The Motorola Edge Plus is a serviceable $999 flagship with stellar performance, respectable battery life, a headphone jack and one big problem — Verizon exclusivity. Thankfully, those who wanted an Edge Plus but didn't want to make the switch to Big Red will be able to buy a similar device unlocked this summer, called the Motorola Edge. As in, without the Plus.
Today (June 30), Motorola announced the Edge will cost $699 when it goes on sale later this year. That squares it up nicely with the OnePlus 8 and iPhone 11, which also cost $699. However, there's a catch. Or two.
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Motorola has made some concessions to the Edge to lower the cost by $300 from the Edge Plus, so you lose some features. The big one is performance: Instead of getting a Snapdragon 865 processor like the Edge Plus has, you're left with the inferior Snapdragon 765. That chip can connect to 5G networks just like the 865 can, but performance and graphics are slower overall.
Additionally, while the Edge has the same 90Hz, 6.7-inch OLED display as the Edge Plus, the cheaper model ditches the Verizon-exclusive variant's 108-megapixel main camera. Rather, the unlocked Edge opts for a 64MP primary sensor — though the Edge Plus' ultrawide, telephoto and depth lenses still come along for the ride.
The regular Edge's battery is 4,500 mAh instead of a the nice, round 5,000 mAh of the Edge Plus, and RAM is halved to 6GB as well. In all other respects, the Motorola Edge is equivalent to its Plus sibling, even down to its lack of an IP-rating for water resistance. Like the Verizon-only Edge Plus, the Edge makes do with just a water-repellent nano-coating.
Overall, the Motorola Edge looks to be a competent premium-looking phone for under $700. But with the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 8 delivering true flagship power for the same price, and the OnePlus 8 even rivaling the Edge in terms of 5G support, Motorola's latest unlocked offering appears to be a bit of a tough sell. In fact, it only looks to get tougher if Apple can deliver the iPhone 12 with 5G for under $700, like rumors have teased.
To make matters worse for Motorola, the Edge Plus' cameras were only passable, and one would imagine the lower-spec 64-MP main lens in the regular Edge will be a downgrade. And Motorola's lackadaisical attitude toward Android updates has us more than a little concerned about future support.
In fact, the only feather in the Edge's cap would appear to be its audio suite. The Edge has a headphone jack, which is a perk neither Apple nor OnePlus' similarly-priced handsets can claim, along with some pretty powerful stereo speakers that impressed us in the Edge Plus.
Motorola isn't offering specifics on availability quite yet, other than saying the Edge will begin shipping later this summer, and that it'll be unlocked for use on any carrier. You can look forward to our review in the coming weeks.