Motorola just launched its new flagship motorola edge phone with all the bells and whistles to be very competitive in its $699.99 market: the new Motorola Edge.

Introduced on-stage by Vladimir Rozanovich (SVP, Lenovo International Sales), this new smartphone features everything premium customers demand: a powerful camera system, a super-smooth display, a massive battery, and an excellent computing platform.

motorola edge Camera

Motorola NYC event: screen photo

Let’s start with the camera since it is “the” most compelling smartphone feature, according to most OEMs we talk to. The Motorola camera design language does a great job of visualizing its market positioning as it immediately looks like a performant camera.

As you might know, we’re camera geeks and have two ways of assessing camera performance thanks to our CAMERA HW (hardware) and CAMERA IQ (image-quality) camera benchmarks.

The new motorola edge camera system is built upon a solid foundation, with a large primary 108MP camera sensor that supports pixel binning, a technology that Motorola calls “Ultra Pixel.” Douglas Michau (Executive Director, Motorola Mobility) has confirmed a photo mode that uses the sensor’s full resolution.

The sensor’s performance combined with the computing platform (more below) makes the camera capable of feats such as slow-motion at up to 960FPS (720p) or 120FPS in full HD. The Audio Zoom feature can be really handy to get crisp audio from a singer or a speaker when recording live events.

For portrait photography, there’s an added sensor dedicated to bokeh. That usually helps avoid blur artifacts around the subject.

There’s also an Ultrawide camera that doubles as a macro camera or Macro Vision, as Motorola calls it. At the Motorola launch event, I took some macro photos of a toy and some food: it created unique photos that most smartphone users aren’t familiar with.

This Ultrawide+Macro camera module is essential because Ultrawide is the most common use case for a secondary camera module.

Macro photography is relatively new to smartphones, but Motorola has done a good job promoting it, and this camera design conveniently combines two functions into the volume of one module.

In the front, the Selfie camera has a 32 MP sensor and a reasonable aperture of f/2.25. It is also capable of pixel-binning, along with AI-based software processing, for low-light photos.

Premium Computing and Communications

Motorola NYC event: screen photo

On the computing side of things, Motorola’s new phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G 5G, a platform recently launched to democratize the utilization of 5G networks further.

As such, the motorola edge supports a wide variety of 5G bands, and so far, we have information about the Verizon version (bands n2/n5/n48/n66/n77/n78/n260/n261) and the unlocked retail version (bands n2/n5/n25/n41/n66/n71/n77/n78). An excellent 4G LTE support is of course, built-in.

The support for WIFI-6E is also an important addition. As the newest WIFI standard, these networks won’t be as busy, and protocol optimizations make the average experience better. Backward compatibility with prior versions of WIFI is present for those who don’t have WIFI-6E (yet)

Snapdragon 778G has a “G” in its name, which means “Gaming.” It references Snapdragon Elite Gaming, a set of features centered around graphics speed, network latency, and sound quality to ensure a great gaming experience.

The 6.8-inch 144Hz display fits perfectly with the gaming aspirations, and many classic games framerates can easily surpass 60FPS. For non-gamers, the 144Hz creates an ultra-smooth scrolling experience that is immediately addictive (good luck going back to 60Hz).

Design & Battery

The new motorola edge has a great design, and it felt very nice and comfortable in my hand. The one I have hands-on time with has a metallic dark blue that Motorola has successfully used in the past. It’s hard to convey how it looks in text, but I like how the light shines and has iridescent properties on the back cover’s surface.

The chassis has an IP52 IP rating for water exposure, which means that rain or splashes should be fine, but the phone should not be immersed in water.

As fast-charging is rising, we’ve seen OEMs using smaller batteries (~4400mAh) perhaps to cut costs. That’s not the case here and motorola includes a large 5000 mAh battery in this handset. It’s not surprising because the company has built a pretty solid reputation for battery capacity (and therefore battery life) and does not want to disappoint its fans.


Motorola NYC event: screen photo

This smartphone will ship with a “near-stock” Android 11, supplemented by Motorola’s My UX user experience additions. You can see some cross-overs from the Lenovo parent company in the form ThinkShield for Mobile if you look closely

ThinkShield is mainly known as a security brand for Lenovo’s laptops, but in the enterprise space, a cross-over makes a lot of sense, and it is an essential feature to make significant gains in that market.

The new motorola edge is a great 2021 refresh of one of the most popular Motorola handset series, and we expect it to further the company’s position in the premium market.

The phone has an MSRP of $699.99, but Motorola has a limited-time “$200 off” discount for some orders during the Aug 23 pre-sale event. The official information for Verizon and Spectrum customers is that the device will arrive “in the coming months.”

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