Gadgets for humans

Motorola’s Edge+ shows there’s still a place for a headphone jack on a flagship phone

Verizon exclusivity in the US is a huge bummer


I appreciate Motorola‘s inventiveness with designs like the modular Moto Z family. I appreciate the value it brings with its Moto G family. And the new Moto Razr is one of the first examples of our future full of folding phones.

But for all the interesting phones Motorola makes, it hasn’t made a phone I’d really want to buy in years — as in, a real, honest-to-goodness flagship to go up against the Pixels, Galaxies, and iPhones of the world. The new Edge+ changes that.

At an expensive (but unfortunately normal) $1,000 price tag, it has specs to compete with anything on the market, including a few surprises — there’s a headphone jack!

  • 6.7-inch OLED display with curved edges
  • 2340 x 1080 resolution
  • 90 Hz refresh rate
  • In-screen fingerprint reader
  • HDR10+ support
  • 12GB of DDR5 RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • 5,000 mAh battery
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 3.5mm headphone jack(!)
  • 108MP primary camera
  • 8MP telephoto / 16MP ultrawide
  • 25MP selfie camera
  • 5G connectivity with mmWave support

It’s pretty ironic to see that Motorola has become one of the only companies to feature a headphone jack on a flagship phone. The company was one of the first to remove it in the first place, even beating Apple to the punch back in 2016. But it’s a welcome return for this user, who still often finds he’d rather use wired headphones. There’s the LG V60, but that’s about it.

The phone features a sleek, if not particularly unique design (then again, what is unique these days?). In particular, the phone features curved edges that run all the way around 90 degrees, reaching further than most similar iterations.

It does some of the usual curved-edge ticks, like lighting up for notifications or allowing you to swipe to access special functions; you can even use the top edge like shoulder buttons on a gaming controller. As a nice touch, Motorola allows you to move content from the edges of the screen onto the flat portion in order to avoid the usual curved-screen distortion.

Display aside, Motorola claims the Edge+ has the loudest stereo speakers ever put into a smartphone.

Since not everyone wants to pay for a $1,000 phone,  Motorola also announced the Motorola Edge. It’s nearly identical to its higher-end sibling, but reduces the specs in a few key areas for those who don’t need fanciest components:

  • Snapdragon 765
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128 GB storage
  • 4,500 mAh battery
  • 64MP primary camera

Unfortunately, Motorola did not provide a price or release date for the Edge in most regions, though the company noted it will cost €699 (approximately $756) in Italy. In the US, it will be available “later this year” with “more information to come this summer.”

In the US, the Edge+ will be available from May 14 as Verizon exclusive; there isn’t even an unlocked version. This is perhaps the most disappointing part about the phone.

While Motorola has long partnered with Verizon, this kind of carrier exclusivity feels like a relic of the past — and frankly, it kills Motorola‘s chances and building wider hype beyond a few enthusiasts. The ongoing pandemic doesn’t help either.

Still, it’s nice to see Motorola aiming high again.

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Published April 23, 2020 — 05:47 UTC

Motorola Edge+ on Motorola