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Motorola Edge Plus (2022) unveiled — 144Hz display, pen support and $1,000 price tag

Motorola Edge Plus 2022 front and back
(Image credit: Motorola)
Motorola Edge Plus (2022) Specs

Starting price: $999
Display: 6.7 inches (2400 x 1080)
Refresh rate: 144Hz adaptive
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB, 12GB
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) main; 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide; 2MP (f/2.4) depth
Front camera: 60MP (f/2.2)
Battery: 4,800 mAh
Charging speed: 30W wired; 15W wireless
Size: 6.4 x 3.0 x 0.35 inches
Weight: 6.9 ounces

It looks like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra won't be the only phone to work with a stylus. Motorola has a new version of its high-end phone for 2022 — the Motorola Edge Plus — and that phone will feature a stylus of its own, as Motorola looks to show that it's serious about challenging the best Android phones.

True, the stylus for the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) is an optional accessory — you'll buy it with an included folio cover — but this is a more sophisticated stylus than the one that's included with Moto G Stylus budget phone. The optional stylus for the Motorola Edge Plus features Bluetooth connectivity so that you can use it as a remote control for presentations or as shutter for the phone's camera similar to the feature set for Samsung's S Pen.

The stylus is just one example of how Motorola is upping its game with the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) as it looks to go toe-to-toe with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S22. Motorola's new flagship runs on the same silicon as Samsung's top-of-the-line devices, and the Edge Plus boasts improved display and cameras. The end result is a device that Motorola hopes will be as successful in the high-end of the smartphone market as the Moto G series has proven to be among budget shoppers.

Here's what we know so far about the Motorola Edge (2022) unveiled by Motorola ahead of its launch this spring.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) price and availability

Motorola hasn't revealed an exact date for the Motorola Edge Plus' launch, but when it happens, the phone will be available through Amazon and Best Buy as well as Motorola's own website. Verizon, Boost Mobile and Republic Wireless will offer the phone, too, with availability "in the coming months," Motorola says.

Initially priced at $999, you'll be able to get the phone at a $100 discount when it is first launched. That will help the Motorola Edge Plus compete with high-end flagships like the $899 Google Pixel 6 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra, which start at $999 and $1,199, respectively. The Galaxy S22 — which shares many specs with Motorola Edge Plus — is cheaper at $799.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) design and display

At 6.4 x 3.0 x 0.35 inches, the new Motorola Edge Plus is big enough to house a 6.7-inch pOLED screen that stretches from one end of the phone to the other, with only minimal bezels on the top and bottom. A single punch-hole cutout in the upper center of the screen is the only thing that interrupts the FHD+ display.

Motorola Edge Plus 2022

(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola says it's improved brightness and contrast on the screen, making it possible for the Motorola Edge Plus to support more than "a billion shades" of color. The display offers a 144Hz refresh rate that can scale up or down automatically depending on your on-screen activity. Many leading smartphones top out at 120Hz, so the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) seems designed to appeal to a gaming crowd, since the best gaming phones typically opt for 144Hz.

The Motorola Edge Plus comes equipped with a pari of stereo speakers that offer Dolby Atmos sound. Motorola promises bass, with clarity even as you pump up the volume.

The specs sheet lists IP52 water protection, which means the Motorola Edge Plus can withstand rain, but can't be dropped in water, unlike phones that boast IP68 protection. You will get Gorilla Glass V with the Motorola Edge Plus, which should offer some durability.

The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) comes in two color options — Cosmos Blue or Stardust White. 

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) cameras

If there's an area where the Motorola Edge Plus could find itself at a disadvantage to phones like the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 6 Pro, it's in the cameras. Many phones at this price range offer a telephoto lens to go with the wide and ultrawide angle shooters, but the Motorola Edge Plus sticks with those latter two cameras. There's no telephoto lens to be found, though you do get a dedicated depth sensor.

Motorola Edge Plus 2022

(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola looks to compensate for that by boosting the megapixels on both of its rear cameras. The main shooter and the ultrawide angle lens both carry 50MP ratings. By using the same amount of megapixels for ultrawide shots, Motorola says that you don't have to worry about sacrificing image quality when you switch to the wider view.

The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) adapts other features aimed at boosting photo quality. The phone relies on All Pixel autofocus instead of phase detection autofocus — as a result, Motorola claims that the Edge Plus uses 32x more focusing pixels. The phone can also combine four pixels into one to capture more data in low-light settings. Optical image stabilization helps keep the final image steady.

On the video front, you'll be able to capture HDR 10+ footage with the Motorola Edge Plus. The phone can also record 8K video at 24 frames per second. Up front, the new Motorola flagship offers a 60MP selfie cam.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) performance

Motorola has turned to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to power the latest edition of the Edge Plus. That's the same chipset found in all three Galaxy S22 models as well as the soon-to-ship OnePlus 10 Pro. In other words, you can expect similar performance to those top Android phones, especially since the Motorola Edge Plus doesn't skimp on RAM. (The phone features at least 8GB of memory and three different storage configurations.)

Motorola Edge Plus 2022

(Image credit: Motorola)

While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has proven to be a modest upgrade over the Snapdragon 888 in terms of benchmarks, Qualcomm's new silicon boasts several improvements, including some aimed at gaming performance. Motorola has leaned into those for the Motorola Edge Plus (2022), touting smooth responsiveness and support for ultra-realistic graphics. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 delivers support for VRS Pro and Volumetric Rendering — the former lets game makers fine-tune performance while the latter allows for realistic fog and smoke graphics — which Motorola says will be on display with its new phone.

For connectivity, the Motorola Edge Plus uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 modem, which is capable of connecting to any type of 5G network at up to 10Gbps speeds. (No cellular network delivers that kind of speed, but it's nice to have the extra headroom.) You'll find support for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E as well.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) battery life and charging

A 4,800 mAh battery will keep the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) powered up. That's a step back from the 5,000 mAh power pack found in previous Motorola Edge Plus models. However, Motorola can point to a pretty solid track record for power management — several of its phones rank high on our best phone battery life list — so we'd expect the Motorola Edge Plus to make the most of its big battery.

When it's time to recharge, you can power up the Motorola Edge Plus at 30W speeds with wired charging. That's faster than the standard Galaxy S22, though not as fast as the 45W charging supported by the Galaxy S22 Plus. Like those phones, the Motorola Edge Plus can charge at 15W wirelessly, and you can share battery with other devices through a wireless power-sharing feature.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) software and special features

The Motorola Edge Plus ships with Android 12 preinstalled, and the Motorola My UX skin — one of the better regarded interpretations of Android out there. But that's never been the problem for Motorola's phones; rather, it's the phone maker's stinting support for software updates that's kept some people from embracing Motorola devices.

To that end, Motorola has pledged that all flagship and midrange phones will get three years of security updates starting with the Edge Plus, and at least two major Android OS upgrades. While a step in the right direction, it's far short of what other phone makers provide, with Samsung now offering four years of software updates.

As mentioned, you'll have the option of buying a stylus and folio case for the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) — the price of the bundle hasn't been announced. In addition, the new phone works with Motorola's Ready For feature for using your handset in desktop mode by attaching it to an external display. Motorola is updating Ready For to work with both Windows 10 and Windows 11 while also making it easier to get connected.

Motorola Edge Plus (2022) outlook

We won't know how the Motorola Edge Plus (2022) measures up to other leading Android devices until we get our hands on the phone. On paper, at least, Motorola seems to be throwing a lot of muscle behind its premium phone in an effort to present a more appealing alternative to the Galaxy S flagships that dominate the Android scene. Camera improvements, battery life and that stylus will determine just how big a step Motorola has taken with the latest Edge Plus.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.