Motorola Edge: 5G premium middle class

The Motorola Edge is the manufacturer’s second most powerful smartphone after the Edge +. For 600 euros there is a large OLED display, a stylish dual-edge design, a 64-megapixel main camera and a 5G modem. We tested whether the Edge could prove itself in practice.

Motorola Edge: Design – the best from Motorola

The Motorola Edge is characterized by a modern design with rounded display edges. The edges are sloping at almost 90 degrees on the sides, what the industry calls a “waterfall” design. As usual with Samsung’s similar dual-edge screens, it looks chic, but it’s not particularly practical. Finally, the user holds the phone by the sides. However, the supplied transparent cover helps to avoid incorrect entries. The touch sensitivity of the pages can also be switched off.

The top and bottom bezels are quite thin, and the selfie camera is in a hole in the top left of the screen. The cell phone has a black glass back with a prism effect that breaks the light into different colors. At the back left, three cameras and the 3D sensor are mounted vertically, a rather functional design. The LED flash sits on the top right, and the Motorola logo is emblazoned in the middle in the upper half.

The Motorola Edge is the prettiest Motorola cell phone to date. The touch-sensitive display sides look nice, but can interfere with operation. Fortunately, they can be switched off.

 

Motorola Edge Display: quite dark OLED screen

The screen of the Motorola Edge measures 6.7 inches and has a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels. For comparison: The Galaxy S20 + screen, which is just as large, has a resolution of 3,200 x. 1,440 pixels. The lower resolution is not a problem in everyday use; the Galaxy is only a spark of brilliance ahead when viewing videos and photos. In addition, the display of the Samsung phone is brighter. Especially when looking at HDR content, it is noticeable that the Motorola screen is too dark to display highlights effectively.

Basically, I had no problems recognizing the screen contents in sunlight. However, if you want to view photos in direct sunlight, you want a slightly higher screen brightness. Pictures appear a bit underexposed, but this is not due to the pictures, but to the display. In principle, however, OLED is the best technology for mobile screens, and the Motorola Edge also impresses with a very high-contrast image and perfect black. Also good: Thanks to 90 Hertz, moving content such as scrolling is displayed more fluidly and sharply than on conventional 60 Hertz screens.

Thanks to the rounded display sides, the app drawer or notifications can be called up by swiping the edge. However, this works more easily with the conventional gesture control that uses the entire screen. If the user can swipe down from the top of the display to call up the notifications, they don’t have to bother to perform the same gesture on the narrow edge. In addition, YouTube videos, among other things, are dragged across the pages and thus displayed distorted and fortunately, the margins can be deactivated. Nice: The edges light up on request when a notification or a call comes in.

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There is an optical fingerprint sensor in the screen below. It works a little slower than some competitors, such as the sensor in the OnePlus 7T Pro. The unlocking works reliably. Unfortunately, optical fingerprint sensors are less forgery-proof than conventional capacitive sensors and Face ID.

The large Motorola Edge 90 Hertz OLED screen impresses with a high-contrast image and smooth display, but the brightness is a bit low.

 

Motorola Edge Technology & equipment: Upper middle class with 5G modem

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor and 6 GB of RAM are responsible for the performance. It calculates about as fast as the Snapdragon 845 flagship chip from 2018. The 128 GB UFS 2.1 memory, which can be expanded via a microSD card, is no brake either. In everyday use, the mobile phone impresses with quick app starts and quickly implemented inputs.

Graphically demanding games like “Asphalt 9” and “Sonic Forces” can be played smoothly, but more in the range of 30 frames per second. You can only use the advantages of the 90 Hertz screen for graphically simple games and of course for operating the smartphone and scrolling through websites. A special feature of the Snapdragon 765 is the integrated 5G modem. The manufacturer wants to activate 5G reception with an update in August or September at the latest.

Unfortunately there is no Wi-Fi 6, only ac-WLAN, but Bluetooth 5.1. The Motorola Edge 4,500 mAh battery can be charged relatively quickly via an 18-watt power adapter. The running time is convincing and extends over a day. A largely unchanged Android 10 is used as the software, only supplemented by a few Motorola features such as gesture control via the display and dual-edge bezels. The manufacturer promises at least one major Android update, flagships usually offer two. Unfortunately, the Motorola Edge does not have any protection against penetrating water.

The Motorola Edge brings technology appropriate to the upper middle class, the battery life is very good. Unfortunately, the phone is not waterproof.

 

Motorola Edge Cameras and audio: beautiful daylight photos

The Motorola Edge has three cameras on the back: a 64-megapixel main camera, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens for a 2x zoom. A 25-megapixel selfie camera is installed in the front. When recording with the 64-megapixel camera, four pixels are combined to create 16-megapixel photos. The selfie camera also combines four pixels for optimized 5-megapixel photos. The technology reduces noise and improves contrast. Unfortunately there is no optical image stabilization.

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The main and selfie cameras are actually the best cameras on the Motorola Edge. They deliver detailed and true-color images, and the 64-megapixel camera also has a particularly high contrast range. 4K videos with the main camera are stabilized very well and are otherwise convincing. Strange: Like other phones with a macro camera, it is difficult to take sharp macro photos – but macro videos look sharp.

The ultra wide angle camera tends to overexpose and oversaturate the photos, which is almost like a cartoon color filter. Nevertheless, it is not one of the worst models of its kind and opens up creative possibilities. Telephoto recordings unfortunately appear blurred. The Motorola Edge fails in night shots, but the night mode can save something.

The Motorola Edge uses the handset as a second loudspeaker. Unfortunately, the stereo setting only achieves average quality and is not particularly loud. After all, a headphone connection is built in, which many flagships leave out.

The Motorola Edge 64-megapixel main camera and the selfie camera take good pictures in daylight, but the quality of the photos with the ultra-wide-angle and zoom camera is somewhat lower with the exception of the good macro and portrait shots. There are better cell phones for night photos. 4K videos with the main camera are convincing and are effectively digitally stabilized.

 

Motorola Edge Conclusion & alternatives: good cell phone with strong competition

The Motorola Edge is a recommendable premium mid-range smartphone. A chic design, a 90 Hertz OLED display, good daylight photos and a long runtime should convince many interested parties. The display should have shone brighter, and some will prefer a waterproof smartphone.

Perhaps at some point smartphone manufacturers will achieve consistent photo quality with all cameras installed; that would be a real step forward. The quality of the ultra-wide-angle and telephoto cameras of the Motorola Edge cannot compete with the 64-megapixel and selfie cameras.

Anyone looking around in the price range around 600 euros will discover strong competitors, namely former flagships. Including the Huawei P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro as well as the Samsung Galaxy S10. With these devices, the performance and cameras are even better, and the displays are brighter. However, the competitors do not offer a 5G modem and a 90 Hertz screen.

Motorola Edge Pros:

  • + 90 Hertz OLED screen
  • + Stylish dual-edge design
  • + Good performance
  • + Good daylight photos with main and selfie cameras
  • + Good battery life

Motorola Edge Cons:

  • – Image quality of the ultra wide angle and telephoto camera only average
  • – Not waterproof
  • – Display a bit gloomy

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