With the Edge, Motorola releases a more expensive smartphone for the first time in a long time. Can the manufacturer also convince in this price segment? You read it in this Motorola Edge review.
Motorola Edge review
We mainly know Motorola from the good and complete budget smartphones that the company releases, such as the Moto G8 Power and Moto G8 Plus. However, with the Edge, the company is now introducing a much more expensive phone. Where most Motorola devices cost 300 euros or less, the Edge has a suggested retail price of 599 euros. That is quite unique because Motorola has not released more expensive smartphones for a long time.
The good news: Motorola has succeeded in establishing a good device in this higher price range. The less good news is that the Motorola Edge also has clear downsides, which may make this smartphone, not for you. Still, we are positively surprised by the Edge and in this review, we tell you all about it.
Beautiful design with curved screen edges
The Motorola Edge is especially notable for its design and takes its name from the curved screen edges. Those edges bend almost 90 degrees around the case, which is why they are much more curved than you are used to. It gives the smartphone a unique look and because the edges are very thin, almost the entire front consists of a screen. Only at the bottom is a slightly thicker edge, as you can see in the photo below.
The screen itself is 6.7 inches in size and has a resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels, making for a pixel density of 385 PPI. This is not particularly high, but good enough to produce beautiful and sharp images. In fact, the screen looks excellent and is ideal if you watch a lot of movies and series on your phone, or like to play games. The display also has a higher refresh rate of 90Hz, which ensures smooth images.
Because it is an OLED screen, colors splash off the display and black is really black. The maximum brightness is good enough but should have been slightly higher because it is sometimes difficult to read the screen in bright sunlight. Finally, there is a small hole for the selfie camera on the display. It is small and therefore you will never be bothered by it.
Due to the curved edges, the Motorola Edge feels nice in the hand and during my test period I did not suffer from accidental touches, which activate something on the screen. You do see – because the edges are so curved – that the display on the sides are slightly darker if you hold the Edge in front of you. This is not very disturbing, but something to take into account.
Unfortunately, the screen of the Motorola Edge seems to have some problems. For example, during my test period, small purple spots appeared on the sides of the display, especially when I used the phone for a long time. The spots disappeared when I put the device away for a while, but then came back again.
After resetting the device I have not seen the problems again, but it is unclear exactly where they come from. There are several stories about the screen problems online, so it seems that it is not specifically related to our review sample.
Functions of the screen edges
Although the curved screen edges are mainly there to make the Motorola Edge look beautiful and unique, they also add something functional. For example, in the Moto app, you can enable the Edge lighting option, which ensures that the edges light up when a notification is made. This works especially well if you place the smartphone face down on the table.
You can also place a bar on the right screen edge, with which you then open app shortcuts when you swipe over it. This basically works well and is useful if you always want quick access to a certain set of apps. You can also tap the bar twice to ‘switch off’ the screen edges. For example, this will move text in apps – which are just displayed on the curved edges – to the flat part of the display. That reads just a little easier.
Hardware and fingerprint scanner
The Motorola Edge has the new Snapdragon 765 chip, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The processor is nice and powerful and provides excellent performance: everything runs very smoothly and thanks to the 90Hz screen, the smartphone feels super fast. During my test period, I actually did not notice any difference in speed with smartphones that are hundreds of euros more expensive.
Thanks to the new chip, the Motorola Edge also supports 5G. Unfortunately, this is still of little use in the Netherlands at the moment, as 5G is not yet fully available and the current speed improvements are small. It is of course nice that 5G support is present because the Edge is ready for the future.
Also, unlike many competitors, the Motorola Edge ‘just’ has a headphone jack, so you can also use your wired headset or earbuds. Furthermore, there is support for NFC and Bluetooth 5.1 and there are stereo speakers, making the sound loud. The Edge is a pretty complete smartphone and that is a definite plus.
The Motorola Edge’s fingerprint scanner is under the screen, and unfortunately, it doesn’t work as fast as you’d like. The problem is mainly that the fingerprint scanner is not very consistent: sometimes unlocking is fast and without problems, and sometimes it just does not work. This is unfortunate because that is why it sometimes happens that entering your pattern or pin code is simply faster, and that is not appropriate.
Fine software, moderate update policy
We have mixed feelings about the Motorola Edge software. On the one hand, the software of the device itself is very pleasant to use. Motorola chooses – as always with its smartphones – for an almost bare version of Android, without too many adjustments and pre-installed apps.
On the Edge is the new MyUX skin from Motorola. The software is still ‘clean’ and simple but gives you a little more options to personalize things. This way you can adjust the colors, icons, and fonts and, for example, choose from multiple fingerprint animations. You don’t have a lot of options, but it is fun and convenient that they are there.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages of Motorola Edge also has to do with the software. The manufacturer’s update policy is rather mediocre, as, in practice, the Edge only gets one major Android update. Because the Edge runs on Android 10, you can only expect an upgrade to Android 11. That is really not possible for a smartphone of 599 euros.
Also in terms of security updates, Motorola is not doing great: the Edge gets one per quarter, which is less than almost all other smartphones in this price range. It’s crazy that Motorola has exactly the same update policy with the Edge as with the much cheaper Moto G phones. This can (and must) really be better, because in this area Motorola is far behind the competition.
Good cameras, but not great
On the back of the Motorola, edges are three cameras and a Time of Flight sensor. It concerns a primary camera of 64 megapixels, a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens of 8 megapixels. The primary camera merges pixels to create nicer images and therefore takes photos in 16 megapixels. It is possible to shoot manually in the full 64 megapixels, but pictures do not look better.
The Motorola Edge’s cameras are good, provided you shoot during the day. In a lot of daylight, the smartphone captures a lot of detail, colors look good and truthful and the dynamic range is fine. This also applies to the wide-angle lens, with which you can easily ‘zoom out’ to take more pictures. Ideal for when you want to photograph wide environments, or just take a snapshot up close.
You can also take macro photos with the wide-angle lens and they look good. Because the 16-megapixel wide-angle lens is used, photos simply have more detail than with the 2 or 5-megapixel macro cameras that you see with many other Android phones today. The telephoto lens is useful for bringing things closer in the picture, but the photos you take with this do not look as good as the snapshots taken by the primary camera.
In the dark, it is a completely different story because then the Motorola Edge does not perform too well. Photos have a lot of noise, visible detail is missing and everything looks faded and washed out. Night mode helps a little but doesn’t make photos much better. All in all, the cameras are good (except when it’s dark), but we actually expected a bit more.
Excellent battery life as a big plus
Where there is quite something to criticize the cameras, the battery life of the Motorola Edge convinces. The 4500 mAh battery is nice and large and despite the large 90Hz screen, the smartphone does not compromise on its endurance. During my test period, the device lasted a day and a half without problems, during which I used the device intensively. If you are a less intensive user, two days without charging is no problem.
Motorola supplies a modest 18-watt fast charger with the Edge and because the battery is quite large, charging also takes a long time. Full charging of the smartphone takes more than two hours and after half an hour you have only filled 40 percent of the battery.
Charging is not as fast as with competing smartphones, but on the other hand, you do not have to charge the Edge as often because of the good battery life. Wireless charging is also missing, by the way, and while that’s a bit of a shame, we think it makes sense for Motorola to omit this feature – probably to push the price down.
Conclusion Motorola Edge review
Where we can often recommend the budget devices from Motorola without problems, the Edge is slightly different. The Motorola Edge is a smartphone that largely convinces and also offers great value for money. It has a beautiful design, good screen, nice fast hardware, and long battery life. The Motorola software is also very nice to use, where it is nice that you now have slightly more options than before.
We would have liked the cameras to take good pictures in all situations. In addition, the updated policy is rather moderate, especially for a device that costs 599 euros. If you can live with that, then you get a good, but not a perfect smartphone with the Motorola Edge.
Buy Motorola Edge
Are you enthusiastic after reading this review and do you want to buy the Motorola Edge? Which can! The device is now available and for a separate Motorola Edge, you pay 599 euros. Of course, it is also possible to get the Motorola Edge with a subscription. Check all deals in the price comparison below.