On Thursday Motorola announced the Edge, its latest affordable Android phone. Not to be outdone by Google and Samsung’s mid-range devices, the phone boasts flagship-like features at a retail price of $500. But it still may be too much for too little.
Like last year’s Edge release, the new Motorola Edge is a dialed-down version of the company’s flagship Edge+. While it boasts full 5G connectivity, fast charging, and an OLED display with a high refresh rate for $500, the smartphone’s other features do little to help sweeten the deal.
The chip inside the Motorola Edge is a MediaTek Dimensity 1050, and it’s available with 6 or 8GB of RAM. While this 6nm chip offers full spectrum connectivity between super fast mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G bands, as well as WiFi 6E support, MediaTek isn’t known for beating benchmarks. On the upside, anyone forced onto this smartphone by their carrier will have access to the latest broadband connections, helping level the playing field among Android’s mid-range users.
The Motorola Edge’s sceen is a 6.6-inch FHD OLED display with a whopping 144Hz refresh rate. Casual smartphone users probably won’t notice the difference from the 120Hz on competing devices like the Samsung Galaxy A53, but that extra power will help facilitate smooth gaming. A higher refresh rate is always a nice value add at this price point.
The Edge’s 5000 mAh battery is compatible with Motorola’s 30W TurboPower charging, 15W wireless charging, and 5W reverse charging, often a feature reserved for higher-priced phones. Motorola is typically known for bundling great batteries with its smartphones, but we wonder if it can support the Edge’s power needs. That big screen and high refresh rate don’t sound like they’ll be kind to battery life.
The Edge’s cameras will have to compete against the Pixel 6a’s stellar photo-taking capabilities and the Galaxy A53’s many lenses. The Edge has a rear-facing double camera system: a 50-MP ultra pixel camera with OIS and a 13-MP ultra-wide camera with added macro vision. There’s also a depth sensor contributing to the primary camera’s omnidirectional PDAF capabilities. The front-facing selfie camera is a 32-MP sensor. The Motorola Edge+’s cameras were pretty middling, so it’ll be interesting to see what the Edge’s photos look like.
The Motorola Edge will be available with 128GB or 256GB of storage. It also has IP52 water resistance. It’ll be available at T-Mobile in the coming weeks, with subsequent availability at AT&T, Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and select MVNOs. It’ll be interesting to see how this device justifies its $500 price tag against what Google and Samsung are already offering for less.