Motorola Edge in the test: chic noble car with poor eyesight

From the outside, the Motorola Edge looks like an upper-class smartphone, the price fits it. The hardware is rather upper middle class – is that enough to convince in the test?

Motorola was once the world leader in mobile devices, then the crash followed. The resurgence has been – at least in part – quite successful in recent years. At least the manufacturer, which has long belonged to Lenovo, was able to benefit from its good name and convince with simple, but inexpensive lucrative entry-level and mid-range smartphones. Lately, however, the group seems to have changed its direction or at least has wanted to expand its portfolio upwards. Because with exceptional models such as the folding display smartphone Moto Razr it became clear that Motorola wants to be more than just a cheap manufacturer. The Motorola Edge is far removed in terms of features from the Edge +, which is only available in Asia, but is priced and upscale in terms of appearance and appearance.

The Motorola Edge definitely looks chic, even really classy. Our test device in “Solar Black” with a bluish sheen looks as if it were made in one piece. The strongly rounded long sides not only include the glass surface of the display, but also the panel itself. This is usually the case with expensive luxury models, especially Samsung uses this design intensively for its premium smartphones. As with the Korean manufacturer, there is no frame on the side next to the screen, which looks very high quality. It does exist, as can be seen above and below the screen. But since Motorola builds the metal frame on the sides, which is actually extremely thin, and almost moves it to the back, you can’t see that on the Edge.

The front and bottom of the model, on the other hand, are only slightly rounded. There are two limitations to the haptics, but ultimately they are not significant: On the one hand, the transition from the side metal frame to the rear, which is also clearly rounded on the long edges, is clearly noticeable as soon as you run your finger over it. In addition, the back is not made of glass, but of plastic – it just does not feel so cool and high quality and does not match the Motorola price. Nevertheless, the Edge is comfortable to hold. That may also be due to the elongated 19.5: 9 format, which makes the smartphone relatively narrow. Overall, the cell phone measures 192 × 71 × 9.3 millimeters and weighs 190 grams – that’s okay.

The display extends far around the edge

Another positive aspect is that almost nothing is emphasized – in other words, the camera lenses on the back are integrated almost flat into the housing, and there are no conspicuous camera modules like Samsung or Huawei. Apart from the haptic limitations mentioned, the processing is excellent. The antenna strips in the front and foot of the metal frame, which can only be seen when you look closely, cannot be felt, and there are no other irregular gaps. Overall, the Motorola Edge is very torsion-resistant and therefore looks solid. The power and volume buttons, which are only on the right side, are sufficiently firmly embedded in the housing and are very easy to use. For our taste, however, the power button is placed a little too high, so that even users with large hands always have to stretch slightly to reach it with their thumbs.

The model is protected against water, but only according to IP52. An Edge owner may come with the device in a rain shower, but it should not fall completely into the water.

As is now widespread among higher-priced smartphones, Motorola has also given its chic edge smartphone an OLED display. The screen offers a resolution of 2340 × 1080 pixels with a 6.7 inch diagonal and thus has an image sharpness of less than 400 pixels per inch. That is enough in everyday life. Another highlight is the 90 Hertz refresh rate, which makes moving content look even smoother. As a result, the super chic live wallpaper, which depending on the direction of the swipe waves from left or right over the screen, looks really impressive.

This also applies to the rest of the display – with the exception of the brightness. Because while contrasts, black levels and viewing angle stability are exemplary, as is almost always the case with OLEDs, the brightness – measured by the price of the smartphone – could still be slightly higher than the around 420 cd / m² that our measuring device spat out. This is not a broken leg, even if a shadow-giving hand should normally be ready outdoors, at least in direct sunlight. Speaking of hand: We cannot confirm problems with unwanted touching of the curved display when holding it in the hand. If you still encounter problems, you should try the silicone protective cover included in the scope of delivery, which lies quite far around the side edges.

The Motorola Edge does not come to the customer with a quad cam, but a triple cam. That may sound disappointing at first, but we prefer everything rather than a senseless macro camera like the smartphone ala Oneplus Nord (test report) or Xiaomi Mi 10 (test report). The manufacturer even dispenses with a depth sensor, so that despite “only” three cameras next to the main camera, the Edge also covers the crucial areas of wide angle and telephoto – exemplary! The technical data of the camera also sound promising: The main camera takes pictures with up to 64 megapixels and light-sensitive f / 1.8 aperture, the wide angle relies on 16 megapixels and f / 2.2 and the telephoto lens still at 8 megapixels and f / 2.4. In addition to a phase comparison autofocus, Motorola also uses lasers for precise focusing. We only miss an optical image stabilizer (OIS), especially since the manufacturer has already provided cheaper models with models such as the One Vision (test report) and One Zoom (test report).

Great: Not a fake lens, but a main, wide-angle and telel camera

The lack of OIS may be the reason why photos with the main camera look very coherent at first glance, but lack sharpness and richness in detail. Image noise and image dynamics, on the other hand, turn out well. Unfortunately, the overall sharpness of the image, which is somewhat too low, is especially noticeable in poor light. Then the double optical magnification of the telephoto lens is no longer used, but a section of the main camera because of its weak aperture. This can only be avoided in Pro mode. The results of the telephoto lens are OK in good light. At wide angle, we also miss a bit of sharpness, especially towards the edges of the picture. This also applies to the front camera with 25 megapixels, which takes decent pictures overall.

Wide angle

Videos are over at 4K / 30. If you want to film with wide-angle or teleline, you not only have to start a new recording, but are also limited to Full HD. The 4K quality is decent in terms of display and stabilization, because of the low number of frames per second, panning always looks a little blurred.

The Motorola Edge does not have a top chipset, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765. As with the Oneplus Nord (test report), the same applies to the Edge: In everyday life, users shouldn’t miss any power, here the chipset of the upper middle class for smooth and direct operation in all situations . Only with very demanding games could one or the other stutter occur when using 90 Hertz display. This is due to the GPU, which lags behind top chips compared to the CPUs. If you don’t want that, you have to use smartphones with Snapdragon 855 or 865. In combination with 6 GB RAM and Antutu installed on the 128 GB internal memory, our test model achieved around 305,000 points, which is a very good mid-range value. The memory can be expanded by up to 1 TB by micro-SD card, but then the device only accepts one SIM.

For the rest, the Motorola Edge largely offers everything that smartphone buyers can expect today. In addition to a quickly and reliably functioning fingerprint sensor on the screen, this primarily includes Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and USB-C. Wifi 6 is missing, also a faster USB standard than 2.0. Despite the stereo speakers, the sound is not completely convincing; there is also a lack of substance and abundance. But he’s not bad.

The hardly changed MyUX user interface of the manufacturer lies above Android 10. Among other things, it still offers the best way in the industry to access the flashlight function of the Moto Edge – namely through a double hack movement. Most adjustments can be found in the Moto app. Motorola also integrates the curved display edges into the control. Users can place a button there. The manufacturer primarily replaces the menu buttons at the bottom, such as buttons for back, switching to the overview of recently opened apps and the like. It should have been a few more shortcuts.

The security patch originated at the time of testing in June 2020 and was therefore sufficiently up to date. Motorola has now promised at least one major software update for the Edge, so Android 11 will definitely come on the chic smartphone.

Motorola gives the elegant Edge an after all 4500 mAh strong battery – for not looking at the device, that’s very respectable. With the 90 Hz panel activated, the smartphone manages almost 11 hours at 200 cd / m² and simulated continuous use using the PCMark Battery Test, at 60 Hertz it is a good 12.5 hours. Overall, these are good values, even if there are even more enduring smartphones. Edge users should be able to get through the second day well without any special energy-saving mechanisms, then they should recharge. This works with 18 watt and Motorola’s Turbo Power technology, which is not quite fresh, and takes about 2 hours. Compared to charging world champions like Realme with up to 60 watts, this is downright sluggish, but for most users this shouldn’t be an exclusion criterion. There is no wireless charging.

The Motorola Edge is currently only available in the color Solar Black and in the memory configuration 6/128 GB. The manufacturer’s RRP is just under 600 euros.

The optics are great, the Motorola Edge looks really high quality. Unfortunately, the plastic back doesn’t quite fit, but in the end that’s not really bad. The performance of the mid-range model is also good, there should be no complaints in everyday life. We are most disturbed by the camera, which generally suffers from sharpness incontinence too much. It is not bad, but it is not good enough for the price. Speaking of price: it is too high for the overall package offered.

Buyers of the Oneplus Nord (test report) get significantly more for the money, and most buyers of the Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro (test report) should also be happier. If you want to see what else is recommendable for the Edge’s money, you should take a look at our Top 10: These are the best smartphones up to 500 euros.