Oct 10th, 2022

Motorola has a pretty good reputation, especially in the US market when it comes to its G-series smartphones. While the devices may not have great cameras or incredible performance, they offer decent value, multi-day battery life, and much better software than the competition. They are definitely the brand to beat if you’re looking for a budget-friendly device.

In the mid-range segment, Motorola has always struggled. The devices it has released have been underwhelming, with unexplainable high price points. But with the new Motorola Edge 2022, Motorola is finally giving US a mid-range phone that may actually be competitive, with a price point that’s not too hard to swallow.

Motorola Edge 2022 Specifications

  • Display: 6.6 inches, HD+, 144Hz, HDR10+
  • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 1050
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Rear Cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8, OIS (main), 13 MP, f/1.5, 120˚ (ultrawide/macro), 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
  • Selfie Camera: 32 MP, f/2.5
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Charging: 30W (wired), 15W (wireless), 5W (reverse wireless)
  • Price: $599 $499

Design

The design and build quality of the Motorola Edge 2022 is probably the only real disappointing aspect of the phone. The plastic back panel and frame are what you’d expect on a $400 smartphone, not one that costs $600. While the overall size and on-hand feel aren’t bad, I expect more for a device in this price range.

The device ergonomics are pretty good with the power and volume buttons perfectly positioned for your thumb along the right edge of the phone and the placement of the in-screen fingerprint is up far enough so that you don’t have to readjust the device every time you want to unlock it.

DEAL: Save $100 on the Motorola Edge 2022

The overall look and feel of the phone are in line with what we got with the Motorola Edge+ from earlier this year, with a curved back panel and a rounded-off camera module that doesn’t protrude too far. But you can definitely tell that Motorola built the device with cheaper materials to bring down the build costs of the phone.

Performance

There are plenty of mid-range phones in the $500 price range that are running on Qualcomm chipsets, but the Motorola Edge 2022 is actually the first to run on the new Dimensity 1050 from MediaTek. The chipset is the first in MediaTek’s lineup to offer millimeter wave support for 5G connectivity, something we rarely see on a device in this category. It also includes support for Sub 6 networks, C-Band and Wifi 6E.

But the chipset isn’t a one-trick pony. The Dimensity 1050 is more than capable of running games like Genshin Impact on medium settings or even maxing things out on Call of Duty Mobile. To put its performance into context, the Dimensity 1050 slots right between the Exynos 1280 and Snapdragon 778.

The chipset, coupled with 8GB of RAM, delivers exceptional performance in day-to-day use as well, with smooth transitions in and out of apps, respectable multi-tasking and more.

Display

For being a $600 phone, the Motorola Edge 2022 features an exceptional display. The 1080p OLED panel is 6.6 inches and supports HDR10+, 144Hz and 1,300 nits of peak brightness.

While there are a handful of smartphones in this price range with great displays, it’s not often that we see one in the US market with a 144Hz refresh rate. As you can imagine, this is great for gaming, but it also delivers an incredibly smooth experience as you scroll through your social media feeds, browse the web, or when you jump into the phone’s settings.

The overall color calibration is on point as well and I love the fact that it’s a flat display. This means that you don’t get any extra glare along the edges and at odd viewing angles. It’s also quite a bit brighter than your average smartphone, let alone a mid-range device.

Cameras

The camera capabilities of the Motorola Edge 2022 may seem pretty basic, but I was actually impressed with the overall performance. Last year’s Edge featured a 108MP main sensor, but the company didn’t put in the work to tune the image processing enough to really take advantage of it. This time around, we’re treated to a much more manageable 50MP sensor for the main camera, a 13MP ultrawide (which doubles as a macro camera as well), and a 2MP depth sensor.

Some may be disappointed in the fact that the 108MP sensor has been swapped out for a 50MP one, but the results speak for themselves. The camera is noticeably better and faster as well, which means low-light performance is greatly improved and I ended up with fewer blurry shots as well. Motorola also shows some improvement in computational photography with better dynamic range and overall color reproduction.

The ultrawide camera has been upgraded to a 13MP sensor with an autofocus lens that allows it to double as a macro camera as well. I’ve never been a fan of dedicated macro cameras since they usually have fixed focus lenses and incredibly small sensors, but having it baked into the ultrawide camera makes it a lot more usable. The images from this camera are great in well-lit scenarios, though it does produce noticeably noisy images indoors or any time lighting isn’t optimal. The bump in resolution also means you can now record 4K video from the ultrawide camera as well, something the previous generation Edge didn’t offer.

The 32MP selfie camera isn’t anything special. Surprisingly, it does well with backlit selfies and dynamic range. That being said, images are quite soft, even when captured outdoors or in well-lit conditions, which is definitely disappointing compared to other mid-range devices.

Battery Life & Charging

The phone sports a 5,000 mAh battery, which when paired with the power-efficient Diemnsity 1050, delivers exceptional battery life. Motorola claims that it’s able to last up to two full days on a single charge, but it fell short of that number in our real-world testing.

On a single charge, the Edge 2022 can easily make it a day and a half under medium use or make it through an exceptionally long day with 7-8 hours of screen-on time and still have a 20% charge after being off the charger for 16 hours.

The phone also sports 30W wired charging, 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging. That being said, you’ll need to source your own charger as Motorola has opted to follow in Samsung and Apple’s footsteps and omit a charger from the box. The good thing is that we do actually get 30W fast charging, which is significantly faster than the 18W charging we traditionally see on other Motorola devices.

Software

I’ve been a fan of Motorola’s software for years now and that doesn’t change with the Edge 2022. Out of the box, the phone is running on Android 12, but Motorola is promising to deliver 3 Android version updates, along with  4 years of bi-monthly security patches to ensure the overall platform is secure.

The software experience is pretty much identical to what we get on any other Motorola device. It’s a pretty basic build of Android with Motorola’s usual customizations and quick gestures that allow for things like twisting the phone to launch the camera, the double chop to turn on the flashlight or flipping the phone on its screen to turn on DND. Motorola is also better than any other brand at giving users quick access to these and other customizable features by adding them all into its Motorola app and showing users how they can be used, rather than just hiding them away in the phone’s  Settings menu.

I even enjoy the minimalistic gaming made that’s offered, giving you quick access to brightness and volume settings without having to pull down the notification share and the ability to block notifications so that nothing interrupts your gaming session. You can also lock the phone in high-performance mode to get the most out of the MediaTek 1050, lock the display refresh rate stream directly to your Twitch account and more.

Final Thoughts

The Motorola Edge 2022 may not have one specific feature that stands out and makes it better than the competition, but it’s definitely one of my favorite mid-range devices I’ve used this year. As mentioned at the very beginning, the only real negative here is the build materials of the phone.

While Motorola’s list price of $600 may be a bit higher than some competing devices, it’s pretty easy to find a $100 discount on the unlocked and carrier-specific models as well. If you’re in the US, the only real competition is the Google Pixel 6a and the Samsung Galaxy A53. Personally, I’d spend my money on the Pixel, but the Motorola Edge 2022 is still a great alternative that may be better suited for someone who needs better battery life, wireless charging or simply doesn’t want to deal with some of the software issues Google’s phones have faced over the past year.

 

Motorola Edge 2022 Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_empty (3.9/5)

The Good

  • Battery Life
  • Intuitive Software
  • Main Camera
  • 144Hz Display

The Bad

  • Build Quality
  • Poor low-light camera performance
  • No charger
  • Selfie camera