Sunday, March 3, 2024

REVIEW | Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is a breath of fresh air in the flagship segment. It has brought the original Edge series into the era of modern aesthetics, and implemented both hardware and software to keep up with the competition.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone display

In a nutshell

The brand overall is still finding its way when it comes to pricing so far, and it is still playing catch-up when it comes to the standards that consumers today are expecting from a smartphone brand.

Design and build

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is not a massive phone, but it feels bigger and clunkier with its angular sides reminiscent of the Xiaomi Mi Mix. The button placement is a tad higher than conventional smartphones, the volume rocker and power button on the right require the user’s hand to be on the center of the back and not on the bottom, and the dedicated Google Assistant button on the left is simply too far up that it can’t be reached by an outstretched index finger.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

Because of this, handling the device on one-handed mode can be awkward and uncomfortable, even if the user is just reaching for the fingerprint sensor on the power button. At the bottom there is a single speaker, a USB Type-C port, and a dual SIM tray which unfortunately lacks a micro SDXC slot. This means that the 256GB internal storage, although plenty for casual users, is not expandable. Aside from the missing memory slot, the device also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

The aluminum frame sandwiched by Gorilla Glass 5 panels are middling between premium and cheap. For a premium smartphone, the Edge 20 Pro lacks that extra “oomph” in build quality, but the glass does not easily attract fingerprints and can be distinguished easily from cheap plastic. Aesthetic-wise, Motorola could have made the logo below the rectangular rear camera tray more pronounced as it easily fades into the dark hue of the body.

Cameras

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

One look at the cameras of the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, users will immediately spot the square periscope lens on top of the 108MP main camera. The periscope allows 5x optical zoom with little to no loss in image details, and a blurry and shaky 50x Super Zoom that users will need to stabilize with a tripod.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

What’s unique about the Motorola Edge 20 Pro is the dual function lens below the main sensor. The 16MP camera can capture both 5x macro shots and 119-degree ultra-wide-angle sceneries. When combined, the triple camera system can capture up to 8K quality videos at 24 frames-per-second, or 4K quality in either 30 or 60 frames-per-second. Meanwhile, the 32MP front-facing camera with Quad Pixel technology can also capture 4K at 30FPS videos, a suitable device for content creators on TikTok.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

User interface and features

Fans of the stock Android experience will be impressed by the UI installed on the Motorola Edge 20 Pro. The system is responsive most of the time, there are no third-party apps pre-installed, the icons look streamlined and the animations are buttery smooth, and the NFC functionality is a big bonus. Additionally, Motorola is also including its Samsung DeX-like feature it dubs as “Ready For”, allowing users to access phone apps and PC files on the same external monitor or control the screen’s cursor through the phone, transforming the Edge 20 Pro into a motion-sensing remote.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

The device also uses an AI algorithm that learns its user’s patterns to optimize the speed of opening applications. It also features RAM boost that adds 3GB of phone storage to extend RAM and improve performance, power key shortcuts, motion gestures that activate the flashlight or camera, an option to remove animations for even faster response speed, autoclick with a connected mouse, and CrystalTalk AI for clearer speech with reduced background noise.

Battery and Performance

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone

The Edge 20 Pro is no slouch either as a gaming workhorse. It can handle multitasking with ease, can run resource-demanding games with no stuttering, performs at peak level without overheating, and can last the moderate user about a day’s worth of power. Thanks to the Snapdragon 870 running the show, image post-processing is blazing fast and there have been no hiccups in regards to any performance-related tasks during our testing.

Conclusion

Motorola Edge 20 Pro flagship smartphone score

A flagship-level device with a meager 30W charging and awkward ergonomics can be a major turn-off for some buyers, while other aspects are simply in line with the competition, nothing ground-breaking. A competitive or more attractive price could have been a Hail Mary pass this device needed to stick out from its rivals, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Although there seems to be a major disconnect between Motorola’s goals in the smartphone market and its execution when it comes to the implementation of features, there is no doubt that the cameras are top-notch. The UI is clean and uncluttered, the display is good but unexceptional, and the battery life won’t leave Motorola users disappointed.

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