Motorola's New Edge Has a Cheaper Price, Increased Competition
The latest Moto Edge starts at around $500, but it faces an increasingly crowded market for phones in that price range.
Eli BlumenthalSenior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
Motorola's got a new Edge that is cheaper than last year's model, though it may have its work cut out for it when it comes to standing out in the US market.
Announced on Thursday, the new Edge starts at around $500 and features a few noticeable tweaks compared to the 2021 model, which started at $700. For starters, the display has shrunk slightly, from a 6.8-inch OLED panel to a 6.6-inch screen, though it maintains last year's 144Hz refresh rate and features a fingerprint sensor underneath. The main rear camera has also dropped in megapixel count, going from 108 megapixels on the 2021 Edge to a 50-megapixel sensor on this year's version.
Motorola claims that this year's camera system should have improved autofocus and benefits from optical image stabilization and "omni-directional" phase detection autofocus. The company has bumped up the ultrawide lens, which doubles as a macro camera, from 8 to 13 megapixels. Like last year, both models feature a 2-megapixel depth camera and a 32-megapixel front camera.
Perhaps the biggest change could be Motorola's shift from Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to ones made by Taiwan-based chipmaker MediaTek. Most US Android phones feature Snapdragon chipsets, so the Edge represents a step up for MediaTek as it looks to grow its presence in the country. The Edge doesn't use MediaTek's most powerful processor (known as the Dimensity 9000) and instead incorporates the company's Dimensity 1050.
How it performs, however, remains to be seen in both the short and long term. Those looking ahead, however, will appreciate that at least when it comes to software, Motorola is upping its commitment to long-term OS support. The Edge will ship with Android 12, but Motorola says it will offer three years of major OS upgrades and four years of security updates, with the latter being rolled out "bi-monthly."
Watch this: Moto Edge 2022: First Look at Motorola's $498 Phone
Motorola still claims two days of battery life for the Edge (which has a 5,000-mAh processor like its predecessor), with the device capable of 30-watt fast charging and 15-watt wireless charging for refueling. The phone features 5-watt reverse wireless charging for sharing juice to another device, such as a friend's phone or wireless earbuds.
The new Edge also includes IP52-rated water and dust resistance, which is good for surviving some spills or rain but not strong enough to withstand a dunk in the pool.
All that said, Motorola's new device enters an increasingly crowded $500 market for phones. In addition to options such as the Samsung Galaxy A53, Google Pixel 6A and Apple's iPhone SE, wireless carriers have continued to offer aggressive trade-in and upgrade deals so long as people are willing to commit to a carrier for 24 or 36 months.
These promotions knock hundreds of dollars off of higher-end devices like the iPhone 13 or Galaxy S22, and if staying with your current provider isn't a problem, could make getting a more powerful device cheaper than the Edge.
The new Edge will be available at T-Mobile in the "coming weeks" for $498 and available online at AT&T for $500 starting on Sept. 2. Verizon will also carry the phone, though it has yet to release pricing or availability for its version.