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Motorola Edge 20 Pro Review: A bit too inconsistent

Motorola Edge 20 Pro Review: A bit too inconsistent

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro brings with it design changes, hardware upgrades and useful software to enable seamless work and play. With a growing amount of smartphones at this price tag, it is positioned well. But is its package impressive enough? Design language and display Boasting a water-repellent design, the Motorola Edge 20 Pro has

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro brings with it design changes, hardware upgrades and useful software to enable seamless work and play. With a growing amount of smartphones at this price tag, it is positioned well. But is its package impressive enough?

Design language and display

Boasting a water-repellent design, the Motorola Edge 20 Pro has an all-glass build with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front. At 8mm thick and between 185-190g based on colour, it is quite a handy smartphone. Although, its camera bump makes the smartphone wobble more than usual on a flat surface. Moreover, its volume and power buttons on the right edge are placed a bit too high up which gets uncomfortable over time. Even on the left edge, we feel the dedicated Google Assistant button could be placed slightly lower, especially given the size of the smartphone.

The 144Hz panel on the Motorola Edge 20 Pro is welcome although its real world impact is hardly any

At 6.7-inches, the Edge 20 Pro is not compact. It boasts a 1,080 x 2,400 resolution OLED display with HDR10+ and 1B colours. The most stand-out feature about the panel though is its refresh rate. Unlike typical 60Hz or 120Hz panels, the Edge 20 Pro comes with a 144Hz refresh rate display. This is faster than any flagship we have tested. Although in real world terms, the difference in performance is minute if at all.

We love the stock Android experience the smartphone delivers

We have found the display to be quite good too. Its sunlight legibility is great and so are its colours. Although in some situations, it tends to show a slight colour shift when viewed at an angle. Referencing back to last year, the panel is also a flat one without any curves which may or may not be a design choice you like depending on your preference. Regardless, during regular use, the panel has been fine. One aspect we were extremely disappointed by was the lack of stereo speakers. We understand that this smartphone is priced competitively but in doing so, it should not sacrifice on basic features. The availability of stereo speakers is something you find even on budget smartphones these days so Motorola could definitely rethink this and include it for the future.

Creator focused

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro packs a formidable camera package on paper, with it being the first phone from the company with a periscope lens. The triple camera setup houses a 108MP primary camera, an 8MP periscope telescope camera with 5x optical zoom and a 16MP ultrawide angle camera. We have had the camera unit perform well especially when it comes to zoom and detail. But with optical image stabilisation (OIS) only on the periscope lens, the wide lens sometimes lags behind during video.

Up to 5x optical zoom is a welcome feature at this price

During our time with the smartphone, we also played around with video. Here, you get either 8K recording at 24fps or 4K recording at up to 60fps. Especially when filming scenery, the camera tends to do well. And during these times, we also noticed that the viewfinder’s preview seems a bit choppy. However, when you play back this footage once filmed, it is much smoother.

But while those instances of use are fine, one area where the Motorola Edge 20 Pro gave us problems was with inconsistent saving. When you snap a picture, you expect it to be saved on the device but unfortunately, for the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, this was not the case. Almost 20-30 per-cent of the pictures we clicked just disappeared. We could not find a way to retrieve this nor a way to fix this issue. But this is something that we have tackled multiple times throughout our review period so it may need some addressing.

Performance, software and battery life

Inside, the Motorola Edge 20 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G chip. This is backed by 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. For daily tasks, this hardware combination is apt. However, we have felt that for more strenuous tasks, the smartphone tends to struggle a bit. This is not something we have faced with the processor before however we think that this could be due to the chip trying to push the full 144Hz refresh rate.

We are happy with the Motorola Edge 20 Pro’s battery life

Software wise, the smartphone runs Android 11. Motorola also claims that the smartphone will see both Android 12 and 13 updates. Most of the experience is stock like with absolutely no bloatware. There are a few touches from Motorola here too such as the fan-favourites we have come to love. Moreover, Motorola’s new ‘Ready For’ software helps you use the Edge 20 Pro as an add-on to your PC. For example, you can use it to interchange files between your systems, stream your favourite shows or use the smartphone as a web camera for video calls.

Lastly, the battery on the Motorola Edge 20 Pro is a 4,500mAh one. This is good for a full days’ use, with us getting between 8-9 hours of usage. While there is no wireless charging support, you do get 30W fast wired charging via the included power brick and cable.

Conclusion

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is a bit of a weird device. For some things, such as its camera prowess especially when using the zoom lens, it is great. Having that power at its Dh1,999 price tag makes it a unique selling point. Yet, other aspects about the smartphone like the lack of stereo speakers, inconsistent performance and an uninspired design hurt it. Moreover, the Edge 20 Pro hardly seems like an upgrade from last year, and in more angles than many, you tend to think of it as a downgrade than an upgrade. With these inconsistencies, it is difficult to recommend the Motorola Edge 20 Pro at the moment. But perhaps with a price reduction and software updates over time, it could be an option worth considering.

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