First Impressions: Motorola Edge 40 Pro
An early look at Moto's 2023 flagship
While it’s far from the best-looking Android device around, the Moto Edge 40 Pro packs a lot of interesting features and high-end specs into a £799 phone.
- High-end performanceSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, 12GB RAM and up to 512GB storage
- Three rear cameraTwo 50MP and 12MP portrait cameras on the back, wth a 60MP selfie camera on the front
- Seriously speedy charging125w charging with the included USB-C power brick
- UKRRP: £799
- EuropeRRP: €899
Motorola has struck gold in recent years with its budget and foldable offerings, however I have never been quite so impressed with its traditional flagship devices. The Edge 40 Pro could change that.
With a stacked spec sheet, including the latest Qualcomm flagship chipset, seriously snappy charging and a duo of 50MP rear cameras, the Moto Edge 40 Pro certainly ticks a lot of boxes I look for in a new phone.
I’ve spent a couple of days ahead of its release with the new phone, and here are my early thoughts on the OnePlus 11 rival.
Design and Screen
- 165Hz display, FHD+ resolution
- Heavily curved panel
- Black and blue colour options
During a period when many phones are trying to offer something a little more unique in terms of design, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro is a bit dull in comparison. There’s minimal flair here, especially with this black unit Motorola sent me for review, with a curved screen and basic camera arrangement on the back. It looks perfectly fine, just not stand out.
It does feel well built, though. The matte finish on the back is welcome, avoiding a heavy build-up of smudges and while I always prefer the usability of a flat screen, as you’d find on the iPhone 14 or Pixel 7, the heavily curved panel here will certainly appeal to some.
It’s great to see Motorola giving the Edge 40 Pro an IP68 rating for added protection from the elements, and the screen is covered in Gorilla Glass Victus too.
The display itself makes a strong first impression. It’s a bright and colourful 6.67-inch OLED panel, with a very speedy max 165Hz refresh rate. I’m not convinced you’ll be able to notice much difference between the 165Hz and 120Hz modes, but it’s a nice feature to have.
If I was being picky, I would say that FHD+ resolution does make for an image that isn’t as sharp as the 1440p OnePlus 11. Put the two phones next to each other and the additional pixels on the OnePlus make photos pop more. However, it’s not unusual for a phone at this price to have an FHD+ screen, and it’s the same resolution found on the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus.
Motorola says Dolby Vision is supported in compatible apps, while there’s HDR10+ for Amazon Prime Video HDR playback. I’ll test the performance for both of these further in the full review.
- Triple rear camera array
- Main 50MP camera, f/1.8 aperture
- Various videography modes
There are certainly a lot of megapixels packed into the Edge 40 Pro.
On the back, there’s a wide 50MP camera with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation (OIS). Next up there’s another 50MP sensor, this time with a 114-degree ultrawide lens. The rear triple camera array is completed with a 12MP camera dedicated to portrait photography thanks to its 2x zoom. Flip the phone over to its front and there are even more megapixels, 60 of them to be precise.
There are numerous additional features built into these cameras too. There’s a dedicated macro mode that utilises all those megapixels within the ultrawide camera to pull out sharp details when you get up close to a subject, while video-specific night vision modes aim to improve low-light videography.
Continuing with video and Motorola has added a portrait bokeh mode, using AI to add in that blurry background effect you’ll get with much larger camera sensors. These modes on other phones tend to look a little fake, even the Cinematic Mode on the iPhone 14 leaves a lot to be desired, and I haven’t been that impressed with Moto’s interpretation here. All too often the bokeh looks overblown and it struggles to keep up with the movement of the camera.
There is more to the best camera phones than just megapixels, but the two 50MP main cameras make a good first impression with plenty of detail, nice colours and speedy capture. More testing will need to be done to see how these snappers compare to the very best on the market, though.
- High-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip
- 12GB RAM
- Up to 512GB storage
While the design might be a little bit forgettable, Motorola hasn’t cut many corners when it comes to internal performance. This is a true flagship if specs are important to you.
Like many of the best Android phones we’ve already reviewed in 2023, the Edge 40 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. This is a fantastic chip, with reliable performance and features like Wi-Fi 7. The chip is paired with more than enough RAM at 12GB and either 256 or 512GB of storage.
I’ve only been using the Moto Edge 40 Pro for a couple of days, so not long enough yet to fully judge performance but everything seems very smooth so far. I wouldn’t expect anything else, especially when you take into account the fast screen and top-end internals.
The idea of speed continues with the charging skills of the Edge 40 Pro. With the included 125w charger, the phone can, according to Motorola, go from 0-100% in 23 minutes. I’ve done my own tests and this certainly seems achievable.
It’s not the fastest charging I have ever seen on a phone before – that crown still sits atop the Realme GT 3 – but being able to go from a depleted phone to a full one in less than half an hour is a seriously handy feature to have.
There’s wireless charging too (up to 15w with a suitable charger) and reverse wireless charging at 5w for juicing up Qi-enabled accessories, like a smartwatch or earbuds.
Motorola has kept the software fairly clean here. While there are a number of Moto apps and additions, they all add, rather than deduct, from the experience. ReadyFor for example, lets you extend the phone experience over to a monitor, giving more space for games and productivity. Motorola is also promising three major OS updates and four years of security updates.
While it’s not a looker, the Moto Edge 40 Pro packs a lot into a £799 phone. Plenty of top-end specs, all the megapixels you could ask for and seriously snappy charging. The OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 have a true rival.