I’ve been waiting for Motorola to finally abandon MotoMods and make a proper flagship.
Look I won’t go into why MotoMods aren’t my favorite concept (you could start with the sheer cost of them) but the truth is that once Motorola committed to them and the three years of supporting them on phones going forward it sort of forced their engineers and designers hands–they were stuck in this shape with these components.
And while I do commend Motorola for making a bet on something and then following through with their promise to support it for as long as they did (the three years came up not too long ago) to me at least, innovation at the top end of Motorola phone died with those restrictions MotoMods put on the devices.
Well, now that they’re commitment is done, it seems they’ve finally made a proper flagship. This is the Moto Edge Plus.
Now, Motorola sent me a new Moto Edge Plus to borrow so I figured I’d try to do a complete walkthrough on it for you guys.
Now if you’re not familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try to go through every single feature I possibly can on a new device so that you guys are better prepared should you be in the market to actually go buy one.
With that said there’s a lot to go through so let’s get started with the hardware.
The first thing you’ll notice about it is the very tall, very curved front screen. The screen is a 6.7” FHD+ OLED display that has a 21:9 aspect ratio (so it’s skinny but tall) and a 90-degree curve on the sides. Between both of these things (and that new smokey sangria color) definitely help the device to stand out.
Now, before you say it, while pretty, yes that curved screen does make you accidentally tap things while using it.
Thankfully though, Motorola was smart enough to put in an easy way to disable the screen on the edges and pull the content in. You can double-tap this floating icon (which we’ll delve more into later in the video) and that’ll turn on and off the curved edges for the current app. You can though also, go into the display settings and turn it off for apps in there or turn it off for all apps, as well.
One thing Motorola did with that curve though that is super useful actually is the ability to add trigger buttons up there to use when playing a game. You can actually map these to any on-screen controls for the game you’re playing and be able to tap them instead which is clever.
Another thing to note about this screen is that it’s a 90hz panel so it’ll have faster scrolling as well as higher frame rates for games that support it. You can also turn this on and off in the settings and, at least it seems so, it isn’t an up to 90hz option, it’s just set to 90hz.
That screen is also HDR10+ capable so it’ll be able to display HDR content if you find any (places like YouTube and Netflix and some games support it but you’ll usually see an HDR badge on the specific content if it is supported). We also have support for 100% of the DCI-P3 color space in 10-bit color depth.
Inside that screen, we have a 25MP f/2.0 aperture camera with 0.9-micron sized pixels. Like with most phone cameras nowadays, it bins these pixels together by default in sets of 2×2 in order to get larger pixels that let in more light but at the trade-off of resolution. This means that you get a 6MP image when done but with much larger 1.8-micron-sized pixels. You can also set it to the full 25MP if you want in the camera settings.
That front camera is also capable of recording video in 1080P at 30fps and it looks like and the microphones sound like this.
The phone comes in two colors, that aforementioned smokey sangria and this thunder grey I have here. Both colors were supposedly inspired by Mirano glass blowing. I kinda see it.
The phone has a 6000 series aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.
We have no IP rating but the Motorola says it’s “splash resistant”. That usually means it’ll be okay if you spill liquid on it, but much less so if you drop it in liquid.
Moving around the phone, we have nothing on the left save that curved screen.
On the right, we have our volume rocker and power button. That power button has some texture to it so it’s easier to find along the edge and you can choose for double-tapping it to either launch the Amazon Assistant (I’ll save you guys with them from having to shut her up), the Google Assistant, or launch the camera.
At the top of the phone, we have a surprise on a flagship–a 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the bottom, we have our NanoSIM card slot (there is no MicroSD card slot FYI). And we have one of our two stereo speakers (the other is the earpiece) that are apparently tuned by a company called Waves Audio which once won a technical Grammy for breakthroughs in the field of recording in 2011.
Whatever they did though, it’s loud and crisp.
In between both of those we have our USB-C port that is capable of charging the whopping 5,000 milliamp battery inside here at 18W when using the included Turbo Charger. So as is the usual here on the channel, let’s see how that does.
In addition to this, we also have 15W wireless charging so again let’s see how that does.
And we also have 5W wireless power-sharing so you can charge other Qi-capable devices on the back in a pinch. And the edges even light up to tell you where on the back to place the device which I thought was a nice touch.
For battery life, Motorola claims an as always ridiculous battery life of two days. And while that battery is massive 5000mah I was once told by an engineer is basically the limit we can put in phones right now, two full days of how I use a phone at least is pretty ambitious. So, while it’s very unscientific just like whatever optimal test they used to determine two days, let’s at least test it using the screen, speakers, and internet connection running at once by playing a 1080P YouTube video and see how much it loses, to try and get at least a bit more realistic of a runtime.
Under the hood, we have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset paired with 12GBs of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GBs of UFS 3.0 internal storage that apparently has a Turbo Write feature and can write data to it at up to 800Mbps which I honestly can’t think of a reason why you would ever need that speed on your phone but still why not, I guess.
For security, we have an in-display fingerprint reader that is snappy enough and there is no facial recognition that I can find in the security settings so that’s your sole option besides the standard pin, password, pattern, etc.
For connectivity, we have Bluetooth 5.1, Wifi 6, and Sub-6 and mmWave 5G. For more info on Wifi 6 and 5G and how they all actually work and the benefits of them, check out my new explainer series called Decodr here).
Moving around the back, we have our triple camera system that also includes a ToF sensor to help with autofocus, portrait mode, and AR applications.
The first of these cameras is our main camera which is a 108MP f/1.8 aperture camera with 1/1.33” sensor size, optical stabilization, and 0.8 micron-sized pixels. That may sound familiar as it’s a Samsung sensor and is the one from the Galaxy S20 Ultra. One key difference here though is that Motorola is binning those pixels in a 2×2 configuration whereas Samsung did a 3×3 one. So you get a 27MP final image with 1.6 micron-sized pixels compared to the 12MP 2.4 micron-sized ones the S20 Ultra gets.
I asked why they didn’t follow suit to get the still high enough resolution but even better lowlight with the even larger pixels and they said something to the effect that they have experience and expertise in binning in 2×2 and so that’s what they went for. Take that answer as you will.
Here are some comparison photos from that main sensor vs the S20 Ultra and a few other devices though for your critiquing pleasure.
Next, we have a 16MP f/2.2 aperture ultrawide 117-degree field of view camera with 1 micron-sized pixels that aren’t binned at all, and here is that vs some other flagship phones’ ultrawide cameras, as well.
That ultrawide camera is also a macro camera that when you tap the macro mode in the camera UI it switches to it and allows you to focus on things much closer to the lens than normal (this also works in video macro mode as well).
Lastly, we have a 3x optical zoom 8MP f/2.4 aperture camera with 1 micron-sized pixels that again aren’t binned and that also has optical stabilization as well.
And here it is again vs some other flagships telephoto lenses.
You can also digitally zoom up to 10x but as with all of these devices, it looks bad, don’t do it.
For video, we can shoot in up to 6K at 30fps again stepping down from the 8K Samsung is shooting in, but the auto-focus is snappy so maybe there’s something to that.
We also have slow-motion in FHD up to 120fps on the main sensor and we can shoot up to 4K30 on the ultrawide and 1080P 30fps on the telephoto.
Now, let’s quickly dive into the other camera modes on the phone:
- Portrait: Uses software to blur the background behind a subject to create a faster aperture look from a mirrorless/DSLR camera.
- Portrait Video: Same as the portrait photo but attempts to do so in a video, and as with most phones that have this feature right now, it’s not great.
- Cutout: This mode works like portrait mode but instead of blurring the background, it actually automatically cuts you out from the background and lets you use their built-in app to replace it with any other image. Think like an even crappier version of your background replacement for your video conferencing apps.
- Spot Color: This is you tap a color in the image when taking a photo and then will only show that color in the final image. You can also adjust this with the slider at the bottom.
- Cinemagraph: This allows you to take a short video of something and it’ll take a frame from that to make as the still image. You can then highlight any part of the image to have that highlighted part to move and then you can export this out as a gif or video to share online (bonus: the stylus can make this a lot more precise).
- Pano: Standard panoramic mode to let you start taking an image and pan the camera to have it stitch multiple images together to capture a wider, panoramic shot.
- Ultra-Res: This allows you to shoot in the full 108MPs of the main sensor if you need to crop into it but at the cost of some dynamic range.
- Live Filter: Think Instagram photo filters but baked into the image when you take it. It seems dumb to me as you can’t undo them and in my opinion, you’d be better off taking the image and adding the filter after instead.
- Manual: There is also a manual/pro mode where you can manually control ISO, shutter speed, etc. and instead of it being as separate camera mode you choose, it’s a button at the top of the normal camera mode.
- Time-Lapse: You can record a video and it’ll automatically play it back sped up.
- Night Vision: Uses AI and multiple shots of various exposure levels (including long exposure shots) to create a much better lowlight image (check out my Decodr episode on Night Mode and how it actually works here).
Moving on to the software, it’s running on Android 10 and as with most Motorola phones, the experience is pretty close to what we would consider stock Android as they usually don’t add any UI layer on top of Android as most manufacturers do.
So what we do have is their usual Moto features that can all be found in the Moto app.
We have things like twisting the phone twice to open the camera, making two chopping motions to turn on the flashlight, lifting the phone to silence an incoming call, a game optimization feature, etc. and these can all be turned on or off along with a few other genuinely useful additions.
Because of the curved display on here, we also have a few that were added like the ability to use that edge as a notification light of sorts (and even have it only on if the phone is facing down which is clever since we already have Moto’s pretty well-received peek display here that you can tap or “approach” to have it show notifications, as well), and you can also turn on Edge Touch which is the floating icon I mentioned earlier that then can be double-tapped to turn on and off the edges for apps, but can also be swiped on for various other actions as well and again as with all of these, can be turned on and off depending on your liking.
The Moto Edge Plus is going to launch for $999 and will be at least initially available as an exclusive on Verizon sadly (and of course as with all Verizon phones, you’ll be able to unlock it after it’s been running on their network for 60 days).
Let me know what you guys think below and thanks for watching!