Motorola has been in a weird place with its flagship phones lately. Last year, the company only gave us mid-range handsets. Now, in 2022, the company is back on the horse with its flagship phones, and it delivered its next premium offerings with the new Motorola Edge duo of phones. I was able to review the more premium sibling of the two. How does this phone compete with the competition from Google, Apple, and Samsung? Let’s take a look in this review of the Motorola Edge+.
The design is really eye-catching
2020’s Motorola Edge was unique in that it had an extremely curved display. 2022’s Motorola Edge+ brought that curve to the back of the phone. The back of the phone is covered in a slab of frosted glass that plays beautifully with light. It’s really a sight to behold.
It doesn’t pick up fingerprints too easily, as well. Another pleasing detail has to do with the camera module. It’s shaped so that the top and bottom of the module are raised ever so slightly. When the flashlight is turned on, it illuminates the glass, and that makes for a nice effect.
One thing to note is the fact that the glass is rather slippery. While the glass looks like it’s textured, it’s perfectly smooth, and that means that the phone is very prone to slipping about. This is only amplified by the fact that the power and volume buttons are so high on the phone. Be prepared for some serious hand gymnastics.
Overall, the Motorola Edge+ is a really nice-looking phone, but it falls into the same trap as a lot of the other premium smartphones: it’s really pretty but really cumbersome to hold and operate. I’m going to say the age-old line “You might want to get a case”.
The display is quite a heavy-lifter
One of the main aspects of this phone, I’d say, is the display. The Motorola Edge+ has a large 6.7-inch POLED display, and it gets plenty bright in direct sunlight. I had zero trouble reading the screen while outside in the sun. If you have the color profile set to vibrant, you’ll get those punchy and saturated colors you’d expect from an OLED display. One bummer is that there aren’t any options to finetune the color profile.
Another pleasing thing about the display is the 144Hz refresh rate. Nowadays, most flagship phones come with a 120Hz display, and only the gaming phones push it to 144Hz. What makes the refresh rate better is the fact that you can adjust it. In the display menu, you can choose between having it at 144Hz and 60Hz. You can also have the system automatically choose the refresh rate based on the apps you’re using.
The only real downside about this display is the resolution. Those of you who are sticklers about how many pixels are packed into every square inch of the display, you’ll be disappointed to know that it’s a 1080+ display. The resolution is 2400 x 1080. That should be enough for most scenarios, but those who are used to 1440p displays may notice a drop in sharpness.
All in all, the display is a gorgeous panel. It’s not as high-quality as a Samsung panel, but it makes for a great viewing experience regardless.
The audio is great if you want some punch
The Motola Edge+ is rocking a set of dual speakers, and the listening experience is good in most cases and great in some. I listened to different genres of music including rock, classical, film scores, and pop with this phone and I compared it with my Pixel 6’s speakers. Overall, the Edge+ was really good at producing really punchy bass.
In sections where the bass was centerstage, this phone’s speakers shined. I found that the speakers did better with 80’s pop and action film scores. They’re able to bring a lot of power.
However, I found that they struggled with clarity; especially with the higher frequencies. Vocals didn’t come out as clearly as I’d like, and it made the whole song sound a bit muddy. This was evident with softer songs and with orchestral music. Basically, these speakers are good if you’re looking for better lower-end frequencies.
During my review of the Motorola Edge+, I was also able to try out the M&D MD08 totally wireless earbuds. These are a set of premium earbuds that are powered by Snapdragon Sound. Much like the Moto Edge+, have a really premium design, and they’re really good at producing a powerful and punchy sound.
The earbuds are premium earbuds through and through. I think that the sound gives my Jabra 4 Elite Active earbuds a run for their money. I can honestly say that the active noise cancellation is definitely better than on the Jabra earbuds. Along with noise cancellation, there’s ambient audio, in-ear detection.
The performance is top-notch
The variant I used was the one with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. When it comes to day-to-day usage, the Motorola Edge+ excels. It’s powered by the latest and greatest from Qualcomm the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. There were no lags or stutters navigating the software at all while using this phone. When it comes to gaming performance, I was able to run graphically intensive games such as Marvel Future Revolution, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile, Marvel Future Fight, and Asphalt 9 with near-flawless performance.
The only game that gave me any sort of performance hiccup was Genshin Impact. There were occasional instances of stutters, but they were few and far apart. Other than that, all of the games that I tested ran just fine. I also found that the phone didn’t heat up much while under heavy gaming. Everything from gaming to app load times was really smooth in my experience.
The camera specs are good on paper
If you’re a power user who likes to play games and watch content, you’ll love this phone. However, if you’re looking for a powerful camera, you’ll be a bit disappointed. The Motorola Edge+ has some decent-looking hardware on paper, and they seemed great before the review. It has a 50MP main camera with a 50MP ultrawide/macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. Upfront, there’s a 60MP selfie camera.
The camera interface is simple and easy to use, but the phone makes it a little too simple. When you summon the camera, there are only two options readily available: photos and video. If you want to use any other modes, you’ll have to press the menu button next to the photo button. I get that Motorola wants to make things easy to use, but there’s a lot of wasted space at the bottom.
The camera quality could be better
One major recurring issue I had was with the focus. The phone seemed like it didn’t want to focus at all. There were times when I’d tap on a subject multiple times only for the camera to consistently focus on the background. This is something that could be fixed in a software update, but for the time being, you’ll struggle getting the camera to focus.
As for the pictures themselves, in good lighting, the pictures were good (just good). They showed up nicely on the display with some nice colors. Unfortunately, when it comes to details, it lags behind what you’d get from a Galaxy flagship or a Pixel 6.
One thing to note is that the numbers on paper won’t reflect the real picture if you don’t have the right mode. If you use the regular camera mode, all of those cameras will be at a fourth of the advertised resolution because they all do pixel-binning. There’s a hi-res mode available to use if you want to unlock the full potential of the cameras. Looking at the results, I didn’t see much of a difference between the regular mode and the hi-res mode.
What the camera app has is a collection of different modes and features that help you get more from your camera. You get modes like a night mode, live filters, dual capture, a pro mode, and plenty more.
Overall, the camera on the Motorola Edge+ is a decent shooter if you want to have a quick shot. However, if you’re a person who really cares about the pictures coming from the phone, you might want to pass this one up.
How’s the battery? Well, it’s hard to kill
Moving onto the battery, this phone has a 4,800mAh battery, and this is definitely an all-day battery. I tested this phone with consistent gameplay, video watching, social media scrolling, and camera use. The screen was always turned up to full brightness and the refresh rate was set to automatic. I’d go through the day with moderate to heavy use and end the day with about 30% battery.
The battery drains slowly, but it tops up quickly. My Motorola Edge+ review unit came with a 30W charger in the box, and that’s a relief. After killing the battery, I was able to top it up in just an hour and five minutes. Also, the Turbocharging didn’t heat up the phone all that much.
That’s for wired charging, however. When it comes to wireless charging, things change. This phone is compatible with up to 15W wireless charging. Using the proprietary 15W charging pad filled the battery up to full in 4 hours and 25 minutes. That’s a stark contrast. The best bet is to keep with the wired charging if you need a quick boost. Just 20 minutes on the charger should give you enough juice to last the day.
Software and features
The Motorola Edge+ comes with Android 12 out of the box, and the software is similar to stock Android. You get most of the idiosyncrasies present in Android 12 like the round and bubbly interface. Motorola added its own set of features to the software like triple-tap for screenshots, double-chop for the flashlight, double-twist for the camera, and many more.
Despite the issues that surrounded Android 12 at launch, I didn’t run into any software bugs or issues with my unit. I’m using build number S1SH32.55-18-11 with the February security patch. The software stays very true to what Google envisioned, but Motorola, as always, manages to add in its own flavor to give the software its own identity.
To round out my review, I very much enjoyed my time with the Motorola Edge+. From watching content to playing games to scrolling through social media, I had a blast using this phone. It’s really fast and snappy, and the 144Hz refresh rate makes every movement and animation that much smoother.
Do I think it’s worth the $999 price tag? For that price, there’s a lot of competition. The $999 Galaxy S22+ would be a good competitor as well as the $899 Pixel 6 Pro. All three of these phones offer great performance, great designs, the latest software, and a lot of features.
The Motorola Edge+ will definitely beat the Galaxy S22 in terms of battery life, refresh rate, and RAM. However, the Galaxy S22 would win when it comes to the camera, display quality, and software support. The Edge+ beats the Pixel 6 Pro when it comes to price and power, but it loses with lower display resolution and, again, the camera.
The main thing that drags the Motorola Edge+ behind the competition is the average camera quality. The pictures just aren’t up to what a $1,000 phone should really do. It could definitely be improved with some software updates, but for the time being, if you’re into mobile photography, you might want to pass it up. However, with that exception, I do highly recommend you pick up this phone.
You can order this phone today straight from Morotola.com, BestBuy, and Amazon unlocked for $99.99; however, at the time of writing this review, you can get the Motorola Edge+ for $100 off.