After its two summer hits, the excellent Razr 40 and Raz 40 Ultra folding smartphones, Motorola is back to make a splash this fall by renewing its mid-range offering. If the information had escaped you, that's normal given the media cacophony generated over the past month by the launch of the iPhone 15 and Google Pixel 8. However, it would be a shame not to listen carefully to what Motorola is offering us. with its Edge 40 Neo.
A few months after the release of the Edge 40 (599 euros) and the Edge 40 Pro (899 euros), two rather mid-range, premium and high-end smartphones, Motorola decided to camp on a new frontier. The one separating the entry-level and the beginning of the mid-range. A dividing line which is established at around 400 euros.
On site, there is already a crowd. We think in particular of the Poco X5 Pro (349 euros), the Samsung Galaxy A54 (329 euros) and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro (399 euros). Will the Motorola Edge 40 Neo be strategic enough to push everyone out of this border? After more than a month in his company, here is our complete opinion.
The Edge 40 Neo smartphone is available in three colors (black, mint green and blue) and in a single configuration (12/256 GB) at a recommended retail price of 399 euros.
First remark , Motorola is not increasing its prices compared to its predecessor the 30 Neo. However, as we will see in this test, the technical sheet is greatly improved.
Second remark, for this price, the American manufacturer includes a shell matching the color of the smartphone. The latter, very pleasant, is made from flaxseed. When we know that some high-end smartphones struggle to give us a simple charger… This kind of attention, which we welcome, only confirms our thinking. The most affordable smartphone manufacturers are also the least stingy.
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Although light and discreet, the Edge 40 Neo offers a beautiful 6.55-inch panel. Its screen size and footprint ratio is therefore truly excellent. To impress us, Motorola is relying on a technology P-OLED, with Full HD+ definition (2400 x1080), as well as a 144 Hz refresh rate.
The manufacturer has always liked to be prolix on the subject. Sometimes it is right to do so, especially on its more high-end models. Sometimes less, like here. Indeed, the Edge 40 Neo is not a smartphone intended for intensive gaming. The difference between 120 and 144 Hz therefore appears almost anecdotal here.
We would have preferred here that Motorola had concentrated its efforts on offering its smartphone an adaptive mode which, for example, allows it to go below 60 Hz, so that an audience which hardly ever plays can never save its battery.
Let's not deny our pleasure, however, apart from this commercial argument, the screen is very good.As long as you switch to “Natural” mode, the colors are dynamic and close to reality. The primary colors never bleed and the secondaries are also well managed. Especially since the brightness is generally good, even outdoors, and the viewing angles are rather stable.
The Motorola Edge 40 Neo runs Android 13, equipped with the “MyUX” interface. ;”. Although the latter is visually close to Stock Android, Motorola does not hesitate to enhance it with well-thought-out in-house applications and customizations.
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For example, the “Moto” application brings together all the screen customizations and quick gestures in one place. Special mention, for the possibility of illuminating the edges of the screen in the event of a call, notification or alert.
For its part, Moto Connect allows you to easily and quickly connect wirelessly, via Miracast technology, to a screen. Finally, the Family Space applicationgives the possibility of creating specific spaces for parents who wish to lend their smartphone to their children for the time of a game or a video.
Say that, obviously Motorola is not inventing not the wheel. Except that here, each proposal is ergonomic and clear. It's easy to find your way around without having to juggle between different obscure menus. For all people who are not geek at heart, or who do not want to waste time, this is an excellent initiative.
On the other hand, when starting the smartphone, be sure to uncheck the apps that you are offered to install or not. Unless apps like “Monopoly Go” interest you. It's a bit tedious and some of them will still have to be installed.
Another, true, black point here, Motorola is only committing to two major Android updates, as well as 3 years of security patch. An additional year would not have been a refusal…
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This is quite an astonishing association. In its innards, the Edge 40 Neo has a basic mid-range 5G SoC, the Dimensity 7030, as well as 12 GB of RAM. In terms of power, thischipset from Mediatek is equivalent to little close to the famous Snapdragon 888 of… 2021. By adding a rather high RAM, Motorola therefore made a choice: favor fluidity over big muscles.
Although it is not a smartphone for uncompromising gamers, the Edge 40 Neo offers quality services. It will be able to run all your everyday apps without flinching and without slowing down. For 2D games, it will also be a great companion.
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In exchange, it gains in stability, fluidity and heat dissipation.It barely heats up, even after an hour of Sparklite, a little Zelda-like game we played during a train ride. So sometimes, it is better to have moderate, well-controlled power than the opposite.
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The photographic proposition of the Edge 40 Neo is rather simple. No telephoto lens, difficult to offer a good one in the mid-range. And no useless lens dedicated to macro just to show off because we have an extra sensor at the back. Some manufacturers will recognize themselves here.
We therefore find a 50 Mpx main sensor with an f/1.88 opening lens (autofocus and stabilization) and a 13 Mpx ultra-wide-angle with an opening lens at f/2.2.
During the day, the main sensor does quite well. The dynamic range is wide and the details are numerous, without being abundant. Contrast levels and sharpness are there even in gloomy weather.
The colorimetry is rather faithful, except for a slight saturation sometimes of the blue, while the shades of gray are well transcribed. Please note that if your scene is too dark, it is possible to adjust the brightness directly on the screen before shooting. A welcome and useful option. Even when trying to take this sensor from behind, semi-indoor with lights, it managed well the chromatic differences of the fore and background.
When daylight is replaced by street lights, the Edge 40 Neo does not come apart. Digital noise certainly appears, but it remains minimal and rather on the periphery. However, the photos maintain a beautiful colorimetric consistency.
By activating night mode, it is nice to see that Motorola does not saturate the colors or the brightness. We don't have the unpleasant feeling of having captured two different photos. Light, but not useless, this mode slightly accentuates the sharpness of the edges. Depending on the situation, the exposure time can sometimes be a little long, up to 4 seconds. On the other hand, it is a shame that this “Night Vision” mode is not accessible directly in the interface. To take advantage of it, we had to go to the settings each time.
Main sensor only
With “Night Vision”
Unsurprisingly, the ultra wide angle is rather average. Although it does not distort the edges, it struggles in areas of contrast and it generally lacks sharpness on complex scenes. When the light is not present, the photos darken quite easily, despite good focus. Let's not throw out all the bathwater all the same, with precision and a little patience, it allows you to take correct shots. This is particularly the case on buildings.
For its part, Portrait mode is more satisfying. The shots are natural, because the bokeh is never too accentuated. The clipping is pretty good, except on rare occasions where the AI seems to not understand our focal point. Moreover, the Edge 40 Neo offers three for this mode. A focal length of 24 mm, the basic optics, as well as a 35 mm (x1.5) and a 50 mm (x2) optical zoom. The latter works rather well and allows to take more intimate portraits.
When it comes to the 32-megapixel front sensor, there's not much to complain about from Motorola. A good level of detail, measured bokeh and sharpness are there. Unlike the main sensor, the colors lose slightly in vitality. It's not a drama, but it's worth noting.
Finally, let's quickly note that on the video side, the Edge 40 Neo is quite a good student. The options are numerous (dual screen, iPhone-style Bokeh mode, etc.) , the quality is present (Full HD at 60 fps, Full HD at 30 fps and 4K at 30 fps) and the stabilizer works rather well.
While the Edge 30 Neo had a 4020 mAh battery, our thief of the day displays 5000 mAh. A welcome gain in muscle that places the smartphone at the level of most of its direct competitors.
In use, this battery reflects the philosophy of the Edge 40 Neo in terms of power. For basic use, the smartphone will easily last more than a day and a half. It is then possible to listen to streaming music, surf extensively on social networks and play 2D games in the metro.
As soon as we become more demanding, it stammers . For three days in a row, we engaged in hour-long sessions of 3D gaming with the graphics on full blast and added a good hour of video streaming with the brightness at maximum.
< p>Result of the races, he was just finishing the day. Be careful, the autonomy is rather good, but also very variable. As soon as you take it out of its comfort zone, energy loss is faster than the competition. Fortunately, its host of energy saving options is there to improve this situation a little.
To make it regain its strength, you must have the 68 W charger, provided in the box. Allow around 50 minutes to fully charge it and 20 minutes to go from 0 to 50%. The Edge 40 Neo is therefore rather fast. And for the more cautious, it is possible to limit the charge to 80%. To increase battery life.
Since its return to the forefront, Motorola has almost never disappointed us. The Edge 40 Neo will not change this state of affairs. This early mid-range smartphone is consistent, versatile and above all, it has that little something that makes it unique.
First of all, it is beautiful and its design is neat. Then, it has a beautiful, well-calibrated screen and an interface that will delight lovers of the simple and useful. For its performances, it pragmatically chooses the path of fluidity, while its photo and video part has no reason to be ashamed of the competition. Even if its autonomy can vary depending on the use of good to average, we forgive it, because its charging is fast.
In the small game of comparisons, it has more panache than the Samsung Galaxy A54, it is more pragmatic in terms of power than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro and its user experience is well above that of the Poco X5 Pro.
Of course, it is not exempt from all criticism. Its audio part is just average, its ultra wide angle too, and we cannot increase its storage capacity. In addition, its software updates do not make it a reliable companion in the very long term.
All of this taken together, the Edge 40 Neo looks like an excellent transitional smartphone. The type of phone you buy when the budget is limited or that you choose for a teenager. With the Edge 40 Neo, Motorola is cultivating its difference not without some success. A unique model of its kind that takes us out of the ambient gloom of the mid-range segment.