The 2022 Motorola Edge is a premium midrange phone that excels at extras, but has a tendency to be sluggish in its core classes.
It offers plenty of nice-to-have features you don’t always find in an upper-mid-range device (let’s call it anything between $500 and $700), like wireless charging, a 144Hz screen, and 5,000mAh Big battery. But it only gets a passing grade for build quality and durability, and while its processor is capable, it’s not in the running for the Valedictorian.
How much this phone costs, it is like a test in itself. The version sold by T-Mobile with 128GB of storage will cost $498, while the unlocked version Motorola includes 256GB of storage and costs $599—unless you buy it at the pre-order price of $499. But don’t take Oh, and Verizon will sell a version as well; He One will have mmWave 5G support that the others won’t, but at the time of this writing, I couldn’t find anyone to tell me how much it would cost. MSRP! What a concept!
For $500, I think there’s an argument to be made in favor of the Edge, especially if you want the biggest and best screen for that kind of money. The phone’s 6.6-inch screen with a fast 144Hz refresh rate is really its best asset, along with the promise of reliable all-day battery life, wireless charging, and three OS version upgrades and four years of security updates.
But in the second column, it’s only IP52-rated, and the significant scratch on the corner of my review unit’s plastic frame doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in its long-term durability (or it’s just a good argument for a sturdy case. ) And while the MediaTek Dimensity 1050 chipset works well, for the most part, some slowdown in the camera app suggests that the processor isn’t on par with the best in class.
Paying $600 for the Edge seems like a lot, even with 256GB of storage included. I don’t believe it will last well past the end of its lifespan, and that’s something it holds with rival flagship processors, like Pixel 6 And oneplus 10tare in a better position. Heck, I can’t think of a big reason to choose the Edge over the $450 Pixel 6A — its screen is smaller and limited to a standard 60Hz refresh rate, but in most other aspects it matches or exceeds the Edge’s capabilities. is more.
Let’s start with that screen: The Edge’s 6.6-inch display is certifiably large. It’s also a very nice, 1080p OLED panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz. In auto rate selection mode, it doesn’t seem to hit 144Hz often – mostly, I saw it bounce between 120Hz and 60Hz until I locked it to 144Hz. In any case, 120Hz makes for a very smooth scrolling experience. In direct sunlight, the screen switches to a high-brightness mode which makes it comfortable to use even in very bright conditions. There’s even more good news: The in-display fingerprint scanner is quick and accurate, which is more than I can say about the Pixel 6.
Also in the “pleasant-to-use” category: Motorola’s take on Android 12. It takes a fair amount of handholding to introduce you to the various features, but it’s never too intrusive. The camera app politely suggested that I turn on the leveling guide to take straighter photos, and you know what? That’s just imaginable. I maintain level all the time now.
The Edge will get three OS version updates and four years of security updates – an improvement over Moto’s policy with previous devices, and something closer to matching like the Pixel 6’s five years of security updates.
The 2022 Edge is thinner than most Motorola phones I’ve used recently, measuring 8mm in thickness. This makes me rethink the thickness of the Edge Plus (8.8mm) and Motorola’s budget phones, which are all thicker than 9mm – I never thought much about it when I was using them, but now They seem very heavy. The Edge’s screen is flat and protected by a glass panel, and the overall plastic back curves slightly at the edges.
The outer frame is plastic, too, and there’s a risk of chipping if the phone slides out of your jogger’s pocket onto a concrete patio. To that end, the phone is rated IP52, which means it offers some dust protection and little resistance from water droplets falling at a certain angle. I’d be very careful about using it in the rain, and as a seatlight, it’s an important use case for me. It’s not exactly confidence-inspiring, and is a far cry from the IP68 rating that the Pixel 6 carries, allowing for short periods of full submersion in water.
There’s a massive 5,000mAh battery on board, and Motorola claims you can get up to two days on a single charge. My experience was like a solid day of moderate use with about four hours of screen-on time, but not much if you enable battery-draining features like the fastest screen refresh rate and watch a lot of videos. If you’re smart about your settings, I could see in two days, but that wasn’t my experience. The Edge supports 30W wired charging (no charger in the box, as usual these days). There’s also fast 15W wireless charging. Not every phone in this price bracket offers wireless charging at any speed, so it’s great to be here. There’s also wireless power sharing for other Qi-compatible accessories and faster charging of the phone.
There’s a lot on the surface to like about the Edge, and the MediaTek Dimensity 1050 processor is capable of completing daily tasks — and even taxing ones, like playing Jenshin Effect. But the difference between a good processor and a great processor often comes out in the camera app, and that’s where the 1050 falls a bit short. Turning off portrait mode photos fast enough, I start to see some significant lag in the image preview. It’s so clear that it makes it difficult to keep a subject that is moving slightly in the frame where I want it. This isn’t a problem on the Pixel 6, where I can capture rapid-fire portrait mode photos without a noticeable drop in frame rate.
The Dimension 1050 supports both sub-6GHz 5G and the super-fast, hard-to-find mmWave variety. However, only the Edge model sold by Verizon will support mmWave – all others are sub-6 only. And that’s fine! mmWave 5G is highly range-limiting, so even in the area where it is present, the signal can be difficult to find. Sub-6GHz 5G is improving rapidly in the US as it covers the all-important C-band spectrum. The unlocked Edge will support Verizon and T-Mobile 5G from the time of sale, but AT&T 5G will come on board later “in the coming months,” according to Motorola spokeswoman Stephanie Stiltz.
Offers a 50-megapixel f/1.8 main rear camera with EDGE optical stabilization which uses pixel-binning For spitting out 12-megapixel photos. There’s a 13-megapixel ultrawide one with autofocus that doubles as a macro camera. There’s a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front that produces 8-megapixel images, as well as a depth sensor at the back that doesn’t do anything.
Photos from the Edge are mostly fine, although they are sometimes too good. The camera runs into trouble meeting the HDR effect from time to time, and neither the ultrawide nor selfie cameras are very good in low light. The main camera does surprisingly well in very dim conditions – between the help of stabilization, night mode, and pixel binning, it holds fine detail well in low light. I like the camera’s overall trend toward warm colors, and Portrait Mode photos are passable.
The Motorola Edge would be a standout in its class if it weren’t right over its shoulder for the Pixel 6. Pixel 6 The 256GB Edge with less storage costs the same at $599, but it covers core competencies a little better. It has Google’s flagship chipset, Tensor, and is IP68 rated, slated for five years of security updates, and comes with a more capable camera.
The Edge has a bigger screen, which many people like (not me), with a faster top refresh rate than the 6’s 90Hz panel. For my money, the Pixel 6 seems like a safe bet. You can also save a little money and Select Pixel 6A, which also includes Tensor, a strong IP67 rating, and the same five-year software support as the Pixel 6 for $450. Its screen is quite small at 6.1 inches,
OnePlus 10T is also in the mix, It’s a little pricey at $649, but it gets one of the best chipsets you’ll find on an Android phone: the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. There’s also very fast 125W wired charging, which could be worth the extra money for folks. Those who need to recharge quickly during the day.
As a total package, this device makes more sense than Motorola’s pricier Edge Plus. The Plus can’t just hang with high-end Android flagships, but the edge slots are more comfortably in the (less populated) upper-midrange class. Provided you’ve got the right price tag to match, it deserves a passing grade.
Photography by Alison Johnson / The Verge
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