Motorola Edge 40 in the final test: Everything a little cheaper

Almost a month ago, Motorola officially presented the Edge 40 Pro, which we of course tested immediately. This week, the Motorola Edge 40 is the “inexpensive” version of the flagship smartphone. But how well is the semi-flagship positioned with a MediaTek Dimensity 8020? We find out in our detailed review of the Motorola Edge 40. Have fun!

Motorola Edge 40 price and availability

The Motorola Edge 40 comes a month after the Lenovo subsidiary’s Pro model. It is available now for EUR 599.99, which is EUR 300 cheaper than the flagship. The most significant difference lies in the integrated processor, as it deviates from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and instead employs the MediaTek Dimensity 8020.A SoC that was previously only used in the Honor Pad V8 and is located in the upper mid-range with a maximum clock rate of 2.6 GHz.

In terms of memory, the former Google subsidiary Motorola leaves you no choice: In Germany there is only the model with 8 GB of working memory and 256 GB of internal UFS 3.1 program memory. An optional memory expansion – for example with a microSD card – is not supported. In terms of color, however, you can choose between Lunar Blue, Eclipse Black and Nebula Green. The last two colors are described by Motorola as vegan leather. But since we received the “Eclipse Black” model as a test item, I would not confirm that.

It is more like a slightly roughened and rubberized coating. But the feel has something very special about it, which brings us directly to the next test category.

Motorola Edge 40: design and finish

I like:

  • Grippy, light and flat
  • High-quality materials and great workmanship
  • Waterproof and dustproof according to IP68

I do not like it:

  • No jack socket
  • Missing microSD support

The device looks very light and thin, which it actually is with dimensions of 158.43 x 71.99 x 7.49 mm and a weight of 171 g. The rounded back and the curved panel on the front probably contribute the rest to the feel-good character.

Motorola Edge 40: Display

Speaking of the display: Motorola installs a 6.55-inch pOLED display with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and an average of 402 ppi. So far basically standard. Even the maximum brightness of 1,200 nits in direct sunlight doesn’t catapult anyone out of their wing chair. However, the maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz attracts attention. Maybe not yet in everyday use, but very well when gaming.

I like:

  • Very good display for its purpose
  • High refresh rate

I do not like it:

  • Some people don’t like a curved display

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Real Racing 3, first-person shooters like Dead Trigger, Modern Combat 5 or fantasy role-playing games like Genshin Impact. But more on that later in the software category.

The brightness is sufficient even under direct sunlight, the viewing angle stability, contrast and dynamics are quite convincing. The power and standby buttons are in the perfect position on the right side. Only the two volume buttons could have been installed a little more towards the middle. The panel, which is suitable for “HDR10+”, “HiD” and “Max Vision”, is framed at the top and bottom by two loudspeakers, which offer stereo sound in addition to Dolby Atmos. I would describe this as averagely loud and balanced in terms of balance between bass and treble.

Motorola Edge 40: Software

As a former Google subsidiary, Motorola was actually always known for an almost pure Android. But the Motorola Edge 40 seems to have strayed a bit from the Mandalorian’s path. A look at the installed applications reveals a total of 81, with nine apps installed for our test.

I like:

  • Acceptable update policy
  • You decide whether it’s bloatware or not
  • Liked “My UX” interface

I do not like it:

  • Not Samsung update level

Okay, let’s be fair: It’s “almost” exclusively Google applications. Yes, there are quite a few! Strictly speaking, Facebook, Indeed and MarktGuru would also be more likely to be described as bloatware. In principle, it remains with the three useless applications. However, Motorola has come up with another trick for the apps, which are usually preinstalled by other manufacturers. A portfolio of apps divided into three categories is offered during the initial setup, of which the first three are already ticked for installation.

Otherwise, it should also be mentioned that Motorola delivered the Edge 40 to us with preinstalled Android 13 and its own “My UX” user interface. The Lenovo subsidiary is at least moving at a snail’s pace towards a positive update policy. The Edge 40 only gets three years of Google security and two system updates. Thus, Android 15 is guaranteed. But I hope that by then the Motorola management will have changed their minds. Other manufacturers are demonstrating a much higher standard in this regard.

Motorola Edge 40 CPU and memory

The Motorola Edge 40 has installed a relatively unknown MediaTek Dimensity 8020. So far, this processor is only known to me from the Honor Pad V8 available in China. The octa-core SoC is manufactured in the 6 nm process and is not a new chip design in my opinion, but a remake of the MediaTek Dimensity 1100.

I like:

  • MediaTek SoC is not that bad
  • No unnecessary heat generation

I do not like it:

  • No microSD card support

At least, this would clarify the presence of four identical ARM Cortex-A78 cores (maximum 2.6 GHz) and four Cortex-A55 cores (max. 2.0 GHz). The GPU is also identical to an ARM Mali-G77 MC9. Be that as it may – it is a solid mid-range processor that is more than sufficient for typical work.

No, even more: I not only put the processor through our typical benchmark tests, but also spent some demanding gaming sessions with it. These include my favorite racing simulation Real Racing 3, the emotional balance provided by Dead Trigger 2 and the graphically complex role-playing game Genshin Impact. None of this is an issue for the MediaTek processor.

There are also no complaints about the heat: The Motorola Edge 40 remains in a relaxed temperature range, no matter how demanding the application. The unknown external insulation could of course help ensure that the feeling never becomes uncomfortable, but be that as it may, the result counts.

If you love the hard facts, you will of course also get the benchmark evaluations from 3D Mark, Work 3.0 and Geekbench 5 in comparison with the Nothing Phone (1), the Redmi Note 11 Pro+. And we also draw the manufacturer’s internal comparison to the Motorola Edge 40 Pro with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Lo and behold, the “unknown” MediaTek processor is doing quite well. The Motorola Edge 40 can almost double the results of the Nothing Phone (1) and the Redmi Note 11 Pro+. In the end, this also corresponds to our daily use of the Moto smartphone.

Motorola Edge 40 Storage

I already mentioned it in the “Price and availability” category: While there are other storage options in other countries, Motorola doesn’t trust German customers to make this decision. Whether you like it or not, it should be a Motorola Edge 40, then only with 8 GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256 GB UFS-3.1 non-expandable internal program memory.

In detail, that means almost 13 GB for the system and almost 4 GB for pre-installed applications. So you still have a whopping 256 GB for your personal needs. So if you don’t want to buy the Motorola Edge 40 primarily for filming 4K videos – which also works – you should be fine with the storage space provided.

Motorola Edge 40: Camera

In addition to the built-in processor, the difference to the Motorola Edge 40 Pro and the basic model is noticeable in the camera. Instead of the gigantic 60 MP, the front camera has a resolution of 32 MP with a maximum aperture of f/2.4 and is built into the top center of the display as a “punch hole” camera. There are three cameras on the back.

I like:

  • If you like it trendy: chic colors
  • Good overall package for wide-angle photos

I do not like it:

  • Digital 8x zoom is too little and too bad

Motorola does without the telephoto zoom camera in the middle class and offers a 50 MP main camera, which with a better aperture of f/1.4 can sometimes even take better night shots than the Pro model was able to. It was precisely those night photos that were the Achilles’ heel of the Motorola flagship in our detailed review of the Motorola Edge 40 Pro.

If I would like to summarize my camera test in two sentences, I would say that the results correspond to our blind test of the best flagship camera smartphones: Crisp, trendy colors in the daytime shots, as you can see wonderfully in the shot from the Berlin Zoo and the Chinese red house. The red practically just pops out of the photo, although the same building looks much more realistic in the selfie shot in the background.

In the first shot of the enlargement series, you can probably see the sky as it really was. In the photo of the fountain, the sky takes on a slightly bluer hue, which transitions into a rich blue when capturing the image of the modern corner building. Looks chic – but had nothing to do with reality. However, it is positive that the colors match quite well, regardless of whether the picture was taken with the main or wide-angle camera. At least one is consistent in the allocation of the artificially exaggerated colors.

Regarding the zoom shots mentioned, it should also be said that they not only end at 8x magnification, but are not particularly nice to look at at maximum magnification. The Edge 40 enlarges up to 2x zoom without loss. It’s not far to the 8x zoom, so the quality also decreases quickly. The photo with the king vulture is just about the limit of what is possible, if you look at the pictures on the smartphone display.

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