Motorola Edge 40 vs Google Pixel 7: style versus camera

Motorola Edge 40 vs Google Pixel 7: style versus camera


Motorola just launched the Edge 40 in Europe — a budget spinoff of the Edge 40 Pro flagship, which we found to be quite nice. Do you know who else has a "budget edition" flagship phone? Well yes, basically everybody nowadays. But also — Google!

Yes, we will be comparing the Motorola Edge 40 versus the Pixel 7. In Europe, these are priced €599 and €649, respectively. Word on the street is that — if the Edge 40 does reach the US — it will be around the $600 mark, just like the Pixel 7. Also, it might be called Motorola Edge (2023).

In any case, these sit pretty much in the same class, so the question is — which one is better? Let's take a look at their battery life, camera performance, design style, and speaker quality (well, that will be a listen in this case) and try to figure out — which of these phones is the right one for you?

Motorola Edge 40

Motorola Edge 40

The Good

  • Thin, solid, premium design and feel
  • 144 Hz OLED screen with nice colors and customizable profiles
  • Speakers sound pretty good for thin form factor
  • Dependable battery life, fast charging

The Bad

  • Camera oversharpens a bit, colors can be hit and miss. Digital zoom is weak.
  • Performance is adequate, but you don't have power on tap
Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

The Good

  • Compact and friendly design
  • Bright display
  • Excellent $599 starting price
  • Overall good image quality with the signature Pixel look
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • Ultra-wide camera is still not wide enough
  • Some camera quirks and shutter lag
  • Not very inspiring performance-wise

Motorola Edge 40 vs Google Pixel 7 in a nutshell:
  • Motorola Edge 40 has a thin, stylish build with vegan leather back
  • Pixel 7 has the better camera
  • Pixel 7 has a slightly better performance, but real-life difference is mostly negligible
  • Motorola Edge 40 screen has a 144 Hz refresh rate for super smooth animations
  • Motorola Edge 40 has the slightly better speakers, slightly worse haptics

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Two very distinct styles

Motorola's design team really came out swinging with the Edge 40 Pro and Edge 40 this year. We really like the stylish look of them — the Motorola Edge 40 is thin, the curved screen has just the right arch without cutting too much into the screen, the faux leather back feels and looks lovely. It nails the look of "phone as accessory" and we wouldn't mind being seen with it out in the wild.

That's not to say the Pixel 7 is bad — it embraces the tech-y look that was established by the Pixel 6 series. It has the camera bar that sort of looks like a RoboCop visor, the shiny glass back, and a fully flat display for those that hate any sorts of curves.

Both phones feel easy to hold and operate with one hand — the Edge 40 has a 6.5-inch screen and the Pixel's diagonal is 6.3 inches. Not a huge difference there, though the Edge 40 feels significantly thinner. One, because it is — by 1.1 millimeters — but secondly, because both its screen and back taper towards the edges. Due to the curved design, the Edge 40 also has thinner bezels, with a screen-to-body ratio of 90.92% versus 84.13% on the Pixel 7.

Both are available in three colors each, but the Edge 40 even changes finishes. So, the Eclipse Black and Nebula Green versions of the Motorola have the vegan leather, the Lunar Blue has an acrylic back, in case you want that shine (though, we think it defeats the purpose of getting an Edge 40). The Pixel 7 is slightly more boring — black, white, or Lemongrass are your choices.

When it comes to screen quality — we have two OLED screens with the same resolution of 1080 x 2400. Both are sharp and vibrant and both give you color calibration options to either tame them or allow them to unleash their OLED saturation. The Motorola Edge 40 can hit a 144 Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 7 is limited to 90 Hz. The difference can be perceived by the trained eye, but we'd say that 90 Hz still feels pretty good on a smartphone as it is.

Brightness is good enough on both phones for viewing under direct sunlight and goes low enough for pleasant nighttime usage.

Display Measurements:

Both of these phones have under-screen fingerprint scanners, which we found to be snappy and accurate. No complaints with unlock attempts on both devices.

Performance and Software

MediaTek vs Tensor, Round 1!

The non-pro Moto Edge 40 comes with a budget processor under the hood — the MediaTek 8020. It's an upper-range 6 nm SoC built to support MediaTek's latest technologies for video upscaling, game optimization, and 4K video capture. Its processor has 8 cores that tick at up to 2.6 GHz and we found that while it is not a massive performer, it does stay stable and consistent throughout daily tasks.

Google's Tensor G2 is also no powerhouse, but Google built it to support the advanced AI features of the Pixel's Assistant and camera. In benchmarks, the Tensor is slightly better than the MediaTek 8020, in real life — we found both phones to be snappy, responsive, and solid.

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Motorola Edge 401111
Google Pixel 71452
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Motorola Edge 403572
Google Pixel 73318
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 401262
Google Pixel 71854
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 401257
Google Pixel 71521

The 3DMark stress test shows us how the Edge 40 maintains performance through heavy loads — it does score lower than the Pixel, yes, but it did not throttle once through the 20 loops of the benchmark.

When it comes to software updates, Google has Motorola beat. The Pixel 7 does come with the promise of 3 years of Android updates, 5 years of security patches. The Motorola Edge 40 is guaranteed to get 2 years of Android updates, 3 years of security patches.

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So, the Edge 40 may tap out at Android 15, whereas the Pixel 7 should get Android 16. Though, due to the timing of the releases here, it may or may not end up so that both phones get Android 16. However, the Pixel 7 will continue getting security patches until late 2027, while the Edge 40 will possibly stop around mid-2026.


Can't beat the Pixel

The Motorola Edge 40 has a 50 MP main camera with a very impressive F1.4 lens aperture — that's quite wide for a smartphone, especially in the midrange price bracket. The Pixel 7 also rocks a 50 MP sensor and its lens aperture is F1.9.

Then, we have ultra-wide cameras on both — 13 MP for the Edge 40, 12 MP on the Pixel 7. No telephoto cameras for either of those, though they do pull off a digital zoom-in for Portrait Mode shots. Specs-wise — they are very close, so it will be down to software and post-processing:

Main Camera - Day

In broad daylight the Moto 40 can take some pretty decent photos. It tends to oversharpen a lot, yet paradoxically the Pixel presents us with more tiny details to enjoy. Dynamics are held together well on both phones. However, the Edge 40 does have the tendency to oversaturate... sometimes a lot — just have a gander at sample 12. Especially when compared 1 to 1 with the Pixel 7, the Edge 40's photos turn out to not be so great. In a vacuum, we'd say it's an OK camera. Not one for the shutterbugs, for sure, but it will capture the memorabilia when you need to take a quick snap.

Main Camera - Low-light

And then the sun went down... and the Motorola kind of surprised us — it held it together pretty well. It still oversharpens details a bit, but it doesn't appear as offensive as on the daytime photos. The HDR on both phones is working overtime pulling information from both shadows and highlights, and the colors look good on both. The Edge 40 is slightly colder, the Pixel 7 warms up things as the light gets lower and lower. But in these samples? Pretty hard to pick a winner.

Zoom Quality

Now, when it comes to zooming, the Motorola Edge 40 does start to fall apart pretty easily. Oversharpening, offset colors, and at 8x — a very visible image degradation. Google's SuperZoom does a lot of heavy lifting here. And while the quality is not ideal, it's very obviously better than the Edge 40. If zooming is what you plan to do... well, if that's the case you should probably be looking at a different phone altogether, preferably one that has a telephoto lens. But, for the sake of the competition — 10 points to Pixel 7.

Portrait Mode

Thankfully, the 2x zoom works well enough to provide some decent Portrait mode shots. Subject separation on the Edge 40 is actually quite good, though we can see that oversharpening rear its ugly head again. The bokeh is OK, but not very convincing, especially when put besides the Pixel 7.

Ultra-wide Camera

The Moto Edge 40's ultra-wide camera does struggle a bit more with high dynamics. It may overexpose, it may oversaturate, or hey — why not both? But, more often than not, it does give us a useable photo. A bit oversharpened, a bit cold, but not truly bad. The Pixel 7's ultra-wide sticks truer to life, with warmer and more grounded colors. When its HDR kicks in, it still manages to hold things together.

At night time, though, we were pleasantly surprised to see the Edge 40's ultra-wide camera keep dynamics at bay and give us very balanced pictures with no burn-outs or crushed shadows. We think it may have even beaten the Pixel on that last shot of the fountain there.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

Surprisingly, on video, the roles are reversed, with the Edge 40 being a bit warmer and the Pixel 7 having a bluish cast. In isolation, both phones give us good colors. But when it comes to details — the Pixel 7 definitely beats the Edge 40 here. Yes, there's some sharpening going on, but the Pixel is generally better at preserving the little details in leaves and branches, while the Edge 40 is quick to make things a fuzzy. Also, the stabilization of the Pixel 7 does a better job at keeping things clear and not shaky.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The Motorola Edge 40 proudly flaunts a Dolby Atmos on its aluminum frame and its stereo speakers sound pretty nice. They are restricted by the thin design, sure, so don't expect a lot of bass or warmth. But we got a surprisingly good amount of detail from them — low end, midrange, highs. It's also pretty hard to get it to sound harsh, despite the fact that it can get decently loud.

The Google Pixel 7 also has stereo speakers, which sound very decent as well. Though, they can get a bit harsher in the upper midrange. We'd say that the Edge 40's drivers sound slightly better in this comparison.

When it comes to haptics, the Pixel is hard to beat with its confident ticks and tacks as you navigate through the interface. The Motorola Edge 40 has decent haptics, but they sometimes feel slightly raspy and weak. Again, they are not bad and we are nitpicking, but we have to call it — the Google Pixel 7 has slightly better haptics.

Battery Life and Charging

The Motorola Edge 40 manages to fit a 4,400 mAh cell in its thin body. Thanks to the fact that its processor is not a power hog, it actually manages to keep the lights on for quite a while.

But you know what? Same for the Pixel 7 — we find both of these phones are dependable and a cure for chronic percentage phobia.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 408h 48 min
Google Pixel 79h 13 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 4014h 28 min
Google Pixel 713h 56 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Motorola Edge 405h 1 min
Google Pixel 74h 43 min

One thing the Motorola Edge 40 does have — faster charging... and a charger in the box! Yes, it ships with the 68 W wallplug you need to top it up. You can get from 0% to 100% in 55 minutes, but 10 minutes on the wire should give you enough charge to last through the day. The Pixel 7 can handle up to 20 W, bring your own charger. It takes an hour and a half to top up the Pixel 7, but you get 50% of battery for 30 minutes on a plug.

Specs Comparison

And here's a quick rundown of the main specs these devices have. For a more in-depth comparison, feel free to visit our Motorola Edge 40 vs Google Pixel 7 specs page.

Summary and Final Verdict

So, which one of these is the better phone? It's hard to ignore the fact that the Pixel 7 has the better camera performance and will give you the clean Android experience straight from the horse's developer. Wait... we mean, straight from Google — all the exclusive Assistant and Photos features in tow. Plus, we are pretty sure there's more AI madness coming soon, if Google I/O 2023 is anything to go by.

But the Motorola Edge 40 has its own merits. Its camera is decent, so it's not a total write-off. Its design is very stylish and its performance — while not killer — is pretty stable. We'd say it's a great phone for someone who wants a stylish handset as an accessory that also happens to work when they need it. We were definitely taken by surprise by the build quality and performance here.

How do you see yourself? A smartphone enthusiast that rocks an industrial-design, metal-and-glass sandwich that gets the latest features from Google? Or as a casual smartphone enjoyer who likes their handset to add some drip and style to their outfit.

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