Skip to main content

This cool new phone shows what’s wrong with Motorola in 2024

A person holding the Motorola Edge 50 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’ve been using the Motorola Edge 50 Pro for the last few weeks with no real complaints, but that’s mainly because I’ve slowly accepted it’s yet another Motorola smartphone with the same old problems.

Once again, what is generally a good smartphone is plagued with the same issues we’ve written about for some considerable time, and sadly, the company seems to have no interest in changing its ways.

What’s good about the Motorola Edge 50 Pro

The back of the Motorola Edge 50 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Before we get all negative, let’s talk about the build, design, and ergonomics. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro looks superb, especially in the Luxe Lavender color seen in our photos. The curved screen neatly meets the vegan leather rear cover and never feels sharp or uncomfortable despite the tapered 8.2mm thickness. The slim chassis emphasizes the low 186-gram weight, and this phone disappears when you slip it into your pocket.

Many brands have shunned the curved screen, and I’m really pleased Motorola has not. The camera module blends into the back of the phone, so it’s not such a major design statement as it can be on other phones. It all makes the Edge 50 Pro look sleek and modern, and I have not experienced any fatigue holding it either. It’s a genuinely pleasant phone to show off, hold, and carry around. The vegan leather is quite sticky, though, and once lint or muck is on it, it’s a pain to completely remove.

A person holding the Motorola Edge 50 Pro, showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The 6.7-inch pOLED screen is excellent too, and I appreciate its 144Hz maximum refresh rate, however I have not felt the need to change from the Auto setting. It adjusts between 60Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz depending on use, and it has judged the situation without a problem for me. The peak 2,000-nit brightness hasn’t activated for me very often, but it has always appeared bright enough to see, even in sunlight. When you pick up the Motorola Edge 50 Pro and take in the screen, it’s an immediately impressive phone.

Where it goes wrong

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro's buttons.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It all starts well with the Edge 50 Pro, and I do like the phone, but there are several aspects that continue to irritate with Motorola phones. My biggest bugbear is that the Edge 50 Pro does not have an always-on screen. It sits there on the table with the big 6.7-inch screen, entirely black, all the time. It is the only manufacturer I can think of that does not provide an always-on screen feature on any of its smartphones, regardless of price or screen technology.

According to Motorola, it’s all about efficiency and battery life, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for other brands, so this excuse makes little sense. I find it very annoying that I can’t glance at the screen to see the time or notifications when I walk past it and must tap the screen to see anything. It’s the prime reason why I don’t want to use the Edge 50 Pro any longer than I have to.

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro's screen and software.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Then there’s the software. Motorola claims it will send Android version updates to the Edge 50 Pro for the next three years, which is better than many of its other phones but still behind Samsung and Google. Ongoing support is one thing, but worse is the pre-installed app issue. During setup, I was given no choice but to install a collection of apps and games, ranging from Adobe Scan and Facebook to Royal Match and Brain Test. I don’t want them, but I have no choice whether they are installed during setup. Worse, the system prioritized them, and I waited far longer to install my own apps, including essential messaging and email apps.

The unwanted apps vary depending on where you are in the world, but what is a constant are the annoying ads and notifications. Digital Trends’ Mobile Editor Joe Maring had a worse time with Motorola phones and pre-installed apps than I did, and if you don’t pay attention during phone and app setup, it’s easy to agree to receive ads in the weather app and all kinds of pointless notifications too. None of these problems are new, but all continue to spoil every Motorola phone.

Inconsistent camera

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro's camera.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The always-on screen and frustration with pre-installed apps have been ongoing problems with Motorola phones, and they threaten to ruin what is otherwise a good phone. Now we come to the camera. It’s certainly not terrible, but it is inconsistent, and that’s another unfortunate Motorola trait.

How do you like your primary colors? If you shouted “vivid,” then the Motorola Edge 50 Pro’s camera is for you because it avoids a subtle touch and goes for all-out, in-your-face vibrancy whenever it can. The U.K. — where I’ve been testing the Edge 50 Pro — has been lucky enough to see the sun for a short time, and the camera has made the most of it. Even when it’s overcast, it goes out of its way to keep the tone cheery.

Take a look at the main and wide-angle photos of the pond, wall, and greenery in the gallery. The main camera amps up the colors and goes heavy on the HDR, resulting in a sharable photo, but one that isn’t representative of the real world. The wide-angle photo shows far more realistic colors and tone, and putting the two side by side really shows the main camera’s exuberance. The main camera has misjudged the scene a few times, causing it to blow out the sky in its quest for visual punch. I don’t want to use a camera where I need to guess if the photo will look decent or not.

The camera app has a 3x optical zoom feature, along with a 2x shortcut in the app. Both can give great results, but I have found in some situations the 3x zoom can struggle with color accuracy and focus, resulting in a few shots that were unusable. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro’s camera is, again, typical Motorola. I’ve taken photos that look excellent but then others that are really terrible. The inconsistency over less than 75 photos is a concern, as it suggests it’s going to happen more than once in a while.

Problems aside, is it worth buying?

I like the Motorola Edge 50 Pro. From the solid battery life (two full days without a problem provided you don’t play graphically intensive games) to the almost perfect design, it has been a reliable and easy-to-live-with companion. But I can’t get past the lack of always-on screen, and I shouldn’t have to ignore the built-in weather app due to ads or mess around uninstalling apps I don’t want.

I’m not done yet either, as we come to another Motorola problem: the price. It’s 600 British pounds, or around $760, and it’s too much when the Google Pixel 8, the OnePlus 12R, the Samsung Galaxy S24, the Apple iPhone 15, and so many others all exist, including the new Realme GT 6. The Edge 50 Pro doesn’t have a flagship processor — it’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 — and although the battery charges quickly, the combination of the midrange chip and small 4,500mAh cell doesn’t lend itself to a lot of intense gaming.

The back of the Motorola Edge 50 Pro.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s too expensive given the competition, but that’s not the end of it as Motorola regularly discounts its phones, so you may not pay this price at all. Motorola has played this game for a while, and it would make it far easier for everyone and much less confusing to compare with other models to just give it a lower retail price in the first place.

Add this to all the rest of the little annoyances, and the Edge 50 Pro ends up feeling like too much effort to own, which is a shame when almost all of the issues could be so easily cured.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Motorola’s new $200 Android phone looks like a great deal
Moto S50 Neo.

Another day, another $200 smartphone is making its debut in China. Yesterday, we told you about the Honor Play 60 Plus. Today, say hello to the Moto S50 Neo. The new offering features a 6.7-inch pOLED display (FHD+ and 120Hz) with a Snapdragon 6s Gen 3 chipset inside. According to GSMArena, the phone also includes a 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging. The phone runs on Android 14.

The Moto S50 Neo is a beautifully designed smartphone that ships in Gray, Olivine, and Surf. The Olivine and Surf models feature a textile-like nanotexture back that is considered "skin-friendly" and wear-resistant, adding "a touch of style." Pantone developed those two unique colors.

Read more
Here’s what the Windows Phone would look like in 2024 if Microsoft had never killed it
Windows phone mockup 2024

You probably haven’t thought about Windows phones in a while. After all, why would you? The last Windows Phone handset to be released was the Microsoft Lumia 650 in 2016, so it’s been a good eight years since anyone has been able to buy one. But that doesn’t mean that Windows phones don’t still have a cult following, and one of those followers, Proloy Karmakar, came up with a pretty interesting mock-up on X (formerly Twitter) of what a Windows phone might look like today.

Read more
The new Motorola Razr Plus might be a bigger deal than we thought
Apps on the Motorola Razr Plus.

Motorola Razr Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

While Motorola is set to reveal the next lineup of Razr flip phones next week, a new leak gives us a better idea of what to expect. At least with the Razr Plus (2024), we might be seeing a better dual-camera system with a telephoto lens, better water resistance, and even some AI goodies.

Read more