunted down to second-in-command and as such, there are a few concessions compared to the previous generation. I didn’t review the Edge 40 Pro, so don’t know exactly how the new Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset compares, but it’s certainly a fair bit slower than other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones we’ve tested.

Paired with the new processor are a massive 12GB of RAM and 512GB of non-expandable storage, as well as a 4,500 mAh battery that can be swiftly juiced up via the provided 125W charger. Also supported are 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging.

The display is still a pOLED panel but the Edge 40 Pro’s ludicrous 165Hz refresh rate has been dialled back to 144Hz – which is still outstanding in a field dominated by 120Hz devices. Even better, the resolution is a little higher this time around at 2,712 x 1,220. Tucked into that display is the 50MP selfie camera, which sounds worse than the Edge 40 Ultra’s 60MP lens but has a wider aperture (f/1.9, compared to f/2.4).

There have been some changes to the rear cameras, too. The 50MP main camera has a wider f/1.4 aperture, while the rear telephoto lens is slightly lower resolution at 10MP but comes equipped with a farther-reaching 3x optical zoom. The only camera that really suffers from this downgrade is the ultrawide, which keeps the f/2.2 aperture but drops the resolution from 50MP down to 13MP.

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Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Price and competition

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro retails for £600, which is £100 less than last year’s Edge 40 Pro. This price is the tipping point between what I’d consider to be mid-range and what teeters over into full-blown flagship territory.

Right at the same price, we have the Nothing Phone (2), which currently costs £519 for an equivalent 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Along with its unique design, the Phone (2) is a solid performer and delivered one of the best battery life results I’ve ever seen, but the cameras aren’t the best and there’s no telephoto lens.

A dark horse here could end up being Google’s Pixel 8a (£559 for the 256GB model). Despite lacking the Edge 50 Pro’s telephoto lens and cavernous storage, the Pixel 8a is a serious contender thanks to a terrific camera suite, a gorgeous display and a phenomenal seven years of OS and security updates.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Design and key features

Befitting a phone of this price, the Edge 50 Pro is slim and sleek, measuring 72 x 8.2 x 161mm and weighing 186g – a solid weight loss from the 199g Edge 40 Pro. The vegan leather that coats the rear is soft and offers enough friction to keep the phone from sliding around when lying face up, but as you may be able to see in these pictures, it picks up dust and debris a little too easily.

That aside, it’s a good-looking phone; my model came in the Luxe Lavender colour but there are also Black Beauty and Moonlight Pearl styles, the latter of which trades the vegan leather for a pearlescent polymer finish. All three look the part, with slim, curved edges and a subtle camera bump that flows seamlessly into the rest of the rear, and are well protected thanks to the IP68 dust and water resistance rating.

As the name suggests, those edges feature Motorola’s edge lighting notification system, which helps you see when you’ve received a message or an Instagram like, even when the phone is face down. There’s also face unlocking courtesy of the selfie camera and a biometric fingerprint sensor beneath the display. There’s no 3.5mm jack or microSD port, however.

As for the software, the Edge 50 Pro launches with Android 14 and offers one of the cleanest installations you can get outside of Google, with straightforward layouts and a relatively clear app drawer, barring a handful of preinstalled games. Motorola has promised three years of software updates and four years of security patches. Normally, I’d call that decent enough but Google’s recent commitment to seven years of support for the Pixel 8a has thrown a spanner in the works, leaving Motorola’s offering feeling a little lacking.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Display

As tends to be the case with the Edge series, the biggest strength of the Motorola Edge 50 Pro is its display. This gorgeous, curved 6.7in pOLED panel looks great with either the Vivid or Radiant colour profiles but the Natural setting is most notable. On this profile, I recorded a terrific sRGB coverage of 97.9% and a total volume of 98.9%. Even better, the average Delta E colour variance score came back at just 0.56, which translates to phenomenal colour accuracy.

Realistically, going beyond a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone quickly falls into diminishing returns, with users unlikely to notice any meaningful differences. So the 144Hz here may be overkill but it’s still as smooth as you’d expect, scrolling without stutters and hopping between apps seamlessly.

Brightness is another high point; the standard peak of 485cd/m2 is solid, but swapping to adaptive brightness and shining a torch on the light sensor pushed it to a fantastic 1,140cd/m2. HDR content gets nice and bright as well, hitting a searing 1,690cd/m2 in my testing.

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Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Performance and battery life

The 2.63GHz Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor used here is a fine platform but my testing showed it to be quite lacking compared to other options around this price.

In the Geekbench 6 benchmarks, the Nothing Phone (2) soared more than 50% ahead of the Motorola Edge 50 Pro in the single-core portion and 47% in the multi-core portion. Even the Google Pixel 8a, which is a fair bit cheaper, scored 49% and 42% better in the single and multi-core sections, respectively. That’s not a great look for Motorola.

Motorol Edge 50 Pro review - Geekbench 6 chartGaming performance feels pretty lacklustre as well. I was able to play Asphalt 9: Legends but the frame rate was noticeably choppy in places. I had a much smoother experience gaming on the Google Pixel 8a, as evidenced by its higher GFXBench results. The Nothing Phone (2) locked at 60fps when we tested it, but you only need to look at that stellar offscreen result to see the gaming power it has to offer.

Motorol Edge 50 Pro review - GFXBench chartI wasn’t thrilled with the Edge 50 Pro’s battery life, either. The result of 20hrs 50mins isn’t bad and should be enough to get you through a day of moderate use with no problems, but as you can see below, there’s better stamina to be had for this kind of money. The Nothing Phone (2) wipes the floor with the competition, but even the cheaper Google Pixel 8a lasts a few hours longer.

Motorol Edge 50 Pro review - battery life chartThe saving grace here is the 125W charger that’s bundled in the box. Motorola claims that this plug can fill the battery from empty in just 18 minutes, and my testing gave me no reason to doubt that figure.

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Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Cameras

After some relatively disappointing results in the performance section, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro came out swinging in the camera testing. Most outstanding is the inclusion of a 10MP (f/2.0) 3x telephoto lens, which is particularly rare at this price – even the pricier Google Pixel 8 and Apple iPhone 15 lack telephoto cameras.

It’s a solid unit, too, plucking out great detail in the brickwork of the houses, and even producing some decent definition in the trees in the background.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review - telephoto camera sample

It’s overshadowed by the telephoto lens but the 50MP main camera is a terrific shooter too, with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a super-wide f/1.4 aperture delivering plenty of detail in the trees and houses.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review - camera sample 1

While the colour balance in the above image is mostly fine, I did notice that going anywhere predominantly green resulted in the “Shot Optimisation” feature going rogue and ruining the image with blown-out highlights and massively overprocessed colours. This is very simple to turn off in the camera settings, and I’d highly recommend doing so if you enjoy nature shots.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review - camera sample 2

Despite that wide aperture, the night mode is a little hit-and-miss; the artificial brightening is decent enough but it layers on a yellowish hue that distorts the rest of the colours, and the detail in the trees isn’t as good as it could be.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review - night camera sample

The 13MP (f/2.2) ultrawide camera is the weakest of the rear trio. Detail is reasonable and maintained well to the outer edges, but the colours are noticeably duller than the main lens and the contrast is a little too washed out.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review - ultrawide camera sample

My last gripe here is with the video. Footage is decent but it lacks the OIS of the main camera and there’s no option to shoot in 4K at 60fps. The Nothing Phone (2) offers both of these features, and both are something that I’d expect to see at this kind of price.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro review: Verdict

There’s a very specific cohort for whom the Motorola Edge 50 Pro is perfect: anyone after a cheap telephoto camera phone will find this to be one of the most affordable options around. Along with that, you’re getting an excellent display, nippy fast charging and plenty of storage space.

If you aren’t fussed about telephoto shooters, however, I can’t recommend you buy the Motorola Edge 50 Pro. The rest of the camera suite has some wobbles and the performance sacrifices are simply too steep considering the price being asked. Most people will be better off picking up a Google Pixel 8a, instead – the charging speeds and internal storage aren’t as good, but the display is equally fantastic and performance, battery life, software support and general camera quality are all superior.

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