This Motorola x Pantone collab is a special edition phone done right

Motorola Edge 30 Fusion in hand

Jun Wan/ZDNET

Just when I thought there were no more differences in the glass slab that is a modern smartphone, Motorola came out of the blue and presented me with its new phone. Edge 30 Fusion In Pantone’s Color of the Year: Viva Magenta.

No, seriously, there’s such a thing as Color of the Year, Viva Magenta is the actual name of the color, and the mixture of reds and pinks is as vibrant as the name suggests.

I spent the past week testing the Edge 30 Fusion, which finally debuted in the US in late December, despite previously launching overseas. Sure, this year’s CES had no shortage of innovative and forward-looking technology, but there’s just something enticing about flashy hardware that’s already available for purchase. Case in point: I’m obsessed with the new Motorola phone. And the best part is that it’s not just because of looks.

I’m going to be doing a disservice if I don’t start talking about design, right? The best way for me to describe Edge 30 Fusion’s Viva Magenta support is a mixture of maroon and pink—like the edible seeds of a pomegranate. Trust me, I wish there were better words to express all the glamor I see.

Close up of Motorola Edge 30 Fusion

The vegan leather cover is enhanced by a dual camera bump and depth sensor.

Jun Wan/ZDNET

What’s not noticeable about the photo is how Motorola has gone about its vegan leather treatment on the back of the phone, which is a nice deviation from the usual suspects of glass and plastic — and I’m here for it. The material is polished just like the real thing, adds some much-needed grip to its already slim and curvy form factor, and gives the phone a charm that you don’t want to cover with a case first thing after you open it up. . The same can’t be said of other phones I’ve tested in recent years.

Sadly, the Pantone branding on the bottom is permanent and not some removable sticker any idiot ZDNET reviewer would spend minutes trying to peel off.

Also: I’ve worked with Motorola’s ThinkPhone and it’s surprisingly good

Now, I have to tip my hat to Motorola for what it was packaged with Viva Magenta Pack. From the “unboxing fragrance” that fills the air when various parts of the box are removed to the included 68W charger that doubles as a laptop charger to a complimentary pair of wireless earbuds, this is a special edition phone done right.

Motorola Edge 30 Fusion on top of a table.

Motorola’s software is cleaner than I expected, with familiar Moto perks like cut-and-roll gestures.

Jun Wan/ZDNET

At the end of the day, the Edge 30 Fusion, by itself, is a very good flagship. The 6.55-inch OLED screen isn’t too big, not too small, and it bumps up to a 144Hz refresh rate. Visually, it’s smoother than what I’ve seen from Samsung or Apple’s best devices—both of which max out at 120Hz. My only gripe here is the curvature of the Edge 30 Fusion’s sides, a design element that feels great in the hand but can often lead to accidental touches.

Fortunately, that curvature plays nicely with Motorola’s attempt to make the Edge 30 Fusion one of the thinnest phones on the market, at 7.45mm. The thinness of the phone, paired with the vegan leather cover, is a match made in heaven.

More: The best phones you can buy right now

But, to keep things grounded, this is now a Smartphone $599 (down from $799) Trade-offs are to be expected, although they’re not as obvious as you’d think. Things like an IP52 rating instead of IP68, lack of wireless charging, a Snapdragon 888+ processor instead of the 8 Gen variant, and no support for Verizon/CDMA bands will be deal breakers for some.

But, if design is high on your smartphone priority list, and you want what I consider to be one of the best Android phones money can buy, Motorola’s latest collaboration is worth a try.

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