Motorola Edge 40 review: a mid-range without defects? Almost

After seeing the Motorola Edge 40 excel in the 2023 mid-range comparison published a few days ago , today we’ll talk about it in detail by examining aspects not analyzed at the time such as the speakers, the vibration feedback, the videos it records, the many software functions available and we will obviously also analyze all the other aspects in more depth.

The Motorola Edge 40 comes onto the market at a significant price, 600 euros list price, although since Day One it has been on offer at a price of 529 euros , decidedly more focused albeit still high. The delay in going on sale only in June is to blame, it clashes with the significant depreciation of other mid-range products such as the A54, Xiaomi 13 Lite or Poco F5 which have started to lose those classic 100-200 euros compared to the price list and could therefore be more palatable.

Motorola offers us a very high level technical data sheet including an excellent AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, a featherweight of 167g, a photographic sector that avoids slips such as 2 megapixel macro cameras just to make up the numbers, an IP68 certification, a battery 4400mAh with also wireless charging, excellent speakers with Dolby Atmos support and an SOC based on the “new” Mediatek Dimensity 8020 (remember that quote, we’ll look into it further later)

 

CONSTRUCTION QUALITY AND DESIGN

If I had had the Edge 40 in my hands without knowing the technical data sheet and without ever having turned it on and tried it, I would have calmly told you that from the design and the quality perceived to the touch we are faced with a top of the range in all respects . Our version is not the one in eco-leather but with a plastic back with a matte treatment which is practically indistinguishable from glass. As I often repeat in these cases, having plastic that saves us a lot in weight and thickness is a compromise that I willingly accept on mid-range smartphones, especially considering that most people will then protect the phone with a cover anyway. And one in rigid plastic, among other things, can already be found in the sales package.

The two rear cameras are protruding but not so much as to make the phone wobble drastically if placed on a table while the back cover does not fit perfectly with the metal frame, creating a slight jag that can be felt to the touch which could be annoying . The grip and usability are good, however we are talking about a smartphone under the psychological threshold of 160mm in height, making it usable with one hand in some short operations such as navigating on foot with Maps.

The frame of the phone is made of metal. A beautiful metal that makes the smartphone seem more resistant than it really is. Motorola’s genius hides the mandatory writings and logos, such as the CE, in the lower frame so as to harmonize the design. The one just mentioned may seem like a slight to you, but it is in these little things that we now notice when a manufacturer does not release new models after new models just for the sake of it, but does a study behind the design of even “non-top” products.

DISPLAY AND UNLOCK

To unlock the Edge 40 we can take advantage of the very convenient and efficient fingerprint sensor located under the pOLED display. As analyzed in the comparison, it works well and is decidedly faster and more effective than that of the Galaxy A54, but at the same time less fast than the Xiaomi ones. To assist the physical unlocking we also find a convenient 2D face unlock , it manages to detect us even when we are not perfectly aligned with the front camera but obviously it is not a safe unlocking method.

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Once the Moto Edge 40 has been unlocked, we find ourselves faced with a curved OLED display with FHD+ resolution and an extreme refresh rate of 144Hz which rarely comes into action if we leave the Automatic selection active in the settings. 120Hz is favored on many more occasions to save battery life although there is still the possibility of forcing the refresh to 144Hz but personally I advise you to save battery given that the difference from 120 is almost imperceptible. As for brightness, we reach up to 1200Nits at peak in automatic mode, an excellent compromise since even on sunny days at the seaside I have never had problems viewing the display. 

Dolby Vision support is missing while HDR10+ support is present , although it has not yet been integrated into third-party applications such as Netflix. In the display settings we find the possibility of calibrating the colors with two presets “Intense” and “Natural”, changing the white point and there is also the possibility of activating DC Dimming via the “Flicker prevention” option. The dark theme is well done with absolute blacks as I like and all in all I consider the display one of the strong points of this Motorola.

SOFTWARE

By now you know better than me: buying a Motorola phone means opting for a graphical interface and software centered on Stock Android and even though I’m not a fan of the latter I appreciate the many intelligent integrations that Motorola makes.Even though we have stock Android, we don’t give up various ingenious software features such as the ability to illuminate the curved edges of the display when a notification arrives, activate the flashlight by shaking the phone, double-tap the back of the phone to start a quick action, have volumes separated for the various apps, the self-regulation of the stereo speakers based on how we orient the smartphone, optimized charging and much more such as the interactive Always On Display, various gestures and the wireless Ready For, practically an optimized desktop mode.

If the software and the graphic interface are very complete, where there is room for improvement is on the updates side since the 2+5 policy, two major updates and five years of security patches, is not bad but the release of the updates is too random. I remember being with the Edge 30 for more than four months without receiving even one security patch update, which is bordering on acceptable if we think about how few smartphones Motorola has on its list every year. If Motorola improved on this aspect and went from two to three guaranteed majors, the level of software support would greatly increase, equalizing the experience that Google offers with its Pixels.

DATA SHEET

  • display: pOLED 6.55″ FHD+ Endless Edge, 402ppi, 1,200nit peak brightness, 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, screen-to-body 92.7%
  • Processor : MediaTek Dimensity 8020 octa-core
  • memory:
    • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
    • 256GB interna UFS 3.1
  • Connectivity: 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, NFC, GPS
  • dual SIM: yes, 1eSIM + 1 nano SIM
  • Fingerprint sensor: integrated into the display
  • audio: speaker stereo, Dolby Atmos,
  • OS: Android 13
  • resistance: IP68
  • cameras:
    • Front: 32MP, f/2,4, pixel da 0,7um, Technology Quad Pixel (1,4um)
    • posteriori:
      • 50MP main, f/1.4, 1/1.5″, 1.0um pixels, Quad Pixel technology (2.0um), OIS, omnidirectional PDAF
      • 13MP ultra wide angle, FOV 120°, f/2.2, Macro Vision, 1.12um pixels
  • battery: 4,400mAh with 68W wired, 15W wireless fast charging
  • dimensions and weight (depending on color):
    • 158,4×71,99×7,49mm per 167g (Lunar Blue)
    • 158,4×71,99×7,58mm per 171g (Eclipse Black, Nebula Green)
  • colors: Lunar Blue, Nebula Green, Eclipse Black (also Magenta in the future?)
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PERFORMANCE AND MORE

If for now obvious defects and problems have not come to light, some flaws can be noted when talking about performance. In fact, although Motorola prides itself on being the first to exploit the “new” Mediatek Dimensity 8020, it doesn’t take much to discover that in reality this SOC is nothing less than a mere rebrand of the Dimensity 1100 released three years ago now . The weight of the years can actually be felt because when we start scrolling through the various social apps we immediately notice how there hasn’t been a clear leap forward from the Snapdragon778G+, if it weren’t for a slightly more competitive graphics card. Trying some 3D video games like Honkai Star Rail I noticed that at maximum resolution and details there are some micro lags present from the first seconds of the game, a result not up to par compared to the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 that we recently tested on the Poco F5 which after more than 1h and 30min of video game still didn’t lose the slightest frame. The 8GB RAM is bad and remains LPDDR4X 16bit quad-channel while many competitors have switched to DDR5 in this price range. The storage, 256GB in our case, is a good, or rather very good, UFS 3.1. 

BATTERIES  

Motorola Edge 40 is based on a 4400mAh battery but even losing those approximately 600mAh compared to the competition the final result achieved is almost the same with my most stressful day lasting 18h after which I still had 9% of residual autonomy and around 6h of display with to consider more than 200km of cell changes in the car with Android Auto Wireless, Apple Music in Loseless quality, three hours of Google Maps and about 40 minutes of Instagram. It should be noted that on this day which you can also find in the screenshots I made a small top-up of an additional 15% to make sure I returned home with still some charge remaining. On days with abundant WiFi I even reached eight hours of active display, replacing navigation use with Netflix and many more social apps.

Fast charging at 68W and wireless charging at 15W are good and, although not very fast, it is already appreciable that they exist given that too often, also for a mere marketing factor and forced limitation, it is not included from the beginning. 

MICROPHONES AND RECEPTION

The microphones are good, or rather very good, since we are faced with the only mid-range 2023 model analyzed so far to integrate three microphones, adding one near the rear cameras as well as the classic two placed at the bottom and top. It’s just a shame that in some apps like WhatsApp our voice is slightly subdued but it’s definitely an app optimization problem. Reception also appears to be efficient with an immediate change from 4G to 5G and a strong signal.

DUAL SPEAKER and DOLBY ATMOS

The double speaker of the Moto Edge 40 not only works well and is almost a step above all the other mid-range speakers but you can also make use of some software functions that you can find in the screenshots published just above when talking about software. For example, just like the iPhone, when we rotate the smartphone the “direction” of the sound also changes so as to always make listening balanced between the left and right or upper/lower speakers.

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CAMERA

We start talking about the camera by immediately exclaiming “Well done Motorola!” so as not to fall for vulgar marketing by offering us, at the cost of saying we have three cameras available, a 2 megapixel macro camera as is now common practice in this price range. The 50MP main sensor has remained the same as 1/1.55″ but the lenses have changed since compared to the previous Edge here we have a focal aperture of f/1.4. The ultrawide camera maintains autofocus to also take macro photos with it but compared to the previous generation it appears to have worsened. 

The photos taken are not bad although it is clear that we are not dealing with a cameraphone , especially in complicated scenarios with difficult exposures or low light. The main camera has an optical stabilizer which works well although with evident movements in video it cannot offer us optimal compensation. There is obviously the possibility of shooting at maximum resolution rather than in 4-in-1 binning but the difference is not that evident except in the size of the processed file. 

Good videos that go up to 4K both for the rear cameras but also for the selfie camera! Just talking about selfies, I took several and although the 8MP sensor doesn’t work miracles, the results are not as dramatic as I thought, in fact, it still does better than a medium-low range Xiaomi or Redmi.

CONCLUSIONS

Summing up we could say that Motorola Edge 40 is one of the most complete mid-range of 2023 if not the most complete. After an excellent Edge 30 which, however, actually differed little from Edge 20, here we had a clearer and better change. Too bad for the CPU which changes but not too much for the better, probably the only flaw we could find in addition to the list price which is currently too high considering that it clashes with some “cheap” top of the range such as Galaxy S23 and Xiaomi 13, dropped a lot in price.

There is no doubt that if you want to save and what you are mainly interested in is the performance, a POCO F5 for less than €400 is still the best choice to make regarding a mid-range purchase but for all the rivals of this Motorola we advise you to recover the comparison published a few days ago!

 

 

529  

6.7
Hardware6.1
Quality Price 

Motorola Edge 40

BEST PRICE
€442 


MOTOROLA Moto Edge 40 5G 256 GB 5G Dual Sim Display 6.55 P-OLED Slot Nano SD Fotocamera 50 Mpx Android Colore NeroEpriceEprice 442

MOTOROLA Edge 40 Nero(8GB, 256GB)6.55″ 50MP+13MP Dual SIM Dimensity 8020 Proc.

eBayeBay

459

Motorola – Smartphone Edge 40-reseda Green

 

529

AESTHETICS, PLEASURE OF USE AND MATERIALS USED COMPLETE CAMERA FOR A MEDIUM RANGE EXCELLENT AUTONOMY (+ WIRELESS CHARGING) DISPLAY ALWAYS WELL VISIBLE SOFTWARE ADDITIONS

THE DIMENSITY 8020 IS JUST A REBRAND PRICE LIST SLIGHTLY TOO HIGH

VOTE: 8

 

Motorola Edge 40 is available online from eBay for 459 euros . To see the other 21 offers click here. (updated June 7, 2023, 1.40 pm)