Motorola Edge 30 Fusion reviewon November 30, 2022 at 12:59 Tech Advisor

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At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

Flagship-like designNear-flagship performanceSuper clean and classy software

Cons

Mediocre battery lifeAverage secondary camerasOnly IP52 rated

Our Verdict

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion looks and performs a lot like a flagship phone, but for £300 less. It’s not quite the complete £500 package, but there’s an awful lot to like here.

Price When Reviewed

£499

Best Prices Today: Motorola Edge 30 Fusion

Retailer
Price
Motorola
£499
Lenovo
£500
£644.37

There was a time when £500 would secure you a flagship smartphone with all the bells and whistles.

These days it’s enough to bag you a mid-range phone like the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, which squeezes second-tier and older premium components into a modern flagship-like design. It’s not a completely unique approach, with the Honor 70 and Realme GT 2 offering something broadly similar of late.

The Edge 30 Fusion might lack the headline-grabbing 200Mp main camera and cutting edge performance of the flagship Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, to which it serves as a step-down model. However, a few judicious cuts and compromises have produced a capable all-rounder with an extra dose of class.

We can dispel the question of whether the Edge 30 Fusion is a good phone straight out of the gate: it most certainly is. The real question is whether it’s good enough to warrant a 25% hike in outlay over a formidable class of £400 phones that include the Pixel 6a, the OnePlus Nord 2T, and the Nothing Phone (1).

Confusingly, there’s also an Edge 30 and an Edge 30 Neo.

Design & Build

Flagship-esque glass and aluminium buildLight and skinnyDual-curved display

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion looks and feels like a flagship phone. More specifically, the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, which will set you back another £250.

This is a pleasingly compact, skinny handset that measures just 158.48 x 71.99 x 7.45mm, and which weight a very reasonable 175g.

Motorola’s idea of a premium phone design falls in line with OnePlus, Vivo, and Honor, with a dual curved display and a correspondingly curved rear. You’ll find Gorilla Glass 5 to the front and rear sandwiching an aluminium frame, while the top and bottom edges are flat and wide, and the side frame narrows down to a thin strip.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

There’s a classy frosted finish to the rear cover, which calls to mind the OnePlus 10 Pro, especially in my model’s Cosmic Grey shade. You can also specify it in silky Aurora White or Neptune Blue, the latter of which coats the rear in vegan leather. Some territories also get a Solar Gold option, too.

All in all, the Edge 30 Fusion feels as premium as it looks, with the presence of a mere IP52 certification the only glaring indication that we’re not dealing with a true flagship. It’s worth pointing out that the Pixel 6a is IP67 but for £100 less.

Screen & Speakers

6.55in curved P-OLED144Hz refresh rateExtremely colour accurate in Natural

There are no major complaints to be had with the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion’s display, though it falls short of true flagship status in all but one stand-out area.

It’s a nicely sized 6.55in P-OLED with full HDR10+ support and a solid Full HD+ (1080 x 2400) resolution, while it attains a decent 1100 nits peak brightness. In general use, with autobrightness switched off, it hits around 400 nits, which isn’t massively impressive.

The real stand-out feature here is one that’s almost unique to Motorola outside of the gaming phone class. The Edge 30 Fusion’s display can refresh at 144Hz, which is even smoother than the 120Hz that’s become the industry standard for flagship phones.

With this active, flicking through the phone’s home screens and menus feels super slick and responsive, aided by a slightly older but hugely capable processor. There is a bit of a trade-off for this unusually speedy spec, however, which we’ll discuss a little later.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

In accuracy terms, I recorded a gamut coverage of 96% sRGB and a gamut volume of 97.3% sRGB in Natural mode, as well as an excellent average Delta E score of 0.89. The default Saturated mode is more tuned to DCI P3 colours for those who like their colours punchier.

Accompanying this solid display is a pair of stereo speakers, which isn’t a given at this price (looking at you, Honor 70). These lack low-end oomph, but are otherwise sufficiently loud and clear, and the phone wears its Dolby Atmos badge proudly on the top edge.

Specs & Performance

Snapdragon 888+ 5G8GB RAM128GB of storage

One of the smartest decisions Motorola has taken with the Edge 30 Fusion is to equip it with a Snapdragon 888+ 5G chip. This was the flagship Android chip of choice in late 2021, which means it’s extremely capable despite being twice removed from the cutting edge.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

The result is excellent performance that’s very difficult to distinguish from modern flagships, but without the attendant premium. Throughout my time with the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion it didn’t miss a beat, whether I was app switching, jumping into the camera app using the clever dual-twist shortcut, or playing advanced 3D games like Genshin Impact on the highest graphical settings.

This is aided by a solid 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM as standard and there’s 128GB of storage in the UK, though other territories may get 256GB and even 512GB options on top of that.

In pure benchmarking terms, the Edge Fusion 30 performs predictably well. In Geekbench 5 CPU tests, it falls closer to modern flagship phones than to £400 champs like the OnePlus Nord 2T and the Pixel 6a, not to mention the similarly priced Honor 70. It’s a similar case with our usual suite of GFXBench GPU tests, where the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion makes another strong showing.

Unless you’re willing to go all in with a bulky gaming phone like the Red Magic 7, this is just about the fastest-performing mainstream phone you’re going to get for less than £500.

Cameras

50Mp OmniVision OV50 main sensor13Mp ultrawide2Mp depth sensor32Mp selfie camera

It might not have the headline-grabbing 200Mp main sensor of its range-topping big brother, the Edge 30 Ultra, but the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion still comes equipped for a decent fight.

Most notably, its 50Mp OmniVision OV50 main sensor is the same one that you’ll find in the Moto Razr 2022 and the Huawei P50 Pro – significantly more premium phones both. This is aided by OIS, which helps out in low light situations.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

The accompanying sensors aren’t so impressive, with a 13Mp ultrawide and a 2Mp depth sensor screaming ‘mid-range’ but that’s to be expected.

It’s all about that main sensor which, in combination with a 2021 flagship processor, is capable of capturing decent shots in reasonable lighting. It can be a little inconsistent, though.

I found that the camera doesn’t always cope with high dynamic range situations as well as I would have liked, occasionally overexposing brighter areas, or failing to bump up a shady subject. This could vary across successive shots, prompting me to take an extra shot just to be sure.

Night time shots aren’t top tier, but they are passable, preserving the natural look of the scene whilst bumping up the brightness. Low light shots generally looked crisp in my experience, though I did pick up a fair amount of noise in those dark skies.

That 13Mp ultra-wide isn’t anywhere near as good as the main sensor, of course, but it’s capable of grabbing decent shots when called upon. It’s also the source of the phone’s macro shots, which can turn out reasonably sharp, clear close-ups – though you have to be either precise with your distances or trigger-happy with the shutter button.

The 32Mp selfie cam produces decent detail, but can struggle a little with extreme brightness, and can tend to wash out skin tones.

Battery Life & Charging

Relatively small 4400mAh battery68W wired chargingNo wireless charging

If I were to name one main weakness with the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, it would be its stamina. It’s far from bad in this respect, but that skinny body has led to a relatively small 4400mAh battery.

This is the same size as the OnePlus Nord 2T, but significantly smaller than the Realme GT 2 and the Honor 70. None of those phones boast such a power-hungry 144Hz display either.

Sure enough, with the 144Hz mode forced on, it lasted a mere 8 hours 40 minutes in the PC Mark Work 3.0 battery life test. That falls several hours short of the Realme GT 2 (11:46), and 50 minutes short of the Honor 70. Leaving the display on its default Switching to Auto screen refresh mode will gain you about 2 hours in such a test, but that’s far from ideal.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

In practical terms, I found that the phone would drop to 40% after a short 12 hour day of moderate usage (around 4 hours screen on time). I would expect most mid to high-end phones to be able to retain 50% or more in this sort of scenario.

Charging speeds are decent, however, courtesy of a 68W charger that Motorola includes in the box. I found that 30 minutes of charging would get the Edge 30 Fusion from empty to 90%, which is a strong showing.

There’s no wireless charging support here, which is a bit of a shame, if far from unusual at this price.

Software

Android 12Very few superfluous appsMoto app useful and tasteful

A key strength of any Motorola phone, regardless of the price, is the brand’s low-intervention approach to software. That certainly proves the case here, with the Edge 30 Fusion running on an extremely lightweight take on Android 12.

Motorola doesn’t ladle on pointless duplicate apps, and the only third party app pre-install that’s forced on you is TikTok. The brand’s combined clock and weather widget is distinctively its own, but it’s both tasteful and easy enough to remove if you so wish.

Jon Mundy / Foundry

The main app contribution from Motorola itself is the ever-brilliant Moto app, which combines colourful feature tutorials with custom settings and controls for the brand’s helpful gesture-based shortcuts. Activating the camera with a double twist of the wrist continues to be surprisingly effective, as is the ‘double karate chop’ motion for activating the torch in a pinch.

Price & Availability

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion is available to buy from the Motorola UK website. In the UK there’s a single 128GB model, which costs £499. You can also buy it from Amazon and Lenovo, Motorola’s parent company.

This places the Moto Edge 30 Fusion in a £500-ish mid-range category alongside the Honor 70 and the Realme GT 2. It’s undercut by cheaper mid-rangers like the OnePlus Nord 2T, the Nothing Phone 1, and the Google Pixel 6a, all of which cost £399.

It’s not available in the US, so you’ll have to look elsewhere although the Moto Edge (2022) is $599.

For more options, take a look at our best mid-range phones chart.

Verdict

The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion is a mid-range phone with an uncommon level of design polish and near-flagship performance. Its camera, while obviously short of the very best, can capture good shots in reasonable lighting.

As ever, Motorola’s software is a delight to use, with minimal bloat and thoughtful customisations. Recharging is appreciably swift, too, courtesy of a bundled-in 68W plug.

There are a couple of drawbacks, including underwhelming battery life, a lack of decent waterproofing, and a fairly average camera offering beyond the main sensor. What’s more, for most people, the OnePlus Nord 2T achieves broadly the same effect, to varying degrees, for £100 less.

Motorola needs to push the boat out a little further to produce a genuine stand-out mid-ranger, but the Edge 30 Fusion is easy to recommend to anyone looking for a classy phone on a slightly reduced budget.

Specs

Android 126.55in, Full HD+, OLED, 120Hz, curved displayQualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G8GB LPDDR5 RAM128GB storage50Mp, f/1.8 main camera13Mp ultra-wide camera2Mp depth cameraUp to 8K @ 30fps rear video32Mp front-facing cameraIn-display fingerprint sensorStereo speakersDual-SIMWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6eBluetooth 5.24400mAh battery68W charging158.48 x 71.99 x 7.45mm175gLaunch colours: Cosmic Grey
Mid-range smartphones, Smartphones

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