Regardless of its all-plastic construct, the much more cost effective than ever before Motorola Side (2022) is the brand name’s sharpest offering in years, strengthened by long-overdue renovations to its software program upgrade plan and also two-day battery life. The Side has actually burst out of its sub-flagship mold and mildew and also simply may discover a brand-new target market better to the mid-range, also if it’s rather blunted by ultra-competitive opponents.

Motorola’s Side collection has actually had an unstable couple of years. It’s just been around considering that 2020, yet it seems like the Side has actually attempted to speedrun the life of a mobile phone. We’ve seen it meddle the front runner ball with combined outcomes, however it’s never ever completely dedicated its future to the upper crust. Currently, for its vanilla “front runner,” Motorola is transforming tact entirely — the Side is going to the top end of the mid-range. Will the action suffice to handle a jampacked market? Allow’s discover in our Motorola Side (2022) testimonial.

Motorola Side (2022)

Boosted upgrade dedication • Tidy and also smooth software program • Vivid 144hz display screen

$499.00 at Motorola

What you require to find out about the Motorola Side (2022)

motorola edge 2022 home display

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

  • Motorola Side (6GB/128GB) — T-Mobile: $498
  • Motorola Side (8GB/256GB) — Opened: $599 ($499 at launch)

The third-generation Motorola Side (2022) shown up in September 2022 as a follower to Motorola’s 2021 version of the very same name. It proceeds the change in the direction of price of its precursor, though the Side (2022) really feels much more dedicated to the brand-new function with $100 ripped off the MSRP of the base version contrasted to the $699 opened Side (2021). It rests listed below the premium-focused Motorola Side And also (2022) to an unusual level taking into consideration that phone’s $999 asking cost — something we didn’t feel it gained.

You’ll discover tough plastic extended throughout the back panel and also the framework, with a Gorilla Glass 3 display screen to finish the bundle. At 6.6-inches, the Complete HD OLED display screen shed regarding a quarter of an inch from the previous version, however slimmer bezels supply a boosted screen-to-body proportion. It hasn’t shed its smooth refresh price though, which rests at a crisp 144Hz.

Inside the glass and also plastic body, Motorola touched the new Mediatek Dimensity 1050 chipset to maintain the lights on. It’s Mediatek’s very first mmWave-capable cpu, and also you can match it with approximately 8GB of RAM and also 256GB of storage space. The default is 6GB and also 128GB, specifically, and also the reduced setup will certainly conserve you a little cash. Backing the cpu and also storage space is a substantial 5,000mAh battery and also approximately 30W “Turbopower” billing. The Side uses 15W wireless and also 5W reverse cordless billing too, in instance you require to share some juice.

See additionally: Our overview to the most effective billing devices

We checked the Motorola Side with Android 12 and also the light My UX skin onboard. It ran the July 1, 2022 safety and security upgrade and also the March 1, 2022 Google Play system upgrade. Motorola hasn’t been understood for its upgrade dedications, however the Side (2022) seems like an action in the appropriate instructions. It’s touched for 3 complete Android updates (though among them will certainly be Android 13) and also 4 years of safety and security spots.

When it comes to connection, the Motorola Side sustains the complete variety of upgraded procedures. It’s ready for Bluetooth 5.2 and also Wi-Fi 6E (both fantastic for future-proofing) and also sustains NFC for cordless settlements.

Like the majority of phones — both affordable and also pricey — the Motorola Side includes really little in package. You’ll discover a USB-C cord with a SIM ejector device and also some necessary documents, however you may observe modifications to package. The timeless deep blue cardboard is entered support of an all-natural tan with soy-based ink information. This is Motorola’s very first tool to find in 100% plastic-free product packaging, and also it’s a sign of what the brand name claims is a bigger change towards sustainability.

The Motorola Side introduced on T-Mobile on September 1, 2022, for a limited-time launch cost of $498. It will certainly additionally be offered via stores like Ideal Buy and also Amazon.com opened for $599. If you’re interested, it’s ideal to take on the Side early, as the cost for the opened version will momentarily begin at $499 for a concealed duration. Various other providers consisting of Verizon, AT&T, and also United States Cellular will certainly additionally offer the phone, however have yet to validate prices.

The Motorola Side additionally is available in a solitary shade: Mineral Gray.

What’s great?

motorola edge 2022 readyfor

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Among our major assumptions for any type of Motorola tool is a tidy, uncomplicated software program experience. The Motorola Side provides in spades, bringing My UX to the leading edge with lots of modification alternatives. It provides practically no Motorola bloatware, rather choosing Google’s variation of nearly whatever. There were a couple of added T-Mobile applications and also a duplicate of Facebook on our testimonial system, however they’re simple adequate to uninstall.

Together With My UX, the Side positions a substantial focus on Motorola’s Ready For application, which drips below the top-tier Side And also. It’s basically the business’s variation of Samsung Dex, enabling you to transform your computer system or television right into a base for your phone. From there, you can either cast video games and also match them with an Xbox controller for simple gain access to or select a complete desktop computer experience. With the last, the Side becomes your trackpad and also key-board, and also you can browse via whatever else as if you had a laptop computer available.

Motorola’s brand-new dedication to the future is maybe more vital than the software program itself. We’ve regreted the brand name’s weak software program assistance in the past, however the Motorola Side currently includes the pledge of 3 Android variations and also 4 years of software program updates. It’s still not a Samsung-level of commitment, however it offers the Side some added durability and also places it in accordance with completing brand names like OnePlus. Android 13 will certainly be the very first upgrade, however you’ll still obtain assistance via Android 15 right into 2026.

It can not touch Samsung, however Motorola’s purposeful software program dedication offers the Side (2022) legs to last right into the future.

The Side additionally loads a quite remarkable display screen. Quick refresh prices, high resolutions, and also falls sides have actually been characteristics of the collection, and also the most effective 2 of the 3 are back. Motorola’s 6.6-inch level OLED panel loads a crisp, flexible 144Hz freshen price that leaves a lot of its competitors in the rearview, and also it really feels smooth via nearly anything you toss at it. Mix in the Dolby Atmos stereo audio speakers, and also you have a fantastic phone for taking pleasure in streamed material. I didn’t observe any type of distortion from the audio speakers, however you can constantly match your preferred cordless earbuds if you don’t wish to sidetrack others.

If you failed to remember to bill those cordless earbuds, you can provide an increase with Motorola’s brand-new 5W reverse cordless charging. It’s not really quick, however it’ll conserve your devices in a pinch. Or else, the Side flaunts 2 days of battery life from its 5,000mAh cell (200mAh bigger than the Motorola Side And Also (2022), and also I can’t differ. I had not a problem utilizing the phone all the time with modest usage and also was going to bed with around 45% continuing to be. That’s strongly remarkable.

You may need to bill the battery in the direction of completion of the 2nd day, however the 30W Turbopower re-fills it plenty quick, also. It covered the Motorola Side up from 5% to complete in around 70 mins. It additionally sustains 15W cordless billing by means of Motorola’s Turbopower pads, or simply routine Qi cordless charging.

motorola edge 2022 box close up

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

One last item of appreciation for the Motorola Side — it’s nice to see an OEM trot out a little sustainability promise now and then. Motorola has actually stated the Side to be the very first completely carbon balanced out tool, and also it gets here in 100% plastic-free product packaging. At the minimum, it’s an attractive box. While there’s possibly much more that Motorola might be doing when you evaluate its carbon balanced out program, it’s a begin at least. If you wish to find out more regarding carbon offsets, take 20 mins and also allow John Oliver inform you — it’s worth it.

What’s not so great?

motorola edge 2022 fingerprint scanner

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Plastic is no more a warranty throughout the top mid-range market. Rivals like the Google Pixel 6 and also Pixel 6a, Apple’s apple iphone SE (2022), and also the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G all sporting activity steel structures at least. Motorola, on the various other hand, really feels material to increase down on plastic throughout. The outcome is a Side that’s feather-light in the hand however doesn’t feel remotely premium. You can tell it’s plastic from the moment you pick it up, and the Mineral Gray finish on our unit was more than happy to show off fingerprints and smudges in direct lighting.

Continuing with the design, the Motorola Edge isn’t all that exciting to look at. You’ll probably spend most of your time staring at the display — which, as we noted, is a lovely panel — but the overall design is almost identical to that of the 2022 Moto G Power or Moto G 5G models; those are two phones that can be had for significantly less money. The back panel is dominated by a camera bump that follows Motorola’s style guide to the letter and is only interrupted by a small “M” logo otherwise.

The Edge (2022) might be unmistakeably Motorola, but the plastic build is anything but premium, and the gray design is, well, bland.

The Gorilla Glass 3 that protects the display is a grade or two below what we’ve come to expect from phones in this price tier. However, if there’s one other notable flaw with the Edge’s otherwise good display, it’s the placement of the fingerprint reader. It sits low enough on the panel that I almost have to stretch my thumb down to reach it. Depending on how you hold your phone and how big your hands are, you may have an easier time, but most will find it a good way to get your thumb calisthenics for the day. On the bright side, I never had issues with speed or accuracy — only placement.

One thing that has steadily become almost a guarantee in the mid-to-upper-tier smartphone price range is a solid IP rating. Each of the competitors mentioned above offers at least IP67 protection, but not the Edge. Despite being tied as the most expensive of the lot with the Pixel 6, Motorola’s 2022 entry offers just an IP52 certification. It will protect the device from some splashes of water and some degree dust, but it’s far below the level of the competition.

The Motorola Edge’s Dimensity 1050 chipset is plenty capable, at least compared to most mid-range systems on the market. I didn’t notice any struggles or lag through my day-to-day use, and streaming or scrolling through social media felt especially light. When you turn your attention to the benchmarks, it even breezes past Motorola’s affordable 5G options like the Moto G Stylus 5G and Moto G 5G. The Galaxy A53 5G tells a similar tale. However, those mid-rangers are far from the most powerful contenders in the Edge’s price bracket.

If you get it for $499 right off the bat at launch, you’ll probably be happy with how the Edge compares to phones around that price. However, if you’re paying the full $599 MSRP and expect it to keep up with the likes of the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6a, the iPhone SE, or even the nearby OnePlus 10T, you might come away disappointed. Google’s phones top the Edge on both the Geekbench 5 and 3DMark score — with even the cheaper Pixel 6a roughly doubling the latter number. The gap is even bigger when set against the OnePlus 10T, which has a performance mode to leave Motorola further in the dust for just $50 more.

Motorola Edge (2022) camera review

motorola edge 2022 cameras

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Motorola shed a few megapixels on its latest Edge-series camera — about half of them, in fact. It dropped from a 108MP shooter in 2021 to a 50MP option for 2022, but there’s not much doom or gloom to be had. The sensor itself barely shrank, the pixels grew slightly, and the new Edge (2022) offers a wider aperture (f/1.8) than its predecessor (f/1.9). That means you should be able to let in just a little bit more light for a shallow depth of field. The camera bins images to 12.5MP by default, though you can tap into the full 50MP resolution at any point if you wish.

See also: The best budget camera phones

You might say a few of those shed megapixels migrated over to the ultrawide lens, which now packs a 13MP resolution. The pixels themselves, however, are exactly the same size, as is the maximum aperture (f/2.2). It dropped one degree in its field of view, rounding down to a nice, even 118 degrees. More importantly, Motorola’s ultrawide camera doubles as its macro shooter. We’ve never praised a dedicated smartphone macro lens — that I know of — but we’re happy to commend a little double duty.

The Edge (2022) has a third lens, which is a 2MP depth sensor, but it’s mostly just along for the ride.

As you can see throughout the samples above, the Motorola Edge’s primary camera is more than up to the task in most scenarios. It replicates color nicely, and light zoom doesn’t come at the cost of too many details. The clouds are slightly blown out in the scene with the “Open” flag, but they’re more accurately depicted floating above the light blue sign.

Motorola’s portrait mode is good overall, though it doesn’t always detect the edges of non-human objects. For example, I focused on the lamp post in the center image, but the Edge (2022) only blurred the far background. The image of the teacup flowers is a better result, though it’s likely thanks to the greater distance from the subject to the background. I have no real complaints about the macro camera, either, as it captured plenty of detail in the yellow flowers and feels far more flexible than a dedicated shooter would have.

The Motorola Edge (2022) offers three buttons across the bottom of the viewfinder — macro, 0.5x zoom, and 1x zoom. It clearly comes with the expectation that you’ll do a lot of zooming out rather than in, but I found it capable in either direction. The ultrawide camera punches out to 0.5x zoom, but it generally retains details well, at least in the four-image comparison. Comparing the chimineas with the slider, the ultrawide’s colors are noticeably muted, especially the reds. You can see some stretching and distortion around the edges, especially in the leaves closest to the corner around the yellow building and the furthest-left chiminea.

As you make your way through the zoom range — up to 8x digital zoom — I found that the Moto Edge (2022) performed well most of the way. Both details and color are generally accurate up to about 5x, even though the leaves in the background begin to get a bit muddy. The shingles and the cupola on the yellow building are much cleaner in comparison.

The Edge’s performance at night is about as varied as they come. If you find a scene that doesn’t rely on the automatic night mode, you can get some excellent results, as in the image on the left. It’s sharp and well exposed and stands in stark contrast to the images on the right. The small figurine appears flat and lifeless, and the colors aren’t enhanced close to the night mode capabilities of rivals. The small pavilion to the far right falls somewhere in the middle — it has a few muddied details, especially in the back, but it offers better color recreation overall.

The Edge (2022) lets its 32MP selfie camera stand as the only interruption to the 6.6-inch display, and it delivers acceptable images. It bins from the full resolution down to 8MP by default, but I don’t have too many issues with the colors. The portrait shot is a bit punchier, especially on my shirt, but I won’t complain too much for one reason — no more beauty filtering. Motorola’s last few offerings have been plagued by heavy-handed processing that renders your face all but unrecognizable, but the Edge (2022) feels much more natural. Ironically, it could use some help in its edge detection. The selfie camera missed portions of my hair, which isn’t common on most other phones.

Unfortunately, video is still not the Edge’s strength, as the rear camera tops out with 4K at 30fps or 1080p at up to 60fps. The rear ultrawide camera can only handle 1080p at 30fps, but it jumps back to 60fps when set to macro mode.

Motorola Edge (2022) specs

Motorola Edge (2022)

Display

– 6.6-inch OLED
– 144Hz refresh rate
– 2,400 x 1,080

Processor

Mediatek Dimensity 1050

RAM

6GB
8GB

Storage

128GB
256GB
No expandable storage

Power

5,000mAh battery
30W TurboPower charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse charging
No charger in box

Cameras

Rear:
– 50MP wide, 2.0μm, OIS, Ultra Pixel, ƒ/1.8
– 13MP ultrawide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2, 120-degree FOV
– 2MP depth sensor

Front:
– 32MP, 1.4μm, ƒ/2.45

Audio

Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port

SIM

Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support

Biometrics

In-display fingerprint reader

Software

Android 12

Dimensions and weight

160.8 x 74.2 x 8.2mm

170g

IP52 water resistance

Color

Mineral Gray

Motorola Edge (2022) review: The verdict

motorola edge 2022 app drawer

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We’ve left Motorola plenty of feedback over the years, and the Edge (2022) feels like the first phone where it’s being taken to heart. It’s still not perfect, but it takes a few big steps in the right direction. Improvements to the update commitment and camera experience go a long way, as does the nod to sustainability. The phone is still plastic, and the IP52 rating lags behind other more affordable devices, but the mid-range Edge feels more settled than its not-quite-flagship family members.

The Edge’s price variability also stacks it against a wide variety of competitors. At $499 for the discounted launch model or the carrier variant, it takes on the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G ($449), Apple iPhone SE (2022) ($429), and Google Pixel 6a ($449). As mentioned above, it comes up short on materials and durability, but the Mediatek Dimensity 1050 easily tops Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1280. The Edge also has a smoother refresh rate than any of them, 144Hz compared to 120Hz on the Galaxy and 60Hz on the Pixel 6a. Apple has the biggest processing punch with its A15 Bionic, but it requires you to accept an iPhone 8 body years after its launch.

Motorola’s improvements on the Edge (2022) earn a green thumb’s up, but only if you can get it at the right price.

At its full price of $599, however, there are two close rivals that give Motorola a tough run for its money — the Google Pixel 6 ($599) and the OnePlus 10T ($649). Both offer extra RAM and raw performance thanks to the Pixel’s Tensor chip and the 10T’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. The Pixel 6 offers rapid and regular updates, while the OnePlus 10T packs the fastest charging of any phone available in the US. Google’s flagship also brings the best camera experience of the trio, thanks to its post-processing might.

If you can get Motorola’s latest Edge at its launch price of $499, do so — the phone thrives in the sub-$500 sphere. At its full retail price, the Edge is somewhat blunted against excellent competition.

Motorola Edge (2022)

Motorola Edge (2022)

Improved update commitment • Clean and smooth software • Vibrant 144hz display

The Motorola Edge (2022) offers a solid mid-range experience thanks to its sharp display, enhanced software commitment, and fast charging options. The nod to sustainability does not hurt, either.

Top Motorola Edge (2022) questions and also answers

No, the Motorola Edge (2022) has an IP52 rating against splashes and also dust, but it is not fully waterproof.

Yes, the Edge (2022) supports 5G across Verizon, T-Mobile, and also AT&T.

No, the Motorola Edge (2022) just has a single nano-SIM slot.

Yes, the Edge (2022) offers 15W wireless charging and also 5W reverse wireless billing.

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