Motorola unveils the world's first smartphone with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC
Far from the mobile tech world's best kept secret, the Moto Edge X30 has gone official today after a robust month-long buzz-building campaign. Unfortunately for folks reading us from the Western Hemisphere, Motorola parent company Lenovo has yet to reveal any availability or pricing details for other markets besides China.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the 6.7-inch powerhouse will remain exclusive to the tech giant's homeland for good, and although there's been no clear speculation on the matter yet, we wouldn't be surprised if a US-specific announcement were to take place at CES 2022 in Las Vegas in early January.
Take that, Samsung, Xiaomi, and ZTE!
While the Moto Edge X30 looks like a run-of-the-mill 2021 Android flagship at first glance, with a premium but far from groundbreaking design including a centered hole punch, "normal" amount of screen bezels, and a fairly sleek pill-shaped rear camera module housing three lenses, one very important thing immediately sets this bad boy apart from the likes of the Galaxy S21 Ultra or OnePlus 9 Pro.
We're talking about Qualcomm's curiously named Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, which seems ready for a global commercial debut shortly after being detailed in full. It's definitely odd to see Motorola win this race after never releasing a single device powered by the Snapdragon 888 beast and unveiling the Moto G200 with an 888+ SoC under its hood less than a month ago, but here we are.
The company is even ready to commit to an impending Edge X30 shipping date of December 15... in China, which certainly doesn't leave Xiaomi or ZTE enough time to snatch the crown at the last minute.
Then again, being first is not everything when it comes to this type of stuff, especially when you're only first in one (admittedly huge) market. But that actually makes it more impressive to see the Moto Edge X30 priced at the rough equivalent of $470 (!!!) and up.
That's right, the world's very first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handset also happens to be the first affordable model based on the hot new ultra-high-end chipset marketed as "up to" 35 percent faster and 25 percent more energy-efficient than its already outstanding predecessor.
The incredibly low CNY 2,199 tag is attached for a limited time only to an entry-level 128GB storage configuration, with a 256 gig variant fetching 200 more yuan for a total of around $500. Both those models also come with an 8GB RAM count on deck, while the 12 gig memory variant accommodating 256GB data internally is priced at CNY 3,399 ($535 or so).
Of course, the "global" Motorola Edge 30 Ultra 5G expected to derive from the China-first Edge X30 is unlikely to be quite so cheap, nevertheless looking destined to undercut even the humblest member of Samsung's still-distant Galaxy S22 family with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside.
But wait, there's more
More awesome ultra-high-end stuff to get excited about than just a blazing fast processor, that is, arguably starting with a 5,000mAh battery capable of insane 68W charging speeds.
Then you have not one but two different 50MP rear shooters, namely a primary one with f/1.88 aperture and OIS and a secondary ultra-wide-angle lens with a 117-degree field of view. The third camera mounted on the phone's back is nothing special, sporting a modest 2MP sensor, but that's definitely not what we can say about the single 60MP front-facing snapper.
Like the Moto G200 and Snapdragon 778-powered Motorola Edge (2021), the Edge X30 also comes with an exceptionally smooth 144Hz display. On the software side of things, Android 12 will run the show out the box, and naturally, 5G speeds are part of the "standard" budget-friendly package too.
Finally, as revealed earlier this same week, a special edition of the X30 is in the pipeline as well with an under-display front camera making an almost truly bezelless design possible. Incredibly enough, this hidden selfie shooter is set to retain the 60 megapixel count of the "regular" X30's front-facing cam, although the current lack of availability and pricing info (even for China) makes us suspect this "special edition" phone might be little more than a small-scale commercial experiment.