Motorola Edge Plus (2023) Hands-On

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The successor of the Edge Plus (2022) and the Edge 30 Ultra (2022), the new Motorola Edge Plus (2023) will be a serious competitor for the Google Pixel 7 Pro, and the OnePlus 11 both launched a few months back at $899 and $699, respectively.

Priced at $799 for the entry model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (option for 512GB), the Edge Plus (2023) offers Android flagship features such as a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, a large 6.7 high-quality FHD+ 165 Hz display with Dolby Vision certification, a good triple-lens 50MP main camera, a high-res 60 MP selfie, fast charging and wireless charging, a 68W adapter provided (!), and IP68 rating. On the connectivity side, the Edge Plus 2023 offers 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and Wi-Fi 7 support.

At that price
and looking at the camera hardware features in light of our CAMERA HW score, the new Motorola flagship looks like a great alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S23. The Samsung device launched at $999 in February with a smaller display (6.1-inch), a slower display refresh rate (120 Hz), a slower charging speed and no charger provided.

I had the opportunity to get my hands on the device at the Motorola HQ in Chicago and here are my first impressions.

Design

During the presentation, Motorola’s spokesperson touted the new Edge Plus’s “four curved glass design” made of Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and the back panels, and built within an aluminum frame. There is only one color option available, the Interstellar Black, shown in our pictures.

The Edge Plus 2023 could not claim the flagship title without an IP68 certification, that protects against freshwater immersion up to1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes and makes it dust and sand resistant.

Price and Availability

The new Motorola Edge Plus 2023 will be available for $799.99 (starting price) unlocked at Best Buy, Amazon.com and Motorola.com on May 25, pre-order starts on May 19, 2023.

On the carrier side, Boost Infinite and Boost Mobile will offer the phone in the coming weeks, then people will be able to buy it at Spectrum Mobile and Consumer Cellular.

Display

The large 6.7-inch pOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 resolution has a Dolby Vision certification, supports HDR10+, and delivers a top-notch adaptive 165 Hz refresh rate, the ultimate screen fluidity for gaming.

Sound Quality

Launch events aren’t the best locations for sound tests, so I did not try it on-site. That said, the specs do look good on the paper. The two stereo speakers, located at the top and the bottom edges of the phone, support Dolby Atmos audio.

Camera

Ubergizmo Camera HW score: 172

(maybe updated later)

Camera Feature Highlights*

Main rear camera
(included in our CAMERA HW score)

  • Wide angle (principal) 24 mm, 50 MP, f/1.8, OIS
  • Ultrawide/Macro 14 mm, 50 MP,, f/2.2
  • Telephoto/Portrait 46 mm, 12 MP, f/1.6, 2X optical zoom

Front camera
(NOT in the score)

All in 35-mm equivalent

*We provide these features as pointers, they may not be accurate, please double-check the exact technical specifications on the Motorola official product page

The triple rear camera system is equipped with a 50 MP main wide-angle, a 50 MP ultrawide shooter with macro capabilities, and a 12 MP telephoto with a 2X optical zoom for portrait shots. Only the wide-angle objective gets Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and apertures range from f/1.8, to f/2.2, and f/1.6, respectively.

Using our CAMERA HW benchmark, we can rank the quality of this camera system only based on the technical specifications, however we have proven that there is a direct relation between the hardware quality and the image capture quality.

The Motorola Edge Plus 2023 has an Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score of 172 which is slightly higer than the Samsung Galaxy S23 at 166 but lower than the Google Pixel 7 Pro, that deliver a 191 CAMERA HW score. The OnePlus 11 is slightly higher at 178.

Its 48 MP telephoto with OIS and a 5X optical gave an advantage to the Pixel 7 pro over the Motorola Edge Plus 2023 for the final overall score. Today, a lot of OEMs tend to cut back on optical zoom features to reduce costs, as consumers do not use such lenses as much as the wide-angle and ultrawide shooters.

The video capabilities are quite good, you can record up to 8K UHD at 30fps, 4K UHD

(60/30fps), FHD (60/30fps), 4K UHD HDR10+ (30fps), and Slow motion FHD (960/240/120fps). Motorola developed new video modes including Night Vision, Horizon Lock (stabilization even when rotating 360 degrees for extreme sports), Auto-focus tracking (keeps subject sharp even in motion), and video portrait (bokeh effect in the background).

System Performance and Software

We expect the Motorola Edge Plus 2023 to deliver top-notch system performance, thanks to its Qualcomm flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The system relies on 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage.

We did not run the performance benchmarks, but we expect the phone to rank among the best Android smartphones of 2023 as measured on Geekbench (CPU) and GFX Bench (graphics performance).

The latest and most powerful Snapdragon chip allows the new Motorola smartphone to deliver 40% better power efficiency, compared to the previous model.

The device comes with Android 13 and will get three years of Android upgrades, and is compatible with the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses.

Battery

The massive 5100 mAh battery is expected to deliver a great battery life, as it is larger than the ones we find in most of its flagship competition (most top devices have 5000 mAh). One of the features we love the most is the 68W TurboPower fast-charging adapter provided.

Motorola claims one day of autonomy in only 9 minutes of charging. As the OEM mentioned 2-day battery life, we assume that we could get about 50% charge in 9 minutes. We still have to check the claim in real life.

Last but not least, the Edge Plus 2023 is also capable of 15W wireless charging and 5W wireless power sharing.

Filed in Cellphones >Photo-Video. Read more about Android, Camera, Camera HW, Smartphone Reviews, Smartphones and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.



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