the most premium mid-range

Illustration for the article titled

Photo: Eduardo Marín / Gizmodo.

Motorola is finally making a comeback in the big leagues. For years we have seen the company focus on launching a wide but limited catalog in terms of high-end hardware, betting on affordable and varied phones, but still interesting. With the Edge (and Edge +), Motorola returns to the more premium mid-range and high-end, and the result is largely satisfactory.

After almost two weeks of intensive testing the Moto Edge, using it as my main phone, I can quickly draw an initial conclusion: the Edge may not have the most powerful hardware, but the differences with the flagshipsHigher-end, more expensive phones are offset by a more affordable price, along with a premium-feel design and display. Because the Edge feels expensive, more expensive than it actually is, and that’s a huge plus.

The main differences of the Edge with its higher-end older brother, the Edge+ (which is not included in this review, but needs to be mentioned), they are in the processor, RAM, camera and, for some reason, the battery. The Edge has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor (along with an Adreno 620 GPU), accompanied by 6 GB of RAM, while the Edge + has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (along with an Adreno 650 GPU) and 12 GB of memory RAM.

They are significant differences, of course, that clearly place one in the mid-range (or mid-high, when combined with its other specifications) and the other in the high range. However, more important and interesting than their differences are their similarities. The Edge maintains the same body and almost the same screen as the Edge +, which allows for that premium feel I was talking about a few lines ago.

In the hand, the Edge feels extremely good. It is a phone of 550 euros (in Spain), 75,000 pesos (in Argentina) or 500 dollars (in the United States), which masquerades as one that could cost almost double. And I must emphasize this aspect, because unlike other phones of similar price and characteristics, this is one of the aspects that makes the Edge more attractive.


The “infinity edge” screen

The Edge features a curved-edge display on both sides, which basically gives it its identity and its name (it’s called “Edge,” or edges, after all). But beyond that, the image quality looks extremely good, as well as feels fluid and fast, thanks to its refresh rate.

Illustration for the article titled

Photo: Eduardo Marín / Gizmodo.

Being more specific, it is an OLED-type panel with a diagonal of 6.7 inches and a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels, with a generous density of 385 pixels per inch. Its format is 19.5: 9, which means that it is longer than what is used in other smartphones. The panel’s 90Hz refresh rate helps make everything you do on the screen feel fast, smooth, and just plain right. Adding in image quality, sharpness and warmth of colors and this fluidity, it’s part of that premium feeling I’ve been talking about for a long time. Without a doubt, the screen is the most attractive and interesting aspect of this phone, especially when finding a panel of this quality in a device that is not of the highest range. This is why the fact that it has almost the same screen as the Edge + is so important to the Edge. Its differences are in the amount of colors it supports and that the Edge has HDR10 while the Edge + has HDR10 +.

On the other hand, the screen feels even more elongated thanks to those infinite edges, and it’s time to talk about them.

The most striking feature of the Edge at first glance is that it has no bezels or bezels on the sides, and only minimal bezels at the top and bottom. This is achieved thanks to the curved edges, which are not a simple aesthetic addition. Motorola has implemented some functions on these edges that make them useful.

On the edges you can configure a small invisible virtual button that, when you slide your finger over it and towards the inside of the screen (you can configure it both on the right and on the left), allows access to a series of shortcuts of your choice . For example, in my case I have quick access to the apps I use the most, such as Slack, Twitter, and Chrome. You can also configure quick access to system tools, such as the possibility of reducing the screen to the borderless area, something that you can choose to do in specific applications if you wish. This reduces the size of the screen (and makes it feel even more elongated), but is particularly useful in apps like Instagram where I want to see the photos without stretching to the edges.

Shortcuts are displayed by sliding from a virtual button on the curved edge.

Shortcuts are displayed by sliding from a virtual button on the curved edge.
Photo: Eduardo Marín / Gizmodo.

It is also possible to use the edges to slide a finger down and display the notification screen (or do it twice to display the quick access to settings), and finally, there is the gaming mode, a special configuration created by Motorola for gamers. , which allows adding a pair of virtual buttons on the edge that serve as “triggers”, as in the controls of the consoles. This mode also allows you to block calls, notifications and other shortcuts, but without a doubt the most interesting aspect is the virtual triggers, which are especially useful in action and shooting games.

For the rest, the edges have some curious tricks such as lighting up for notifications (if you wish) or going “filling” as the battery charges. However, I must confess that it takes some time, at least an hour or two, to get used to seeing the image stretch and “fall” towards the edges, especially when browsing the internet. While the edges feel great and add to that fluidity that characterizes the 90Hz screen, when viewing photos or videos I prefer my flat screens. Fortunately, as I mentioned before, it is possible to “turn off” those borders in specific applications (like YouTube or Instagram), if you prefer.

The Moto Edge camera has similar specs to the Edge +, but not as good. Again, part of the differences between an upper-mid-range phone and a flagship. The Edge has a triple camera system along with a depth sensor. The main sensor is 64 MP and is accompanied by an 8 MP telephoto sensor (with 2x optical zoom) and a 16 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor. Its front camera for selfies is 25 MP.

In general, the main camera in conjunction with Motorola’s processing software achieves very good results in daylight or bright conditions. The sharpness and quality of colors is present in all these images, and it even achieves very detailed macros. The effect bokeh The portrait bike also achieves good results, which was to be expected thanks to the depth sensor that the phone has.

However, the results vary a lot in low light conditions, and that is something that has already happened to me with several phones of the brand, which gives me to understand that it could be something that would improve with a software update, hopefully. Sometimes low light photos are good, but sometimes they leave a lot to be desired. Of course, Moto included a night mode in the camera software, which gets very good results and sharpness. However, it also presents some noise or grain in photos in some cases.

In any case, complaints aside, for its price the Edge offers a good camera, which accompanied by its high-quality screen allows you to have a better idea of ​​how the final photo will really look directly on the phone.

For the rest, the Edge performs very well in all sections. Its processor is not the most powerful, but it offers good performance that I am sure the average user will feel as sufficient and will not have problems playing or keeping several applications open simultaneously. In addition, it has 5G support, something that is especially appreciated in its price range. And of course, it has a headphone port.

Illustration for the article titled

Photo: Eduardo Marín / Gizmodo.

Its fingerprint reader is located directly below the screen, and it works really fast. In terms of battery life, something that Motorola has been putting a lot of emphasis on for some time (especially in the “Power” family of their phones), the Edge has a 4,500 mAh battery that could last a day and a half, or up to two days, without problems, until it needed a new charge. In my tests I managed to get between 7:30 and 8 hours of screen use without problems with each charge.

My complaints with the Moto Edge are in two sections, and both have to do with the software: the first, again, I would like to be able to do more things with the edges of the screen, to be able to further customize its use, the gestures, to take more advantage of this important feature on your phone. This is something that Motorola could solve with an update, in the same way that they improved the use of the front screen of the Moto Razr. On the other hand, Motorola says that the Edge is guaranteed to update to Android 11 in the future, but I would like to be certain that at least they will update it to Android 12. However, as in other of their phones, the security updates should arrive much longer.

In general, and as I have announced since the beginning of this review, the Moto Edge is a phone that feels premium in the hand, and that has some of the best features of more expensive models, such as its screen and general design, in a slightly more affordable format.

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