The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) is the company’s latest smartphone that aims to counter the likes of Google Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S22 with flagship specs and a price to match. The Edge Plus (2022) is fitted with vanguard hardware inside, but has a rather bland external appearance that hasn’t been updated much since the Motorola Edge (2021). Upgrades include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the latest and arguably most advanced chipset for Android phones, a 144Hz OLED display, dual 50MP cameras on the back, a 60MP camera for selfies, and support for wireless charging.
With these new flagship-level features, the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) finally feels primed to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S22. Motorola also makes some compromises that I will pinpoint in this article. Here are my observations after spending a few hours with Motorola’s first flagship smartphone of 2022.
As mentioned, the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) has changed minimally from the last year’s Edge. It features a curved back with a frosted glass finish that has a soft, marble-like touch. The back of the phone is protected under Gorilla Glass 3, which seems to be a measure of cost-cutting. I got to try the blue variant of the Edge Plus (2022), and while the back appears dark blue, vertical stripes of a lighter blue shine through when light falls on it. Motorola badging sits at the bottom of the back panel, while the company’s iconic “M” logo is placed in the center of the back.
Three cameras occupy the back of the phone in a single vertical array. The cameras are placed on a pill-shaped lip raised slightly above the back of the phone. The surface of this platform is shinier than the rest of the back, giving it a distinct appearance. Overall, the back feels minimal and is soothing to look at. Even though Motorola has more or less recycled the rear design, I see no major problem with it because it’s not flawed.
What does peeve me is the midframe, which is made of plastic instead of metal. Not only is plastic less durable, but it also makes the phone more prone to heating because of being a bad heat conductor — and, therefore, a bad radiator. Another way Motorola is trying to keep the bill of materials low is by limiting ingress protection, or IP rating, to only IP52, which implies minimal protection against dust and no protection against water.
The frame also houses the volume rocker on the right side, along with a power button that doubles as the fingerprint scanner. There is nothing along the left edge of the phone. The bottom has the primary speaker, the primary microphone, and the USB Type-C port, whereas the top only features a secondary microphone for noise canceling.
On the front, the Motorola Edge Plus (2022)features a 6.7-inch hole-punch pOLED display with a resolution of Full HD+. Unlike the back, which is curved, the display has flat edges and features minimal bezels. On the front, Motorola uses Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the display from scratches, and that is a notch below the Gorilla Glass Victus that we see on other major flagships, including the Galaxy S22.
The display feels wider than is comfortable to use with one hand, but the curved back helps provide a firmer grip. As per the official specifications, the Edge Plus (2022) weighs 196 grams, and while it does not feel exceptionally heavy or light, the even weight distribution does keep it from feeling unwieldy. Overall, the build quality — save the plastic frame — is acceptable if not exactly enthralling.
The 6.7-inch Full HD+ display on the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) uses pOLED technology. The prefix “p” in pOLED refers to the use of a plastic substrate inside the display panel instead of glass. A pOLED display is relatively easier to work with for manufacturers, which manifests in the lower cost of production than a display that uses glass substrate. As seen on other pOLED displays like the ones used in Google’s Pixel series, the display on the Motorola is slightly less bright than, say, the display on a Samsung flagship phone. Motorola does not make a claim about the exact brightness of the display. However, these subtleties may not be very apparent to an average user, especially if they are coming from a midrange smartphone.
The display on the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) has a high refresh rate of 144Hz, which means scrolling through the interface and supported apps and games will appear extremely smooth. I did not encounter any particular lag or stutter while scrolling through the interface and preinstalled system apps.
In terms of the colors on the display, Motorola offers two color profiles in the display settings — a neutral and muted “Natural” and a boosted “Saturated,” allowing users a choice. There aren’t many customization options for the colors, but you can adjust the temperature to alter the white balance.
Interestingly, the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) also supports active styluses like the Samsung S Pen. You can get a special case that houses the official stylus, which offers variable pressure sensitivity. It can also be used for controlling the Edge Plus (2022) through wireless gestures.
One of the notable highlights of the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) is that it is powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform. The chipset leaves no room for doubt about the smartphone’s performance, and the availability of up to 12GB of RAM only reinforces our confidence. To quantify the performance of the phone’s CPU, I ran GeekBench 5, the most popular synthetic benchmark, and got the following results:
In addition, I also ran the CPU Throttling Test to measure the phone’s propensity to heat up and throttle under heavy workloads. As expected, the plastic frame does lead to some heat-trapping inside the phone, and to mitigate the impact of the heat accumulating inside the body, the phone throttles the CPU’s performance. The performance is reduced to under 70%, indicating a significant slump per the benchmark.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 also features Qualcomm’s latest Adreno GPU with Elite Gaming features and is expected to run all high-end games with ease at the highest supported graphics settings. The Snapdragon X65 modem supports 5G carrier aggregation and download speeds of up to 10Gbps.
To supply for the sizeable power needs of the high-end chipset and a large display, Motorola has equipped the Edge Plus (2022) with a 4800mAh battery, which can be expected to last for a day’s worth of moderate usage. The Edge Plus (2022) comes with 30-watt wired and 15W fast wireless charging to replenish the battery. The Edge Plus (2022) launches in other regions as the Motorola Edge 30 Pro (and Edge X30 in China), which supports 68-watt fast charging. Motorola has not provided reason for this disparity.
The Motorola Edge (2021) featured a 108MP primary camera, but that changed this year, with Motorola opting for a lower resolution for the primary camera. The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) has a 50MP primary camera. Although Motorola does not reveal the make of the camera, it says the camera uses a 1/1.5-inch sensor with pixels of 1.0μm (micrometer). Using 4-in-1 pixel binning, the sensor combines four pixels, resulting in final shots that measure 12.5MP. The primary 50MP sensor is paired with an f/1.8-aperture lens and supports optical image stabilization for shake-free videos.
Another 50MP camera complements the primary 50MP shooter for the ultrawide angle camera. This sensor is behind an f/2.2 aperture camera. Besides ultrawide angle photos, the camera is also used for macro photography. The Edge Plus (2022) also features a third sensor, which is a 2MP depth sensor of debatable utility.
On the front, the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) features a 60MP camera for selfies and is likely to woo those who create a lot of content using apps like Snapchat and TikTok.
In my limited time with the phone, I took some images using the cameras. While these are inadequate to draw conclusions about the camera quality, they might give you some idea about its capabilities. Here are some pictures taken with the primary camera:
The following images show a comparison between the field of view captured by the wide-angle and the ultrawide-angle cameras:
The next set of images demonstrates how the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) performs under low light with and without using the Night Mode and while using the wide-angle and the ultrawide-angle cameras:
The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) runs Android 12 right out of the box. As with previous phones, it runs a stock version of Android without many noticeable changes or additions made by Motorola. It does add a few basic features, including the Peek Display, which is a form of always-on display that also allows users to interact with incoming notifications and get a glance at them without unlocking the display first.
Motorola promises three years of security updates. That means it is likely to get only two Android version upgrades, falling short of Samsung’s recent promise of four major Android updates.
Notably, Motorola is the only manufacturer besides Samsung to include support for the Material You theming engine on the latest device. The Edge Plus (2022) gets the feature through the company’s own theme selection features in which users can select wallpapers, accent colors, the shape of the icons, and the system fonts. Besides a single solid accent color, users can also choose a set of palettes from the given options based on the wallpaper or pick any color of their choice from the color picker.
The Motorola Edge Plus is big on power, but some cutbacks rob it of the opportunity of being called a proper flagship device. In many ways, the Motorola Edge Plus appears positioned in the same category as “flagship killer” phones, including the OnePlus 9. At $999, the Motorola Edge Plus feels expensive, and the only trait that justifies its price is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. For a limited duration, Motorola is offering a $99 discount and selling the phone for $900 in the US, which might make it slightly more attractive to buyers.
What irks me more is that the rebranded variants, i.e., the Motorola Edge 30 Pro and the Edge X30, are priced much lower. The Indian variant is priced at 49,999 Indian Rupees ($665), while the Chinese variant is priced even lower at roughly $510 for the 8GB RAM variant.
If you are in the U.S., you can get the Pixel 6 Pro with a far better camera, more extended software support, and a more refined stock Android experience for a starting price of $899. If you have the budget for $999, you can also opt for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus or an iPhone 13 Pro.
So, unless your objective is to buy a smartphone that supports an active stylus but is not made by Samsung, I see no justifiable reason to jump the flagship wagon with the Motorola Edge Plus (2022).
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