GadgetsSmartphonesMoto Edge 20 Pro review – Not so Pro

Moto Edge 20 Pro review – Not so Pro

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Not long time ago I told you all about the new Motorola model called the Moto Edge 20. I liked the device very, very much (especially its design), so I was looking forward to testing the Pro version of this model, the Moto Edge 20 Pro. But what I’ve got differed radically from what I was expecting. And not in a good way.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

Positioning and price

The 2021 Edge series saw the light of day in late summer. It consists of three models – Moto Edge 20, Edge 20 Pro and Edge 20 lite. The devices of the line stand out with an interesting design. Moreover, if last year’s devices were distinguished by strongly rounded edges of the screen, now the glass is flat.

I have already told you in great detail about the Edge 20. Why is the Edge 20 Pro better? The processor is more powerful, there’s more RAM and ROM and a better battery, and there’s a telephoto lens, which allows you to zoom in as much as 5 times without losing quality. Is it all worth additional $250? Let’s try to figure it out.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

By the way, the Edge 20 Pro is not a flagship in its full sense. This is the top model of the line, but still only an “affordable” flagship. The device does not use the latest Snapdragon 888 processor. Probably because  this chip is not very good and gets very hot.

In the USA and Europe the device costs 800 dollars or 700 euros, which is a lot.

Read also: Moto Edge 20 review: Why do we need flagships anyway?

Технические характеристики Moto Edge 20 Pro

NETWORK Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
LAUNCH Announced 2021, July 29
Status Available. Released 2021, August 16
BODY Dimensions 163 x 76 x 8 mm (6.42 x 2.99 x 0.31 in)
Weight 185/190 g (depending on color) (6.53 oz)
Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame, glass back (Gorilla Glass 5) or eco leather back
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Water-repellent design
DISPLAY Type OLED, 1B colors, 144Hz, HDR10+
Size 6.7 inches, 110.2 cm2 (~89.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~385 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5
PLATFORM OS Android 11
Chipset Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm)
CPU Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 585)
GPU Adreno 650
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM
UFS 3.1
MAIN CAMERA Triple 108 MP, f/1.9, (wide), 1/1.52″, 0.7µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/3.4, 126mm (periscope telephoto), 1.0µm, 5x optical zoom, PDAF, OIS
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1.0µm
Features Dual-LED flash, panorama, HDR
Video [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240/960fps, gyro-EIS
SELFIE CAMERA Single 32 MP, f/2.3, (wide), 0.7µm
Features HDR
Video [email protected], [email protected]/120fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack No
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
NFC Yes
Radio No
USB USB Type-C 3.1, DisplayPort 1.4
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERY Type Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable
Charging Fast charging 30W
MISC Colors Midnight Blue, Blue Vegan Leather, Iridescent Cloud

What’s in the box

The packaging with the smartphone is striking in its size. However, I was not surprised, since I had already seen the Moto G100 box. In one box you will find two smaller ones – one with the smartphone itself, the other with the Ready For cable. I’ll tell you about it a little later.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The box with the phone contains a Moto Edge 20 Pro, a USB-C to USB-C cable, a 30-watt power supply, documentation, a SIM eject tool.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

There’s also a silicone case. It is quite good, with nice matte sides and a bluish tint (so when it turns yellow, like any silicone, it will not be noticeable).

Now let’s look at the box with a cable for connecting to a TV or a monitor. As usual, it surprises with its size and the amount of empty space – the cable itself is not very large.

So, Moto Edge 20 Pro has an interesting feature – when connected to a monitor or TV with a special cable, you can use the phone as a computer. We will talk in more detail about this mode in a separate section. And here I will show the cable itself. It’s quite good, well made, with metal ends and caps to protect the connectors. The length is about a meter.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

Read also: Motorola Moto G60s review — Big budget phone with super fast charging

Design

When discussing this aspect of the Moto Edge 20, I was absolutely enamoured. The cheaper model in the Edge series is very narrow (6.99 mm), with flat panels at the front and back. It looks gorgeous. I expected that the Pro model would be the same, but – alas. The Moto Edge 20 Pro is a millimeter thicker. It’s not much, but you feel it.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

Apparently, due to the increased thickness, instead of a flat back, the Moto Edge 20 Pro received the usual sloping one. I won’t say that the smartphone is ugly. But.. there’s no wow effect at all. The cheaper model looks too so good in comparison! However, you have every right to disagree with me.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The phone is large, like most current models, but I got used to after a while. You can use the Moto Edge 20 Pro with one hand.

The bezels could be smaller, but they are not huge anyway. The upper and lower bezels are almost the same width with no prominent notch.

The front-facing camera is located right in the screen, its whole is very small and is hardly noticeable.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

However, many apps have a bar at the top by default. In the settings, you can choose which apps or games should run in full screen mode.

moto egde 20

The front panel is protected by durable Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Not the latest version, but it’s still more than capable. The oleophobic coating is not bad as well.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The body is made of aluminum, it is glossy and has a … resin coating. And it doesn’t feel like premium material to the touch. Again, not impressive compared to the Edge 20 and its brushed metal edges. And also fingerprints and scratches are clearly visible. See for yourself:

Motorola claims that the back panel of the smartphone is made of 3D glass. Take their word for it; the material feels more like the high-quality multilayer plastic that of the Edge 20.

The back plate looks impressive, hardly anyone can argue with that.

It shimmers beautifully in the light and has a nice three-dimensional pattern.

The panel is matte, but this does not prevent it from collecting fingerprints, which are not easy to wipe off. But if you use a case, there will be no problem.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The first thing you notice when looking at the back of the Moto Edge 20 Pro is the massive camera block. It looks, one might even say, “professional”.

It also looks original, I don’t remember anything like that. This is the telephoto periscope that the younger model of the Moto Edge 2021 series does not have. The camera is very recessed into the body. The module is able to do a 5x zoom without loss of quality.

If the phone is on the table, it wobbles because of the cameras.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The Moto Edge 20 Pro comes in three colors – Midnight Blue, Iridescent White, and Indigo Vegan Leather. But in Europe, only dark blue is available for sale.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The control keys in the Moto Edge 20 Pro are located on both sides of the device. On the left is the proprietary Google Assistant key. It’s pretty useless, and located too high. You cannot reassign it, but at least there’s a way to disable it in the settings.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

On the right is a double volume control key, as well as a power/lock button combined with a fingerprint scanner. In my opinion, the volume rocker is too high, you have to reach for it.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The power button, aka a fingerprint scanner, seemed inconvenient to me. It’s easy to reach it, but not pleasant to use. Anyway, forgive me, Motorola engineers, but an in-screen scanner is much more appropriate in a phone that costs 800 bucks. I used the Edge 20 Pro right after another smartphone with a built-in fingerprint scanner and at first, out of habit, constantly put my finger on the screen.

However, this is all a matter of habit. The scanner itself is high quality, it works instantly and without errors, even if the finger is wet.

You can also double-tap the lock key to bring up a customizable menu with app icons for quick launch.

On the upper edge of the Moto Edge 20 there is nothing interesting except for an additional microphone, but on the lower edge there is a charging connector, another microphone and slots for a mono speaker, and, finally, a SIM card slot.

The SIM-slot has a “sandwich” format, the first SIM fits on top, the other on the bottom. There is no slot for memory cards, but 256 GB should be enough for everyone. There is also no 3.5 mm jack, unlike, say, the Moto G.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

In conclusion, it should be added that the Moto Edge 20 case has a hydrophobic shell, it is not afraid of water and rain (IP52).

Read also: Motorola Moto G10 vs Moto G20: Which Twin to Choose?

Screen

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The manufacturer is proud of the screens here. Both models have identical displays. The quality of the 6.7-inch OLED matrix is nice, thanks to support for HDR10+ and DCI-P3 color space. The picture is juicy, but not unnatural. The viewing angles are great, without color distortion. The depth of black is impressive. The picture is very clear.

The main feature is 144 Hz screen refresh rate. It’s good that it’s here, but for $800 it’s to be expected; a lot of cheaper models have it too. Of course, the picture is smooth and pleasant.. There are three modes: automatic, 60 Hz or 144 Hz.

It is best to use the automatic option (the phone jumps between 48, 60, 90 and 120 Hz), to save the battery. However, it is important to understand that in automatic mode you have a maximum of 120 Hz.

Automatic brightness works without misfires. There is an option to adjust the color temperature (removes cold shades in the evening). There are three color saturation options.

Sun readability is good, although the display gets harder to see. Standard brightness is around 480 nits, peak brightness is around 670 (that’s only 20 more than the regular Edge 20).

Hardware and performance

The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. This is the most popular chip in 2021 for advanced mid-rangers (or “flagship killers” if you will). The chipset contains 8 cores in a 1 + 3 + 4 combination with a main core frequency of 3.2 GHz. Video accelerator is Adreno 650. Somewhere there is a version with 6/128 GB, but in Europe only the advanced 12/256 is available.

The flagship of the G line, the Moto G100, is also powered by the Snapdragon 870, but the Edge 20 Pro outperforms it in synthetic tests, albeit not significantly. In GeekBench 5 the hero of the review scored 3140 points, in AnTuTu 9 it scored 711,020.

In the throttling test, the Edge 20 Pro gave up surprisingly quickly – up to 69% at peak load. Usually smartphones with Snapdragon 870 do not behave like this. Well, on the other hand, the device practically did not heat up. And in defense of the Moto Edge 20 Pro, it’s also worth noting that in the 3DMark Wild Life stress test, the model produced a confident 99.5%.

Of course, a device with an “almost flagship” processor is very fast. The performance is excellent, everything is smooth, there is not the slightest lag, even in the most demanding tasks or 3D toys.

All is good, but… I wrote the same thing about the standard Edge 20. The numbers in the benchmarks are higher, the performance is better, but in everyday use these two devices are nearly indistinguishable. Well, unless you like to play some very resource-demanding games.

Cameras

Motorola is putting a lot of emphasis on photography with the Edge 20. Let’s see how this has turned out in practice.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The Moto Edge 20 Pro smartphone is equipped with three main modules – a 108MP main camera, an 8MP camera with 5x optical zoom and a 16MP ultra wide-angle lens that can shoot macro thanks to autofocus. There is also a dual LED flash.

The main camera uses a 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor measuring 1/1.52 inches 0.7 microns with a 24mm f/1.9 wide lens. However, do not think that your photos will have a resolution of 108 megapixels. The technology of combining pixels is used, at the output we have 12 megapixel images, but clear and detailed. There’s electronic stabilization, but no OIS. Night mode only supports the main lens.

The ultra-wide-angle camera is a 1/3.06″ 16MP OmniVision OV16A10 sensor with 1.0μm pixels and an f/2.2 17mm lens. Thanks to the presence of autofocus, such a camera allows you to take macro shots from a distance of 4-8 cm.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

What sets the Moto Edge 20 Pro apart from its 8MP sibling is the 1/4.4-inch OmniVision OV08A10 telephoto lens with 1.0μm pixels. What is funny, in terms of numbers, everything is the same as in the standard Edge 20. Only the module is connected to periscope telephoto lenses, which gives us an equivalent focal length of 126 mm (as it is written on the camera block). Aperture is f/3.4. Optical stabilization is also available for this module.

Moto Edge 20 Pro

The selfie camera has a 32-megapixel OmniVision OV32B40 1/3-inch sensor with a resolution of 0.7 microns, a 28 mm f/2.3 lens. The focus is fixed. The pixels are also combined, so that the photos are 8 megapixels.

Let’s talk about photo quality. As you might expect, everything is fine in good lighting. The pictures are clear, well-detailed, with pleasant color reproduction.

ALL PHOTOS MADE WITH MOTO EDGE 20 PRO IN ORIGINAL RESOLUTION

The module is the same as in Edge 20, respectively, and the photos are the same. But remember, the Edge 20 costs $250 less. I would like something more impressive. These graffiti are actually very bright, and Moto makes everything look kind of dull.

Moto Edge 20 Pro photos

Or here’s a sunny day by the water for comparison. On the right is the Realme GT and on the left is the Moto Edge 20 Pro. Judge for yourself. Although, perhaps, this is a matter of taste.

As already noted, by default, photos are created in 12 megapixel resolution (3000 × 4000 pixels). In the settings, you can turn on the original 108 megapixels, but it makes no sense, the files will be heavy, and there is practically no difference in quality. Here is a comparison, 108 MP on the right (full resolution).

In my review of the Edge 20, I wrote that night photography is acceptable considering the price. The Pro is much more expensive, so I’m not ready to make discounts anymore. It should be better.

There is also a special night mode. True, most often it brightens the pictures too much, so much so that they become to look unnatural. But in almost complete darkness it can help. Here is a comparison, photos taken in night mode are on the right.

More examples here.

The wide-angle lens is not bad, the photos are good, with decent contrast and dynamic range, the corners are almost not distorted. The detailing is not very good and you can find fault with the color rendition, but most users will still be happy. Below is a photo from a standard lens (left) versus a photo from a wide-angle lens (right). You can find the OG files here.

The wide-angle camera has autofocus, so it can take not only wide shots, but also macro from a distance of 4-8 cm. The device really makes juicy and beautiful shots up close. You just have to try to keep the camera as still as possible. In any case, the macro lens is not useless here, unlike many mid-range phones.

Photos in the full resolution.

Although the main lens also takes excellent photos from a relatively short distance.

The 8 megapixel telephoto camera, like the main one, makes 12 megapixel photos, which is strange. Its feature is 5x zoom without loss of quality. Hats off – the quality is really great for this level of zoom. Here are examples, 5x zoom is on the right.

Here’s the original resolution.

The smartphone also supports 50x super zoom. But using it is as convenient as sleeping on the ceiling. At the maximum zoom everything shakes terribly, the picture is a mess, and when the camera moves, the image in the viewfinder changes with a delay. As for the quality – for the 50x, well, it’s tolerable…

Moto Edge 20 Pro photos

Here is a comparison photo from the main lens and 50x zoom on the right (original is here):

With such a strong magnification, the app shows a hint where exactly you are.

Moto Edge 20 Pro photos

I will add that shooting in low light is only worth using the main lens. And if lighting at home is weak, both the telephoto and the wide-angle will produce noisy images.

The front-facing camera is 32 megapixels, but images are saved in 8 megapixels to combine pixels and improve quality (if you wish, of course, you can also turn on the original resolution). Selfies are great overall: they are crisp and detailed.

Moto Edge 20 Pro photos

The difference between the Pro and the standard Edge 20, which was not previously mentioned, is the ability to record 8K video at 24 frames per second. There is also 4K at 30 or 60 fps. And there is also a distinct electronic stabilization at 4K/60pfs. But the non-pro model makes 4K only at 30 fps. And its stabilization only works at 1080p/30fps. Whether it is worth the extra money is up to you, personally I don’t think so.

The video quality is high – lots of detail, no noise, and the dynamic range is commendable.

Telephoto and wide angle lens can shoot in 1080p/30fps.

It is also worth noting the Audio Zoom technology. Additional microphones and AI are used to concentrate on the sound source and filter out unnecessary noise in the video. The option is activated automatically at 2x or more zoom.

The Motorola camera app has undergone some changes in the last couple of software releases, but the basic way of navigating menus and camera modes has remained the same. There’s a Pro mode that gives you almost complete control over camera settings such as white balance, ISO, autofocus, exposure and shutter speed up to 32 seconds for all three lenses.

One of the interesting features is super-slowmo video at 960 fps. You can also simultaneously record on the main camera and the selfie camera.

In the settings, you can choose either 8 megapixels, or 12, or the original resolution. However, if you select 8 or 12, the settings are applied to all rear cameras. The first option is not ideal for the main module, the second for the telephoto, there is no golden mean. You can only use the professional mode. It stores images as expected: 12 megapixels for the main, 16 megapixels for ultra-wide and 8 megapixels for the telephoto. But using Pro mode takes time and effort.

Read also: Motorola Moto G30 review – Impressive Budget Smartphone with 90Hz Display

Data transfer and the “Ready for” mode

There is Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC for payment in stores, 5G (various bands are supported, including the new European n1, n38 and n78), as well as geolocation services (GPS, AGPS, LTEPP, SUPL, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou). There is also a magnetic compass.

But what is more interesting is the “Ready for” mode. This is when a smartphone acts as a PC when connected to a monitor or TV (as an option – a PC/laptop) and turns on the special UI for working.

It should be noted that this mode exists in different variations depending on the model. For example, in my review of the G100, I described in detail the Ready For, which works via a USB-C to HDMI cable (the cable was also included). The wireless version was not supported. Standard Edge 20 only supports the wireless option. The Moto Edge 20 Pro supports both wireless and wired options.

Ready for compatibility
Compatibility chart from Motorola

What makes wireless worse than wired? I have no odea. I can only assume that the matter is in the speed of data transfer, the resolution of the picture.

As you can see in the table, there is also the “Ready for PC” mode. It allows you to use Ready For mode in a separate window in your Mac or Windows app.

Ready for PC Moto

The usual “Ready for” options allow you to connect your smartphone to a TV or compatible monitor. The wireless connection uses the Miracast protocol. Most TVs support it. Monitors are the favorites, like the Huawei MateView we recently tested. In my review of Edge 20, I talked about wireless Ready For, I’ll show you a photo from there.

For a wired connection, a bundled cable is used, which I showed in the introduction. Or another compatible USB-C MHL Alt or USB-C-to-C.

In Ready for mode, you can use your phone as an alternative to your computer, game console, or use its camera or microphone for remote learning. You can connect a wireless mouse or keyboard, and the smartphone itself can act as a touchpad.

Ready For: modes

Ready for PC Moto

There are four of them:

  • Desktop
  • TV
  • games
  • video call

Ready for PC Moto

Desktop

The first variant adapts the Android mobile UI for a large screen. First of all, it becomes easier to work with different apps at the same time, you can open several windows.