Motorola enters flagship smartphone fray, launches Moto Edge, Edge Plus at $999

The Moto Edge Plus costs $999 and has one simple configuration with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

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Motorola

Motorola is getting back into the flagship device game with the Moto Edge Plus (also called Moto Edge+), a $999 device that features Snapdragon's 865 processor, 5G service via a Verizon exclusive, a 108MP camera, and two-day battery life.

The family of devices includes Edge Plus and Edge and is designed to put Motorola back into the premium segment. The Moto brand, now owned by Lenovo, has been making inroads with mid-tier and budget devices that offer solid specs. That value play for Moto continues as the Moto Edge Plus costs $999 and has one simple configuration with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Motorola's Edge Plus will be available on Verizon starting May 14 for $41.66 a month for 24 months, or $999. New lines with unlimited plans can save up to $550 with a trade in device. 

Edge Plus, which isn't available unlocked, comes in Smoky Sangria and Thunder Grey with availability announced at a later date. 

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Simply put, Motorola is aiming for Samsung's premium beachhead. It's a space also targeted by OnePlus, which just launched its OnePlus Pro 8 and sibling OnePlus 8. The key battleground for these mid-tier brands attacking premium phones revolves around displays and cameras.

The most interesting part once you unbox the Moto Edge Plus is that it is more narrow than the Samsung Galaxy Ultra and OnePlus 8 Pro. It feels like you're holding a dense candy bar relative to its rivals, which have gone for a wider base and flatter profile. Overall, it's good to see smartphone makers tweak form factors for an edge. 

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Chris Francica, global product marketing manager at Motorola Mobility, said the flagship devices land following Moto's debut of the Razr reboot. Francica said Motorola's Net Promoter Scores have been improving and the company has built out its camera team in recent years to prep a return to premium devices.

"Razr thrust Motorola back into the spotlight and Moto needed a flagship to get to the next level," said Francica. Moto's core pitch with the 6.7-inch Edge Plus is that it'll deliver the fastest 5G speeds on Verizon's network, feature a display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery, and a top-notch camera system. Like other Moto phones, the Edge Plus will feature a pure Android experience and include the ability to customize the user interface.

Francica said the camera system is bolstered by Qualcomm's latest processor, improvements for various lighting conditions, and tighter collaboration with software partners such as Arcsoft for tuning. Moto Edge Plus has a 108MP Quad Pixel and OIS main camera, 3X high-resolution optical zoom, and 16MP ultrawide camera.

Also: Motorola One Hyper, hands-on: A competitive mid-range phone with a good screen, cameras, and battery life

Moto will add the Edge in the summer, with the price to be disclosed then.

The Moto Edge Plus is adding a series of tools to customize the experience. With a My UX feature, Moto is enabling customers to pick what gestures they want, pick settings and controls for music, video, and games and create themes with fonts, colors, and icon shapes.

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The primary difference between the Moto Edge Plus and Edge include:

  • Edge Plus has a display that is HDR10+ with Edge at HDR10. Both have 6.7-inch endless edge displays with 90Hz refresh.
  • Edge Plus has a 108 MP triple camera system with telephoto, ultrawide and macro vision. Edge has a 64MP triple camera system.
  • Edge Plus is 5Gmmwave and sub-6GHz capable. Edge is 5G sub-6GHz capable.
  • Edge Plus has a Snapdragon 865 processor with 12GB Micron DDR memory and 256GB of storage. Edge has the Snapdragon 765 with 4GB and 128GB.
  • Edge Plus has a single SIM, but Edge has a hybrid dual SIM and ability for a microSD card. 
  • Edge Plus has a 5,000mAh battery with 18W TurboPower and 15W wireless charging. Edge has a 4,500mAh battery with TurboPower charging.