The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) marks Motorola's latest attempt to finally produce a flagship device capable of going toe-to-toe against the best phones out there. But this time around, Motorola's handset puts up a much more convincing fight against the competition.
Past entries in the Motorola Edge Plus family were marked by what they were missing. Things you'd expect to find on a flagship phone such as a telephoto lens or strong water resistance rating were MIA on models like the Motorola Edge Plus (2022), even if those that phone's price tag didn't reflect those unexcused absences.
The 2023 edition of the Edge Plus does not repeat those mistakes. Everything you'd want in a flagship device is present and accounted for, including a top-performing chipset, a fast-refreshing display and a full array of cameras. And as we discovered in our Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review, those pieces come together into a very pleasing package this time around. Read on to find out how Motorola finally put together the flagship offering we've been waiting for.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Specs
|Screen size||6.7 inch-pOLED (2400 x 1080)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.8) main; 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide; 12MP (f/1.6) portrait|
|Front cameras||60MP (f/2.2)|
|Batery size||5,100 mAh|
|Battery life (Hrs:Mins)||15:47 (auto); 13:18 (165Hz)|
|Charging speed||68W wired; 15W wireless|
|Size||6.3 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches / 161.16 x 74 x 8.59mm|
|Weight||7.1 ounces / 203 grams|
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Price and availability
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) costs $799, a price drop from the 2022 version that places this handset neatly on the same level as the iPhone 14 and Samsung Galaxy S23. Take the Edge Plus' 6.7-inch screen into account, and you're talking about a phone that's $100 less than the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus and $200 cheaper than the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus.
Adding to the value of the Motorola Edge Plus, it ships with 512GB of storage in that $799 model. The Galaxy S23 Plus starts with 256GB and to get the 512GB version, you'd have to spend an additional $200.
You can buy the Motorola Edge Plus directly from Motorola, with Amazon and Best Buy offering the device as well. Boost Mobile and Consumer Cellular also feature the Motorola Edge Plus, and the phone is set to come to Spectrum Mobile as well.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Design
Last year's Motorola Edge Plus may have been marketed as a flagship phone, but it certainly didn't feel like one. When I reviewed the 2022 edition, I was put off by how cheap the phone felt — hardly surprising since Motorola used plastic on the back of the Motorola Edge Plus (2022).
Motorola spruced things up for the 2023 phone, turning to a matte glass back that looks and feels a lot more polished than the pervious Motorola Edge Plus did. An aluminum frame encircles the phone, and up front, Motorola has turned to Gorilla Glass Victus to guard the display against drops and scratches.
The durability doesn't stop there. An IP68 water resistance rating means the Motorola Edge Plus can take a dip in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes without suffering long-term damage. That's a big step up from the IP52 rating on the 2022 phone which guarded against splashes but little else.
If I have a complaint about the design, it's with the camera array on the back of the phone. Motorola houses the Edge Plus' three rear lenses in a square that juts out rather noticeably from the back of the phone. It's not as elegant as what Samsung's Galaxy S23 phones offer, where the lenses are stacked vertically and protrude ever so slightly from the phone's backside. Nor is it as practical as the horizontal camera bar that stretches across the back of the Google Pixel 7 Pro and prevents that phone from wobbling when set down with its screen facing upward. The Motorola Edge Plus wobbles plenty.
The 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.34-inch dimensions make it pretty difficult to use the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) with just one hand, and I found the phone a little top-heavy when holding it. At 7.1 ounces, the Motorola Edge Plus is hardly a heavyweight, though it is a little chunkier than the 6.9-ounce Galaxy S23 Plus.
You can have the Motorola Edge Plus in any color you like, so long as the color you like is Interstellar Black. It's a pleasing enough shade, particularly with that matte finish on the back of the phone, but I alway prefer more color choices than just one.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Display
It's easy to spot the Motorola Edge Plus' pOLED display and not just because it takes up 6.7 inches. Rather, it stretches from edge to edge — Motorola calls it a quad-edge design, though really, it's only the sides that noticeably slant over the edge of the phone. It certainly gives you lots of space to work with, though I found tapping icons and buttons near the very edge of the screen to be a bit of a challenge, and the chances for accidentally touch part of the screen you didn't mean to are ratcheted up by this design.
Lots of phones offer fast-refreshing displays these days, and Motorola looks to one-up them by giving the Edge Plus a 165Hz refresh rate. Note that when you've got the refresh rate set on Auto, the screen will only scale up to 120Hz when it's time to offer smoother scrolling and more immersive graphics. If you want the 165Hz rate, you've got to go into settings and adjust it yourself. Still, this is the kind of thing that will vault the Motorola Edge Plus high up the list of best gaming phones, even if the device itself is not necessarily made with gamers in mind.
The Motorola Edge Plus seemed colorful enough when I watched Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania streaming on Disney Plus. The Quantum Realm looked so vibrant on the phone's screen I could almost forgive Marvel's love of janky CGI. (Also, you really see the benefit of an edge-to-edge panel like the Edge Plus' when you're watching a movie that fills the entire screen.) That said, both the Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone 14 Plus capture more of both the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts.
|Motorola Edge Plus||Galaxy S23 Plus||iPhone 14 Plus|
|Screen size||6.7-inch pOLED||6.6-inch Super AMOLED||6.7-inch|
|sRGB (%)||193.8 (Saturated) / 105.3 (Natural)||204 (Vivid) / 117 (Natural)||120.6|
|DCI-P3 (%)||137.3 (Saturated) / 74.6 (Natural)||148 (Vivid) / 83 (Natural)||85.4|
|Delta-E||0.39 (Saturated) / 0.18 (Natural)||0.33 (Vivid) / 0.23 (Natural)||0.25|
|Peak brightness (nits)||1,027||1,345||1,100|
In Natural mode, the Motorola Edge Plus display has the more accurate color rating with a Delta-E score of 0.18, versus 0.25 and 0.23 for the iPhone 14 Plus and S23 Plus, respectively. (The closer to zero, the more accurate the colors.) The Galaxy S23's Vibrant mode is more accurate than the default Saturated mode on the Motorola Edge Plus.
I found the Motorola Edge Plus screen to be bright enough in most lighting conditions, and our light meter reading showed a peak brightness of 1,027 nits in HDR mode. You'll get a slightly brighter screen with the iPhone 14 Plus (1,100 nits), while the Galaxy S23 Plus outshines both at 1,345 nits. But you're not going to have to strain your eyes to see what's on the Motorola phone.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Cameras
One of my biggest complaints with the 2022 edition of the Motorola Edge Plus was the lack of a telephoto lens on a device with a premium price tag. That omission made it hard to take Motorola's phone seriously when stacked up against other flagship phones that offered the additional lens.
Motorola didn't make the same mistake this time around, as the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) has a zoom lens — at least in a manner of speaking. The 12MP sensor is called a portrait camera, but it's got a 2x zoom that'll work when you want to get closer to a subject. That's not going to match the 3x optical zoom on the Galaxy S23 Plus, but it's better than nothing.
As for the rest of the camera hardware, Motorola has equipped the Edge Plus with a 50MP main camera and a 50MP ultrawide angle lens. A 60MP camera on the front of the phone is tasked with selfie duties.
So how does the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) compare to some of the best camera phones? To find out, I took it out into the field with a Galaxy S23, which offers the same camera setup as the S23 Plus.
The Motorola Edge Plus does a very good job with these pinkish-white roses, with a vibrant picture that keeps all the different colors in balance. I think the Galaxy S23 did a better job capturing the tone of the roses themselves, but the petals stand out more in the Motorola photo. There's more focus to the Edge Plus shot as well, as the S23 seems to have a hard time adjusting for some breezy conditions that day causing the flowers to sway as I pressed the shutter button.
Still, there wasn't much breeze at this fruit stand, and the Motorola Edge Plus once again has taken the sharper shot. Both phones did a very good job recreating the colors of the pineapple and mangos, but the pineapple rinds are more detailed and focus in Motorola's photo. In addition, the Motorola phone did a better job adjusting for the sunlight beating down on the oranges in the background, as you don't have the bright sheen that appears on some of the fruits in the S23 shot.
Once we move indoors, the Motorola Edge Plus' winning streak comes to an abrupt end. It's settled on far too cool of a color for this plate of steak and eggs. The steak is a uniform shade of brown in the Motorola picture instead of showing off the different levels of searing that you can see in the Galaxy S23's effort. The steak sauce has lost its reddish tint in the Motorola shot and even the biscuits are muted.
The tell-tale part of the picture is that glass of orange juice — it's so muted in the Edge Plus photo, you can barely tell the color of the drink. That's not a problem with the Galaxy S23's shot.
Things improve when you turn to the night mode on the Motorola Edge Plus. This mural is a tough shot for a lot of camera phones, as the nearby street lights can interfere with the photo, giving it an overly yellowish cast. Indeed, that's what's happened to the Galaxy S23's image.
The Motorola Edge Plus avoids that trap, and the colors of the painting have a more natural tone. If I have a complaint about the Edge Plus photo, it's that there's a bit too much glare on the right side of the mural — Samsung's camera did a better job of subduing the lighting there — and some of the colors like the red curb in front of the mural come off a bit harsh.
I was very disappointed with the Motorola Edge Plus' attempt at a portrait shot, becuase I don't see much of a background blur. When taking portrait shots with Motorola's phone, you can shift between wide, standard and close-up views, though I think the phone maker should have put more effort into its bokeh effect.
It's not a total loss — my daughter's skin isn't overly smoothed over in the Edge Plus portrait, so you can still see her freckles. But her skin is too pale. The S23 portrait is warmer and gives her a healthier tone. It's a much better image.
Megapixels aren't everything, but the 50MP sensor that serves as the Motorola Edge Plus' ultrawide camera certainly captures plenty of detail in this cityscape. You'd have a hard time picking a winner between the Edge Plus photo and what the S23 captured, though I think the Motorola camera does a better job with the brick and color of the historic movie theater. The blues get a little darker in the Motorola Edge Plus photo — check out the area around the street lamp — but overall, it's a nice photo.
The ultrawide lens on the Motorola Plus also doubles as a macro shooter, and the results are very impressive when I snapped a close-up of the nasturtium. The shot remains in focus, and I'm close enough to capture the ridges in the flower petals without losing any of those colors. That said, getting up close with the Galaxy S23 produced a decent shot, though the colors are a bit darker in this version.
I tried out the 2x zoom on the Motorola Edge Plus, shooting a photo from across the street of a brick archway leading into a complex with some Tudor-style homes. The archway looks kind of flat in the Motorola Edge Plus shot, almost blending in with the background trees. There's a bit more pop to how the zoom lens on the Galaxy S23 handled the archway — it's also easier to make out the lettering on the bricks from a distance.
The same issues the Motorola Edge Plus had with my daughter's skin tone in portrait mode reappear when we switch to the front camera for a selfie. My skin looks awfully pale when captured by the Edge Plus' front camera, and the streaks of gray in my beard really don't stand out like they do in the S23 self-portrait. Samsung's phone also gave me a ruddier, if overly smoothed-out complexion, and you can make out some of the blue color in my eyes. It's certainly a more natural one, if a tad cool in terms of colorcast.
When it comes to video, the main camera on the Motorola Edge Plus can capture 8K video at 30fps and 4K video at up to 60fps. Auto focus tracking keeps the subject in focus even when they're moving, and a Night Vision feature helps capture clear footage in low light. A Horizon Lock feature keeps footage stablized as you shoot.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Performance
Like many of the best Android phones to come out this year, the Motorola Edge Plus runs on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which powers some of the bet performance we've seen from Android devices in quite a while. You'll be happy to know that performance boost extends to the Motorola Edge Plus, too.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Motorola Edge Plus (2023)||Galaxy S23 Plus||OnePlus 11||iPhone 14 Max|
|CPU||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||A16 Bionic|
|Geekbench 5 (single-core / multicore)||1,484 / 4,941||1,524 / 4,642||1,166 / 4,962||1,882 / 5,333|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (FPS)||84.5||87||84.4||74|
|Adobe Premiere Rush (Mins:Secs)||0:40||0:39||1:11||0:30|
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) just about matches other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones in the Geekbench 5 general performance test. The Motorola phone's single-core score of 1,484 tops the OnePlus 11 (1,166) but rails the Galaxy S23 Plus (1,524). The multicore results flip the order, with the OnePlus 11 finishing just ahead of the Edge Plus and the S23 Plus bringing up the rear.
Similarly, in graphics testing, the Motorola Edge Plus just about matched the Galaxy S23 Plus and OnePlus 11. In the 3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited, benchmark, Motorola's phone produced a score of 84.5 frames per second, edging ahead of the 84-fps result posted by the OnePlus 11 but falling short of the S23 Plus' 87-fps score. Notably, all three Android phones posted better results than the iPhone 14 Pro Max and its A16 Bionic, which managed only 74 fps.
The Motorola Edge Plus also performed well in our real world test, in which we transcode a video using Adobe Premiere Rush. The Galaxy S23 Plus has one of the better times for Android phones in this test, finishing the transcoding in 39 seconds. However, the Motorola Edge Plus finished just a second behind that. The iPhone still is the champ of this particular test, with the iPhone 14 Pro Max needing just 30 seconds, but devices like the Edge Plus are closing the gap.
I had no complaints with the graphics rendering on the Motorola Edge Plus when I played PUBG Mobile. Different types of terrain and foilage stood out on the screen, and there were never any skips or stutters during assorted firefights. I do think it's very easy for your hand to brush the sides of the Edge Plus screen when you don't mean to — I inadvertently called up the map in PUBG more times than I cared to count — and I noticed some issues with responsiveness when trying to turn my character. For the most part, though, the Motorola Edge Plus performs like any other top-of-the-line Android phone.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Battery life and charging
Battery life was a sore spot with the Motorola Edge Plus (2022), as that phone fell well short of the average smartphone result on our battery test despite a 4,800 mAh battery. Blame the fast-refreshing display for siphoning off power and the lackluster efficiency of last year's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is much more power efficient, with phones using that silicon posting some stellar times on our battery test. And the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is able to take advantage of both that and a massive 5,100 mAh battery to post an epic result in our battery testing.
For that test, we have phones surf the web continuously over cellular; we then time how long it takes until they run out of power. The average smartphone gives up the ghost a few minutes shy of the 10-hour mark. The Motorola Edge Plus kept going for 15 hours and 47 minutes. That's the second-best time of any phone we've tested in the last 18 months, trailing only the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and its 18-hour-plus result.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Motorola Edge Plus (2023)||Galaxy S23 Plus||iPhone 14 Pro Max|
|Battery size||5,100 mAh||4,700 mAh||4,323 mAh|
|Battery life (Hrs:Mins)||15:47 (Auto); 13:18 (165Hz)||11:24 (Adative)||13:39 (Adaptive)|
|Recharge percentage (15 mins)||16||40||21|
|Recharge percentage (30 mins)||32||71||42|
Note that the Edge Plus' time came with its display refresh rate set to Auto, meaning it would ramp up to 120Hz as the on-screen activity dictated. When we locked the refresh rate at the maximum 165Hz, the Motorola Edge Plus still lasted for 13 hours and 18 minutes. That would still land it a spot in the top five of our best phone battery life list.
Motorola includes a charger with the Motorola Edge Plus (2023), with the phone capable of supporting 68W wired charging speeds. We didn't quite notice the blazing speed when we charged our drained phone, with the Edge Plus only getting to a 32% charge after 30 minutes. Perhaps that's the challenge of having such a big battery to recharge. At any rate, the Motorola Edge Plus also promises 15W wireless charging, and you can use a reverse charging feature to have your phone power up other Qi-compatible devices.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Software
Outside of the Google Pixel and its unadorned version of Android, I think the My UX interface on Motorola's phone is my favorite spin on Android. There's not much to get in the way of Android 13 here, and the handful of additions Motorola includes — such as gestures for taking screenshots and turning on the phone's flashlight — are welcome inclusions.
Motorola can be stingy with software updates, though not with its flagship phones. You get three years of OS updates plus four years of security support. The OS updates match what Google provides Pixel users, though Google does throw in a fifth year of security updates as well. Still, the amount of software support the Motorola Edge Plus is in line to get should be quite familiar to Android users.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Verdict
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is clearly Motorola's best attempt yet at building a premium phone. But is that enough to make you choose this device over more established competitors?
Ultimately, I'd have a hard time picking Motorola's phone over the Galaxy S23 Plus, Pixel 7 Pro or even the OnePlus 11, as those phones offer cameras that perform a little bit more consistently than the ones on the Motorola Edge Plus. When conditions are right, Motorola's phone can capture images that hold their own against any top camera phone. But there are too many instances when post-processing goes awry, and the portrait mode on the Motorola Edge Plus doesn't impress as all.
That shouldn't detract from the things Motorola gets very right with this phone. The edge-to-edge display, while not to my personal taste, is big, bright and immersive. The performance compares favorably to any Android phone. And that long-lasting battery means you'll go days between having to charge your Motorola Edge Plus.
There's a lot to like about this phone, not the least of which is that it finally shows Motorola knows how to build a premium handset. And the Motorola Edge Plus offers that at a quite reasonable price when compared to the competition.