Motorola Edge+
Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola has broken its trend of manufacturing budget devices by announcing the new Motorola Edge and Motorola Edge+, a pair of flagship phones designed to interest users who are looking for high-end, high-performance mobile devices. And make no mistake: The hardware in these Motorola smartphones is leading edge. Both mobile devices have huge batteries, support 5G and Wi-Fi 6, and the Edge+ even has a 108MP main camera that Motorola said “is the highest resolution ever included in a smartphone.”

Motorola hasn’t been a major player in the high-end smartphone world for quite some time, instead settling on mid-level devices and the occasional gimmick. Motorola has work to do to excite users who are more accustomed to shopping for Apple, Samsung, and Google devices, but the hardware in the Edge and Edge+ may be tempting for some buyers.

This cheat sheet includes the details you need to know about the Motorola Edge and Edge+. We will update this article when new information is available about these Android devices.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Motorola Edge and Edge+ (TechRepublic)

What are the Motorola Edge and Edge+?

The Edge and Edge+ are Motorola’s new entries into the flagship smartphone market. The Edge+ is the standout in the line, offering a state-of-the-art Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, 108MP main camera, 5G, and Wi-Fi 6.

In terms of design, both the Edge and Edge+ have screens that wrap around the side of the device, similar to Samsung’s Edge devices, complete with edge gestures and app-dependent screen edge controls.

The Edge and Edge+ devices have in-screen fingerprint readers and have a tall-and-skinny 21:9 aspect ratio, which Motorola said is easier to hold and use, as well as being better for watching videos.

The Edge+ will be available in two colors: Thunder Grey, a blue-grey hybrid, and Smoky Sangria, a pink/purple tone. The standard Edge also comes in two colors: An iridescent Solar Black and Midnight Magenta, also with an iridescent sheen.

Additional resources

What are the specs of the Motorola Edge and Edge+?

Motorola Edge+

  • Display: 6.7″ FHD+ OLED, “Endless Edge,” 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ certified
  • Dimensions: 6.34″ x 2.81″ x 0.37″ (161.1mm x 71.4mm x 9.6mm)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650 GPU
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8 main camera with optical image stabilization, 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and macro lens w/ 117 degree wide-angle view, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and optical image stabilization
  • Front camera: 25MP f/2.0
  • Video: Up to 6K UHD at 30FPS
  • Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Waterproofing: “water repellent design,” no IP rating.
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Charging: 18w wired, 15w wireless, 5w wireless power sharing
  • OS: Android 10
  • Other notes: 3.55mm headphone jack, USB-C, dual stereo speakers, three microphones

Motorola Edge

  • Display: 6.7″ FHD+ OLED, “Endless Edge,” 90Hz refresh rate
  • Dimensions: 6.36″ x 2.79″ x 0.36″ (161.64mm x 71.1mm x 9.29mm)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, Adreno 650 GPU
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM in North America, 6 GB in rest of the world
  • Storage: 128 GB, support for up to 1 TB microSD card
  • Rear cameras: 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and macro lens w/ 117 degree wide-angle view, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom
  • Front camera: 25MP f/2.0
  • Video: UHD at 30FPS
  • Connectivity: 5G, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi (no WI-Fi 6 support)
  • Waterproofing: IP54 rated
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Charging: 18w wired, no wireless
  • OS: Android 10
  • Other notes: 3.55mm headphone jack, USB-C, dual stereo speakers, two microphones, hybrid dual SIM slot (one nano SIM slot is for storage expansion if desired)
Motorola Edge+
Image: Motorola

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

Larry Dignan of TechRepublic sister site ZDNet gave an excellent rundown of the differences between the two devices in his roundup of the Edge and Edge+ launch news:

  • “Edge Plus has a display that is HDR10+ with Edge at HDR10. Both have 6.7-inch endless edge displays with 90Hz refresh.

  • Edge Plus has a 108 MP triple camera system with telephoto, ultrawide and macro vision. Edge has a 64MP triple camera system.

  • Edge Plus is 5Gmmwave and sub-6GHz capable. Edge is 5G sub-6GHz capable.

  • Edge Plus has a Snapdragon 865 processor with 12GB Micron DDR memory and 256GB of storage. Edge has the Snapdragon 765 with 4GB and 128GB.

  • Edge Plus has a single SIM, but Edge has a hybrid dual SIM and ability for a microSD card.

  • Edge Plus has a 5,000mAh battery with 18W TurboPower and 15W wireless charging. Edge has a 4,500mAh battery with TurboPower charging.”

Motorola Edge+ and Edge
Image: Motorola

Should I buy the Motorola Edge or Edge+?

There’s a certain niche the Motorola Edge and Edge+ seem to be designed to fill. Two use cases spring to mind: Creative professionals who want a high-performance camera, and those working in the field who are frequently away from a charger.

The Edge+ has a main camera able to capture 108MP and 6K UHD video that Motorola said “gets as close to professional DSLR photo and video quality as possible.” Motorola also said that the sensor in the Edge+’s camera is “nearly three times larger” than previous generations of devices, and also has four times the light sensitivity of other camera sensors.

With that kind of photography hardware in the Edge+, coupled with a 5,000mAh battery that Motorola claims is capable of lasting “two full days of use,” it could be the creative camera photographers and videographers have been waiting for.

For users who work in the field, the Edge and Edge+ have the potential to suit their needs–in particular, the Edge+ because of its advertised battery life. The Edge isn’t a slouch on the battery front, either, with a 4,500mAh battery (only 500mAh less than the Edge+).

SEE: IT pro’s roadmap to working remotely (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The one reason why Motorola’s new phones–particularly the Edge+–may not be suited for life in the field is the devices’ less than impressive IP ratings. The Edge is only rated IP54, and the Edge+ is, in Motorola’s words, “water repellent,” but doesn’t even have an IP rating listed.

That doesn’t spell good things for the hardiness of either device, particularly the Edge+: In an age in which IP68 ratings on mobile devices are commonplace, not mentioning a rating at all spells bad things for a device’s longevity.

Motorola does say that the Edge+’s “water, splash and dust resistance were tested to IP68 standards under controlled laboratory conditions,” but doesn’t say what the outcomes were–leaving off the rating entirely means that workers heading out of the office and away from a charger shouldn’t plan to take the Edge or Edge+ into an outdoor environment–stick to vehicle travel and airports only. I have reached out to Motorola for more information; when I hear back, I will update this article.

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How does the Motorola Edge and Edge+ compare to the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Google’s Pixel devices?

TechRepublic sister site CNET hit the nail on the head as far as competition for the Edge and Edge+: “The $1,000 Motorola Edge Plus has the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S20, the same size screen as the Galaxy S20 Plus and the same 5,000-mAh battery and 108-megapixel camera as the Galaxy S20 Ultra.”

Its form factor, features, and price all scream “Samsung,” and with good reason: Samsung offers some of the most popular and well-known Android phones on the market. And while other Android device manufacturers that try to compete with Samsung on US soil may have an uphill battle to get name recognition and legitimacy, Motorola and its devices have long been a familiar name for US consumers.

Motorola is also making a smart move by advertising the Android build on the Edge and Edge+ as “near-stock” Android 10. Android skins have long been a sticking point for users, with many turning to independently developed ones in place of pre-installed launchers like Samsung TouchWiz.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (TechRepublic Premium)

By giving Edge and Edge+ users the default Android experience Motorola is also taking on Google’s Pixel devices, which ship with as close to a stock Android experience as possible, and have received great ratings at CNET and other sites.

Don’t be surprised if Motorola makes some headway in an already crowded market: It has the name recognition to do so, and the hardware in the Edge and Edge+ have serious potential.

Additional resources

When will the Motorola Edge and Edge+ be available, and how much will the devices cost?

In the US, the Edge+ will be a Verizon exclusive and will be available starting on May 14, 2020, for $999.

International audiences can expect the Edge+ to become available soon. In May 2020, the device will be released in Canada, “various countries across Europe,” the UAE, and Saudia Arabia. Motorola said India and select Latin American markets will be revealed in the coming months.

The Motorola Edge will be released in Italy in May 2020 for €699, and will extend to other European countries in the weeks after. Pricing in other countries isn’t known. Latin American and Asian Pacific countries can expect it “in the following months.” US customers will be able to buy the Edge at some point this summer, but Motorola hasn’t revealed pricing or an exact release date.

Additional resources

Motorola Edge+
Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

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