REVIEW: Motorola’s Edge 30 Ultra Flagship Makes Buying The iPhone 14 Seem Pointless

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Rating
10

The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra trumps its rivals in the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 for me. Camera detail was the absolute winner for me, but the rapid charging and lighting performance make this a great device to live day to day with.

Amazing Camera
Brilliant Build Quality
Rapid-fire Performance
Fast and Colourful Display
Super-Fast Charging
Appropriate Price Tag
Acceptable Battery Life

Night Photography Is A Bit Underwhelming and Blurry

Motorola has been making waves in Australia, already proving itself as a titan in the budget and affordable smartphone market as it takes business away from Chinese rival brand such as Oppo and TCL, and seeing 250% growth over the last 2 years.

Now, setting it’s sights on Apple and Samsung for the premium market, the Lenovo owned brand has launched a true flagship which on paper at least, seems to be better than the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S22 in every way.

The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is a phone I have been excited about ever since it was announced earlier in the year, in know small part for it’s whopping 200MP camera. So how did it fair for real?

First Glance

For the Edge 30 Ultra, Motorola has adopted its eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging, which is recyclable and uses soy ink.

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Opening it up, Motorola once again have filled it with goodies, including the handset itself, a pair of USB-C headphones, a protective case and a 125W fast charger, which compared to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy having no charger included at all, puts it in the lead already.

Whilst I didn’t notice it initially, the phone also came with a pre-installed screen protector, which is a great addition as screen protectors and cases are hard to find for Motorola smartphones. As the company becomes more popular in Australia, this may change.

Build and Feel

The new phone has a premium weightiness to it, not so heavy that it’s a burden but heavy enough that it feels solid and secure in the hand. The matte surface on the back is complimented by the metallic sheen on the camera module too, making it a rather good phone to look at.

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It also has a long display, with curved edges that gives users a phone that sits at a comfortable size in the hand whilst also offering a large display.

Display

The 6.67inch FHD+ pOLED display of the Edge 30 Ultra was an absolute pleasure to deal with. With a 144Hz refresh rate that is usually kept exclusive for gaming phones, gaming and watching my favourite content was smooth and vivid, whilst colours popped even whilst just browsing apps or scrolling through the menu.

The in-screen fingerprint scanner was also very impressive. In my experience, in-screen scanners can be incredibly hit or miss, and can take multiple attempts to log in. The one on the Edge 30 Ultra however was lighting fast and never seems to miss a beat.

Camera

The party piece of the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is undeniably the 200MP Samsung sensor fitted to it, making it the first smartphone to boast a 200MP main camera.

As much as that big number is a massive marketing tool, the camera does live up to expectations. Now it’s worth noting that you can’t just shoot in 200MP  mode straight away, but need to choose the right setting. Whilst this does mean you can’t use the other settings such as ‘Outdoor’ in conjunction, having a specific ‘Hi-Res’ setting is a brilliant space-saving decision.

For those who take quick snaps of documents or anything they need to remember, shooting at 200MP is unnecessary and a quick way to fill up the 256GB of storage that the Edge 30 Ultra comes with. Instead, the standard shooting mode is only 12.6MP, but detail is hardly lost.

The 200MP photos the Edge 30 Ultra take are nothing short of stunning. Even zooming in on the tiniest objects in a shot, detail is maintained.

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Colours look fantastic but colours are undoubtedly a bit overly saturated. However night shots are a tad lacking, with details and colour becoming cloudy in night shots.

Video is also fantastic, with support for 8K at 30fps and 4K at 60fps and 30fps. I usually find Motorola’s and other android phones sport pretty terrible mics, meaning loud environments such as concerts just can’t be recorded.

When filming at gigs, the Edge 30 Ultra’s mic did prove to be significantly better than other models I have tested, but nothing still compares to the microphones on the iPhone range unfortunately.

Performance

Under the bonnet of the Edge 30 Ultra is the latest and greatest from Qualcomm – the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. This is paired with 8GB of and 256GB of storage on the model I was given.

This made gaming an absolute breeze, with Call of Duty: Mobile and Apex Legends both performing super smoothly.

Under intense load, I never found the phone to get hot or performance to throttle, which was a big plus that makes this a great alternative to gaming phones from ASUS.

The Edge 30 Ultra comes with Android 12 from the box, which is a shame as Android 13 is already out. Motorola has already confirmed three OS updates and four security updates however, so Android 13 should make an appearance soon.

The MyUX Motorola Android skin is also rather basic and stays very close to how Android is stock. There is very little bloatware which is nice too.

Network performance was nice and quick when connected to Wi-Fi, and when using high-speed mobile data, and calls came through extremely clear.

Battery

The 4,610mAh battery does a great job at dealing with the intense 144Hz display and beefy Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and would last me the day easily with heavy use.

In the scenario that battery does run out, the 125W charger gets the phone back to full astonishingly quick, as I noted as much as 20% battery coming back within 5 or so minutes. With fast charging, I would be concerned as to how much this degrades the life of the actual battery, but as for now, the battery life and charging is brilliant.

Pricing and Availability

The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra will be available for $1,399 in Interstellar Black at JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Big W, Officeworks, Mobileciti and Lenovo.com from October.

 

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Rating
10

The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra trumps its rivals in the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 for me. Camera detail was the absolute winner for me, but the rapid charging and lighting performance make this a great device to live day to day with.

Amazing Camera
Brilliant Build Quality
Rapid-fire Performance
Fast and Colourful Display
Super-Fast Charging
Appropriate Price Tag
Acceptable Battery Life

Night Photography Is A Bit Underwhelming and Blurry