The budget-focused Motorola Edge 40 Neo feels anything but, with a slew of premium features including IP68 water resistance, a 6.5-inch curved 144Hz display, 68W fast charging and truly stunning colourways that make it one to watch.
Stunning Pantone colourwaysMotorola continues its partnership with colour experts Pantone with the Edge 40 Neo, available in three Pantone-verified (and exclusive) colourways that stand out from the crowd.
Rapid fast chargingWith 68W fast charging and a charger included in the box, Motorola claims you can get 50% charge in just 15 minutes.
Impressive water resistanceThe Motorola Edge 40 Neo is one of very few budget-focused phones offering full IP68 dust and water resistance.
Motorola has had a strong year in the smartphone world with the likes of the Motorola Edge 40 and its foldable Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, and that trend looks to continue with the Motorola Edge 40 Neo.
Despite its affordable £299 price tag, the Edge 40 Neo comes with a slew of features you’d expect from flagship-tier smartphones, including full IP68 water resistance, a curved 6.5-inch 144Hz pOLED display, rapid 68W fast charging and stunning Pantone-verified colourways that help it stand out from the crowd.
While I’ve not yet spent enough time with the smartphone to deliver my final thoughts, I did get to go hands-on ahead of its launch and I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen so far. In fact, we could be looking at the new choice for a budget-focused smartphone.
Design and screen
- Stylish design with Pantone colourways
- IP68 dust and water resistance
- 6.5-inch 144Hz pOLED display
The Motorola Edge 40 Neo is a refinement of last year’s Edge 30 Neo with a slightly tweaked, though still recognisable, design. It’s a gorgeous smartphone with rounded edges and a new curved display that makes the phone look way more premium than its budget price tag suggests, along with an upgraded vegan leather rear that feels exquisite in the hand.
At 7.76mm thick and 172g, the Neo is comfortably in lightweight territory compared to heavy smartphones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, making it a pleasure to hold and use one-handed.
The heart of the Edge 40 Neo’s design focuses on Motorola’s partnership with colour experts Pantone – a partnership that first started with the Edge 30 Neo before coming to other premium phones like the Razr 40 Ultra. This year, that comes in the form of three Pantone-certified finishes dubbed Black Beauty, Soothing Sea and Caneel Bay, with the latter two sporting the vegan leather finish.
The Caneel Bay finish is a personal favourite of mine, with an absolutely stunning deep shade of blue that immediately stands out from the crowd, and each phone comes with a 100% recycled case in the same Pantone-certified colour. There’s even a little Pantone logo on the rear.
The Motorola Edge 40 Neo also excels in the water resistance department. In fact, with full IP68 dust and water resistance usually reserved for flagship-level devices, the Edge 40 Neo offers some of the best protection in the budget end of the market. Some devices, like the Google Pixel 7a, come close with IP67 resistance, but it’s rare to see full IP68 at such a low price.
There’s even a headphone jack for those yet to make the switch to Bluetooth headphones. Seriously, what more could you ask for, for £299?
That premium-on-a-budget trend continues with the display, which has seen an increase from 6.28 to 6.5 inches this year, and at a rapid 144Hz, it’s not only faster than its predecessor but much of the 120Hz Android competition. It’s arguably much of a muchness once you pass the 120Hz mark, but it should translate to even higher framerates when gaming.
Elsewhere, the pOLED panel boasts impressive specs including 10-bit colour, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos support that should deliver a top-notch movie-watching experience. It certainly looked bright, vibrant and detailed during my short time with the device, and I’ll be interested to see how well it performs once I get a sample in for full review.
- 50MP Ultra Pixel primary camera
- 13MP ultrawide and 32MP selfie camera
- Up to 16x faster in low light conditions
The star of the show has to be the primary 50MP ultra-pixel camera on the rear. Though it’s a downgrade on paper from the 64MP shooter of the Edge 30 Neo, there’s far more to camera tech than megapixel count, and the Edge 40 Neo looks to prove that. For one, it has a larger sensor than its predecessor to capture much more light and detail, and with OIS, both photos and videos should be pin-sharp.
The few photos I took in the near-perfect lighting of a London rooftop on a sunny day delivered expectedly vibrant, detailed shots, though it’s the low-light photography I’m really looking forward to testing once I get my hands on a sample for a full review.
That’s because Motorola claims that, due to the larger pixels of the main 50MP shooter, it can capture better low-light shots than its predecessor in a much shorter time frame – up to 16x faster, apparently.
The Edge 40 Neo has tough competition in the form of the Google Pixel 7a which we found took exceptional low-light photos not too far from what you’d get from an iPhone 14 Pro, so it’ll be interesting to see how Motorola’s option compares.
Elsewhere, there’s a 13MP ultrawide camera on the rear to help capture those group shots or scenic vistas, and there’s a high-res 32MP selfie camera with quad-pixel tech that should more than suffice for casual selfies and video calls. It can also capture up to 4K@30fps video.
Performance and software
- Dimensity 7030 chipset
- Android 13 with minimal tweaks
- 5000mAh battery and 68W fast charging
At the heart of the Motorola Edge 40 Neo is MediaTek’s mid-range Dimensity 7030, coupled with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage – an impressive combination for the price tag that should deliver rather solid everyday performance.
Though my hands-on experience was rather limited, I didn’t notice any kind of lag or slow-down when scrolling through the OS, opening the Camera app and taking a few snaps, though how it’ll handle more intense tasks like mobile gaming is yet to be seen. I’ll be sure to run a suite of benchmark tests for the full review to investigate further.
The whole experience is powered by near-stock Android 13 with only a handful of Moto tweaks – and where things are different, it’s generally for the better. That ranges from Moto Actions that allow you to do a karate chop with the phone to toggle on the flashlight to more advanced functionality like Motorola ReadyFor.
ReadyFor delivers some of the best Windows 10/11 integration of any phone manufacturer in 2023, with the ability to get notifications, use Android apps and even use the Edge 40 Neo’s camera as a webcam.
Battery life is another area where the Edge 40 Neo should shine with a large 5000mAh cell powering the experience. That’s an increase of 920mAh compared to last year’s Edge 30 Neo which we had no complaints about, so I’m expecting much the same here – though I’ll be putting it through its paces for the full review to confirm this.
It also sports speedy 68W fast charging tech and, despite the £299 price tag, comes with a 68W fast charger in the box. Motorola claims that’s enough to deliver 50% charge in 15 minutes, which if true, should make it one of the fastest-charging smartphones at its price point.
Though it’s far too early to deliver my final thoughts on the Motorola Edge 40 Neo, all signs point in the right direction. It’s incredibly well specced for its £299 price tag with a 6.5-inch 144Hz display, IP68 water resistance and 68W fast charging with a brick included in the box.
It’s also one of the more unique options on the market thanks to Motorola’s partnership with Pantone, allowing for some truly stunning colourways. Paired with a vegan leather rear and a curved display, it doesn’t look or feel like a budget-focused smartphone.
That said, I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces in the coming weeks!
There is a charger in the box, and a 68W charger at that.
It offers full IP68 water resistance, allowing it to be submerged in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.
First Reviewed Date
Motorola Edge 40 Neo
50MP + 13MP
72 x 7.8 x 159.6 MM
1080 x 2400
USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
MediaTek Dimensity 7030
Black Beauty, Soothing Sea, Caneel Bay