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There is a lot to like about the new Motorola Edge Plus. Not only is it the first truly premium phone that Motorola has launched in the US in 18 months, but the 2022 version of the Edge Plus packs a big battery, a high-refresh rate display, multiple rear cameras and is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. If those specs sound similar it’s because phones from Samsung and OnePlus have nearly identical ones.
What makes the Edge Plus standout are the excellent ways Motorola’s software additions compliment a near untouched version of Android 12. Add in some of the best cameras found on any Motorola phone ever and the Edge Plus seems like a must buy.
- The 144Hz screen looks wonderful
- Best cameras on any Motorola phone
- Solid battery life
- Discounted price at launch is a better match for what you get
- The $1,000 price (before discounts) is too high compared to other phones
- Night Vision photos don’t look great
- Want better water and dust resistance
But it’s the $1,000 price tag where things start to get complicated (that converts roughly to £760, AU$1,335). That price puts it head-to-head with phones like the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, both of which overshadow the Edge Plus in terms of features and capabilities. At launch, Motorola will sell an unlocked version of the Edge Plus for $900 and Verizon will drop that price further to $850. Those discounted prices put it up against competitors like the Google Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 which the Edge Plus seems more suited to handle.
If the $899 Pixel 6 Pro didn’t exist, the Motorola Edge Plus at $850 would be one of your best options for a new Android phone in 2022. That’s not to say the Edge Plus isn’t a good phone. It most certainly is. It’s just that Google was able to pack more into the Pixel for a lower price before discounts.
The 144Hz OLED is the true star of the Motorola Edge Plus
Gone is the dramatic, prone-to-accidental-taps waterfall display that defined the 2020 version. In its place is a 6.7-inch OLED with straight sides and a 144Hz refresh rate. Clearly this is a place Motorola wanted to flex. Phones from Samsung, Apple, Google top out typically at 120Hz. But the Edge Plus‘ 144Hz screen puts it more on par with specialty gaming phones like the Asus ROG Phone 5.
But the question is whether you can see the benefit of having a screen that’s 144Hz instead of just 120Hz. The short answer is no. The truth is it depends on how sensitive you are about such things and the number of Google Play Store apps and games that support a 144Hz refresh rate — of which there are a surprising number.
Videos, scrolling and animations look great on this screen. My producer for the Edge Plus‘ review video commented how nice the screen looked outdoors. Gaming on the Edge Plus looks incredible. Whether playing PUBG Mobile, Alto’s Odyssey or Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, graphics looked vibrant. The screen has a good amount of contrast which helps details and textures pop.
Covering the display is Gorilla Glass 3 while the back of the phone is made with Gorilla Glass 5. And yes, other phones at this price have Gorilla Glass Victus or Victus Plus, but again most of those don’t have that 144Hz refresh rate.
The Edge Plus has a side mounted power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. I love it. It is quick to unlock and reliable, especially compared to the growing number of phones with in-screen fingerprint readers.
The body has an IP54 rating for water and dust resistance meaning it can handle a splash of water but can’t be submerged. This is one area where I’d like to have seen the Edge Plus be more competitive to other phones in its price range. Apple and Google sell phones at half this price that offer better water and dust resistance.
The Motorola Edge Plus is one of the fastest Android phones
When it comes to performance, it’s all about that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. The phone I’m reviewing has 12GB of RAM which combined with Android 12 and that processor makes things feel peppy. It’s no surprise that in benchmark tests, the Edge Plus scores top scores along with the other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered phones.
In terms of software, Motorola continues its tried and true recipe of mostly stock Android 12 with a few welcomed Moto software additions. For the most part, everything works well except for Google apps. When the phone is in a landscape position, Chrome and Gmail fail to fill the entire screen. Instead of going all the way to the edge, the apps leave a blank space around the selfie camera while the right side of the apps go all the way to the corners of the screen. It’s not bad but it is weird and hopefully Google will update the apps to use the entire screen.
The Edge Plus includes all of Motorola’s wonderful repertoire of software shortcuts like the double-karate chop for turning on and off the flashlight and double-tapping the fingerprint reader to bring up an onscreen palette of customizable shortcuts.
There’s also GameTime which gives you quick access to settings for your games including a High Performance mode and the ability to change the screen’s refresh rate on the fly. One of my favorite Motorola features is the Peek screen on the lock screen. You simply press and hold an app’s icon to preview the notification. iOS offers something similar but Motorola’s implementation feels less clunky.
The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) Looks Dapper in Cosmos Blue
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One great addition from Motorola is Ready For software which lets you quickly and wirelessly connect to a smart TV or PC-powered monitor. Ready For works with any TVs that support Miracast. You can use your TV or monitor to play games, have video calls or just browse your phone. It works pretty well and is a feature I could see using beyond just this review.
Motorola promises two major OS upgrades, which is increasingly an area Motorola is falling behind its rivals. Keep in mind Google offers three major OS upgrades for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and Samsung offers four years of major OS upgrades.
But let’s talk about bloatware. What year is it? Yes, it’s 2022 and the Edge Plus I reviewed is a Verizon one which came with all this bloatware pre-installed. Why do I need one version of Candy Crush let alone two installed on my phone? Luckily after a few minutes of furious deletion, all these unwanted apps are off of my phone.
These are the best cameras on any Motorola phone
The Edge Plus has rear cameras, one of which is a depth camera to help with things like Portrait mode. The main camera has a 50-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 wide angle lens and optical image stabilization. There is a 50-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens. Both cameras use pixel binning to combine four pixels into a single one. The results are brighter photos, that retain better detail with less image noise.
These are the best cameras on any Motorola phone I tested. Take a look at some of my favorite photos from the Edge Plus.
The Edge Plus has a night mode which is called Night Vision. It’s just OK. Photos taken when it’s really dark still have a lot of image noise and softness from noise reduction.
In terms of video, the main camera can record in 1,080p at 30 or 60 fps (frames per second) and at 4K or 8K at 30 fps. For some reason, the ultra wide camera can only record at 1,080p. If you read 8K and got excited, don’t be. As with most Android phones that offer 8K video recording, 8K videos from the Edge Plus aren’t great. 4K videos from the Edge Plus have better image quality, increased dynamic range and better stabilization.
In terms of how it compares to other phones, I took some photos with the Edge Plus as well as the Google Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro.
The biggest difference between the three phones is that the iPhone and Pixel each have a dedicated telephoto camera and the Edge Plus doesn’t. This will be a dealbreaker for many people.
In the shots below of the Mission Dolores Basilica, the iPhone’s photo has the best dynamic range and the Pixel’s photo has the best contrast.
In the photos below of an alley at sunset, you can definitely see the limits of dynamic range on the the ultra wide camera on the Edge Plus.
The Motorola Edge Plus gets good battery life
In my time with the Motorola Edge Plus, the battery easily lasted a day and a half between charges. The Edge Plus supports 30W Turbo Charging and, get this: It not only comes with a power brick in the box, but one that lets you charge at 30W! I can’t think of another phone maker shipping phones with a fast charger included. If any charger brick at all.
The Motorola Edge Plus is capable of 5G
The Edge Plus is a 5G phone. The one I tested works on Verizon’s ultrawideband 5G and includes the very fast and very elusive mmWave flavor of 5G. On Verizon’s 5G map, my neighborhood showed support for 5G UW. But the reality is that I typically got slow upload and download speeds (40 or 50Mbps for uploads and downloads). It is nice to know the Edge Plus is capable of super fast 5G speeds and that it will support C-band, I just can’t wait until it’s more commonplace and less carrier hype.
Should you buy a Motorola Edge Plus?
The new Motorola Edge Plus is improved in many ways over the previous model. At $1,000, it will be overlooked for phones like the iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S22 Plus. But at $900 or $850, it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you’re comfortable with good but not great cameras and less than average water and dust resistance.
Motorola Edge Plus (2022) specs
|Display size, type, resolution||6.7-inch, OLED, 2,400×1,080|
|Pixel density||393 ppi|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||163 x 75.9 x 8.79 mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||196 g; 6.9 oz (converted)|
|Mobile software||Android 12|
|Camera||50-megapixel main, 50-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel depth|
|Video capture||8K UHD (30fps)|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|RAM, storage||8GB or 12GB RAM; 128, 256 or 512GB storage|
|Battery, charger||4,800 mAh, 30W charging|
|Special features||144Hz, 30W charger included in box|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$1,000|
|Price (GBP)||Converts to £750|
|Price (AUD)||Converts to AU$1,400|