Motorola Moto Edge 30 smartphone: lightweight contender (review)

8.3

With a big screen encased in a slender body, the Motorola Moto Edge 30 is easy on both the eyes and the hand.

The race to build thinner and lighter handsets would seem to be over, with smartphone makers focusing more on screen quality these days. Even so, there are plenty of people who still care about keeping their smartphone’s bulk in check, whether it’s in their hand or in their pocket.

The Motorola Moto Edge 30 is the thinnest 5G phone on the market: a slender reed at 6.8 millimetres, while tipping the scales at a mere 155 grams. Motorola has shaved off 2 millimetres and 40 grams compared to the high-end Moto Edge 30 Pro, which landed in Australia a few months ago.  

With the new mid-range Edge 30, Motorola has also shaved $300 off the price tag compared to the Pro – so what do you sacrifice in return?

Motorola Moto Edge 30 details

Australian website Motorola Australia 
Price $699 RRP
Warranty 1 year
Other  More GadgetGuy Motorola news and reviews

First impressions

The slender, lightweight design makes the Motorola Moto Edge 30 a delight to hold – especially if your eyes demand a bigger screen but your wrist doesn’t fancy carrying the load. The 6.5-inch screen in better-balanced in your hand than something like the ultra-tall Moto G51 5G.

The handset’s minimalist look features subtle volume and power buttons along the right-hand edge, along with USB-C at the bottom but no 3.5 mm headphone jack. The slim-line design also comes at the expense of curved edges, giving it a slightly boxy look, which also leaves the three-camera array slightly protruding from the back.

As with many of Motorola’s current handsets, the Moto Edge 30 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 right out of the box.

Remove the case and you begin to see where Moto Edge 30 tones things down compared to the Edge 30 Pro. While the Pro opts for a Gorilla Glass front and back, the standard 30 features a matte-black polycarbonate back – which looks elegant but doesn’t quite have the same premium feel or hardness.

Power up the Moto Edge 30 and you’re presented with a bright, sharp 1080 × 2400 pixel AMOLED display. There’s no screen notch for the front camera, just a pin hole, and the fact it sits in the middle of the Android status bar means that it’s unlikely to get in the way.

While the AMOLED screen looks great, phone lovers with an eye for detail and deep pockets might appreciate that the image isn’t quite as rich and vivid as an OLED display, like that found on the Edge 30 Pro. 

Motorola Moto Edge 30 specs

Display size 6.5 inches
Display resolution 1080×2400 pixels
Display technology AMOLED, 144Hz refresh rate, 10-bit colour, HDR10+
Glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Bands 4G LTE, 5G sub-6
Chipset Qualcomm SM7325-AE Snapdragon 778G+ 5G 
GPU Adreno 642L
Rear cameras (wide), 50 MP, f/1.8, 1/1.55″, 1.0 µm
(ultrawide), 50 MP, f/2.2, 114˚, 1/2.76″, 0.64 µm
(depth), 2 MP, f/2.4
Front camera (wide), 32 MP, f/2.4, 0.7 µm
RAM 8 GB
Onboard storage 128 or 256 GB
microSD slotNo
Charging USB-C 2.0 or Qi wireless (both with fast charging)
Battery 4020 mAh
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6E – 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11n 5Ghz, 802.11ac
Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE
Operating system Android 12
Security Fingerprint reader, Face Unlock
Ruggedness IP52
Dimensions H 159.4 mm, W 72.2 mm, D 6.8 mm
Weight 155 gm

Features

The Motorola Moto Edge 30 runs the latest version of Android 12, with Motorola’s My UX and minimal bloatware, which is likely to appeal to Android fans. Motorola is promising an additional two years of platform updates, which means you’ll get Android 13 and Android 14 in time.

Under the bonnet, the Edge 30 is the first handset to sport the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G processor. It slightly bumps up the CPU and GPU performance compared to standard 778G, and is accompanied by 8GB of RAM. It’s also a 5G chipset, ensuring you can take advantage of Australia’s fastest mobile broadband networks. As you’d expect, it only supports sub-6 GHz 5G and not the US-centric millimetre wave version.

Once again, all this grunt is more than adequate for most people, but still a step down from the Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 found in the Edge 30 Pro, which comes with a choice of 8 or 12GB of RAM.

When it comes to the screen, you still enjoy 1080 × 2400 resolution, with the slight sacrifice of swapping out OLED for AMOLED but still the benefit of HDR10+. Support for 144Hz screen refersh rate is impressive in this price range, ensuring that apps which can make the most of it are fluid and silky smooth.

There’s also a fingerprint reader built into the display, along with support for Face Unlock. Meanwhile, the earpiece doubles as a second speaker, so you can get true stereo sound with good stereo separation.

When it comes to photography, the Edge 30 packs in a triple-camera array at the rear, which consists of a 50MP primary shooter, a 50MP ultra-wide with 114-degree field of view and a 2MP depth camera. The front sports a single 32MP selfie camera.

It’s worth noting that, as is often the case, Edge 30’s slim-line design comes at the expense of battery capacity – 4020mAh, down from 4800mAh in the Pro. You feel the pinch in terms of battery life, yet Motorola still claims an ambitious 32.7 hours, only down slightly from the Pro’s 35.4 hours.

Realistically, you’ll be lucky to get 24 hours from the Edge 30 – depending on how you use it – and that power-hungry 144Hz refresh rate might not help. By default the refresh rate is set to Auto, switching between 60Hz and 144Hz depending on the content, but you can force it to always use one or the other.

Thankfully, the handset features 33W charging support, which can charge up the battery in less than 90 minutes. There’s also fast wireless charging.

Quality

The Motorola Moto Edge 30 is no slouch and the GeekBench 5 benchmarks tell a decent story, scoring 829 on the CPU single core test and 2903 on the multi-core. Again, this falls a little short of the Edge 30 Pro but it’s still plenty of grunt to keep things humming.

When it comes to photography, Edge 30 takes advantage of the same cameras as the Edge 30 Pro. That 50MP camera figure sounds impressive but megapixels aren’t everything. Thankfully, it also takes advantage of a larger sensor and pixels than Motorola’s budget models – ensuring crisp images with plenty of detail. Colour reproduction is good, if a tad muted, and the camera offers impressive low-light performance. The ultrawide camera also produces impressive results, with noticeably more saturated colours.

GadgetGuy’s take

The slender, lightweight design of the Motorola Moto Edge 30, combined with a large crisp 6.5-inch display, is a winning combination. You also score plenty of premium features at a mid-range price point.

The handset naturally cuts a few corners compared to the Edge 30 Pro, but thankfully those compromises don’t sting too much. While saving $300, you still get plenty of grunt and a premium camera – leaving you with with a solid mid-range handset which won’t hold you back or weigh you down.

Motorola Edge 30
A slender design packed with premium features, the lightweight Motorola Moto Edge 30 is heavy on value.
Features
8
Value for money
8.5
Performance
8
Ease of use
8
Design
9
Positives
Slender, lightweight design
144 Hz display
Great camera
Negatives
Small battery
No 3.5 mm headphone jack
8.3