There really is no sensible argument for the viva magenta Motorola Edge 30 Fusion. It costs $799 and does not include wireless charging, an IP68 rating or a telephoto camera. You should get at least two of those things for $800 in 2023. But here’s the point: it’s fun, and fun is seriously underrated when it comes to smartphones.
Much of that fun factor has to do with the Edge 30 Fusion’s best and most obvious feature: its color. I think it’s pink, but my sources (many people on Twitter) tell me it is in fact red. And not just any red: viva magenta, the official Pantone color of the year 2023.
Pantone uses some forced alliteration when it says it “vibrates with vibrancy and vigor”. It apparently also stimulates our minds and helps us build our inner strength. I’ve been using the phone for a few days now and I can’t say my mind feels more or less galvanized, but I recently mustered up the courage to give the inside of my fridge a deep clean. Did my exposure to viva magenta help? Who can tell?
I’ve been using the phone for a few days now and I can’t say my mind feels more or less galvanized
In any case, this pink phone stands out from most other modern smartphones, whether it’s inner strength or not. At any given moment there is a small pile of phones on my desk, and about four out of five of them are black. Sometimes a forest green or midnight blue gets into the mix, but never anything as attention-grabbing as viva magenta. It’s a welcome change from the muted rectangles.
The magenta edition Edge 30 Fusion also comes with a pair of color-coordinated wireless earbuds. When was the last time you bought a phone with wireless earbuds? right in the box? Probably never, that’s when. They’re not exactly top notch, but they’re surprisingly good.
Noise cancellation is serviceable, and both the phone and earbuds support Dolby Atmos sound, which claims to offer “clearer dialogue, sharper detail and more engaging sound”. That sounds like some marketing gibberish, but you know what? It is quite captivating. The sound of an episode of white Lotus felt richer and more immersive as I saw the rich people immersed in their own problems. Color me impressed.
To sweeten the deal, the back of the Edge 30 Fusion has a leather-like finish, which not only looks nice, but makes the phone easier to hold in one hand. One downside: The porous surface seems to hold stronger odors than an all-glass appliance. The loaner unit I used picked up a strong perfume smell somewhere in its path and it took a few days of airing to dissipate. I don’t believe that’s a multisensory feature of viva magenta; it’s certainly not mind-blowing. Anyway, I’ve asked Motorola about this and the company hasn’t contacted me yet.
Apart from all cosmetic things, the Edge 30 Fusion is also a nice phone. It has a Snapdragon 888 Plus processor with punchy performance, a nice 6.55-inch OLED with a 144Hz refresh rate, and fast 68W wired charging (cable and charging brick included). There’s a stabilized 50-megapixel main camera, a 32-megapixel selfie camera with heavy face smoothing as standard, and a 13-megapixel ultrawide. It’s all very nice, if not the best you can do for the money.
However, I can say with absolute certainty that this is the best viva magenta phone to buy at any price. Walking around with a pink phone for a while was a lot of fun, and judging by the comments when I posted about it on Twitter, many of you thought maybe it would be too. And if you’re not sold on magenta, there’s always next year.
Photography by Allison Johnson / The Verge