Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Best Mid-Range Phone You Can Buy?

Motorola is back with what could be the best-looking phone of the year. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is a mid-range smartphone with a design that makes it look and feel premium. While this formula has been used by many brands in the last couple of years, only some have managed to nail it. The Edge 50 Pro adds to it by offering some world-first features, but are they good? I’ve been using the Edge 50 Pro for a couple of weeks now to find out if there’s more to the phone than just design and some validations.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro price in India

I’ll start with the price. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is available in two variants in the country. There’s the 8GB + 256GB variant, which is priced at Rs. 31,999, and there’s the 12GB + 256GB storage option, which is what I’m testing, priced at Rs. 35,999. You could purchase the phone at a lower cost by availing certain offers, but the above-mentioned prices are what the phone is being sold for without any offers.

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The phone offers rounded corners and curved edges

The phone is available in three colour options. The Black Beauty and Luxe Lavender variants have a soft vegan leather-finish rear panel, whereas the MoonLight Pearl is a special variant with an acetate finish that is apparently handcrafted in Italy by Mazzucchelli. I’m using the Luxe Lavender variant, and I think it looks great in this colour. All of these colours were curated with the help of Pantone.

The unboxing experience of the Motorola Edge 50 Pro is going to be a unique one. Firstly, Motorola has used zero plastic in the packaging and everything is printed using soy ink. Second, and we confirmed this, Motorola sprays perfume on each box to make it smell good. And it does smell good, for quite a long time actually.

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The Edge 50 Pro box can be recycled

Inside the box, you get a case, some paperwork, a SIM ejector tool, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and a 125W Turbo charger. In our case, the 8GB RAM variant comes with a 68W charger.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Design

I’d have given a solid 10 to the Edge 50 Pro in the design department, but that’s not the case and here’s why. The phone looks and feels great the moment you first take it out of the box. It’s got a stunning design, and the colour makes things even better. The rear leather finish panel, curved front and back, rounded corners, and the aluminium frame make this phone a delight to hold as well. However, the rear leather panel doesn’t sit flush with the frame, and you can feel the edges when you’re holding the phone. And this is why I’m giving this a 9 in design.

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The rear vegan leather finish panel is easy to clean

The leather finish also means no fingerprints to clean. The squarish camera module does protrude, but also blends with the rear panel in a slope. While it does make the phone wobble when laid on its back, it looks great. The Edge 50 Pro weighs 186 grams and is 8.19mm thick, but the weight is well distributed, and the curved front and rear panels make the phone seem thinner and smaller than it is. Folks with big hands can easily use this with one hand.

On the front, you get a curved display with symmetric bezels. The side bezels are thin and are barely visible due to the curve, whereas the top and bottom ones are also slim and uniform. The volume and power buttons are on the left edge and are clicky. You’ll also find a microphone on the left edge and one at the top. At the bottom, you’ll find the USB Type-C port, SIM tray, microphone, and loudspeaker. The phone does have a dual speaker setup, but it’s of the hybrid type, with the ear speaker working as the second speaker.

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Motorola has offered 3 microphones on the Edge 50 Pro

Motorola has also given an IP68 rating for the Edge 50 Pro, and I found the rubber seal in the SIM ejector tray to be of good quality. You should be able to dunk this in the swimming pool without much worry, but don’t shoot a whole Reel underwater.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Specifications and software

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is equipped with a Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor, which is paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 internal storage. Yes, the storage is on the slower side, but it’s not really a dealbreaker. The phone gets dual SIM dual 5G support, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. For location services, the phone offers support for GPS, AGPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS, Galileo, and Navic satellites.

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The Edge 50 Pro runs on the new Hello UI

The phone has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which works fast. I didn’t face any issues with it during my use. Motorola has packed a 4,500mAh battery in the Edge 50 Pro, which is smaller than what most other phones offer in this price segment. However, you do get up to 125W fast charging support along with 50W wireless charging.

In terms of software, Motorola has changed things around a bit. The Edge 50 Pro comes with Android 14-based Hello UI, which is different to the My UX that we were used to. It’s a lot lighter with hardly any additional apps apart from Google apps. There’s no bloatware, the interface is mostly stock with some Motorola design elements, and you get some additional features such as Moto Unplugged, Ready For, gestures, Smart connect, custom fonts, colours, icons, and Family Space. There’s also an AI theming feature called Style Sync that uses AI to create custom wallpapers from photos taken using the camera or in the gallery. The AI feature works well but isn’t as good as similar features found on more expensive phones.

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There’s no bloatware on the phone

Motorola promises three years of Android OS updates and four years of security patches.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Performance

Moving to performance, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro is great at running daily tasks, gaming, and more. The Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is a fairly recent chipset and has enough oomph to run all kinds of tasks smoothly in most conditions. I ran some benchmarks to see how it performed, and on AnTuTu, it managed a score of 8,18,387 points. That’s slightly higher than the recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 4 (Review), which also runs the same chipset.

The performance on the phone is good, but what’s even better is the display. Motorola has included a 6.7-inch pOLED curved display on the Edge 50 Pro with 1.5K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. The panel also offers up to 2,000 nits peak brightness, HDR10+ support, 10-bit colour, and DCI-P3 colour gamut, and is claimed to be the world’s first Pantone-validated true colour display.

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The Edge 50 Pro has protective glass and a screen protector on the display

I found the colours to be a bit oversaturated in Vivid colour mode, but you can choose the Natural colour option to get the most natural and realistic colours. There’s also a Radiant mode that makes the colours appear more vibrant and brighter. The display is great overall, offers excellent viewing angles, and is easy to read even under direct sunlight. It’s a great phone for content consumption.

What’s also good is the stereo speaker sound that comes with Dolby Atmos support. While there’s not a lot of bass in the audio, I found the speakers to be loud and clear, with no crackling even at full volume. The microphone quality is also good.

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The curved display can cause ghost touches when playing games

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is pretty good as a gaming phone as well. I didn’t notice any drop in frame rate, touch sensitivity issues, or lag when gaming on the phone. I played BGMI for about 45 minutes, and it worked great in Ultra HDR graphics and Ultra frame rate. The only issue I faced had to do with the display. Since the phone has a curved panel, there were plenty of ghost touches when playing games. Otherwise, the Edge 50 Pro performed quite well in games and didn’t heat a lot, either.

Generally, I did not face any lag or stutter while performing regular tasks. The 144Hz display makes sure to hide any lag in the user interface. The only time I faced a lag was when viewing a photo in the camera app, which took about a second or two to load. Yes, there were a couple of instances of some lag when opening apps in the background, but it doesn’t happen enough to call it a problem.

Finally, let’s get to the battery performance. While the 4,500mAh battery is smaller than most other phones in the price segment, I was able to get more than a day’s battery life out of the Edge 50 Pro. In our HD video loop test, the phone lasted only about 15 hours, though, which isn’t that great. When I used the phone for basic tasks such as making calls, messaging, some YouTube, browsing, and using the camera, it lasted more than a day. With heavy usage, I was getting almost a day’s worth of battery life. However, what’s amazing is that the phone can be charged from 0 to 100 percent in just about 25 minutes and 0 to 50 percent in around 10 minutes. This is with the 125W charger, of course, and using it did heat up the phone quite a bit.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Cameras

The phone is equipped with a triple rear camera setup that includes a 50-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.4 aperture and OIS support, a 13-megapixel ultrawide unit with 120-degree field of view and a macro mode, and a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor with OIS and 3x optical zoom. There’s also a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor, an LED flash, and autofocus on the square rear camera module. For selfies, the phone offers a 50-megapixel sensor with autofocus.

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The Edge 50 Pro features a 50-megapixel front camera

Motorola claims that this is the world’s first and only phone to have a Pantone colour-validated camera system. Both photos and videos shot from the phone are said to offer realistic and true colours with accurate skin tones, but that wasn’t entirely the case. The camera interface is simple to use and offers several modes. There’s also a Tilt-shift mode, a Pro mode, a Night mode, dual capture, long exposure, a 50-megapixel mode, and more.

Images shot with the main 50-megapixel rear camera offer very good details and colours with good HDR. However, if you zoom in on the image, you’ll see that the details are lost in the shadows. I also found that the images were still slightly saturated even after turning off AI enhancements, choosing a natural image style, and using a Natural colour mode for the display. Or perhaps the folks over at Pantone know the colours better, and my renditions are just wrong. The primary camera takes good shots even in low light, but again, they are oversaturated.

Moving on, while the telephoto camera does shoot good 3x zoomed shots in both daylight and lowlight conditions, the details can be a little muddy. Colours are once again slightly oversaturated. The ultra-wide camera produces good photos in daylight but isn’t that good in lowlight conditions. Selfies are good with ample details in good lighting conditions and skin tones are also very close to reality. Images from the phone are generally brighter as well. There’s also a Macro mode that produces decent shots. Let’s take a look at some samples.

Top to bottom: Ultrawide (2 samples) Main 50-megapixel sensor (3 samples) 3x Telephoto (2 samples) [Tap to expand]

Coming to video performance, the main camera can shoot at 4K resolution at 30fps. The videos come out good, even in 3x zoom, and have a good dynamic range with hardly any noise. Colours are slightly boosted, but nothing unrealistic. In low light, the video performance drops, but videos are still usable if there’s ample lighting. The stabilisation is also pretty good and is aided by AI, according to Motorola.

Overall, the camera system on the Motorola Edge 50 Pro is good and usable.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro Review: Verdict

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is a great phone that’s competitively priced. However, in some areas, you may be better off purchasing other phones. For example, if you want better performance, you could opt for the Oppo Reno 11 Pro (Review). However, it lacks an IP rating and wireless charging and offers similar camera performance.

Then there’s the Vivo V30, which offers slightly better camera performance and the same chipset. However, it lacks wireless chargingĀ and a few other features.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro offers a lot more features than some of its competitors. I honestly think that this is probably one of the best smartphones in the price segment. The cameras aren’t amazing, but they’re not bad, and you get usable sensors. The display is excellent, you get a standout design, wireless charging, an IP68 rating, and a lot more. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is on the edge of greatness and is definitely one of the best mid-range phones you can buy today.

The Motorola Edge 40 recently made its debut in the country as the successor to the Edge 30 that was launched last year. Should you buy this phone instead of the Nothing Phone 1 or the Realme Pro+? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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