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The Motorola Edge Plus is simply a straightforward Android flagship with no gimmicky features oregon nostalgia to prop it up. The effect is simply a bully but pricey telephone that can’t rather vie with the existent people leader.
The premium Android marketplace successful the US is dominated by Samsung, with an honorable notation to Google and its Pixel 6 Pro. That’s astir it. LG near the enactment past year, taking its high-end Wing with it. OnePlus has been a no-show successful aboriginal 2022 (though the institution has said its 10 Pro may get earlier the extremity of the month), and different Chinese instrumentality makers are inactive steering wide of the US market.
While there’s plentifulness of country for much players, the stakes are acceptable high. Samsung has been strengthening its enactment policy, speeding up its Android update pace, and acknowledgment to beardown relationships with carriers, offering immoderate tempting incentives to those consenting to upgrade to a pricier unlimited plan. Google has besides produced its champion high-end telephone yet, though it’s been hampered by bundle problems recently.
This iteration of the Edge Plus drops its namesake “Edge” screen, which the 2020 Edge Plus offered. That’s for the champion since it wasn’t precise utile anyway. The latest Edge Plus continues to connection the high-end specs you’d expect from a flagship Android phone, including a Snapdragon 8 gen 1 processor, which is Qualcomm’s latest and top chipset.
The $999 MSRP besides makes a return, and successful galore ways, it behaves similar a telephone worthy of that precocious terms tag. Performance is excellent, tons of retention is included, there’s a high-quality screen, and accelerated charging comes courtesy of a 30W charger that’s included successful the box. Imagine that!
But successful the US, astatine least, it needs to measurement up to the existent best-in-class, and that’s the highly susceptible Galaxy S22 Plus. That’s nary casual feat, and the Edge Plus isn’t rather up to it.
The Motorola Edge Plus includes 8GB oregon 12GB of RAM with its top-shelf Snapdragon processor. The mentation I tested has 12GB, which is plentifulness for day-to-day tasks and capable to tally a graphics-intensive crippled similar Genshin Impact smoothly. It does get noticeably warm, adjacent extracurricular of gaming, though I didn’t spot immoderate antagonistic effect connected velocity arsenic a result.
The phone’s 6.7-inch OLED sheet features humble bezels connected each sides and, astatine 1080p resolution, falls conscionable a small abbreviated of the 1440p solution of the Pixel 6 Pro’s screen. In use, though, it’s crisp enough, and I didn’t miss immoderate of the other pixels that it mightiness person had. It offers a 144Hz refresh rate, and adjacent though I can’t truly spot the quality betwixt this and 120Hz, it does marque for a precise creaseless experience. It’s a nice, agleam screen, and its gangly 20:9 facet ratio means it tin amusement you conscionable a small much than the S22 Plus’ 19.5:9 display. The somewhat narrower signifier origin makes it easier to clasp one-handed, but it’s excessively large to usage comfortably with 1 hand.
The Edge Plus includes Gorilla Glass connected some the beforehand and backmost panel, with nary “glasstic” successful sight, but the rails are integrative alternatively than aluminum. I’m not precisely sure, but possibly that’s wherefore this telephone feels little “premium” than a Samsung oregon a Pixel. It’s besides little robust than the competition; the S22 Plus and Pixel 6 Pro connection IP68 waterproofing, but the Edge Plus is simply “water-resistant.”
The backmost sheet features an charismatic decorativeness that’s sometimes greenish and sometimes blue, depending connected the space you’re viewing it from. The lone close mode to picture this effect is that it looks similar the colour of a mermaid’s tail. I defy you to travel up with a amended description.
There’s besides nary in-screen fingerprint sensor; Motorola opted for 1 embedded successful the powerfulness switch. The optical fingerprint scanner whitethorn beryllium a premium diagnostic close now, but it’s 1 I didn’t really miss successful the Edge Plus. The side-mounted scanner is overmuch faster than adjacent a bully in-display sensor, and arsenic a bonus, it doesn’t attraction if you’re wearing a mask, similar astir facial unlock systems do.
I’m little keen connected immoderate of Motorola’s bundle changes. Moto typically offers 1 of my favourite Android skins with a lighter interaction than Samsung’s much heavy-handed approach. Peek notifications, which grow with a agelong property connected the fastener surface to amusement afloat notification text, are inactive a large mode to get the close accusation astatine a glimpse portion minimizing interruptions.
But Motorola has done a small rearranging successful the app drawer, adding a “suggested links” conception that takes up a batch of abstraction and, astatine slightest truthful acold successful my experience, hasn’t been terribly useful. I besides agreed to fto a institution called “Branch” usage my information to personalize my suggestions based connected my behavior, and adjacent aft a fewer days, it doesn’t look to beryllium immoderate amended astatine knowing what I privation to bash with my phone.
The strategy besides defaults to showing you a keyboard erstwhile you unfastened the app drawer truthful you tin hunt for the happening you privation alternatively than scrolling for it. Useful successful theory, but I’d alternatively conscionable find the close icon connected my own, truthful I disabled this feature, which is easy done. It took precise small enactment to get the app drawer backmost to the statement I liked, but that’s not thing I expect to person to bash connected a Motorola phone.
Otherwise, determination aren’t galore surprises successful Motorola’s instrumentality connected Android 12. There are tons of personalization options that you tin customize individually oregon use done a fistful of preset themes. The Edge Plus isn’t rather arsenic customizable arsenic the Pixel 6, but you bash person entree to plentifulness of options similar antithetic icon shapes and fonts — capable to marque it casual to walk 30 minutes tinkering with your choices. The Verizon mentation I tested comes with a batch of pre-downloaded apps and Verizon software, immoderate of which tin beryllium uninstalled.
The Edge Plus has a 4,800mAh battery, and stamina is mostly good. With astir telephone settings astatine default, I tin easy get done implicit a time of mean use, but it’s not hard to tally down the artillery overmuch faster than that. With brightness maxed retired and 144Hz refresh complaint enabled astatine each times (it’s connected car by default) and connected 5G alternatively than Wi-Fi, I saw the artillery drain astir 10 percent successful 30 minutes of Instagram and TikTok viewing.
All told, it seems to person a small much stamina than the Galaxy S22 Plus and volition past a afloat time of mean and immoderate dense use. Streaming a batch of video oregon doing much gaming volition astir apt necessitate a recharge during the day, but there’s large quality connected this front: Motorola includes a partition charger successful the container that supports the Edge Plus’ 30W apical wired charging speed. It tin instrumentality a wholly level artillery to afloat powerfulness successful astir an hr — speedy indeed. You won’t find a charger included with either the Galaxy S22 Plus oregon Pixel 6 Pro, truthful that’s thing to sneeze astatine these days. Wireless charging astatine up to 15W is besides supported.
Of course, the Edge Plus offers 5G, including C-band support. That’s decidedly bully to person if you’re connected AT&T oregon Verizon and little important if you’re connected T-Mobile. The unlocked mentation doesn’t see mmWave, which is the precise fast, highly scarce marque of 5G you mightiness brushwood successful a shot stadium and fundamentally obscurity else. The mentation sold by Verizon does see mmWave 5G due to the fact that Verizon has historically insisted that it beryllium included connected each the phones it sells, though Apple seemingly gets a pass connected that.
Unfortunately, 1 spot wherever Motorola hasn’t kept up with Samsung and Google is its bundle update policy. It’s lone promising 2 OS updates and 3 years of information updates for this high-end instrumentality — good down Google and Samsung’s five-year information enactment policy. The Edge Plus’ hardware is susceptible of keeping up for longer than 5 years, truthful that’s a disappointment and thing to see if you’d similar to bent onto your telephone arsenic agelong arsenic possible.
You’ll find 3 cameras connected the Edge Plus’ rear panel, but lone 2 of them are genuinely useful: a 50-megapixel f/1.8 modular wide with optical representation stabilization and a 50-megapixel ultrawide. The 3rd camera module houses a 2-megapixel extent sensor that ostensibly helps retired with representation mode. There’s a 60-megapixel f/2.2 camera connected the beforehand sheet that produces highly elaborate 15-megapixel selfies — possibly adjacent too detailed. Video signaling astatine up to 8K / 30p is supported, on with 4K / 30p and 1080 astatine 30 oregon 60p. An HDR10 Plus mounting is disposable erstwhile signaling successful 4K / 30p, which does a bully occupation of pulling backmost blown highlights.
What’s missing from the Edge Plus’ camera hardware configuration is simply a telephoto lens — the 2020 exemplary had one, but it wasn’t precise good. Both the S22 Plus and Pixel 6 Pro connection a telephoto camera. Otherwise, the Edge Plus’ cameras are conscionable good without peculiarly lasting retired successful immoderate way. As is the lawsuit with astir high-res telephone cameras, some the modular and ultrawide usage pixel-binning to nutrient 12-megapixel images. They some instrumentality bully photos successful daylight, though the ultrawide leans toward a somewhat warmer achromatic balance.
Photos from the main camera are a small oversharpened for my taste, but overall, I similar however it handles high-contrast scenes without going overboard trying to rescue highlights oregon brighten shadows. Photos successful debased indoor lighting look good, excessively — the telephone strikes a bully equilibrium betwixt maintaining details and sound reduction. Dim airy photos from the ultrawide look a small softer, arsenic I’d expect, but are decidedly a chopped supra what you get from a lower-res ultrawide camera successful a fund oregon adjacent midrange phone.
Samsung and Google person enactment a batch of enactment into the bundle down their representation mode photos, and Motorola can’t rather compete. The Edge Plus’ taxable isolation conscionable isn’t arsenic blase — looking close, you tin spot wherever it gives up connected cutting retired strands of hairsbreadth and conscionable blurs good details into the background. It’s not arsenic savvy arsenic the S22 Plus astatine identifying beards and glasses rims, either. Night mode is simply a akin communicative — Motorola’s Night Vision produces images that look artificially implicit brightened.
The midrange Moto Edge we tested recently had immoderate autofocus problems, and Motorola has avoided them successful the Edge Plus by adding much autofocus pixels to the main camera sensor. Focus is speedy for stills and video recording, and I didn’t spot immoderate AF failures adjacent erstwhile shooting successful debased light.
This mentation of the Edge Plus proves that Motorola tin marque a bully mainstream, no-funny-business, high-end Android phone. But “good” isn’t a capable selling constituent erstwhile you’re up against Google, Samsung, and Apple, which each connection devices astir the aforesaid terms with stronger cameras, physique quality, and enactment policies.
Most radical won’t wage the Edge Plus’ $999 asking terms and volition either bargain it astatine a discount from Motorola oregon person it financed done their carrier. If you bash find it for a bully terms and you’re a instrumentality of Motorola’s fund oregon midrange phones, past the Edge Plus is simply a good choice. You get overmuch much retention than the basal exemplary Pixel 6 Pro oregon S22 Plus, a precise bully screen, and a telephone that’s enjoyable to usage and conscionable gets retired of your mode for the astir part.
We whitethorn not person galore premium Android phones to take from successful the US, but the devices we bash person are truly good. It takes thing peculiar to warrant a proposal erstwhile the S22 Plus and Pixel 6 Pro are connected the table, and the Edge Plus doesn’t rather person it.
Photography by Allison Johnson / The Verge