Smartphones in the mid-range continue to improve their capabilities in almost every aspect. Some of them already have a flagship level of water and dust protection, stereo sound, a large amount of memory, fast charging, etc. And there are more and more models with a fairly extensive list of such things. Previously, we have already reviewed Motorola Edge 40 and its much more expensive version Motorola Edge 40 Pro, and this time we will take a closer look at another model of this line – Motorola Edge 40 Neo.
Motorola Edge 40 Neo specifications
|Dimensions and weight
|RAM and storage
|12 GB, 256 GB uMCP
|MediaTek Dimensity 7030
|Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC
Resolution: 2400×1080 dots, 402ppi
Refresh rate: 144 Hz
Peak brightness: 1300 cd/m²
50 MP wide-angle, ƒ/1.8, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization;
13 MP ultra-wide-angle, ƒ/2.2, 120˚, electronic stabilization, macro mode.
|32 MP, ƒ/2.4
|5 000 mAh
|Wired (68 W)
|USB Type-C (2.0)
In some ways, the Motorola Edge 40 Neo’s package turned out to be even more interesting than other versions. Along with the smartphone and a powerful power supply, the box also contains a case made by the Swiss brand agood company, which perfectly matches the color of the smartphone and generally looks interesting. It’s surprisingly rare to get such accessories in the box without paying extra. Previous models also have a case, but in those cases it is a simple transparent version.
It’s not often that I have to write about device boxes, but in this case there is an unusual feature – the manufacturer adds a flavor to the box. I don’t know about other sets, but the one I got was lucky enough to get a good portion of “perfume” on the cable. This subjectively pleasant scent lingered around my workplace for some time and even stayed on the smartphone itself for a while.
Design and usability
Predictably, Motorola Edge 40 Neo has a common appearance with the already mentioned variants in the lineup. However, it has a somewhat simplified design. Thus, the device can still offer an eco-friendly leather back cover, but its frame is made of plastic instead of metal. However, given the presence of an interesting case in the kit, this is unlikely to be a big drawback for the buyer.
And even when using the smartphone without it, the case still feels pleasant and unusual to the touch. Since manufacturers rarely experiment with such materials, the use of eco-leather really makes the experience more interesting than conventional plastic or glass smartphones. Therefore, this option is still worth considering when choosing a new device. Moreover, in practice, it turns out to be not as slippery as conventional competitors, although it is quite similar in size: 159.63 × 71.99 × 7.89 mm, weight – 172 grams.
However, not all Edge 40 Neo options have a “leather” finish. There are also models made of acrylic (PPMA). They are a little thinner (7.79 mm) and lighter (170 grams), which will not be very noticeable in use. In practice, the material will not make much difference, and external traces of use will appear in both cases. However, I would still like to recommend eco-friendly leather, which is unlikely to leave indifferent users open to new things. Among other colors, the manufacturer will offer Black Beauty and Caneel Bay, and the test model has the color Soothing Sea (all of them are coordinated with Pantone, as evidenced by additional inserts on the case).
And regardless of the materials, the smartphone is IP68 water and dust resistant, so it can even be submerged underwater. And in fact, this feature could already become something common to all smartphones in this price category, because $440, even against the flagships, is no longer a cheap option.
Returning to the usability, as in most cases, you want to put a case on the Motorola Edge 40 Neo to compensate for the protrusion of the camera, which makes the smartphone “balance” poorly when touched on the table. Thus, it is much more convenient to perform some quick action without lifting the smartphone during, say, work. Again, this is not a specific drawback of this particular device, and it’s not that the camera performance is absolutely gigantic – no and no. However, with the case, such use cases will still be more comfortable.
The control keys take some getting used to. Yes, it’s subjective, but I had to get used to the volume control at the beginning of use (the buttons are small and located near the power button). Otherwise, Android smartphone users will definitely not get confused.
Edge 40 Neo complements the lineup well, providing customers with more price options, while leaving as little difference between them as possible. And today’s guest of the editorial office is almost as good as the design of other options, and also offers its own advantages. It really has a nice appearance and, unlike its competitors, an interesting option for the backrest cover.
As the name suggests, the smartphone has a display with curved sides. Yes, it’s not an innovation at all, and some manufacturers refuse to use such “features” at all, but it makes the device’s appearance more original among the mass of options. This feature also requires minimal adaptation to avoid accidental presses, but this is a matter of a few days. Subjectively, it is a good addition, but it makes it difficult to use protective accessories (glass or film).
The display itself is also very good. It measures 6.55 inches diagonally with a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels (402 PPI) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. Due to the curved sides and small bezels at the top and bottom, it covers a little over 90% of the front surface, which again adds a few design points. The front camera has a notch in the upper center of the screen, which is not “hidden” by software.
At the same time, the screen will be able to please you with fast image refresh. In the settings, you can choose between 60, 120, and 144 Hz. Of course, there is also an automatic option that will reduce the frequency when the image is static and increase to 120 Hz when it makes sense. I used this option and was satisfied with its performance. The sensor’s sampling rate is also quite high – 360 Hz.
And the image of the AMOLED matrix is also praiseworthy. The user is provided with two color display options: Natural and Saturated. Each of them additionally allows you to slightly change the color temperature if the user needs it. And as our colorimeter has shown, the quality of both color profiles is well taken care of, so the buyer will only have to choose the picture that is more comfortable for him. I left Saturated, which was set by default by the manufacturer, and I am completely satisfied with this image.
Measurements of the Natural profile:
Measurements of the Saturated profile:
The screen brightness was also sufficient. Indoors, it allows you to adjust the backlight in the range from 3.1 to 517 cd/m², and in direct sunlight it should raise the brightness level to 1300 (which is slightly higher than the backlight of a regular Edge 40). There were mostly no delays with the automatic adjustment, but sometimes the sensor still chose a high backlight level for me, which made me have to look into the “quick” settings.
However, there is a not-so-pleasant aspect: the smartphone does not offer the Always-on Display feature. Of course, this is not the most necessary feature, but it would still be nice to have it, and most other smartphones in various forms offer this functionality. Unfortunately, there is no such option in the settings of this smartphone.
Motorola Edge 40 Neo has traditional methods of quick unlocking. First of all, it’s face recognition. The smartphone doesn’t have any additional sensors for this, so only the front camera performs the task. This also includes the standard limitations of this method – low light or sunglasses can interfere with the scanning.
Secondly, the smartphone has a fingerprint sensor located under the glass. For greater convenience, it could be placed a little higher, but it’s not that hard to get used to its position. The sensor is optical, so it’s slower than ultrasonic versions and sometimes doesn’t work the first time. Nevertheless, there are no critical comments to make.
The combination of both quick unlock methods is effective. It is easy to avoid entering a PIN or other passwords using the provided methods. I think that most users of modern smartphones have already gotten used to both of these access methods and have already encountered their features. There are no unusual aspects of face scanning or fingerprinting here.
Stereo speakers in this price category are hardly a surprise anymore. Edge 40 Neo has them too, and they are quite good. The sound quality is inferior to the flagships, but it will not disappoint. The speakers are loud, reproduce even music well, and are suitable for gaming and watching videos. Moreover, they are enough for notifications and an alarm clock (if they had some kind of Haptic Engine analog, not a standard vibration motor, it would be great).
The earpiece speaker is also capable enough for conversations on city streets. The microphones also do a good job of noise reduction and mostly transmit only the owner’s voice. So there will be no problems with conversations.
The manufacturer did not provide a separate port for wired headphones, so fans will either have to use an adapter or USB-C headsets. Of course, there are no unnecessary inconveniences with wireless options.
Productivity and software
Other models in the lineup have platforms from both Qualcomm and MediaTek. In its turn, Motorola Edge 40 Neo received MediaTek Dimensity 7030, a 6-nanometer 8-core chip with two Cortex-A78 cores (2.5 GHz) and six Cortex-A55 cores (2.0 GHz), as well as a Mali-G610 MC3 video accelerator. This is complemented by 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of uMCP storage (not expandable via an additional memory card).
In addition, the smartphone will be able to provide 5G connectivity (with one physical SIM card and another eSIM), Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, several navigation systems, and NFC.
In tests, this configuration is inferior to the more powerful options of the other two models. But it is quite capable of providing both absolutely comfortable day-to-day operation of the device (taking into account the high refresh rate), and it offers more RAM than the Edge 40. On the one hand, this is not a gaming device (graphics tests confirm this), but on the other hand, its target audience is also different. And it will surely be satisfied with the device’s performance.
Moreover, there are no problems with the stability of the work. The hour-long stress test showed a slight drop in performance towards the end, and the overall heating of the case, although felt, was not significant at all. As for everyday tasks, there were practically no difficulties with the work during testing. Yes, from time to time you could see jerky movements of the interface, but they did not spoil the overall experience.
Motorola will also appeal to fans of “pure” Android 13. The company complements the system with some classic features (launching the camera with a flick of the wrist, turning off notifications by placing the smartphone on the display, etc.), as well as modern Moto Secure security additions, additional backlighting on the sides of the screen for notifications, quick settings during games, and more.
As with the Edge 40, the Edge 40 Neo also has two cameras in the back. Their main features are almost identical, as are their characteristics. These cameras should be enough for most standard use cases. These are not the fastest and most versatile sensors available, but they hold their own in their category. So, the user will be able to rely on:
- wide-angle sensor with a resolution of 50 MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture, PDAF and optical image stabilization;
- 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle module with ƒ/2.2, 120° capture angle and separate Macro Vision mode.
These are the modules that are most often used in smartphones, and it’s good that the manufacturer avoided spending extra money on a separate macro module or something similar that would hardly be useful in real life. Now let’s see what these cameras are capable of.
This time, the main camera was less fortunate with the weather, because smartphone sensors can’t always cope well with a hazy white sky. However, this was not a big problem for our guest today. In such conditions, post-processing did not always successfully select the brightness and did not “pull out” the shadows, but nothing will prevent the user from minimally adjusting it on their own. At the same time, in standard mode, the camera takes 12.5-megapixel photos that have enough detail and color.
At night, by the way, it also manages to preserve details quite well, even though there is a noticeable delay in processing the image. However, overcoming the “noise” will still leave its mark on the photo, the sky is for some reason “tinted” blue, and light sources will have an excessive glow around them. However, the results are still good for a mid-range smartphone.
Even with a different aperture value, the ultra-wide-angle camera also tends to overexpose some scenes without affecting the shadows. This can also be corrected if desired. But I would like to praise the camera for the very successful lens correction.
But unfortunately, at night on the street, this sensor has a much harder time preserving details and overcoming “noise”. Focusing also suffers noticeably. In such conditions, the user will be better off with the main camera.
A nice bonus of the ultra-wide-angle camera is the macro mode, which allows you to get very close to small objects. The photos may not be impressive, but they are still better than the results of some cheap modules that are occasionally found in modern smartphones (there are exceptions, but the point of their presence is still an open question).
Both cameras can shoot video with a resolution of up to 4K. As is most often the case, in this case, it is difficult for a smartphone to stabilize the image. In general, video recording is hardly one of the strengths of these cameras, but it should be enough for basic needs.
An example of video recording with the main camera:
An example of video recording with an ultra-wide-angle camera:
The front cameras of the Edge 40 and Edge 40 Neo models are also the same – 32 MP with ƒ/2.4. Pixel blending technology is also used here, so the user will get 8-megapixel photos as a result. They are good both in daylight and artificial lighting conditions. The portrait mode outlines the person in the photo well.
The camera app is lightweight and intuitive. Its speed is satisfactory, but the Night Vision mode will require a minimum shutter speed when shooting. There are also few settings and additional modes, so more or less “advanced” users are left to work with.
Among the entire lineup, the Motorola Edge 40 Neo has the largest battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh. According to the manufacturer’s calculations, this should be enough for 36 hours of operation. In the autonomy test, of course, there is no such indicator, the result is 9 hours and 34 minutes. In fact, this was always enough for me for a day, with a rather pleasant margin of 30-40%. Probably, users who play a lot or tend to spend a lot of time with TikTok-like services, navigation, camera, etc. will need to charge more often.
Here, too, the manufacturer provides good options. The included power supply unit has a power of 68 W. It will allow you to fully charge a large battery in 50 minutes. Of course, this usually happens faster, because the battery is not discharged to zero every day. Therefore, the “once a day” charging format is quite OK (for example, when getting ready for work in the morning). Unfortunately, the smartphone does not support other charging methods.