Here's Moto's Galaxy S20 challenger, the Motorola Edge Plus

Motorola Edge Plus will be Motorola's first flagship since Moto Z3 shown here
Motorola hasn't released a phone with Qualcomm's 8 Series chipset since the Moto Z3 (pictured), but that's about to change. (Image credit: Tom's Gudie)

Motorola sounds like it's about to dive back into the flagship phone game with a new model designed to go toe-to-toe with Samsung's newly released Galaxy S20 lineup — or any other Android phone that's looking to make a splash this year.

The new phone will be called the Motorola Edge Plus, according to a tweet by Mishaal Rahman, editor-in-chief of XDA Developers, who also shares some of the specs of what he's calling Motorola's first flagship phone since 2018's Moto Z3.

"What of the Moto Z4?" you may be asking yourself. That phone, you may remember, went with a midrange mobile processing platform, the Snapdragon 675 instead of something from Qualcomm's top-of-line 8 Series chipsets in exchange for a lower price. The Moto Z3 used a Snapdragon 835, though even that system-on-chip was already a year old by the time it found its way into the Z3.

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The Motorola Edge Plus is taking a different tack, Rahman tweets. It's going to ship with a Snapdragon 865, currently the best chipset Qualcomm has to offer and one you'll find inside all the new Galaxy S20 phones from Samsung. In fact, it's the Snapdragon 865-powered Galaxy S20 Ultra that produced the best benchmark results we've yet seen for an Android phone.

There's other evidence to suggest that Motorola is planning to use the Snapdragon 865 in an upcoming flagship device. Motorola told us it was planning to use the chipset back when Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 865 in December.

The Snapdragon 865 will deliver more than just front-line performance to the Motorola Edge Plus. It also means the new handset would join the ranks of 5G phones capable of taking advantage of the faster speeds and lower latency of 5G networks.

As for the Motorola Edge Plus' other specs, the new phone will reportedly feature a 6.67-inch screen with a 2340 x 1080 resolution. More significantly, the display will feature a 90Hz refresh rate — not as fast as the 120Hz that the S20 supports, but in line with the OnePlus 7T and its smoother scrolling screen.

The most eyebrow-raising spec included in Rahman's tweet concerns the battery in the Motorola Edge Plus. The battery's size could top 5,000 mAh, which would be more than Motorola packs into long-lasting phones like the Moto G7 Power and its upcoming successor, the Moto G Power. It would also square up nicely with the 5,000-mAh S20 Ultra, which recently lasted more than 12 hours in Tom's Guide's battery test.

The leaked details about the Motorola Edge Plus are missing some key specs, most notably the cameras, which are an increasingly important feature to smartphone buyers. We also don't know when the phone will come out or whether its price will approach the $999 that Samsung charges for the Galaxy S20 or be close to the Moto Z4's $499 asking price. (We'd guess the upper end of that range, given the premium specs, but that's just a guess.)

A follow-up tweet teases specs for two other rumored Motorola devices, the Motorola One Mid and Moto G8 Power Lite. The former device is expected to join the ranks of Android One phones, which promises a purer Android experience with more regular updates. That phone will reportedly feature a Snapdragon 675 chipset and 6.53-inch display with a 4,000 mAh battery. The G8 Power Lite is expected to use a MediaTek Helio P35 processor and a 5,000 mAh battery. It's likely those two phones are targeted for markets outside the U.S.

Philip Michaels

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.