LG Velvet vs. Motorola Edge: Which is the better $700 phone?

Motorola and LG have redeemed themselves in 2020. While both manufacturers had fallen behind the pack in recent years, they’ve reappeared with a new phone each that’s put them back on the mobile map. In releasing the Motorola Edge and LG Velvet, respectively, they’ve transformed themselves into contenders in the more affordable flagship category and have given the public more choice in the Android market beyond the obvious Samsung, Huawei, and Google models.

Both mobiles boast similar specs, multiple cameras, and large batteries and are situated at more or less the same price point. The question is: Which one is better? More importantly, which one is better for you? To answer that question, we compared the two smartphones across a number of important categories, sizing up their designs, performance, camera, software, special features, and price. Hopefully, this should help you to decide which is right for you.

Specs

Motorola Edge
LG Velvet
Size 161.6 x 71.1 x 9.3mm (6.36 x 2.80 x 0.37 inches) 167.2 x 74.1 x 7.9 mm (6.58 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 188 grams (6.63 ounces) 180 grams (6.35 ounces)
Screen size 6.7-inch OLED (90Hz) 6.8-inch P-OLED
Screen resolution 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (385 pixels per inch) 2,460 x 1,080 pixels (395 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 10 (under Motorola My UX) Android 10 (under LG UX 9)
Storage 128GB 128GB
MicroSD card slot Yes Yes
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
RAM 6GB 6GB, 8GB
Camera 64-megapixel wide-angle, 16MP ultra-wide, 8MP telephoto rear, and time-of-flight depth, 25MP front 48-megapixel wide-angle, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, 16MP front
Video Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1080p up to 60 fps Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps
Bluetooth version 5.1 5.1
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes (under display) Yes (under display)
Water resistance No IP68
Battery 4,500mAh

Fast charging (18W)

4,300mAh

Fast charging (25W)

Fast wireless charging (9W)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support Verizon support coming soon U.S. carriers to be finalized
Colors Solar Black, Midnight Magenta Aurora White, Aurora Green, Aurora Gray, Illusion Sunset, Red, Pink
Prices $700+ $735
Buy from Motorola LG
Review score 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 out of 5 stars

Design, display, and durability

Motorola Edge Side
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Motorola Edge and LG Velvet each have different strengths when it comes to their displays. The LG Velvet sports a bigger screen and more pixels per inch, at 395 compared to the Edge’s 385. However, the Motorola Edge comes with a 90Hz refresh rate, which the LG Velvet can’t match. As such, the LG Velvet may have a slightly sharper screen, yet the Edge offers a smoother visual experience.

Interestingly, the LG Velvet is taller and wider than the Edge, but 8 grams lighter. In practice, this makes it a little more comfortable to hold. That said, its palm rejection is sometimes over-sensitive, meaning that its touchscreen can on rare occasions be a little fiddly to use.

As for design, the Motorola Edge arguably looks better and also more unique with its waterfall edge display, which cascades in a curve down from its top to its sides. By comparison, the LG Velvet looks good, but its tidier, squarer dimensions may seem a little unadventurous by comparison. Still, its cameras are arrayed in a nice teardrop formation on the rear, and it does very much resemble the kind of smartphone you’d expect to see in 2020.

Lastly, the LG Velvet scores a point in its favor in light of its official IP68 rating. In other words, it’s resistant to submersion in water of a maximum depth of 1.5 meters. It can withstand such submersion for up to 30 minutes, while its added MIL-STD 810G rating means it can also tolerate a good deal of punishment. Put simply, it will most likely endure more punishment than the Motorola Edge, which lacks an official IP68 rating.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life, and charging

LG Velvet Screen
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Again, the Motorola Edge and LG Velvet are more or less evenly matched in terms of performance, but with some subtle differences that may be important depending on what you want from your mobile. While both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 765G, the LG Velvet is available with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, while the Motorola Edge offers only 6GB. For anyone who runs more intensive apps and games, this extra 2GB of RAM could make a noticeable difference, even though 6GB is enough for most purposes.

On the other hand, the larger 4,500mAh battery gives the Motorola Edge more longevity. With an extra 200mAh, it will comfortably provide you with a day and a half of smartphone fun, while the LG Velvet just about provides a full day of solid use. That said, the LG Velvet provides fast charging at 25W, compared to 18W for the Edge. You will therefore have to wait less to recharge, although this may not entirely compensate for a shorter battery life if you happen to be traveling.

In the end, this is another tie, seeing as how the LG Velvet’s choice of extra RAM is canceled out by a shorter battery life.

Winner: Tie

Cameras

LG Velvet Camera
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

On paper, the Motorola Edge should be the strongest camera phone of the two. Its triple-lens setup includes a 64-megapixel main lens, 16-megapixel ultrawide, and 8-megapixel telephoto. By contrast, the LG Velvet can offer only a 48-megapixel main wide lens, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a 5-megapixel depth lens.

Of course, camera quality isn’t only about hardware specs, but also about how software makes the most out of hardware. Still, even here, the LG Velvet is outperformed by the Motorola Edge’s camera system. Its wide-angled shots are decent and suitably sharp, yet its main lens is a little inconsistent, sometimes taking photos with either washed-out colors or over-sharpened detail. At the same time, it doesn’t offer the same zoom capabilities as the Edge, while its bokeh portrait mode has unreliable edge detection.

With video, both phones offer 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps, equipping both with the capability to capture some fairly crisp footage. Still, because it does offer a better camera overall, this round goes to the Motorola Edge.

Winner: Motorola Edge

Software and updates

Motorola Edge Moto Action menu
Motorola Edge’s Moto Actions menu Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Motorola Edge and LG Velvet both run on their own proprietary UIs layered over Android 10. Motorola’s My UX is tailored largely toward the Edge’s waterfall display, including features such as Edge Touch, which lets you open the app tray and notification shade from the screen’s side, among other things.

As for LG UX 9, it’s simple and easy to use, with a gesture control system that’s fast and fluid. In comparison to My UX, which sometimes misunderstands gestures when using Edge Touch, it’s noticeably more user friendly. The Motorola Edge also loses ground because Motorola has suggested that the Edge will receive no further software updates after Android 11. In light of this, we’ll give this round to the LG Velvet.

Winner: LG Velvet

Special features

LG Velvet Dual Screen Apps
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Motorola Edge takes the lead in the special features department. Most notably, its waterfall display sets it apart from most other Android smartphones, including the LG Velvet. Its sloping touchscreen looks great, and it can be used for a range of functions and gestures, including virtual shoulder buttons for video games. The Edge also includes Motorola’s long-running Moto Actions, which are a range of motion gestures that perform particular functions, such as quickly launching the camera or switching on the flashlight.

The LG Velvet itself doesn’t really offer any particularly remarkable extras or special features. That said, LG has released a separate special case for the LG Velvet that provides a second screen, essentially turning the Velvet into a dual-screen smartphone. It’s a nice idea, allowing you to run separate browsers and apps in parallel. Even so, it adds 129 grams to the Velvet’s weight, making it a little bulky.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that both the Motorola Edge and the LG Velvet are 5G-ready. Still, even though both phones are similarly future-proofed, the fact that the Velvet’s main special feature has to be bought separately means we’re giving this round to the Edge.

Winner: Motorola Edge

Price and availability

The Motorola Edge will be available as a Verizon exclusive for around $700 for the version with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. At the moment, the LG Velvet isn’t officially available in the United States yet, although it’s expected that LG will announce a release date and carrier list shortly. In Europe, the version with 6GB of RAM costs €650, which works out at around $735.

Overall winner: Motorola Edge

It’s a little bit cheaper, but the Motorola Edge is just about a better smartphone overall than the LG Velvet. It offers a more attractive design, a more reliable camera system, longer battery life, and a fluid 90Hz display. Basically, it’s just a more complete smartphone than the LG Velvet. Of course, the LG Velvet is still certainly a good smartphone, but given the slight price difference and the lack of notable special features, it isn’t quite commendable as the Motorola Edge.

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