Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

GSMArena Team, 20 September 2023.

Design, build quality, handling

Part of the Neo's convergence towards the 'standard' model in the Edge lineup can be seen in the 40-gen's styling, build, and in-hand presence - the Edge 40 Neo is now a lot closer to the Edge 40 than the 30 Neo was to the 30.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

One of the aspects of that transition is the fact that this year's Neo model isn't lighter than the rest like the previous iteration. While the Edge 30 Neo tipped the scales at 155g, the Edge 40 Neo now stands at 172g, which is more or less the same as the Edge 40.

There's a bit more to that number though, and it has to do with the rear panel's material and finish, which is in turn dependent on the colorway. Our review unit is in the Soothing Sea version and, together with the Caneel Bay option, it gets a faux leather back. These variants are specified at 172g, while the third option, Black Beauty, weighs 170g with an acrylic back panel.

Color options: Soothing Sea - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review Color options: Caneel Bay - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review Color options: Black Beauty - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review
Color options: Soothing Sea • Caneel Bay • Black Beauty

Those color names may strike you as even more specific than the usual marketing-mandated nomenclature, and that's probably why they come from the Pantone catalog. The collaboration between Motorola and the American color specialists is ongoing and continues to produce striking results that set the Motos apart from the pack.

Our vegan leather-backed Soothing Sea handset looks great, doesn't pick up fingerprints, and is also nicely grippy. We can imagine the black variant will be notably more slippery.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

So, as we already mentioned, the Edge 40 Neo is physically very similar to the Edge 40 proper. That means its rear panel curves towards the sides, where it meets the equally curved display, making for a very thin-feeling handset that leaves a very premium impression - to the eyes, and also to the fingertips.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

That's only partially so, though, since the Neo's frame is plastic, while the regular Edge 40 did use aluminum. That said, the Edge 40 Neo is also IP68-rated for dust and water protection, just like the other models in the family, even though this is the least expensive one so far. So while the metal is gone, Motorola kept the practically more important mark of 'premiumness'.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

We had no issues with handling caused by the display curvatures, which are admittedly quite subtle. That experience does tend to vary from person to person, so if you're one to approach 'Edge'-style displays with a blanket hatred, perhaps one of the Neo's fully flat competitors would be a safer bet.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

One of our usual gripes with Motos has to do with the fingerprint reader placement, which we find to be too low on the Edge 40 Neo as well. The sensor itself works quickly and reliably, it's just that it could have been located a centimeter higher. Obviously, that's something you'll get accustomed to in daily use, but that doesn't make it ideal.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

As for what protects the Neo's ever so slightly curved display, we have some conflicting information. A lot of the official regional Motorola sites specify Gorilla Glass 3, but the one for India omits that detail and company reps from the country have mentioned glass made by Japanese manufacturer NEG. We reckon there are two possibilities - (1) the Made-in-India devices uses a different material, or (2) it's a good old miscommunication and it's GG3 everywhere.

Update, 11 December, 2023: The product pages on the European Motorola sites now specify the protective glass on the Edge 40 Neo as NEG T2X-7. The Indian website still doesn't list the make and model explicitly, but at least now there's more of an alignment between the official information on the European sites and that which has been disclosed to us by the Motorola reps in India.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

Nippon Electric Glass or Corning, the glass panel is cut slightly towards the top to form a slit for the earpiece, which also serves as a second speaker. A small punch hole in this vicinity punctures the display and allows the selfie camera to get a good look at you.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

On the bottom of the phone is where you'll find the usual things, like the USB-C port, the 'primary' loudspeaker, and a mic. Also here is the SIM slot that, depending on the phone's version, will either accept two physical nano SIMs, or just one physical one but with a provision for an extra eSIM.

Bottom bits - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review SIM tray - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review
Bottom bits • SIM tray

On the opposite end of the handset, there's a lone mic pinhole to mention, making for a total of two microphones on the Edge 40 Neo.

The left side of the phone is entirely devoid of features, but the right side is where you'll find the power button and the volume buttons, which have an alright click action.

Second mic up top - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review Buttons on the right - Motorola Edge 40 Neo review
Second mic up top • Buttons on the right

The Edge 40 Neo, being an Edge 40 of sorts, leaves us with a very positive impression in terms of build and handling. While it may have gained a bit of weight compared to the previous Neo, it's still a relatively light and compact handset. The lack of metal in the build is entirely understandable given the class, while the IP68-rated dust and water resistance is more of a surprise for the price. Meanwhile, the Pantone colors and particularly the leatherette versions look nice and are pleasant to touch.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 20 Apr 2024
  • pXr

That could happen to every phone bro Thats why cases are invented Glass cant bend very easily, so under pressure it breaks

  • 05 Apr 2024
  • gyc

yes, made by Microsoft Copilot or something similar :) and funniest part "I hope that my feedback will prompt the necessary changes"

  • BC1
  • 26 Feb 2024
  • mn4

I own this phone and was very excited about it. It was great especially at this price, unfortunately after falling from my pocket the screen was smashed to bits. I have no clue what kind of fine crystal this made of but it's definitely not stron...