In the past three years, it seemed that the Motorola had allergies to potent chips. The company bet on the successful Moto G line and forgot consumers of flagship cell phones in Brazil after the Moto Z2 Force, the last to bring the best Qualcomm processor at the time. THE Motorola Edge + it is a return of the brand to this segment, which did not have many options in the country besides Apple and Samsung.
If someone was looking for huge numbers, the Motorola Edge + delivers all of them: in addition to the Snapdragon 865 processor, the model brings an absurd 12 GB of RAM, a respectable 5,000 mAh battery and a 108 megapixel rear camera. It is the first cell phone to land in Brazil with support for the new 5G networks. And the price is also huge: it’s R $ 7,999, more expensive than an iPhone 11 Pro.
Did Motorola’s return to the tops of the line work? I have tested the Motorola Edge + in the past few weeks and count my impressions in the next few minutes.
Motorola Edge + video review
Design, screen and sound
The Motorola Edge + is unlike anything I remember in the Motorola cell phone line, so much so that it could look great on a Samsung or Huawei phone. For the first time, the company bet on an OLED screen with curved sides, an aesthetic detail that is even referenced in the product name. Motorola was only “conservative” by maintaining the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, to the delight of those who still use this type of technology.
Despite having a 6.7 inch screen, the Motorola Edge + looks very compact in the hands due to the 19.5: 9 aspect ratio and mainly due to its curved sides, which reduce the width of the device: they are 71 mm, less than the Moto Z2 Force, which had a 5.5-inch display. It cannot be said that the device is comfortable to use with one hand, but it is less worse than competitors in the segment.
The rear makes a great impression because of the slightly bluish gray color, which is discreet but not boring. Still, the Edge + can be considered a small step behind rivals in terms of design, as Motorola has not added IP certification for water resistance, a feature that has been standard among line tops for many years. It is also a fatter phone, almost 10 mm thick, although this is not a problem.
The OLED screen may even be a point of controversy because of the format, but you cannot complain about the quality of the panel, which has a high brightness, perfect black and excellent viewing angle. The fingerprint reader, which is under the display, unlocks the device quickly and has the advantage of not interfering negatively in the design.
In the screen settings, it is possible to switch between three levels of saturation, pleasing both those who prefer natural colors and those who like stronger tones. I just missed a temperature control, since the Edge + shows a colder white, which may sound bluish to some people.
The biggest bright spot on the screen is the 90 Hz refresh rate. At the very first startup, it is clear that the Motorola Edge + is a fast phone, with animations that run smooth as butter. Noteworthy is the fact that Motorola kept 90 Hz as a factory-enabled option, unlike competitors like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Google Pixel 4, which preferred to save battery by default.
The extremely curved sides of the screen could be a disaster if they were activated by the palm of your hand all the time, but the Motorola Edge + does a great job of rejecting accidental touches at the edges. The screen format can only be annoying when watching videos in a 16: 9 ratio or more squares, as the edges of the image become darker or suffer from unwanted reflections.
One of the highlights of Edge +, according to Motorola, are the stereo speakers that offer “professional quality, with a deeper and immersive sound that surrounds you”. It is still an integrated cell phone sound, which will not be as good as a Bluetooth speaker for physical reasons, but the Edge + is really above average: the sound is clear and reaches higher volumes without distorting the midrange.
The “immersive” is questionable, since the bass doesn’t come, but you don’t expect such a compact speaker to reach lower frequencies. Within realistic expectations, it’s a quality sound, which I would expect from a good tablet, and enough to watch a movie or listen to a song when you don’t have headphones around.
The Android 10 from Edge + is very familiar to anyone who has had contact with other Motorola devices. It maintains an interface similar to that developed by Google, without major visual modifications or many extra pre-installed applications. You may never use Duo, Google Fit, or Slides, but most factory apps can be removed without juggling.
The extra features are concentrated in the Moto app, which has the same tricks as always, such as the gestures to turn on the flashlight or the camera; Moto Gametime, which improves audio and allows you to block all notifications while you are playing; as well as new features that take advantage of Edge + curved edges.
The function Lights at the edges causes the sides of the screen to light up when you receive a notification while the device is facing down. The Interactive borders add a tray of application shortcuts, much like the one Samsung includes in the most expensive Galaxy phones.
It is a software that does not risk or impress, it does not bring amazing features or a better interface than Google, but it just works. This is a recipe that is working on other Motorola phones, which pleases fans of the brand and should be kept for a long time, at least in devices sold in Brazil.
It is worth remembering that Edge + was the subject of a discussion at the worldwide launch because Motorola, initially, only promised an update to Android 11. After the negative repercussion, the company said that the device will also receive Android 12. It is not the first time that Motorola is involved in a controversy over promises of updates, so keep an eye out.
Huge numbers abound to describe Motorola Edge + cameras. The main rear camera has a sensor with 108 million pixels, the same Isocell Bright HMX that equips models like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. Motorola also included a flight time sensor to measure depth, a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a lens that does both ultrawide and macro work, allowing you to focus on objects at shorter distances.
The results generated by the cameras are good and show that Motorola has evolved a lot in this regard. As expected, the photos are great in ideal lighting conditions, with good sharpness and pleasant colors, tending more to the natural in most situations. The dynamic range is not the best I’ve seen, but Edge + does a good job of keeping shadow areas visible without bursting points of light.
In night vision mode, Motorola tends more to the Samsung style, with a huge increase in color saturation to impress the eyes. Although it looks “artificial” when compared to the real world, the result of the photos at night pleases me very visually. In other lenses, in which the night mode is not available, the photos are between reasonable and disappointing: ultrawide suffers a lot with sharpness, while the telephoto lens adds a lot of noise to the images.
Normally we don’t give much importance to video recording, but Edge + is disappointed by a very particular problem for a top of the line: it is only capable of recording at 6K at 30 fps or 4K at 30 fps. Not supporting 8K isn’t exactly an issue yet; even the Galaxy S20 Ultra does not do this with mastery. But not shooting in 4K at 60 fps is a limitation that I would only accept on a smartphone of up to three thousand reais. What a ball, Motorola.
The 25-megapixel front camera is not bad, but it also doesn’t impress. First, I already put the question of video recording on the table: she only films in Full HD. I do not accept that the Moto G7 Plus, which costs a sixth of the price, is capable of recording in 4K with the selfie camera, but the most expensive phone from Motorola is not. Taking into account the Snapdragon 865 and Qualcomm’s image signal processor, it’s such an absurd limitation that I hope someone will be able to get around it in the future.
In still pictures, the Motorola Edge + selfies camera is satisfactory: the definition is not as good as that of the iPhone 11 Pro and I was a little annoyed by the noise in the shaded areas. Anyway, despite having a fixed focus, the lens is able to capture details of the face well at a standard distance, and the colors are not lacking.
Performance and battery
I refuse to delve too much into Edge + performance. There are 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of space and a Snapdragon 865 that do an impeccable job. The fluidity is felt at all times and makes it clear that the software still does not take full advantage of the power of the hardware. Games also run well, with graphics at maximum. Performance is at the limit of what is achieved today by Android phones.
The battery, which also has giant numbers, impresses both in theory and in practice. In my quarantine pattern, with three hours of video playback on Netflix, one hour of web browsing and 30 minutes of Asphalt 9, always on Wi-Fi, with maximum brightness and 90 Hz screen, the battery went from 100% to 59%, an excellent result, especially for a top of the line.
The test indicates that the Motorola Edge + 5,000 mAh battery should last for a whole day for almost everyone. For those who do not usually play on the cell phone, it is very likely that the device will reach the two days of autonomy promised by the manufacturer.
Wireless charging is a technology that I have already adopted in my daily life, and it is good to see that Motorola has put this feature back on their smartphones. I also like wireless battery sharing, a useful feature especially when traveling: if you have a Qi-compliant accessory (such as a headset case), you can charge both your phone and the accessory with a single cable.
Okay, but what about 5G?
One of the attractions of the Motorola Edge + is the fact that it is the first cell phone sold in Brazil with support for 5G. This is possible because, in addition to the Snapdragon 865 processor, the company included the Snapdragon X55 modem, which connects to new mobile networks. But this differential has asterisks that cannot be left out.
The first detail is that the Brazilian Edge + 5G is limited to frequencies below 6 GHz, unlike the American version, which supports millimeter wave networks. The mmWave technology is planned for the Anatel frequency auction and should operate in the 26 GHz band in Brazil. It is strange that the first 5G representative in the country is incomplete in terms of compatibility with 5G.
In addition, the first 5G cell phone in Brazil does not support the first 5G network in Brazil, which will be launched by Claro with dynamic spectrum sharing technology (DSS), which allocates part of the frequencies already used by other technologies (such as 3G and 4G ) for the new 5G. Counterintuitively, the novelty will be supported by the most accessible version of Edge +, the Edge, with Snapdragon 765.
I also question the range of frequencies supported by Edge + on 5G. The compatible bands are as follows: n2 (1,900 MHz), n5 (850 MHz), n41 (2,500 MHz), n66 (1,700 MHz), n71 (600 MHz), n77 (3,700 MHz) and n78 (3,500 MHz). Of all these, only n78 is foreseen in the Anatel auction. Other frequencies (such as 2,300 MHz and the remnants of 700 MHz) are not supported. In other words, Edge + seems like a great phone to try 5G in the United States, but not in Brazil.
Finally, Edge + goes through the same caveat as any product that tries to be the first to do something: it is expensive, uses technology that is not ready and is certainly far from harnessing the full potential of 5G, both in terms of speed and in energy consumption. Anyone who is an early adopter and always likes to have the latest news knows these risks, but it never hurts to remember: 5G is the last thing you should think about when choosing Edge +.
Motorola Edge + is it worth it?
The Edge + is a good smartphone, and it’s nice to see that Motorola is back in the market for powerful phones. The company took great care in the main points of the device, such as screen, performance and cameras, to create a product that works very well for fans of the brand. But the higher the price, the greater the demands. And the greater the doubt that hangs over the cost-benefit of a product of eight thousand reais.
In this range, Motorola competes with consolidated names such as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is the direct alternative in the Android world and also bets on giant numbers in the spec sheet. Also in the same segment, we have the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, which is ironic considering that Apple has always had a reputation as a career company that practices unattainable prices in Brazil.
The main strength of Motorola’s top of the line is impeccable performance right out of the box, with powerful hardware and a 90 Hz screen: it offered the best fluidity I have ever had on Android. Although the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a panel with an optional 120 Hz rate, it sacrifices a lot of autonomy in this mode, which brought me back to 60 Hz in Samsung’s flagship tests. And the Edge + battery is very good, with wireless charging and reverse charging.
However, Edge + is at the same level or slightly below competitors in other places. The cameras are by far the best Motorola has ever made, but you can still get superior results from rivals; if you like to shoot, Edge + is almost a card out of the deck. In design, it is difficult to accept that such an expensive product is not IP68 certified for protection against water. And 5G, which could even exalt Motorola’s pioneering spirit, ends up being a downside with so many asterisks.
You can even say that ultra-cheap cell phones, thousands of reais, are not worth what they cost. The point is that there is an audience that pays for it. And in this segment, companies devote a lot of attention to details, which may not make a difference to everyone, but make products significantly more expensive. Motorola Edge + offers a lot of power and a lot of numbers, but it sins in the small details. And without having a lower price.
Motorola Edge +
- Above-average stereo speakers
- Good battery life
- Cameras take good pictures for a Motorola
- It’s the best feeling of fluidity I’ve ever had on Android
- High-brightness OLED screen with excellent definition
- It’s the first with 5G, but it doesn’t work on the first 5G
- Strange shooting limitations
- No IP certification for water protection
- Screen: 6.7-inch OLED with Full HD + resolution, Endless Edge curvature, 90 Hz refresh rate and HDR10 +
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core with Adreno 650 GPU
- RAM: 12 GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 256 GB (UFS 3.0)
- Frontal camera: 25 megapixels (f / 2.0)
- Back camera:
- Main: 108 megapixel (f / 1.8) with Quad Pixel technology and optical image stabilization
- Ultrawide and macro: 16 megapixel (f / 2.2) with 117 degree field of view
- Telephoto: 8 megapixel (f / 2.4) with 3x optical zoom and optical image stabilization
- Depth: flight time sensor (ToF)
- Video capture at 6K 30 fps, 4K 30 fps and Full HD 60 fps
- Drums: 5,000 mAh with 18 watt TurboPower charging, 15 watt wireless and 5 watt reverse
- Connections: 5G sub-6, 4G, 3G, 2G, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), USB-C and P2
- Operational system: Android 10
- Dimensions: 161.1 × 71.4 × 9.6 mm
- Weight: 203 grams