The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is a premium-priced Android smartphone, touting a feature-packed display with a 144Hz high-refresh rate as well as HDR10+ as well as other features such as a triple camera array featuring a 108-megapixel main sensor and 5x optical zoom.
Edge 20 Pro
The Edge 20 Pro is available in a few different colours, the device that I’ve been taking a look at over the past few weeks, kindly provided by Vodafone UK, features the device’s Midnight Blue colour which I think looks incredibly nice. The device features a Gorilla Glass 5 front and back which gives it a premium look and feel, and the sides of the device feature a glossy aluminium frame, I’m not a huge fan of the glossy frame as it can get covered in fingerprints, although it is easy to wipe down.
The front of the device features a 6.7-inch display and features uniform bezels around the device, so there’s not a massive chin at the bottom of the device – this is nice to see. The display features rounded corners to match the design of the device and there is a hole-punch camera located at the top of the display with a central alignment, there’s also a tiny slither of an earpiece at the top which is hidden away but can be seen if you look closely.
With a 6.7-inch display, this is no small device. In my case, I wouldn’t be able to use this device single-handed and I needed both hands to be able to comfortably use the device, so if you’re a multitasker that may be something to bear in mind. The large display doesn’t make the device heavy to carry around though, I found the 190g weight of the device comfortable to carry around and didn’t find it strenuous to use.
Turning over to the back of the device, the Midnight Blue colour of this device really looks sleek. The colour has a mix between a satin and matte finish which catches the light nicely. There is also a dotted pattern underneath the glass which runs down each side, adding a bit of flair to the design – these sides also are subtly curved for a more ergonomic feel, which is very much welcome on a large device like this. The Motorola logo features a glossy finish as well as the not very hard to miss camera bump.
The camera bump is quite large, presumably as it needs to accommodate the 5x optical zoom using a prism so it can make the device rock around when flat on a table. This can be mitigated by using a case with the device, one is included in the box, but if you want to use the device without a case it will wobble around when you’re using the device flat on a table.
Looking around the sides of the device, things are fairly simple and clean. There’s a speaker, USB Type-C port and dual nano-SIM card slot, it’s a little finicky to get the SIM into the tray but once it’s done you shouldn’t be needing to mess around with it that much. The device, unfortunately, does not support microSD storage and features either 128GB or 256GB internal storage.
The left side of the device features a small button at the top which activates Google Assistant and the right side features the volume rockers as well as the sleep/wake button which has an integrated fingerprint reader. The sleep/wake button is easy enough to reach when using the device single-handed, although the volume rockers are a little far up.
Overall, the look and feel of this device is really nice – Motorola has done a great job with the design of the Edge 20 Pro, and it feels great to use as well.
The 6.7-inch display found on the Edge 20 Pro is a 1080p panel with a resolution of 1080×2400, giving it an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a pixel density of around 385 pixels per inch. Some may want a 1440p resolution for a display of this size, but I found this to be sharp enough for my liking. Reading text on the display is sharp and images also look crisp.
The display also features an OLED panel with HDR10+ which offers fantastic contrast for looking at videos and photos and the display also features a 144Hz refresh rate which is great for gaming but also provides an incredibly smooth and fluid for navigating around the device – this display is pretty packed with features. You can choose to lock the display at 144Hz or 60Hz depending on your preference or leave it on Auto to switch automatically – I found this setting to keep it at 144Hz pretty much all the time, which was nice, but it will switch to 60Hz if you set the device to low power mode or the battery percentage hits a certain threshold.
Unfortunately, despite being an OLED display, the device does not support an always-on display functionality, however, Motorola has given the device a “Peek Display” function which is a little similar. This feature will display notifications more subtly as they come in and display things such as the time, battery percentage and notifications at a glance without opening the full Android lock screen.
The display offers good brightness and I found it bright enough to use outdoors as well, viewing angles are also good with no major colour shift when looking at the device from an angle – so if you want to watch TV shows or movies on the device you shouldn’t have any problems and with the addition of HDR10+ any HDR content looks stunning and incredibly immersive.
Despite Motorola’s smartphone business now being owned by Lenovo, I’m glad to see that Lenovo still carries through one of the essences that made Motorola’s devices great under Google – the lack of bloat.
The device ships with Android 11 and Motorola claims the Edge 20 Pro will receive at least 2 major android OS upgrades and 2 years of bi-monthly security updates. The device also features ThinkShield for mobile which is similar to Samsung’s Knox feature on their devices.
The Edge 20 Pro features a software experience that is pretty much stock Android, there are some additional features such as theme personalisation and gestures but there are no heavy cosmetic changes going on. I quite like the included gesture features that Motorola has included within the Moto app, with the quick capture wrist twist being a great way to quickly access the camera. The device also supports split-screen apps if you need to have multiple things going on at the same time.
Smartphones are also increasingly being used in more flexible situations, the Edge 20 Pro supports “Ready For” which allows you to connect the device to a monitor for gaming, as a desktop replacement or for video calls. A USB Type-C to HDMI cable is included in the box and it was easy to get up and running. If you’d be using this phone for work or find yourself on the move a lot, I can imagine how something with this functionality could be beneficial. “Ready For” can also work wirelessly, but you will need a compatible wireless display.
The Edge 20 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 5G processor which features eight processing cores, one of which is high-powered with three medium-powered and four lower-powered cores for higher efficiency. This mix of different core powers allows for the device to still perform well when needed but then also to run more efficiently, saving power, when doing tasks that are not resource-intensive.
The Snapdragon 870 5G provided plenty of power throughout my time of testing the device, I didn’t find the device struggling to perform and it generally held up quite well, whether it was for some gaming at 144Hz in Real Racing or just browsing Twitter and Instagram. Apps loaded quickly and the experience of using the device was smooth and fluid, multitasking is also very snappy thanks to the device’s 12GB RAM – I’m testing the top-end model of the device, other variants of the device include 6GB and 8GB RAM.
I also ran some benchmark tests on the device, if you wish to compare it to your own device or any others that you may be looking at. On Geekbench 5, the device scores a single-core score of 957 which places it in line with Samsung’s S21 Ultra 5G and just above the OnePlus 8 Pro. On multi-core performance, the device scored 2,742. This performance is a bit lower than Samsung and OnePlus by a few hundred points. For graphics benchmarking, I used 3D Mark, the device scored 4,211 on the Wild Life benchmark and 1,215 on Wild Life Extreme. Of course, benchmarks aren’t real-world usage, but they do provide useful statistical measurements if you’re looking to compare a few devices to one another.
For wireless connectivity, the device supports up to Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC which is great to see as it will be futureproofed for many years to come. As far as biometric unlocking goes, the device supports a fingerprint reader in the sleep/wake button as I mentioned earlier during the review as well as face unlock. I stuck to using the fingerprint reader as this is more secure than using face unlock which uses the front-facing camera, not an infrared system like on the iPhone. That’s no problem though, the fingerprint sensor worked flawlessly at recognising my fingerprint and unlocked the device very quickly – you can even touch the button to wake the device up from sleep and unlock it instantly.
If you want to listen to music, I’d recommend using some headphones or a speaker as the single mono speaker on the bottom of the device doesn’t sound that great. It’s a very mediocre speaker and doesn’t provide much low-end bass or clarity for the treble. Unfortunately, there aren’t any headphones included with the device and there’s no headphone jack – but Motorola does still include a charging brick in the box.
The triple-camera array on the Edge 20 Pro is okay, but not fantastic. I think that if you’re looking at this phone, you’re probably interested in the display but if you are looking for a device to primarily take photos with – there are better options out there. The back of the device features a 108-megapixel wide camera at f/1.9, 16-megapixel ultrawide at f/2.2 and 8-megapixel periscope 5X telephoto at f/3.4. Most of my testing was done with the camera app in its default settings.
Generally, the camera does a decent job at capturing dynamic range for landscapes and was able to successfully expose for a cloudy sky and the lands below, although it can sometimes struggle to capture that same dynamic range with the ultrawide and telephoto. As can be expected the high megapixel sensor also delivers slightly sharper and crisper images in comparison to the ultrawide and telephoto, which can look a little softer if you start pixel peeping – but the overall sharpness is decent. It is worth noting that the main sensor scales down to 12-megapixels by default, to make full use of that 108-megapixel sensor you’ll need to be using the specific mode to make use of it.
The main challenge for the camera system that stuck out to me was the camera being able to match the colour tones across the different sensors, during my testing I would commonly take photos using each of the sensors from the same position to see how they differed, but some colours such as the green of the grass would change between sensors, which could leave an inconsistent look.
Whilst I can complain about the cameras, I do have to say they are still fun to use. The ability to use the ultrawide to get more in the frame or for a creative composition is nice and I love the novelty of the 5X optical zoom, being able to zoom in that much on something such as a sheep across a field or a hill across a landscape is nice to do – I’d certainly much rather have a telephoto like this than a macro camera, that’s for sure, and even without a macro camera the device still does a good job at taking close-up photos thanks to the main sensor’s f/1.9 aperture.
Moving over to the selfie camera, this is a 32-megapixel sensor with an f/2.3 aperture which saves photos at 8-megapixels by default. The selfie camera is decent and captures decent photos in well-lit situations but can struggle to capture a sharp image in poorly lit situations and indoors – it also can struggle a bit with dynamic range when in direct harsh sunlight.
When it comes to filming videos, the Edge 20 Pro features some pretty impressive capabilities. You can use the rear-facing camera to film at 8K, yes 8K, 24fps, 4K 30/60fps and 1080p at 30/60fps with an additional slow-motion mode if you really want to slow things down. I shot all my test footage at 1080p 30fps but it didn’t look that sharp and looked rather soft around the edges of objects as if the footage had been upscaled. The cameras support gyro electronic image stabilisation to smoothen out bumps and camera shake from your footage.
The camera app itself features plenty of different modes and functions, but also looks user friendly for those who may not need to have lots of settings presented to them at once, the user-friendliness of the camera app is rather good.
The Edge 20 Pro features a 4,500mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging to quickly charge your device of which the appropriate charging brick is included in the box. I found the battery life of this device to be plenty for my use, usually lasting two or three days from browsing social media and occasionally watching some videos – although your mileage may vary depending on your personal usage.
Running a PCMark Work 3.0 battery life benchmark showed that the device was able to go for around 7 hours and 12 minutes of continuous screen on time whilst simulating usage such as video editing, photo editing, web browsing to name a few. This is an impressive duration for the device to last as these aren’t exactly mundane tasks and it was constantly powered on, the Realme 8 Pro I reviewed a few months ago did last a little longer – but it has a less powerful processor.
Unfortunately, the device doesn’t support wireless charging, this would’ve been nice to have seen in the device as it isn’t cheap, and it also has a glass back to accommodate it – hopefully, this will be included in a future version of the Edge Pro series.
The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is an impressive device in some areas, but it does fall back in some areas. The design and build quality of the device is fantastic and the display is stunning, providing an immersive experience for 144Hz gaming or consuming HDR content. It’s a shame that the camera performance doesn’t quite match the rest of the device and the lack of wireless charging is a shame to see on a device that retails for £650, but if you’re looking for content consumption rather than content creation – the Edge 20 Pro is still a device worthy of consideration.
The SummaryMotorola Edge 20 Pro
- High-quality display
- Premium design and feel
- Decent battery life
- Mediocre speaker
- No wireless charging
- Cameras could be better