Motorola Edge 40 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro

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Motorola Edge 40 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro

Intro


There are flagship phones that cost well over $1,000, and then there are flagship phones that give you all the same features, but at a much more affordable price.

And the Motorola Edge 40 Pro sits right in that second category with its $900 price and top-tier Snapragon 8 Gen 2 processor. But how good is it really? And has Motorola finally made the flagship phone we've all been waiting the company to make?

To better understand that, we compare the Edge 40 Pro against the big name in this space: the Pixel 7 Pro, another $900 phone with an incredible camera, solid battery life and all-around excellence. 

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Motorola Edge 40 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro in a nutshell:
  • Motorola is slightly more compact and sleeker
  • Both have 6.7" screens, but Motorola goes up to 165Hz
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on the Motorola is faster than Google's Tensor G2
  • Both have 12GB RAM
  • Pixel has the better camera system
  • Motorola has faster charging
  • Pixel receives updates faster

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Two gorgeous OLED screens


When it comes to flagship Android phones, they usually come in one size: extra large. But while both the Motorola and the Pixel feel like big phones, they are relatively lightweight and particularly the Motorola is a bit narrower and not as tall, for a more compact feel. We really appreciate this.

The Edge 40 Pro also has this captivating finish on the back glass, while the Pixel comes in a more traditional glossy glass design. The downside to the Motorola design is just how slippery the phone can feel, so much so that I would be afraid to use this phone without a case.

The Pixel also has that camera bar on the back, which is something you instantly recognize from afar, while the Motorola looks somewhat generic when it comes to camera styling.

Both, however, have an IP68 water and dust protection rating for your peace of mind.

Display Measurements:



Our display lab tests, show that both can hit around 1,000 nits of brightness on a sunny day, which is good news, and indeed these screens while not the brightest in existence, are easy to see outdoors. The Motorola does not quite get as dim enough as we'd like for night time use, but we wouldn't say that bothered us too much.

The bigger news is support for a whopping 165Hz refresh rate on the Motorola, and we were surprised that you could actually tell the difference between 165Hz and 120Hz, as the former just appears a tad smoother not just for gaming, but for scrolling around the UI too.

For biometrics, both phone rely on an optical fingerprint scanner embedded in the screen and the Motorola has the upper hand here. We had no issues with this fingerprint scanner, it was fast, reliable, a pleasure to use, while the one on the Pixel - while improved from previous years - still feels a bit sluggish and just not quite as responsive.

Performance and Software

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on the Motorola is great for gaming!


Motorola uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, which is used in practically all 2023 Android flagships, except for the Pixel series.

The Pixel 7 Pro bets on an in-house Google Tensor G2 chip which has a focus on machine learning, but in reality, the Tensor chip is just not as fast as the Qualcomm one, so Motorola definitely has the upper hand when it comes to speed.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6 SingleHigher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro1861
Google Pixel 7 Pro1412
Geekbench 6 MultiHigher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro4815
Google Pixel 7 Pro3303
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro3663
Google Pixel 7 Pro1836
3DMark Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro2918
Google Pixel 7 Pro1292

You can clearly see the massive advantage the Snapdragon chip has over the Tensor in benchmarks. It's a nearly 50% difference in mulit-core CPU speeds, and yes, more than double the graphics performance. This is no joke! The Tensor chip might be a noble undertaking by Google, but it definitely feels far, far behind in 2023.

But where Google excels is with software updates. Both phones are expected to get three years of major OS updates, but Google will deliver them to Pixels the moment they are released, while with a Motorola phone you would have to wait a few months for an update to arrive.

Camera

Pixel is a step ahead of Motorola in the camera game


We were really curious if Motorola is able to match up with the proven camera of the Pixel 7 Pro.

Both have triple camera systems, so that's one similarity, with the most notable difference being in third, telephoto camera which is a 2X zoom on the Motorola and a 5X periscope type lens on the Pixel.

Main Camera - Day




Looking at photos captured during the day, we can clearly see that the Pixel does a better job with dynamic range and detail. The Motorola is not bad, but it has some issues like the way too bright shadows and mushier detail.

Zoom Quality




The Pixel absolutely destroys the Motorola when it comes to zoom quality. At 2X, the sensor crop of the Pixel looks better to our eyes, but the real difference can be seen at 5X and 10X zoom where the Pixel just has way more detail and better looking shots.

Portrait Mode



One area where the Pixel fails terribly is portrait mode, as it just lacks the detail. And this is exactly one area where the Motorola Edge 40 Pro excels as it supports three popular focal distances: 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. The quality is great, background separation works pretty well, and we like the look a lot!

Ultra-wide Camera




But then going back to the ultra-wide camera, and again the Pixel takes over with that superior dynamic range and detail of the images.

Selfies




Selfies on the Motorola Edge 40 Pro are not what we expect to see from a flagship. There is excessive processing, which results in fake, plasticky look even when you turn the typical beauty filters off. The Pixel can shoot very wide selfies, great for groups, and it has a more natural look with a lot more detail.

Video Quality


Video Thumbnail


The Edge 40 Pro brings 8K video recording at the same focal distance as 4K video, so it's one step ahead of the Pixel on that front. But since most people (us included) shoot almost exclusively in 4K, or even lower resolutions, this might not be as much of an advantage as you think.

As for 4K video, both support 30fps and 60fps, and both deliver a very good stabilization, but we'd say that the Pixel looks a bit better as the Motorola again has some issues with a slight overexposure and we are seeing some artifacts from the optical stabilization at the edges of the footage.

Audio Quality and Haptics


Both the Motorola and the Pixel come equipped with two loudspeakers, but while have one firing towards the bottom, the helper speaker at the top is different. On the Pixel (as on most other phones), it is embedded in the earpiece, while on the Motorola it's a totally separate speaker firing upwards rather than front.

Motorola has also stamped the Dolby Atmos logo at the top of the phone as a token for the quality.

In reality, the two speakers sound similarly good, and while we would not rank them as top of the class, they certainly provide a good amount of punch for a smartphone speaker.

In terms of haptics both phones are a solid B, not quite Taptic Engine good, but not too far behind either.

Battery Life and Charging

Quite close, but Motorola has much faster charging


With a 4,600mAh battery inside, the Edge 40 Pro is a bit behind the rest of the Android flagship crew, including the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a 5,000mAh battery.

That's a difference of nearly 8%, not something to be underestimated, and we kind of expected the Motorola to have shorter battery life than the Pixel just based on that alone.

But after using it for a while, we can say that the Edge 40 Pro is a very solid battery performance that lasts us a bit more than a day. Based on gut feel, we'd say battery life on these two phones is very comparable.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro14h 21 min
Google Pixel 7 Pro9h 39 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro13h 28 min
Google Pixel 7 Pro14h 19 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 40 Pro5h 6 min
Google Pixel 7 Pro4h 11 min

Of course, we don't need to rely on gut feel alone. On our YouTube video streaming test the Motorola absolutely killed it with one of the highest scores we have ever seen, the score is so good we'd need to actually do a proper investigation and we'll update you on this soon.

On the rest of the tests, the Edge 40 Pro had results within our expectations, it was slightly behind the Pixel for web browsing where we run a script that cycles through web pages and scrolls around.

And finally, on our 3D Gaming test, the Edge 40 Pro beat the Pixel by a good margin, but the Pixel is a notoriously bad performer on this test.

One area where Motorola absolutely dominates the Pixel is charging speeds. It supports 120 watts compared to a meager 23W on the Pixel, a world of a difference. While the Pixel takes nearly 1 hour and 40 minutes to fully charge, the Motorola accomplishes the same taks in a mere 25 minutes, and a 10 or 15 minute top-up is all you need for a full day worth of juice. Nice!

Both support wireless charging too, in case you're curious, with 15W speeds on the Motorola, and 23W speeds on the Pixel.

Specs Comparison


And here are the Motorola Edge 40 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro specs highlights:


Summary and Final Verdict



This was really close!

So... which one is the better choice?

Depends on your priorities! The Motorola is a better fit for those looking for a big phone in a less gigantic body, and those who value the performance and gaming advantages of the Edge 40 Pro, as well as its insane charging speeds.

The Pixel is the one to get if you want the clean Google experience, day one Android updates, as well as the better all-around camera system.

So which camp do you belong to?
 

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