Tech

Does this smartphone bring success back?

At Motorola, the signs are on the offensive: With the new flagship models Edge and Edge Plus, the manufacturer is lifting itself back onto the competition’s screen. Stylish design, a display that is curved at the edges, 5G capability and a triple camera – and that at a comparatively low price of just under 600 euros. Keyword price: It is the sticking point that also draws consumers’ attention to Motorola again.

But what do you get for 600 euros? A disguised mid-range smartphone in the upper class or a fine top model in affordable areas? The test reveals what distinguishes the Motorola Edge.

Motorola Edge: This technology is inside

Yes, there is not only the Motorola Edge, but also a Plus version. As the name suggests, this model is better equipped and can be classified in the upper class. The Motorola Edge Plus has not yet reached the German market – this could possibly change in the future. But despite the slimmed-down technology that the Motorola Edge has compared to its sister model, it doesn’t have to hide.

Compared to the Motorola Edge Plus, the middle class is particularly noticeable due to the built-in processor: Instead of the high-end Snapdragon 865 chip, the Snapdragon 765 from Qualcomm is used. An octa-core processor introduced at the end of 2019, which not only has a maximum clock speed of 2.3 GHz, but also enables 5G and better camera images. We have summarized the capabilities of the Snapdragon 756 in this article.

software

Android 10

processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765

Display

6.67 inches, 1,080 x 2,340 pixels

random access memory

6 GB

Internal memory

128 GB

Main camera

12032×9024 (108.6 megapixels)

battery pack

4,500 mAh

inductive charging
USB port
IP certification

(Protection against splashing water (rain))

Weight

190 g

colour
Introductory price

€ 599

Market launch

May 2020

There is also a 6.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels. The RAM is generously dimensioned with 6 GB capacity; the internal data storage with 128 GB no less. Especially when you consider that the internal memory can be expanded by up to 1 TB using a micro SD card.

It also stands out that, contrary to the trend, Motorola is installing a jack connection for wired headphones – a rare feature in the upper class. There are also stereo speakers, two microphones, hybrid dual SIM and the GPS alternatives GLONASS and Galileo. USB Type-C and Bluetooth 5.1 are also on board.

Crunch point battery

The crux of the matter is the 4,500 mAh battery: If Motorola specifies a battery life of up to 2 days for the Edge, the theoretical value is rather poor. The GFX Bench benchmark determines a runtime of just under 400 minutes. The Motorola Edge is about on par with the OnePlus 8 Pro – which, however, is in the list of smartphones with the best battery life at the end. Wireless charging must also be avoided; instead, Motorola includes an 18-watt quick charge function.

Practically, however, the Motorola Edge does an average good job: After two days in which the device was used for occasional surfing, taking photos and other apps, and after many hours in standby mode, it still offers a 65 percent battery.

The pure hardware evaluation in detail:

  • Casing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Display: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Furnishing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Camera: 4 out of 5 stars
  • software: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Battery pack: 4 out of 5 stars

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Motorola Edge in the test: these are the strengths of the flagship

Good eye for design and display

Motorola usually has smartphones in their luggage that follow a design typical of the manufacturer. The Moto G8 Plus is already visually approaching the competition, the Motorola Edge is following in its footsteps. The smartphone owns an all-glass housing, which is held together by a minimal metal frame. The glass makes the Motorola Edge very slippery – both in the hand and on furniture. The logo on the back, which is engraved under the glass, also looks noble. The curved display is reminiscent of the Galaxy S7 Edge from Samsung – also because of its comparatively wide case.

You get a chic smartphone with a rounded OLED edge display that is protected by a layer of gorilla glass. The display diagonal of 6.7 inches is already large, but the edge format makes content appear a bit larger. The resolution is Full HD + quality and a pixel density of around 400 ppi – despite the screen size. This becomes clear when watching videos and photos, the content is color-intensive and sharp.

The settings for the display amount to the classic Android options: a blue light filter, dark mode, individual coloring and a preview display are on board. Especially for the edge display, you can also set that other apps use the entire screen and do not stay within the standard dimensions. Incoming messages are displayed by visual effects on the curved edge. You also have the chance to choose between different refresh rates: Motorola provides 60 and 90 Hz.

Software and multimedia

If Motorola can stand out from the competition with one thing, it is in terms of software. The manufacturer pre-installs the “Moto Actions” app on each of its smartphones, which has a lot to discover. And the in-house offer complement Android 10 really useful. To make the connection to the display: Here you can set smart additions to the panel, which emphasize the edge feature. If you charge the smartphone, get a message or a call, the curved display edges light up. Even if the cell phone is on the screen, you will immediately see the notification.

In addition, you can use Moto Actions to make smart gestures that make it easier for you to use the Motorola Edge. This includes, for example, that the device is activated as soon as you look at it. Touching the edges as quick access to apps, the “quick flashlight” or Moto Gametime are also included. If the latter is activated, you can concentrate fully on the game itself when playing. The smartphone then only shows you a selected toolkit for a few apps and the like. By the way: Bloatware is not found on the Motorola Edge.

Motorola Edge Moto Actions

Good sound for a variety of music genres

At this point, the stereo speakers are also worthy of praise: They make a lot of things – of course, always against the background that they are smartphone speakers. Compared to the competition – including high-end products like the Samsung Galaxy S20 – the Motorola Edge offers good sound. And this with very bass-heavy music or extensive guitar riffs. Only when you turn up the volume to the maximum will it tinny a little.

In order to adapt the music playback to your individual taste or to different situations, suitable options can be found in the Moto Actions. You can choose to have the Motorola Edge decide automatically, or choose a movie, music, or game. If the smartphone in “Music” gives the sound full and defines, the “Film” option creates a balance between music and dialogues. In gaming mode, the stereo sound becomes wider; dialogues are also considered.

Triple camera with better night vision

Nowadays a smartphone has to offer a good camera – no matter what class you are looking for. In this point too, the Motorola Edge is in the middle class compared to the Plus model. Specifically, the manufacturer uses the following camera setup:

  • Main sensor: 64 megapixels, ƒ / 1.8, 0.8 µm
  • Macro and video wide angle: 16 megapixels, ƒ / 2.2, 1.0 µm
  • Telephoto lens: 8 megapixels, ƒ / 2.4, 1.12 µm

There is also a laser autofocus system and a ToF sensor, which is usually not available in the middle class. In addition, there is a dual LED flash on the back, which should support the triple camera. The front camera, however, is embedded in the display and offers 25 megapixels and an aperture of f / 2.0. The pixel size is 0.9 µm.

Camera in practice

Despite the theoretical difference between the Plus and Standard models, the Motorola Edge camera is practically very solid. It shows its strengths above all in good lighting conditions: the colors are very intense and, above all, natural for both landscape and macro shots. She captures details well and sharply.

The weakness, on the other hand, manifests itself in the zoom – in two direct ways. On the one hand, the motif pixelates when you zoom in on it with only twice the zoom. On the other hand, the photo taken loses its depth of detail just as quickly when you zoom into the image. Add to that the capricious autofocus, which does what it wants, especially in night mode. If you focus on a specific point, the focus will slip as soon as the photo is taken.

The situation is similar with the front camera, which takes passable selfies during the day. It is also nice that Motorola also provides night mode for the front camera. So the photo in dimly lit rooms is ultimately much brighter and more detailed than when the night vision is inactive. The disadvantage here, however, is that the picture is quite coarse.

Motorola Edge test photos night mode front camera

Conclusion on the Motorola Edge

With the Motorola Edge, Motorola succeeds in “entering the smartphone upper-class business”. The device brings the manufacturer back onto the radar of competitors and customers. The mid-range flagship combines a relatively low price with modern technology and a well-made exterior.

The house’s first edge display with good resolution and the software and multimedia performance of the smartphone stand out. Not only the rounded display, but also the Android functions specified by Google are sensibly supplemented with the Moto Actions. The software is also up to date – this is not always the case with Motorola. The triple camera speaks the language of the middle class in parts, but can still take satisfactory pictures.

The average battery power of the 4,500 mAh battery, which groans under extensive use, tends to be more critical. It is also a shame that Motorola only uses a hybrid dual SIM variant.Motorola Edge test seal

Pros of the Motorola Edge

  • Software supplement and multimedia equipment
  • Great edge display
  • Good stereo speakers

Contrasts of the Motorola Edge

  • Average battery power
  • Hybrid dual SIM
  • No camera that can stand out from the competition

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