Motorola Edge hands-on (2022): Here’s what this $500 phone gets you

Android flagships like Galaxy S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro great, but not everyone has over $1,000 to spend on a new phone. That’s why the new $499 Motorola Edge came out. The latest version of Motorola’s mid-range handset may not have the bells and whistles like its larger counterparts, but it promises a pretty compelling feature set for the price – including some that you won’t find. not always found on more expensive devices.

The Motorola Edge 2022 is expected to launch in the next few weeks, and we’ll have to spend some hands-on time before its release to see how this overpriced phone outperforms the competition. Here’s what you need to know.

Motorola Edge price and pre-orders

The new Motorola Edge will debut for the first time on T Mobile “In the coming weeks,” according to Motorola. The phone will then hit the shelves of most major carriers as well as Best Buy, Amazon and Motorola’s website shortly after with a special starting price of $499. We’re not sure how long the launch window is set to last, but the phone will eventually go up to $599 after that.

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Mike Andronico / CNN

The Motorola Edge’s curved edges and nearly bezel-less display look sleek from afar, but when you pick it up, it’s a lot like a $500 phone. The plastic outer shell of this phone is quite cheap compared to the upper aluminum body iPhone 13″ and Galaxy S22 I use it often, and the Edge’s silver back picks up fingerprints pretty quickly. A flexible design isn’t a deal breaker at this price – and it allows the Edge to be significantly lighter than many flagships – but it’s something you’ll notice if you’re buying an expensive phone. than.

But while the Edge’s overall build is what I’d expect from a budget phone, the handset’s display is a pleasant surprise. This device’s seamless 6.6-inch OLED display doesn’t quite have the same level of color richness I’m familiar with with Apple and Samsung, but it provided plenty of detail and clarity when I watched the trailer for “Star Wars: Andor. More importantly, it has a whopping 144Hz refresh rate, which means scrolling through documents and switching between apps feels more than twice as smooth as most phones at this price point.

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Mike Andronico / CNN

This feature makes swiping through the CNN Underscored website feel super responsive and allows Asphalt 9’s high-speed racing action to look impressively smooth. Consider that opponent budget phone like Google Pixel 6a – and even more expensive phones like the iPhone 13 – still stuck at the slower 60Hz, the Edge’s ultra-smooth display gives it a big advantage over affordable handsets maybe other.

I didn’t expect the Edge’s MediaTek Dimensity 1050 processor to suck up the latest iPhones, Pixels, and Galaxy devices in our benchmark tests, but Motorola’s latest phone performed fast enough for the time. my limited testing time. Mobile games ran without a hitch, switching between apps was quick, and I was even able to watch YouTube videos in picture-in-picture while browsing the web without any lags. what’s remarkable. We’ll have to see how Edge performs in our usual daily workloads, but if you’re just texting friends, checking email, and visiting websites, you’ll be fine.

A good camera experience and promising features

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Mike Andronico / CNN

The new Motorola Edge features a triple-camera system that packs a lot of fancy specs you might find on a more expensive phone, including a 50-megapixel main lens as well as a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens for a beautiful panoramic photos. The phone is designed to take good photos in low light, which mostly proved to be the case when I took a few shots in the dim, neon-lit video game area. that Motorola has set up for its event. Edge’s optical image stabilization also allows some videos of someone playing Skee-Ball in this area to be smooth.

The standard selfies I took on the phone’s 32-megapixel front camera weren’t the best, although I did get much better results when I switched to portrait mode, which blurs the background. for more impressive and clear photos. I don’t expect the Edge to be on par with the Galaxy or the Pixel – especially with all the smarts of the latter – but I’m looking forward to seeing how its camera performs in the real world. real.

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Mike Andronico / CNN

The Motorola Edge has some handy extras, such as the ability to cast whatever you’re doing on a larger screen (like a TV) and connect your phone to your phone. Windows PC to use your mobile applications on your computer. I watched a Motorola rep project a mobile racing game to a TV while playing with a connected Bluetooth controller, and although you wouldn’t mistake it for a console game, the experience looks pretty smooth. Same goes for the PC Ready function, which looks a lot like the connection Samsung provides between its phone and PC. If you are the type of person who regularly shares files between your smartphone and laptop, this might be useful to you.

Cool features aside, Motorola is promising a pretty clean Android 12 experience and guarantees that you’ll get three years of software updates and four years of security updates. The phone has stereo Dolby Atmos speakers, and although it’s too early to talk about their overall quality, I’m quite impressed by the fact that I can at least hear them in the middle of a demonstration room. full of noise and talk.

The company claims that the phone’s 5,000mAh battery should get you up to two days, with fast charging support designed to give you hours of battery life from just a few minutes of charging. We are very impressed with Motorola Edge 2020Its durability when we reviewed it a few years ago, so expect its long battery life to last this year.

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Mike Andronico / CNN

The new Motorola Edge is shaping up to be a good $500 phone. The problem is, a lot of it already exists. The Google Pixel 6a – our present best budget smartphone pick – offers a more attractive design, great camera experience, and the same fast processor as its pricier brethren, all for an even cheaper $449 price tag. And if you’re willing to partner with Apple, iPhone SE very much the same quality (but in a much smaller design) for just $429. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t need the latest specs, Motorola Edge 2021 can be found for as cheap as $349 right away.

Edge 2022’s secret weapon against its biggest rivals is its 144Hz display, which offers a much smoother experience for scrolling, streaming, and gaming. But when it comes to performance, cameras, and day-to-day usability, the Edge has a bit of a tough time ahead if it wants to stay competitive. We’ll have a full review of the latest Motorola in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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