Jul 5th, 2022

The 2022 Motorola Edge+ made it to market in late March, without much fanfare. While there were some who were waiting for the new flagship smartphone from Motorola, I imagine most of them decided to pick up a different device once the specs and price of Moto’s new phone were revealed.

To put it nicely, despite the $1000 sticker price, this phone simply isn’t competitive when matched up with devices like the Galaxy S22+ or even the Pixel 6 Pro. Since I had pretty strong feelings about the phone even before it showed up at my doorstep, I decided to give the Edge+ a little extra time and see if Motorola’s take on a 2022 flagship smartphone would grow on me after a few months.

Design and Build Quality

Personally, I do like the look and feel of the phone, which features a frosted glass panel on the back and a curved camera module that helps hide how far out the cameras protrude from the body of the phone. There are plenty of phones that are hard to pick out in a crowd, but the new Edge+ certainly isn’t one of them. That being said, after holding it in your hand for a few minutes, you’ll quickly realize that Moto cheaped out with the build materials, opting for a plastic frame rather than metal, which makes it feel quite a bit cheaper than it should. The button placement on the right edge of the phone is questionable as well with the power button placed high enough that you have to stretch your thumb to reach it and the volume rocker placed above it, making you adjust your grip every time you want to change the volume.

Typically, I don’t mind power buttons that double as side-mounted fingerprint sensors, but with the awkward placement of the power button on the Edge+, an in-display sensor would have been a better option.

Display

Moto is using a pretty good panel for its 6.7 OLED display. It may only deliver an FHD+ resolution, but its refresh rate maxes out at 144Hz, delivering silky smooth animation and scrolling. It’s hard to say if you’ll notice a difference when using this phone side-by-side with a flagship phone from Samsung, but it’s a night and day comparison when you put this phone next to Motorola’s mid-range devices.

Brightness levels are good enough for comfortable outdoor use and viewing angles are great as well, delivering quite an enjoyable experience whether you’re working, gaming or sitting back and enjoying a movie or TV show. Motorola’s also put in a bit of extra work with the stereo speakers on the phone which deliver slightly better audio than what we’ve been getting from the competition lately, but while you do get Dolby Atmos tuning for a richer sound stage for movies, you’re still better off with a pair of headphones. And I do need to emphasize that those will need to be Bluetooth headphones since the 3.5mm headphone jack that was present on this phone’s predecessor has been removed with this iteration.

Battery Life & Charging

While headphone jacks have been disappearing quite regularly from flagship smartphones for the past 3 to 4 years, the new Edge+ isn’t participating in the latest trend of ditching its phone charger. In fact, the included 30W charger that comes with the phone is quite a bit faster than the 18W chargers Motorola usually gives us, allowing the 4800mAh battery to charge completely in about an hour.

There’s also the option for wireless charging at 15W and reverse wireless charging if you happen to have a pair of earbuds, a smartwatch or just another friend who needs a bit of extra juice to make it through the day. Just remember to not be too generous with how much power you share since the 4800 mAh battery will only leave you with an extra 15-20% charge after a long day.

Performance

Like most other flagship smartphones this year, the Edge+, you get a Snapdragong 8 Gen 1 with 8GB of RAM. Needless to say, the gaming performance you can get out of the phone is pretty amazing, though it does suffer from the usual thermal throttling issues, like every other device that runs the same chipset. Heavy multitaskers shouldn’t have any issues with the 8GB of RAM and the256GB of internal storage should be more than enough to install as many games or apps as you’d like.

Cameras

Unfortunately, the flagship-tier performance of the phone doesn’t carry over to the camera experience. Typically, a $1000 smartphone will give you 3-4 usable cameras with enough versatility to match a decently priced point-and-shoot camera. That’s certainly not the case here with the Edge+ only having two usable cameras on the back with two 50MP sensors for the main and ultra-wide cameras. Technically there is a third camera on the back of the phone, but it’s a 2MP depth sensor that Motorola could have easily done without.

As for the overall quality of the photos and videos, I’d say the results are mediocre for a phone at this price point. Images captured in well-lit scenarios can turn out really good, as long as you keep Motorola’s automatic scene selection turned off. With it on, colors will be dramatically oversaturated. In low light, the phone can capture some usable shots, if you’re using the dedicated night mode and have a steady hand. But if you’re not careful, your night shots will turn out extremely soft.

For video capture, Motorola has delivered up to 8K video from the main sensor but somehow thought that people would simply be OK with 1080p resolution from the ultra-wide camera. That might be fine for a $500, mid-range device, but it’s unacceptable for a device in this price category.

The 60MP selfie camera isn’t as disappointing as the rear cameras, but it’s at least two spets behind what Google and Samsung are delivering with their flagship smartphones. Overall, Motorola still has a lot of work to do in computational photography if it wants to truly compete with other flagship-tier devices.

Software

Before we wrap things up, I want to make sure we talk about the software. With Android 12 and Motorola’s light customizations on the UI, there really aren’t any issues or surprises. I’ve always enjoyed the subtle customization options Motorola gives on top of the Moto Gestures like twisting your phone to launch the camera and the double chop to turn on the flashlight. And the best part is that the Motorola app gives you tutorials on how to use all the features and even walks you through the new features and customization options available in Android 12. I honestly think other brands should take a page out of Motorola’s playbook in this aspect.

But things aren’t perfect in the software category as Motorola’s only committed to delivering two years of Android updates and three years of security patches. That might have been commendable 2 years ago, but with Google and Samsung committing to much longer software support windows, you might want to think twice before buying this phone if you’re planning on owning it for more than 2 years.

I do need to point out that the Edge+ also comes with Active stylus support, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The difference here is that the pen isn’t included with the device and you’ll need to buy Motorola’s folio case since there’s no slot in the phone to store it. The custom software for the pen is an improvement from what you get on the Moto stylus, but it’s still a far cry from when you get on Samsung’s S Pen-supported devices.

Final thoughts

After using the Moto Edge+ for nearly three months, I’m still not sold on this flagship smartphone. I usually have my reservations about recommending a $1300 device when they offer only slight improvements over their $1000 counterparts, but this phone simply fails to deliver what many of us have come to expect from a smartphone in the $700 to $800 price range. You’d honestly be better off with the $600 Pixel 6. The only good news here is that Motorola has essentially offered a $100 discount on the phone since launch. That being said, if you have $900 to spend on a new smartphone, you’d be much better off with Google’s Pixel 6 Pro. Hopefully, Motorola will be able to go back to the drawing board for next year and come back with a device that can truly compete in the flagship smartphone segment.

Motorola Edge+ 2022 Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_75star_empty (3.8/5)

The Good

  • Display
  • Performance
  • Software

The Bad

  • Cameras
  • Build Quality
  • Price

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Edge+ 2022 is a good phone, but that’s selling for a bad price. If you can find a discount and pick one up for around $800, you’ll be quite happy with the device, but if you’re truly looking to spend $1,000 on a smartphone, there are much better options you should consider.