With a gorgeous display, super-sharp camera and plenty of grunt, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra can stand tall alongside the Android flagships of 2022.
There’s a Motorola handset for every budget and every occasion, which is great when it comes to consumer choice but frustrating when it comes to choosing the right phone for your pocket. There are an overwhelming number of options in Motorola’s Edge 30 range alone, including the standard Edge 30, Edge 30 Fusion, Edge 30 Neo, Edge 30 Pro and this Edge 30 Ultra.
Thankfully, there’s no confusion when it comes to the Edge 30 Ultra, as it doesn’t make the compromises found elsewhere in the Edge 30 range. It’s the pride of the Motorola fleet, managing to pack a ton of grunt and an impressive feature set into an elegant body, while still maintaining an accessible price point considering the asking price for some rival Android flagships.
Review: Motorola Edge 30 Ultra
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra first impressions
Straight out of the box, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra has a premium look and feel, with an elegance that assures you that you’re in good hands.
The 6.7-inch, 20:9 display makes for a rather tall handset, but it’s still relatively light and slender to ensure it doesn’t come across as bulky. Its length won’t suit some pockets and puts it at a slight risk of overbalancing in small hands, similar to the Moto G51 5G. The fact that the handset is a little shorter and lighter than the G51 5G helps it sit more comfortably in your hand, as do the curved edges.
Fire up the phone and you discover that those curved edges are actually part of the “endless edge display”, which adds to the handset’s premium design by ensuring that the bezels almost vanish. There’s no screen notch for the front camera, just a pinhole, but the fact it sits in the middle of the Android status bar means it’s unlikely to get in the way.
Some might consider the pOLED screen a slight drop in picture quality compared to AMOLED, but in return, it still delivers a beautifully rich and vivid image thanks to support for 1.07 billion colours, 100 per cent sRGB and the full DCI-P3 colour gamut. Out of the box, the whites might be a little cool for some tastes, but you can tweak this.
It’s also a very bright screen, which comes in handy for HDR, while the 144Hz refresh rate helps keep things silky-smooth.
The handset features slimline volume and power buttons along the right-hand edge, with a fingerprint reader built into the screen and support for Android’s Face Unlock. There’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack, but along the bottom edge, you’ll find a USB-C port, which is also a DisplayPort 1.4 connector for plugging into an external monitor.
The earpiece also doubles as a second speaker, so you can get true stereo sound with good stereo separation when watching movies on the phone in landscape mode.
The handset’s frame and back panel are made from sandblasted aluminium. Like most Motorola phones, the Edge 30 Ultra comes with a basic transparent protective case. While it might offer a little protection against drops, it certainly detracts from the premium hand feel.
One notable shortcoming is the IP52 ruggedness rating, which seems a bit risky considering rival flagships offer IP67 or IP68 for greater protection against water and dust.
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra specs
|Display size||6.67 inches, 20:9 aspect ratio|
|Display resolution||1080×2400 pixels|
|Display technology||pOLED, 144Hz refresh rate, 10-bit colour, HDR10+|
|Bands||4G LTE, 5G sub-6|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform|
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 730|
|Rear cameras||200 MP (f/1.9, 0.64 µm), Ultra Pixel Technology, Phase Detection Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation; 12 MP telephoto (f/1.6, 1.12 µm), Quad Pixel Technology, Phase Detection Autofocus, 2x optical zoom; 50 MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 0.64 µm), 114-degree field of view|
|Front camera||60 MP, f/2.2, 0.61 µm|
|Onboard storage||256 GB UFS 3.1|
|Charging||USB-C 3.1 125W TurboPower charging, up to 50W Qi wireless, 10W wireless power sharing|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 6E 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax tri-band (2.4. 5, 6 GHz) Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Operating system||Android 12|
|Security||Fingerprint reader, Face Unlock|
|Dimensions||H 161.8 mm, W 73.5 mm, D 8.4 mm|
|Colours||Interstellar Black, Starlight White|
The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra comes with the latest version of Android 12, running Motorola’s My UX and minimal bloatware. Motorola recently confirmed it will get Android 13, and perhaps more considering that Motorola has become more generous of late when it comes to platform and security updates.
Under the bonnet, you’ll find the high-end Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, accompanied by a generous 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB of onboard storage. Along with raw grunt, Qualcomm’s premium power plant also supports a lot of next-gen features, from “Snapdragon Elite Gaming” for serious gamers to aptX Lossless for audiophiles.
It’s also a 5G chipset, ensuring you can take advantage of Australia’s fastest mobile broadband networks. As you’d expect, it only supports sub-6 GHz 5G and not the faster millimetre wave 5G which is gradually rolling out in the big cities.
When it comes to juice, the larger body allows for a more generous 4610 mAh battery that will easily last you the day. The Edge 30 Ultra can take advantage of 125W charging to get a day’s worth of power in just seven minutes. There’s also support for wireless charging, up to 50W if you’ve got the TurboPower 50W Wireless Charging Stand, along with 10W wireless power sharing for topping up other devices.
An impressive spec sheet is topped off with the real showstopper, a 200 MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilisation. It’s a triple-camera array, adding a 12 MP telephoto with 2x optical zoom and 50MP ultra-wide with a 114-degree field of view. The front sports a single 60 MP selfie camera.
The main image sensor captures 8K UHD or 4K UHD HDR10+ video at 30 fps, or 4K UHD at 60 fps. You also get FHD slow motion at up to 960 fps. Meanwhile, the selfie camera captures 4K UHD video up to 60 fps or FHD slow motion up to 240 fps.
As you’d expect, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform really delivers the goods. The GeekBench 5 benchmarks tell an impressive story, with a single-core result of 1321 and a multi-core result of 4246. That makes it one of the most powerful Android handsets on the market – more than enough to handle anything you throw at it, especially when combined with 12 GB of RAM.
When it comes to photography, megapixels aren’t everything but the Edge 30 Ultra really makes the most of that 200 MP lens to deliver great photos, with impressive detail, vivid but natural colours and minimal noise even in low-light environments. It doesn’t actually shoot 200 MP by default, although you can opt for this. Instead, by default, it combines pixels to output 12 MP images, but it’s still a much cleaner picture than you get from some handsets boasting high MP ratings.
That’s partly because the handset uses a larger image sensor than most phones. As a result, there’s none of the murk that you get in shots from some of the budget handsets, although images can occasionally look a tad over-processed, such as when capturing white clouds against a blue sky. It’s the pick of the bunch amongst Motorola’s camera line-up, although fussy photographers may find it falls a bit short of best in class.
If you’re looking for a 2022 Motorola handset that doesn’t make compromises, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is the one you’ve been waiting for. Whether you’re chasing an elegant design, a shedload of grunt, a premium screen or a fantastic camera, the Edge 30 Ultra doesn’t disappoint. That IP52 rating is the only real sticking point.
It’s worth noting that the rest of the Edge 30 range is basically pared-back versions of the Ultra, so if you value some of the Ultra’s premium features but not others, you might find a better fit elsewhere with a cheaper price tag. If you value the camera above all else, the Ultra is head and shoulders above the rest from Motorola.
Of course, if you’re prepared to drop $1,399 on the Edge 30 Ultra, you’re also getting up into the same territory as the Google Pixel 7 Pro, the standard Samsung Galaxy S22 and even powerhouses like the Asus Zenfone 9. The Edge 30 Ultra deserves to be amid such illustrious company, but you’ll need to do your research before taking the plunge.
Would I buy it?
Maybe, if I was after a power premium handset that doesn’t break the bank.
Packing lots of great features into a slender body, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is a worthy competitor in the flagship Android race.
Powerful Snapdragon processor
Only IP52 ruggedness