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Motorola Edge 50 Pro hands-on impressions: Lookin' sharp

A neat balance of performance, software, and design.

Published onApril 3, 2024

Motorola’s cycle of reinvention has been underway for a few years now. The company’s portfolio might not have set the smartphone world ablaze, but Motorola’s focus on essentials like a clean interface, performant hardware, and basics like fast charging has paid dividends.

The latest in the series, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro, builds on that excellent base and introduces a series of world’s firsts. I’ve spent the last few days putting the phone through its paces, and here are my first impressions. Before we go any further, though, I should clarify that this isn’t Motorola’s expected new flagship that you’ll be able to buy in the US, but if recent years are anything to go by, this global model should give us an idea of what to expect from the Edge 2024.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro design: Minimalism done right

Moto Edge 50 Pro showing back of the phone
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I’m a sucker for soft edges and muted tones, and, at first glance, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro hits just right. The phone punches far above its price point and looks closer to a premium flagship than a mid-ranger. That’s a win in my books.

The Edge 50 Pro stands out for its plush vegan leather back that repels fingerprints and looks premium.

Motorola’s color and material choices do a lot of the heavy lifting here. The phone is available in three variants — Black, Lavender, and Pearl. The first two are crafted from vegan leather, while Motorola claims that the pearl finish is handmade in Italy by Castiglione-based Mazzucchelli. I haven’t had my hands on that one just yet and can’t attest to how good (or not) it looks. However, the lavender-hued vegan leather option looks surprisingly pretty, and I actively refrained from putting a protective case on the phone.

It also helps that the vegan leather panel attracts no fingerprints. Elsewhere, the aluminum mid-frame has been color-matched with the lavender back to emphasize the premium lifestyle positioning of the phone. It’s not all perfect, though, and the Edge 50 Pro’s oversized, soft-edged camera module guarantees that the phone cannot sit flat on a table surface.

Moto Edge 50 Pro 1
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

If you’re not a fan of curved edges, you will not like the screen’s extreme curvature on the Edge 50 Pro. Thankfully, Motorola ships the phone with a pre-applied screen protector, removing one pain point from the equation. The display itself is plenty good to look at. The large 6.7-inch screen does not make it easy to reach out to the edges, but the pOLED panel is decent specs-wise, with a 1.5K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and 2,000 nits of peak brightness.

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro's curved display might not appeal to everyone, but the color accuracy is remarkable.

All of that sounds nice on paper, and the results are plenty good for usage, too. Motorola isn’t pushing display tech boundaries here, but you get a perfectly good display. The overall brightness seems sufficient in all but direct sunlight, and the contrast levels I saw were deep enough to create an enjoyable viewing experience. In a world’s first, the display on the Moto Edge 50 comes Pantone-verified for color accuracy, and skin tones, in particular, look realistic. However, we’ll have to whip out our colorimeters to get a truer picture for the full review. As for HDR content, the YouTube app plays that just fine, but the Netflix app does not. Expect a software update enabling that at some point.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro performance: Good enough

Moto Edge 50 Pro in hand showing about screen
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset. It’s still early days, but I found the interface to be perfectly fluid — as is to be expected.

I also put the phone through several rounds of Call of Duty Warzone. With the graphics set to high and the frame rate capped at 60fps, GPU usage spiked well about 80% when tracked via the built-in CPU and GPU monitor. Moreover, the camera section gets surprisingly warm to the touch. A fifteen-minute gaming session in an air-conditioned environment had the phone soaring to mid 40-degrees Celcius. I can’t imagine the Edge 50 Pro being particularly enjoyable for gaming if you spend a lot of time out in the sun.

The dramatic heat up near the camera module suggests the Edge 50 Pro isn't built for dedicated gamers.

Beyond that, I don’t have too many gripes with the Motorola Edge 50 Pro’s performance, though the battery capacity would certainly rank as one. Once you get used to phones with 5,000mAh or larger cells, it’s hard to get accustomed to the range anxiety that comes with a smaller battery. The 4,500mAh battery here does manage to last a full day, but just about. I know that I’ve been pushing the phone harder than most during the initial setup period, but as someone who spends a lot of time on my phone, reading, streaming music, and taking notes, I can see the phone barely lasting a day. And that’s before you account for gaming.

Moto Edge 50 Pro on side showing back, colored mid frame and USB port
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

On the flip side, there’s ultra-quick charging on board. The Moto Edge 50 Pro includes both 125W wired charging as well as 50W wireless charging. Wireless charging tends to be exceedingly rare in the segment, especially the high-speed variety. As someone who is all aboard the wireless charging train, I really appreciate the addition. In my initial tests, it took about 22 minutes to fully charge the phone — a bit more than Motorola’s 18-minute claims, but still perfectly useful. Do keep in mind that only the 12GB variant of the phone ships with a 125W charger in the box.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro camera: Flawed, yet great

Moto Edge 50 Pro camera module
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Motorola’s other big talking point about the Edge 50 Pro has been the cameras. You’ll find a combination of a 50MP primary camera with optical image stabilization and an f/1.4 aperture, a 13MP ultrawide camera that doubles up as a macro camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto lens, and a 50MP selfie camera.

I wouldn’t put too much credence into the company’s claims of the Edge 50 Pro being the world’s first Pantone-validated camera. The camera has a tendency to skew red tones towards magenta, which is particularly noticeable in the shot of the red Moka pot. Objectively, the camera also struggles a bit with harsh highlights and has a tough time toning them down. But if you care more about the final output than absolute realism, you’ll like the almost film-like quality of the shots. I know I did.

The primary camera, in particular, does a good job of retaining detail and exercising restraint on noise reduction in less-than-ideal light. The level of detail drops slightly with the zoom and ultrawide sensors owing to the lower resolution sensors. There are also several modes to discover here, like a tilt-shift setting that might appeal to enthusiasts.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro: The extras

Moto Edge 50 Pro 2
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

While the base offering already positions the Motorola Edge 50 Pro as a formidable alternative to the competition, the phone has a few more tricks that give it an edge. For one, the phone comes IP68 rated, making it fully water and dust-proof.

There’s also video out support and a full-fledged, DeX-style desktop mode that works both over a wired and wireless connection. Giving it a whirl, I found it surprisingly functional, and I could write a significant portion of this hands-on with the phone, working as a wireless computer connected to a wireless keyboard and mouse. Brilliant!

The base hardware here is competitive, but extras like the IP68 rating, excellent software, and DisplayPort support give the Edge 50 Pro an edge.

That excellence continues to the overall software. Motorola’s near-stock software implementation has no bloatware and a bare minimum of Moto-specific additions. Small flourishes can be found all across the interface, including, but not limited to, the way the Wi-Fi toggle lets you know what radio you’re connected to or how you can scroll through notifications right on the Lock Screen. On the flip side, the promise of three major upgrades isn’t quite the best in the business.

Motorola Edge 50 Pro: Should you buy it?

Moto Edge 50 Pro back profile view
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

In my limited time with the Motorola Edge 50 Pro, it’s been hard not to be impressed by the hardware. It looks good, performs well, and includes a range of features you can’t find in alternatives. What’s not to like?

It isn’t perfect, though, as the promised software upgrade support comes across as lackluster at just three major upgrades. It’s also a bit pricey, starting at Rs 31,999 (~$383), and going up to Rs 35,999 (~$431). In the US, it may not compete well with the likes of the upcoming Pixel 8a.

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