Motorola Edge 30 Neo: in living colour (review)


Looking and feeling great in your hand, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo aims to stand out from the mid-range crowd.

There was a time when Android handsets were divided into two camps; cheap and cheerful – or sometimes cheap and nasty – entry-level models on one side of the fence, and super-expensive flagships on the other side. These days, the mid-range is going from strength to strength, with a great spread of Android smartphones to suit every need without breaking the bank.

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo sits firmly in this middle ground, with some impressive inclusions and interesting omissions considering its modest price tag. Even so, you’ll need to do your homework to whittle down the Motorola options and decide which features are most important to you.

Review: Motorola Edge 30 Neo

Australian websiteMotorola Australia
Price$599 RRP
Warranty 1 year
OtherYou can read other GadgetGuy Motorola news and reviews here 

First impressions

Smartphone shoppers are spoiled for choice when it comes to Motorola handsets, but the sheer number of variants it keeps producing can make it quite frustrating when you’re trying to decide on the best one for your pocket. Along with the Razor range, there’s also Motorola’s Edge, One, G and E families to choose from – the Australia website currently lists 38 models.

Just within the Motorola Edge range you’ve got five models: the Edge 30 and Edge 30 Pro, now joined by the Edge 30 Fusion, Edge 30 Ultra and this Edge 30 Neo, which is the lightweight of the bunch in terms of price and features. Motorola is really expecting a lot of people when it comes to determining the best phone for their needs, considering rivals like Google’s Pixel range offer a fairly simple choice between Lite, Standard and Pro.

Having looked at the standard Motorola Edge 30 a few months ago, which cost $699 at the time, it makes a good starting point for examining this $599 Edge 30 Neo. The Neo basically slims down a little, favouring style over substance in some areas but making surprising compromises in others.

For starters, the Neo opts for a smaller 6.28-inch display, but it’s just as sharp at 2400×1800. The display switches from AMOLED to pOLED screen technology, with a slight drop in picture quality but still a silky-smooth 120 Hz refresh rate. In return the handset is a fraction shorter and narrower, but also a fraction thicker so the weight remains the same at 155 gm – ensuring it feels comfortable to hold.

The Neo makes a colourful splash thanks to Motorola’s new partnership with Pantone, with the handset available in Very Peri – Pantone Colour of the Year for 2022 – or Black Onyx. Each design features a subtle Pantone chip inlay on the back of the device, and an option to personalise the phone by integrating colour across the user interface.

The handset features volume and power buttons along the right-hand edge, with the fingerprint reader built into the screen and support for Android’s Face Unlock.

Unlike the Edge 30 Fusion and Ultra, the back panel of the Edge 30 Neo is made out of plastic, which doesn’t quite give it that premium feel in line with the premium colour. As with most Motorola phones, it comes with a basic transparent protective case. It offers some impact protection, but doesn’t seem as robust as something like a Tech 21 case. Still, it’s good to have it right out of the box.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo specs

Display size6.28 inches, 20:9 aspect ratio
Display resolution1080×2400 pixels
Display technologypOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, 10-bit colour, 
Bands4G LTE, 5G sub-6
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G 
GPUQualcomm Adreno 619
Rear cameras64 MP (f/1.8, 1.4 µm) | Quad Pixel Technology | Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
13 MP (f/2.2, 1.12 µm) | 120° Field of View | Macro Vision | Depth
Front camera32 MP, f/2.4, 0.7 µm
Onboard storage128 GB
microSD slotNo
ChargingUSB-C 2.0 68 W TurboPower charging or Qi 5W wireless 
Battery4020 mAh
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz | Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth5.1, Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Audio
Operating systemAndroid 12
SecurityFingerprint reader, Face Unlock
DimensionsH 152.9 mm, W 71.2 mm, D 7.75 mm
Weight155 gm


The Motorola Edge 30 Neo comes with the latest version of Android 12, running Motorola’s My UX and minimal bloatware. Thankfully, Motorola promises two years of platform updates, and three years of security patches, so you should get Android 13 in time and perhaps 14.

Under the bonnet, the Edge 30 Neo’s Snapdragon 695 5G packs a little less punch than the standard Edge 30’s Snapdragon power plant. Both promise to last all-day, relying on a 4020 mAh battery, but the Neo adds the advantage of 68 W TurboPower fast-charging via USB-C. As is common, there’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack alongside it.

Both feature a 5G chipset, ensuring you can take advantage of Australia’s new mobile broadband networks – but it only supports sub-6 GHz 5G and not the faster millimetre wave 5G which is gradually rolling out in the big cities.

There are other little variations where the Neo is a slight step down from the standard Edge 30, such as the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards, as well as a lack of support for Dolby Atmos and HDR10+. But the biggest difference with the Neo comes down to the cameras.

The Edge 30 Neo steps down from three rear cameras to two, but steps up the specs. The first is a 64 MP main lens which takes advantage of larger 1.4 µm pixels – which in theory should improve low-light performance and reduce noise – as well as Optical Image Stabilisation to deliver sharper images. The second is a 13MP ultrawide lens with slightly smaller 1.12 µm pixels. The handset forgoes the 2 MP rear depth camera.

A LED band wraps around the rear camera housing, lighting in different ways to notify you of incoming alerts. On the front, you’ve got the same 32 MP 1.4 µm selfie camera.


The Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s compromises to keep down the price are clear in the GeekBench 5 benchmarks, scoring 688 on the CPU single core test and 1955 on the multi-core. It’s a 20 and 30 per cent drop respectively compared to the standard Edge 30, but still enough to keep things humming along if your needs are simple.

When it comes to photography, the Edge 30 Neo’s 64 MP rear camera figure sounds impressive but megapixels aren’t everything. The colours are vivid but the over picture is a little more murky than the standard Edge 30. It’s a similar story in macro mode.

The standard Edge 30’s zoom shots are also considerably sharper, if perhaps a little over-processed. Despite the Neo’s larger pixels, the low-light performance is significantly worse than the standard Edge 30.

Likewise, Neo’s selfie camera produces softer and more washed-out images, despite the identical hardware. It’s likely down to onboard processing and perhaps the annoying tendency of some fashion-conscious handsets to deliberately “beautify” selfies by dialling back the detail to hide skin blemishes.

GadgetGuy’s take

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is understandably a story of compromise, but some people will feel that it has compromised in the wrong areas. A smartphone which pitches itself as a fashion statement can get away with a little less grunt, and perhaps even stepping down from AMOLED to pOLED. But in return, you’re entitled to expect a better camera, especially when it comes to low-light performance.

Considering all the options on the Edge 30 range alone, not to mention the rest of the Motorola line-up, if you care about photo quality then you’ll likely find something else in your price range which better suits your needs. If you don’t care about picture quality, a cheaper Motorola might do the job.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo: in living colour (review)
The Motorola Edge 30 Neo looks great, but perhaps sacrifices too much in the pursuit of fashion.
Value for money
Ease of use
Sleek design, striking colour
120 Hz display
Long battery life
Underwhelming cameras
No 3.5 mm headphone jack