Motorola officially debuted the Moto Edge X30, a brand-new device from the company, at an event at 3:30am PT / 6:30am ET / 11:30am GMT and 7:30pm ACT.
During the event, we saw the mobile as well as the Moto Edge S30 - which was in fact just a Chinese version of the Moto G200 which launched globally a short while ago.
We live-blogged the entire launch event, and you can catch up with our posts in chronological order below. We also shared some points of analysis and speculation for a few hours after the event, and you can see them too.
It was a China-only launch event, and that's the only place where the phone has been unveiled so far - we could see it rolled out to other regions eventually, but we might not, and we just don't know right now.
And if you don't want to catch up on the event, here's what you need to know:
- Display: 6.7 inches, 144Hz refresh rate, 576Hz touch input rate
- Cameras: 60MP selfie camera on the front, 50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide and unspecified third rear snapper on the back
- Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 paired with 8GB or 12GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage
- Battery and charging: 4,500mAh battery with 68W charging
- Special edition: Comes with an under-display selfie camera
Welcome to our Moto Edge X30 live blog - we've got a few hours to go until the event kicks off, but there's some more information and insight we have to share before the start time.
While today is a 'big tech launch day', with the Moto Edge X30 coming in a few hours and the Realme GT Pro 2 expected at some point too, it's not the only event we're expecting before the turn of the calendar.
We're also expecting the Xiaomi 12 to get unveiled before the year is out, possibly before Christmas.
You may be asking 'what's that got to do with the Moto Edge X30' - well, these three mobiles are all expected to compete pretty closely, being top-end phones toting the new Snapdragon chipset.
Because Xiaomi is a very established brand, and Realme has been teasing its first-ever top-end phone for quite a while, Motorola is going to need to really wow us today to keep pace with these rivals.
Motorola has already teased the gaming capabilities of the Edge X30 - we say that because one of the first official images of the mobile it shared, which you can see above, had a picture of a game being played.
The company also teased the Moto Edge X line before the X30 name was confirmed, and implied this was a line of gaming phones.
If Motorola does launch the Edge X30 in China today, then rolls it to other regions under a different name later, it wouldn't be the first time the company has done this.
Earlier in 2021, the Moto Edge S showed up in China - then popped up globally a few months afterward as the Moto G100.
We've heard a few rumors about what the Edge X30 could be when it comes out everywhere else. We initially thought it would be the Moto G200, an idea which was quashed when that phone debuted as something totally different.
The Edge X30 could come globally as the Moto Edge 30 Ultra, a mobile we've been hearing a few rumors about, though some of those rumors make it sound like a different device to the Edge X30.
It's totally possible that we won't see the Edge X30 globally at all though, as Moto seems to be making a big push in China, so it could be debuting exclusive mobiles there as an attempt to win market share.
So what are we expecting to debut today?
The Moto Edge X30 is coming - duh, that's the whole point of this event - but there could be more.
Motorola has teased a special version of the Edge X30 with a 60MP main camera and under-display selfie camera, though we don't know if those are the only ways it's different to the main model.
Other than that, we've no idea what to expect - we could see a tablet or smartwatch alongside the main phone, but due to the lack of teases, we wouldn't expect so. Nope, if we had to put money on it, we'd only expect to see the main Edge X30 with its special version briefly mentioned at the end, but we'd love to be proven wrong.
We've heard about a few new Motorola smartwatches leaked recently, including the Moto Watch 100.
However, we wouldn't expect to see this at the upcoming Edge X30 event. The unveiling is a China-only one, yet we heard the smartwatch would be a global one.
There's half an hour left until the event kicks off - better get your drinks and snacks ready.
The Motorola event live stream has already started, though it won't be showing the event itself for another half hour.
Instead, we're just looking at two people talking. They've got the Edge X30 in front of them, so the device isn't much of a secret.
You can actually reserve the Moto Edge X30 right now, if you live in China.
There's no price announced so far, so reserving it will just give you the option to buy it when it's finally announced.
What's interesting is that this suggests there's only one device launching - Moto wouldn't offer you the option to reserve one product if there were actually three coming along.
Interestingly, the reservation page we just talked about has a timer on it for when the reservations end, and presumably the pre-orders begin.
This finishes in just over an hour's time as of writing - presumably, then, that's when the event will end. If that's right, we'll be tuning in for about 50 minutes, which is a nice short-and-sweet time for a tech launch event.
Five minutes to go - here's that livestream link if you missed it before.
And here we go! It's started.
This event will likely start with someone from Motorola giving a long speech on the past, present and future of the company - this kind of event always starts this way. Just endure it.
As you can see from the above screenshot, we're having some buffering issues with the stream (likely because it's from China) so our analysis might be a touch late.
The company said the Moto Edge X30 will use Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset before the event, but if we didn't already know that, they're talking about it on stage already.
Annoyingly - really annoyingly, in fact - Lenovo's website is laying the live stream's comments over the video itself. So expect any screenshots we take to be covered in random machine-translated comments.
We're currently hearing about what the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will bring to the Moto Edge X30 - for an easy-to-understand summary: 'it'll be a bit faster'.
You can get more in-depth information on this brand-new chipset by visiting our Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 article here.
This makes Motorola officially the first company to unveil a phone with the brand-new chipset, beating Realme and Xiaomi which seemingly also wanted that title for themselves.
Apparently the Moto Edge X30 will have a 5,000mAh battery, which is nice and big as you'd hope for a powerful flagship phone.
Charging is 68W - that's not the fastest we've seen in a phone, with a few handsets hitting 90W or 120W, but Motorola has typically lagged behind its rivals for charging.
In fact, even the fastest-powering Moto phones typically hit 33W, which is decidedly slow in the grand scheme of things.
The Moto Edge X30 will have a 60MP selfie camera, which is the highest res we've seen for a selfie snapper.
There are three rear cameras, and the main and ultra-wide are both 50MP. We didn't hear about the third camera before our stream crashed. Nice. Time to reload the web page.
We've just heard a touch on video recording - resolution will go up to 8K and slow-motion will record at 960fps. That's pretty slow.
But what about framerate at 8K recording, or the resolution of slow-mo? We don't know.
A little more on the selfie camera. It'll have a 60MP resolution, f/2.2 aperture and a 1.2um pixel size.
Apparently it'll take photos in the RAW files, which contain loads of information to make editing them more fruitful, and it'll capture 10-bit color too. That's pretty impressive for a selfie camera, so we're expecting great things from pictures of ourself.
We thought the Moto Edge X30 would be a gaming phone, but Motorola is spending lots of time detailing the camera and video recording modes - currently, we're looking at 10-bit HDR10+ video recording.
That suggests this isn't a gaming phone but a standard premium smartphone that's good for gaming - otherwise, we'd definitely be looking at gaming footage by now.
Now we're hearing about the Moto Edge X30 display.
It'll have a 6.7-inch screen with a 144Hz refresh rate (that's how many times the screen updates per second) and 576Hz input rate (that's how many time the screen scans for your fingerprint per second). We haven't heard the resolution yet.
There are software modes like a low blue light filter and motion blur filter too.
Motorola has also confirmed there's a version with an under-display front-facing camera, with the catchy name Moto Edge X30 Under-Screen Camera Version. The selfie snapper is the same as in the normal edition, just hidden under the display.
Straight onto audio - the phone has been tuned by Dolby Atmos. Most smartphones are tuned by one of a handful of audio companies these days.
Apparently the Moto Edge X30 will weigh 194g, which is pretty average - it's weird that Motorola is spending so long on this one detail. Going by the looks, the device has a glass rear but we can't tell for sure.
We've seen imagery of a navy-or-black, and white-or-pearl, version of the phone - from the stream we can't quite tell.
We've heard the Moto Edge X30 will use My UI 2.0.
That's a software feature that'll sit above stock Android, and we've seen Moto use it before. Basically, it adds some extra customization features that change the design of the phone.
For the Edge X30, this works with Android 12's Material You feature so you should be able to really change the way the phone's skin looks. Hopefully we'll see global Moto phones get this soon too.
Now we're just hearing more Android 12 features coming to the Moto Edge X30 which is... basically all of them.
The Moto Edge X30 will use Ready For too, in its 3.0 version.
Ready For is basically a way of plugging your phone into a computer monitor or TV to use it on the big screen - you can stream Netflix, work on documents or do video calls with extra functionality than if you were just on your phone.
It's not clear how much Ready For is catching on with general phone users, but Moto is going hard on it anyway.
It seems like the event is wrapping up, because we just got a big 'specs spread' which companies always show towards the end of their events.
Here's one of the best pictures we've grabbed of the Moto Edge X30 event so far.
Now Motorola is talking about the Moto Edge S30, but phone fans might recognize it already. As far as we can tell, this is just the Moto G200 - at least it looks the same, and has the same Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset.
We've literally got the Moto Edge 200 in for testing right now, which is why this all seems pretty familiar (and you can expect a review of that mobile soon).
It seems like the stream has just gone down - we've tried refreshing the page page and even trying it on a different computer.
And the stream is back! We're still looking at the Moto G200 - sorry, Moto Edge S30 - at the moment though.
If you're interested in our Moto G200 review (that's the phone we're looking at right now), it's still in progress, but we can give you an early look.
Motorola's phones have rarely been very good-looking in terms of design - that's save for the lovely first-gen Motorola Edge - but what's missing in style is made up for in good value and top specs.
The phone is great for gaming, and we enjoyed testing it for a photography jaunt too. It's not too expensive either, and it's definitely one of the most powerful handsets you can pick up for its cost.
And our stream is down... again.
Previously we got it to work by jumping into incognito mode, but now we've had to resort to Mozilla Firefox to see if it works there. And it is... for now. It seems like it's a problem not with the stream itself, but with our browser not liking it.
Now we're looking at a little Motorola projector.
It's seemingly a portable thing because we've heard about its 22,500mAh battery with USB-C charging, which would make it great for camp-outs (if you have something to project it on) or outdoor screenings.
It's called the Yoga T500 play (Yoga is a Lenovo brand, not a Moto one, but this seems to be a big general launch event now). The resolution is 1080p, so it's not exactly a powerful thing.
We've no idea if this product will launch globally, but in China it starts at CNY2,999 which converts to $470, £360 and AU$660.
We're hearing about the Moto Edge X30 price now. There are four versions:
- 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for CNY3,199 (about $500, £380, AU$700)
- 8GB RAM and 256GB storage for CNY3,399 (roughly $530, £400, AU$750)
- 12GB RAM and 256GB storage for CNY3,599 (around $560, £430, AU$800)
- 12GB RAM and 256GB storage with the under-display camera for CNY3,999 (about $630, £480, AU$880)
Just remember, the price conversions we just shared are from the Chinese prices - but even if this phone gets unveiled worldwide, it won't necessarily cost the same.
We generally see prices in China lower, when converted into other currencies, then they are in other places. So don't expect to see a super-cheap under-display-camera phone if that does launch elsewhere.
So that's a wrap! The event is over, and the last representatives of Motorola have left the stage.
This live blog isn't over though, and we're going to be scratching our heads for our insightful analysis on what we just saw.
To fuel all our smart thoughts, though, we need lunch, so we're going to grab that now.
Pop back in an hour or so and we'll continue with this live blog.
And we're back, ready to dive deeper into the Moto Edge X30.
We've been thinking about the Moto Edge X30 over lunch, and we're struck by how little there is about it that's striking.
This looks to be a powerful phone, with some good camera specs, but we're struggling to see a unique selling point at all.
Motorola didn't make a song-and-dance about the user-experience side of the powerful chipset (think gaming), and it didn't delve deep enough into the camera side to make us think this was a bespoke photography smartphone.
We've seen Motorola push really hard into Chinese market in 2021.
Between the Moto Edge S (which later launched globally as the Moto G100) and now the Edge X30 (which may or may not come worldwide), we've seen multiple smartphones launched in the country before they debuted worldwide.
Typically, we've seen the biggest-selling brands in China are ones from the country, including Huawei and Xiaomi, and we rarely see brands from elsewhere push hard.
Despite Motorola being owned by Lenovo, which is a Chinese company, we typically see the brand focus on the European and American markets - that is, until this year of course.
This is evidently changed - despite the Moto Edge S30 from earlier today having launched as the G200 already in the rest of the world.
Some rumors suggest the Edge X30 - and the Edge X line it's kicking off - could stick to China for now, but we'll have to wait to see.
If the Moto Edge X30 does show up worldwide, when could we see it?
CES is a general tech event in Las Vegas where we see a hugely broad spectrum of tech including TVs, audio, vehicles and more - we sometimes see phones, and have from Motorola in the past, but it's usually not where we see huge mobile launches.
MWC is a slightly smaller tech event but is much bigger for mobile phones, so if Moto wanted to debut a brand new line of mobiles there, it'd be a better venue. However, we've not seen the brand do as much at MWC.
The Moto Edge X30 sounds very powerful thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, but that could also come with some issues, according to a popular tech leaker and commentator:
On moto phones, the extreme test of Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is very hot. Please be mentally prepared, 2022 may be “HOOOT”year for Android phones.December 9, 2021
The Snapdragon 888 (the 8 Gen 1's predecessor, and the last of its naming convention apparently) had an overheating problem, and gaming or doing intensive processes for any period of time caused a mobile to heat up noticeably.
It doesn't sound like that's fixed with the new chipset - in fact, it could be even worse, if this post is anything to go by.
Loads of phones we tested with the Snapdragon 888 got worringly hot, and it can be concerning when you're deep into a game and the phone is hot to touch - you can worry that the app will crash, or long-term damage could occur.
Hopefully phone brands will recognize the problem in the 8 Gen 1, and work on cooling systems to reduce the problem. Otherwise, this could be a bad year for top-end phones.
One thing we're very curious about is the Moto Edge X30's 60MP camera.
Is that too high-res for a selfie camera? Do we need pictures of our face that are 60,000,000 by 60,000,000 pixels? Do we need to see every blemish and wrinkle and flake and pore in ludicrous detail?
The benefits are thus: you'll get more data for if you want to edit a snap - that's whether you're editing it yourself, or whether Moto's AI decides to tweak your face for you. We'd imagine there's also pixel-binning, where pixels in the camera are combined to capture more light, resulting in a more vibrant but lower-res snap.
On the flip-side, 60MP pictures will be slower to capture and will take up more storage space on your phone. In addition, selfies are often sent straight to friends or posted on social media, so they don't really need to look that great anyway, especially if filters are plastered over the top.
So we'll wait to see if the Moto Edge X30's super-high-res selfie camera sparks a new wave of photo narcissism, but we're not convinced just yet.
From the Edge X30 launch, though, we're gathering that's not the case.
No mention was made of mobile gaming, not even when the display's 144Hz refresh rate or 576Hz touch input rate were detailed, and those are both key specs for smartphone games.
The lack of gaming being mentioned is even more surprising when you factor in that nearly all phone companies talk about the topic during launch events, even when it's not for a gaming phone, which make's Motorola's silence even more deafening.
We've got this far into our analysis without even mentioning the Moto Edge X30's under-display camera!
While we've seen a few globally-launched smartphones use this kind of selfie camera, quite a few more have been released only in China. In fact, one Moto mentioned on-stage (though in the price section, not regarding the camera) was the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4.
The way UDCs work (as they're called - it stands for under-display camera) is that there's a very thin layer of screen above the camera, so it can light up as a display would, though usually you can tell it's there because the display is a little dimmer around it.
This kind of tech can be very hit-or-miss - when we've used it, we've often found it makes pictures look a little bit dim. However it's much worse on some phones than on others.
The only way of seeing if the Moto Edge X30's UDC works well is by testing it, or checking out camera samples from it. We're hopeful, because the 60MP camera utilized sounds powerful, but we don't want to get our hopes too high because we've been burnt by this kind of tech before.
Comparing Chinese phone prices to global conversions can be a haphazard way of working out how much a smartphone costs, however simply looking at yuan costs shows that the Moto Edge X30 is a pretty pricey phone.
The device starts at CNY3,199, and goes up to CNY3,999 if you want more RAM and storage and an under-display camera.
For comparison the OnePlus 9 started at CNY3,799, so the same price as the 12GB RAM and 128GB storage version of the new Motorola phone.
That shows Motorola is in the process of ditching its 'budget phone' heritage in favor of a more premium price tier. Sure, we occasionally see pricey Moto phones, like the Edge Plus from 2020 or the foldable Razr from 2019, but generally the brand sticks to affordable and mid-range mobiles.
Maybe that won't be the case for much longer, though.
Right, this is going to be our last post for this live blog because, according to our editor, we've got "other work to do".
Thanks for following along, whether you've been following along live for the event and its aftermath, or if you've been catching up after the event.
We'll be hosting plenty more of these live blogs in early 2022 with CES 2022 in January, MWC 2022 in February and various huge launch events like the Samsung Galaxy S22, Xiaomi 12, Oppo Find X4, OnePlus 10, Realme GT 2 and whatever else comes along. So get ready to enjoy many more quickly-typed-out words in the future.
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