The Motorola Edge 30 Neo Is a Perfect Match for Small Phone-Lovers

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo Is a Perfect Match for Small Phone-Lovers

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is a terrific small smartphone with a gorgeous chassis. Strangely, it also smells good, which I never expected to say about a phone but here we are.

Here’s what I thought of Motorola’s new $600 phone.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

New phone smell

Earlier this week we reviewed the Nokia G60 5G, another terrific phone for somebody on a budget. My biggest problem with that phone was its aesthetic. It looks like somebody sneezed on it and it looks cheap.

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is the complete opposite. This small phone (sized at 6.28 inches) comes in various Pantone finishes, including Purple, Green, Silver and Black (although Black and Purple are the only ones available from Australian retailers). While premium range smartphones like the iPhone, Pixel or Galaxy S range usually come with at least three different colour choices, seeing a sub-$700 phone with this much colour variety (and with this good an aesthetic) is quite rare.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Image: Motorola

And it definitely gives you a good first impression of this device. It’s pretty from the outside going in: the 120hz OLED screen (1080 x 2400) is smooth and gives you some beautiful visuals, while its speaker sound is powerful and deep.

While all this is going on, you’ve got Motorola’s deep software customisation to play with, letting you choose icon shapes, fonts, themes and more. It’s got easier and deeper customisation than what I’ve experienced with the Pixel 7 range (even with Google’s focus on ‘Material You’ personalisation) and it’s a very welcome thing to see.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

As for the smell, which I caught a whiff of on a whim when looking closely at the phone, it’s not especially noticeable unless you’re going out of your way to sniff this phone. Which you shouldn’t, because that’s weird, but regardless it’s very nice. It’s an unaggressive cinnamon rose-like scent. It’s hard to describe and I’m not a scents guy.

Ok… But is it a good phone?

Why yes, yes it is. Despite the price, this phone is packed with some pretty nice tech. Including a Snapdragon 695 with 8GB and an Adreno 619 GPU, along with a 4410 mAh battery and 128GB storage, it’s a capable phone no matter what you throw at it.

I played a couple of games of Call of Duty Mobile and League of Legends: Wild Rift on the device and, with the highest available settings enabled, the games ran terrifically without any stuttering at a consistent 60fps.

In our battery test, where we see how the phone stacks up against Avengers Endgame, the phone dropped to 92 per cent in the first hour, 79 per cent in the second and 66 per cent in the third, 10 per cent lower than the Nokia we reviewed earlier. Not a great result, but it’s not especially worrying.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

We already touched on the screen, but during the movie, the visuals were amazing. The speakers on the device were really nice too and I’m confident that you could enjoy a movie or TV show on this thing, if you don’t mind the size.

Finally, in our day-to-day testing, using it for social media and scrolling through the device didn’t show any lag. It was a treat to use, and you might only notice it beginning to lag if you’ve got a lot of processes going on in the background. Fingerprint reading was also fast and responsive.

Lets take some snaps

Yes, I did take the same photos with the Motorola Edge 30 Neo as I did with the Nokia G60 5G, the opportunities were too good to pass up while I was on holiday.

The Edge 30 Neo comes with a dual camera array: a 64MP wide camera with a 13MP ultrawide, along with a 32MP selfie camera on the front.

I was very impressed with the cameras on this phone, and while they my lack the depth of the Google Pixel 6a, they’re perfectly fine for the price.

Wide testing. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Here’s a landscape shot.

Ultrawide testing. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Portrait testing is where Motorola slipped up a bit. Colour correction of my niece wasn’t well applied in the photos below and so the shots appear darker than they should. The background blur, however, was terrific.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo
Portrait testing with my niece. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Finally, close-up colour correction wasn’t great and colours appeared quite washed out – more washed out than with the Nokia.

Close-up photo testing. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

All around, these aren’t the best cameras you can get with a smartphone, but for a sub-$700 device, they’re still pretty good. If you really care about photos and want to stick to a budget, you might be interested in the Google Pixel 6a.

Should I buy the Motorola Edge 30 Neo?

I recommend the Motorola Edge 30 Neo if you want a small phone with a beautiful chassis, and also want a terrific OLED screen with performance to match.

As a gaming and day-to-day device, the Edge 30 Neo was a treat to use, however, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re after high-quality photos.

I’d also recommend it if you’re looking for a Google or Samsung alternative and don’t want to spend too much. For the price, it’s a pretty good deal.

Where to buy the Motorola Edge 30 Neo

The Edge 30 Neo is available in two colours from Australian retailers: Purple and Black.

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