Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Getting started with the Moto Edge 30 Neo: a rather convincing mid-range

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The Moto Edge 30 Neo is a mid-range smartphone that complements the brand’s rich Edge 30 family. For less than 400 €, it comes up against strong competition, but it does not lack advantages.

Our detailed handling

Moto intends to finish the year in style with an Edge 30 series reinforced by three new models. A family that begins with the Neo, which we invite you to discover our handling while waiting for its passage to the Lab.

This mid-range smartphone comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Three colors are on the menu, developed in collaboration with Pantone, an American company that became known to the general public by introducing the concept of color of the year. Moreover, this one is offered by Moto for the Edge 30 Neo, it is the Peri shade, a rather original mauve. There is also green and the more conventional white and black, like our test copy lent by the brand.

Design and ergonomics

The Moto Edge 30 Neo today ranks in the category of compact and lightweight smartphones. It measures 152.9×71.9×7.8mm and weighs just 155g. Its handling is therefore excellent, including for people with small hands. The power button is placed naturally under the fingers, but this is not quite the case with the two small buttons devoted to volume adjustment. They may seem slightly too high.

Moto Edge 30 Neo

Of course, whoever says rather compact smartphone says “reasonable” diagonal screen. That of the Moto Edge 30 Neo is 6.28 inches, compared to the 6.67 inches of the Moto Edge 30 Fusion, for example. It occupies more than 87% of the front of the smartphone with, unsurprisingly, a front camera taking place in a central punch and a fingerprint reader. This one was very fast, but a little low so that the unlocking was done in a completely natural movement.

Moto Edge 30 Neo

At the rear we find some plastic, but don’t wince right away. It is very well made here, with a matte finish that does not attract fingerprints too much. The partnership with Pantone is materialized by a small discreet inscription. Discreet is also the adjective that best suits the photo block. On the program, two large diameter cameras in a black and gray room. The brand’s designers had the idea of ​​sliding LEDs into the thickness of the block: they will let you know that the smartphone is charging or that you have an incoming call. The customization possibilities are unfortunately underdeveloped.

Moto Edge 30 Neo

Moto provides a rather discreet transparent plastic shell once in place. A charming attention.©L’Éclaireur

In tune with the times, this smartphone with a successful design must unfortunately do without a headphone jack and a memory card. It’s also not waterproof, but the rain doesn’t scare it. A little more significant, Moto provides a transparent protective shell.

screen

For the screen, Moto remains faithful to P-OLED technology, a close relative of AMOLED. The panel used has a Full HD definition, i.e. 1,080×2,400 pixels. This gives us a nice display finesse, with a density of more than 400 dpi. The refresh rate reaches 120 Hz, like most current high-ends. A great performance then. The user is offered three settings: 60 Hz, 120 Hz, but also an automatic mode which switches between 60 and 120 Hz depending on use. A possibility still not very present on mobiles under 400 euros.

On paper, the Moto Edge 30 Neo’s screen ticks a lot of boxes. While waiting for the results of the Lab’s measurements, we appreciated its good brightness and pleasant colors by opting for the Natural setting, the smartphone playing the saturation card more by default.

Audio quality

The Moto Edge 30 Neo does without a headphone jack, but the smartphone has Bluetooth 5.1 for connecting wireless headphones. The Lab will come to estimate the quality of the Bluetooth of this smartphone. He will of course also be interested in the performance of the two loudspeakers which offer a stereophonic rendering which seemed rather balanced to us, knowing that these two units are not identical. Indeed, the top speaker is the one used for the hands-free telephony function, while the bottom one is larger and truly designed for music.

Many possible settings from the application linked to Dolby Atmos. © L’Éclaireur screenshot

Power and interface

To reduce the final price of a smartphone, a manufacturer can choose to dip into the MediaTek catalog, which is generally cheaper than Qualcomm, or remain faithful to the American leader by opting for a slightly older chip. Moto has chosen the second alternative and our protagonist of the day is powered by a Snapdragon 695, Qualcomm’s entry-level 5G launched about a year ago. If it is possible to find smartphones with more powerful mechanics at similar prices, the Moto Edge 30 Neo displays a good general fluidity with an interface that responds well. The Snapdragon 695 is engraved in 6 Nm which allows it to increase in frequency, 2.2 GHz for its two fastest cores, without excessive heating and without consuming too much energy. Of course,

©Screenshot L’Éclaireur

Moto has taken the position for a very long time to offer a fairly refined interface close to a pure version of Android, here in its version 12. In just a few hours, it is possible, including for the least tech-savvy, to master this smartphone before setting off to discover the little extras disseminated by the manufacturer. Part of the parameters is thus accessible from the Moto application, which benefits from clear and simple graphics, which are really successful. Moto also adds additional gesture controls that are often well thought out, as well as shortcuts using the volume keys, for example: a long press allows you to change music tracks, for example.

In terms of updates, the contract is fulfilled since Moto will provide this smartphone with the next two versions of Android and three years of security updates on a fortnightly basis.

Moto Edge 30 Neo

Communications

The Moto Edge 30 Neo supports 5G with theoretical speeds much higher than what the mobile networks of the operators authorize, in France at least. So don’t worry about that. For the rest, it’s classic… Maybe a little too much, because you have to do without wifi 6 which is spreading quickly through internet boxes in particular. Too bad, even if in practice it will not be essential for everyone. The Lab measurements will allow us to see the capabilities of the Moto Edge 30 Neo in terms of radio sensitivity. In use, we did not notice anything in particular.

Photo

For the photo, Moto remains pragmatic by not playing one-upmanship in terms of the number of cameras. Exit the dispensable modules: macro and depth of field cameras, don’t feel targeted… but a little anyway.

Moto Edge 30 Neo

No, the Moto Edge 30 Neo is not content with just two cameras. First we find a wide-angle. Its optics has an aperture of f / 1.8 and benefits from optical stabilization. Behind it, a 64 megapixel sensor officiates with the classic intervention of pixel binning, which reduces the default shots to a definition of 16 megapixels. The second photo module is an ultra wide-angle which has a capture field of 120° for an f/2.2 aperture. This camera is based on a 13 megapixel sensor.

In a bright environment, the wide-angle of the Moto Edge 30 Neo is convincing, since it manages to take dynamic and contrasting photos. The level of detail is satisfactory at 16 megapixels. It increases only slightly by switching to 64 megapixels (Ultra-res mode). Useless in our opinion to resort to this option, which results in the production of huge files: the same photo taken in 64 megapixels thus weighs 64.4 MB, against 16.1 MB in 16 megapixels. Note that the JPEG compression is low, because in general the Moto Edge 30 Neo produces large photo files. So be careful with the memory space on this mobile which does not offer a microSD slot!

The ultra wide-angle is less convincing, since we find the recurring defects of this kind of camera with a degradation of quality when we move away from the center of the image. We lose sharpness, but also contrast. The optical deformation is also rather sensitive. At night, things don’t really get better and the limits of this ultra wide-angle are quickly reached. Moto had the good idea to equip this camera with an autofocus. It will therefore be used successfully for macro photography.

Video is the poor relation of this smartphone, since it will not be able to go beyond 1080p at 30 frames per second. We would have liked to be able to reach 60 fps, more suitable for action scenes. The result is acceptable despite limited dynamics.

The front camera of the Moto Edge 30 Neo has a large 32-megapixel sensor. Here too, the pixel binning intervenes with therefore ultimately 8 megapixel photos. Selfies are sharp, but the level of detail doesn’t really impress and the colors lack pep. The light sometimes struggles to be properly managed in difficult conditions such as backlighting. Skin smoothing is overkill for our liking, even with the AI ​​turned off. It is possible to switch to 32 megapixels, but the image produced does not really progress.

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