Motorola is trying its hand once more at this flagship smartphone thing after attempting to straddle the line between mid-range and premium. This time, it’s bringing a stylus to the knife fight. The new Motorola Edge+ has an improved camera system, a dazzling display, and a stowable stylus. But before you think the Edge+ might be an alternative to the $US1,200 ($1,666) Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, you should know the stylus is entirely optional.
The Motorola Edge+ has an impressive spec sheet. It includes a 6.7-inch P-OLED display with full HD resolution and a dynamic 144Hz refresh rate. There’s the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering it up inside, along with 8GB or 12GB of memory. There’s also a 4800mAh battery, which is slightly bigger than the Galaxy S22+’s 4500mah battery. It’s also smaller than last year’s Motorola Edge, which had a 5,000mAh battery coupled with a middle-of-the-road processor. It’s a wonder what battery life will be like on this device.
At the very least, Motorola promises its 30W Turbo Power technology will quickly charge the phone. The Edge+ also supports 15W wireless charging and 5W power-sharing for neighbouring devices.
The higher memory option on the Motorola Edge+ is a nice-to-see for anyone who wants to buy a phone outright and thinks they’ll hold on to it for a while. Most flagship smartphones come with the option of 12GB of RAM, which makes gaming, document scrolling, and everything else feel a little smoother.
However, Motorola’s track record with software updates has been disappointing the last few years, particularly among its budget-friendly lineup. That doesn’t do much to instill confidence in the relative longevity of the Edge+. Motorola has committed to three years of software updates on all of its devices, beginning with this device.
The Edge+’s spec sheet indicates that Motorola aims for a similar high-end camera system to compete with Samsung and Google’s offerings. The rear-facing cameras include a 50-MP camera with OIS and an f/1.8 aperture, a 50-MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a 114-degree field of view, and a 2-MP depth-sensing lens. The primary 50-MP lens uses “binning” like Samsung’s devices to extract detail from the scene and essentially weld it into a brighter, sharper photo. Motorola calls this “Quad Camera” technology and promises up to 32 times more focusing pixels for “more accurate performance in any light.” Both of the 50-MP lenses can also snap macro shots.
About That Stylus
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet gone hands-on with the Motorola Edge+ and its smart stylus to offer an account of its abilities. Motorola says you will be able to write naturally, “just like using pen and paper.” But it’s a separate accessory that comes as part of a folio case that goes over the device. Motorola will release pricing and availability in the coming weeks.
If you are interested in a Motorola phone with a stylus in the chassis and you want one now, there’s the mid-range Moto G Stylus, announced a few weeks ago. It has much less firepower than the devices mentioned here, as it runs a measly MediaTek Helio G88 processor with 6GB of memory. It’s only something to consider if the stylus is an accessory you’d like and you’re not willing to pay Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra prices.
Speaking of which: The unlocked Motorola Edge+ will start at $US1,000 ($1,388) at launch, though there’s special pricing at $US100 ($139) off for early buyers. It comes in two colours, including Cosmos Blue and Stardust White. Verizon customers will have to wait for the carrier to release pricing details for models with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM and 128GB.
It’s nice to see manufacturers trying to bring variety back to the Android ecosystem. It’s getting a little homogenous choosing between Google and Samsung for every flagship. Perhaps Motorola realised this, and that’s why it’s coming for us with such a well-stocked smartphone. The Motorola Edge+ ships with Android 12 right out of the box. It also improved some previously bundled-in software features, including Ready For, which lets you toss over a video game or a group project to a Miracast-capable external display or Windows devices.
Of course, the real test of the Motorola Edge+ is how it works and functions in real life. We’re looking forward to putting this device through its paces and seeing if its $US1,000 ($1,388) price tag nets the same kind of stylus magic offered by the pricier Galaxy S22 Ultra.