Moto Edge+ review (2022): two steps forward, one step back

The Moto Edge+ is a decent flagship, but it’s too expensive

Moto Edge+ (2022) review

Bottom line

The Moto Edge+ (2022) is a well-rounded flagship with great software that’s let down by middling cameras and a high price tag.

Overall
3.6

Pros

  • Gorgeous display
  • Fantastic speakers
  • Top-notch performance
  • Solid battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Delightful user experience

Cons

  • Too expensive
  • Plastic frame
  • So-so cameras
  • No telephoto

Cameras

When it comes to imaging performance, the 2022 Moto Edge+ is a mixed bag. On the plus side, this phone packs solid camera specs – including a 50MP f/1.8 1.0-micron main shooter with omni-directional PDAF and OIS (hurray!), a 50MP f/2.2 0.64-micron 114-degree combination ultrawide / macro lens with AF, and a 2MP f/2.4 1.75-micron depth sensor. In front, there’s a 60MP f/2.2 0.6-micron selfie camera.

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Unfortunately, Moto’s image processing still needs a lot of work. While the Moto Edge+ takes pictures that are roughly on par with its predecessor, it lags significantly behind the flagship competition – especially when shooting in low light or zooming in. Sure, OIS and 4-to-1 pixel binning helps, but the small pixels on the ultrawide and selfie camera plus the lack of a dedicated telephoto shooter are handicaps.

Besides the standard pro, portrait, and night photography modes, the Moto Edge+ also includes Moto’s usual shooting modes – like cinemagraph, spot color, dual capture, and more. While these are pretty cool, this phone is missing a few critical features. The camera interface still lacks zoom presets, so quickly zooming in to 2x or 5x is a chore, and the front shooter doesn’t support night mode for some unknown reason.

Moto’s video modes are odd. The main camera supports 8k, 4k, and 1080p at 30fps, but only 1080p at 60fps. In fact, 4k 60fps isn’t available on any shooter, and the ultrawide is limited to 1080p 30fps. On the plus side, both the selfie camera and macro support 4k and 1080p video capture at 30fps. Additional modes include HDR10+ (main, 4k 30fps), slow-mo (main, 1080p 240/120fps), and time lapse (8k, 4k, and 1080p at 30fps).

No matter what, the Moto Edge+ records stabilized video with stereo audio, and supports audio zoom. The resulting photos and videos are fine but not spectacular. Images are reasonably sharp given enough light, and exposure is generally accurate, but colors are somewhat muted. Low-light performance is poor for a flagship, despite pixel-binning and OIS, and zooming beyond 3x quickly results in a significant loss of detail.

Reception and audio

For this review, I used the 2022 Moto Edge+ 5G UW on Verizon’s 4G and 5G networks – primarily in San Francisco – without any issues. Calls sounded loud and clear, and data speeds matched my expectations. Verizon’s mmWave 5G (Ultra-Wideband) network continues to deliver astonishing performance, while sub-6GHz 5G (Nationwide) coverage now benefits from the deployment of C-band, which this phone supports.

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Speed tests on Verizon’s network – first 2 are mmWave 5G, 3rd is sub-6GHz 5G

On the audio front, the 2022 Moto Edge+ returns to form with a fantastic sounding pair of stereo speakers (earpiece plus bottom edge) plus Dolby Atmos support. Verizon’s handset comes with Verizon Adaptive Sound instead, which is garbage, but (thankfully) trivial to disable. In addition, the Moto Edge+ supports digital audio devices over USB Type-C, plus aptX HD and LDAC codecs for lossless audio over Bluetooth.

Performance and battery life

The 2022 Moto Edge+ packs Qualcomm’s mighty Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, and delivers blazing performance to match. While it juggled my usual collection of apps without breaking a sweat, it’s also ideal for gaming – especially with that 144Hz screen. The unlocked model comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, but Verizon’s 5G UW version features either 8/128GB or 12/256GB. Either way, there’s no microSD support.

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Other specs are pretty standard for a modern flagship. You’ll find sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G (on Verizon’s handset) onboard, plus CAT 20 LTE, dual-band WiFi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2 (LE), NFC, and A-GPS/ GLONASS / GALILEO / LTEPP / SUPL positioning – not to mention the usual suite of sensors. The side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor is quick and accurate, and so is face unlock. As a bonus, haptics feel great.

When it comes to battery life, the Moto Edge+ doesn’t quite match its predecessor – you can blame the slightly smaller 4800mAh cell and more power-hungry chip. Still, the efficient OLED display and Moto’s clean software allow this handset to keep on ticking for almost two days on a full charge. It supports 30W wired fast charging (brick included) and 15W Qi-compatible wireless charging – plus 5W reverse wireless charging.