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Motorola Edge (2023) vs. Edge (2022): Which one edges ahead?

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  • Motorola Edge (2023)

    Refined mid-ranger

    The Edge (2023) has a refined, aesthetically pleasing design and an IP68 rating for enhanced durability. For $150 extra over its predecessor, it offers a curved display, faster charging, and an extra year of software updates. However, it doesn’t show notable improvements in performance or camera capabilities.
     

    Pros

    • Better design
    • IP68 rating
    • Faster charging
    Cons

    • No improvements in performance
    • Smaller battery
  • Motorola Edge (2022)

    Motorola Edge (2022)

    Notable budget choice

    $210 $492 Save $282

    While it skips the curved display and waterproofing, the Moto Edge (2022) makes up for it with a beefier battery and a more wallet-friendly price tag. Plus, it throws in high-end treats like wireless charging and a vivid 144Hz OLED screen, making it a worthy consideration at its discounted rate.
     

    Pros

    • 144Hz Display
    • Larger battery
    • Heavily discounted
    Cons

    • Only 1 year of OS updates left
    • Slower charging

While Motorola seems to have stumbled into a peculiar loop with their naming convention (I mean, come on, do we really need yet another ‘Edge’ with a different birth year attached?), there’s no denying the intriguing evolution happening within their smartphone lineup. The latest addition to this perplexingly-named family is the Motorola Edge (2023).


While not quite doing enough to claim a place among the best Android phones, it still brings to the table a commendable blend of features without breaking the bank.

Meanwhile, its older sibling, the Motorola Edge (2022) (cue the eye-roll), has seen some tempting discounts, presenting a compelling choice for those seeking an affordable yet feature-rich Android experience. So, let’s pit these siblings edge-to-edge and find out which one suits your needs.


Price, specs and availability

The Motorola Edge (2023) made its debut in October 2023 with a sole 8/256 GB variant priced at $599. However, we have already seen it selling for as low as $349, completely changing the value proposition. It’s currently available on Amazon, BestBuy, and Motorola’s official website.

Meanwhile, the Motorola Edge (2022) started its journey in August 2022 at a lower price of $549, but it also offered a lower 6/128GB storage option at that price. As of writing this, the phone is selling for under $250 on Amazon and Motorola’s website, making it one of the best spec’d phones in that price category.

  • Motorola Edge (2023)Motorola Edge (2022)
    SoCMediaTek Dimensity 7030MediaTek Dimensity 1050
    RAM8GB LPDDR4X6GB LPDDR4X
    Storage256GB128GB
    Battery4,400mAh5,000mAh
    PortsUSB-CUSB-C
    Operating SystemAndroid 13 and MyUXAndroid 12 with MyUX
    Front camera32MP, f/2.432 MP, f/2.5
    Rear camera50MP, f/1.4, OIS main; 13MP ultrawide50MP, f/1.8, OIS main; 13MP ultrawide; 2MP depth sensor
    Dimensions158.4 x 72 x 7.6mm160.9 x 74.2 x 8mm
    ColorsEclipse BlackMineral Gray
    Display typeP-OLED, 144HzOLED, 144Hz
    Weight168g170g
    Charge speed68W wired, 15W wireless30W wired, 15W wireless
    IP RatingIP68IP52
    Display resolution1080 x 24001080 x 2400
    Wi-Fi connectivityWi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 6E
    BluetoothBluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5.2

Design and build

Newer is better

Eco-leather back on the Black Moto Edge 2023

One thing that Motorola has definitely improved is the build quality and design aesthetics of the Edge series. The Edge (2023) is available in a single ‘Eclipse Black’ color variant, but it looks and feels premium with a curved glass front mated to a distinctive eco-leather back and an aluminum frame. Not only does this soft-touch leather back elevate its aesthetic appeal, but it also offers practical benefits against smudges and offers greater resistance to shattering upon accidental impacts compared to glass back phones.

On the other hand, the Edge (2022) presents a more straightforward design approach, sporting a flat glass front, a plastic frame, and a plastic back in a solo Gray shade. Even its modest vertical triple camera setup pales in comparison to the bold and squared-out camera island sported by the Edge (2023).

moto-edge-review-07

The Edge (2023) also leaps ahead in terms of durability, featuring an impressive IP68 rating for protection against dust and water ingress, while the Edge (2022) only comes with an IP52 rating that can protect it against minor splashes and light dust. Neither phone here comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack or a microSD card slot for storage expansion. They’re fairly balanced in terms of weight and dimensions, albeit the Edge (2023) is slightly narrower and slimmer.

Display

Ahead of the curve

Moto Edge 2023

The defining difference between the Edge siblings lies in their display design: the Motorola Edge (2023) features a curved-edge screen, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing, bezel-less appearance. While I am a fan, curved-edge displays also invite occasional inadvertent touches — a common trade-off associated with them.

The Edge (2022) opts for a flat display of the same 6.6-inch size. Both phones share OLED panels with 1080 x 2400 resolution and a remarkable 144Hz refresh rate. What’s more, these displays step up the game with 10-bit color support, offering a richer color depth compared to the conventional 8-bit displays. Moreover, they both offer HDR10+ compatibility, allowing users to indulge in HDR content on streaming platforms.

With ample brightness and vibrant, punchy colors, both phones offer an impressive multimedia consumption experience. Moreover, the high refresh rate translates into buttery-smooth visuals, elevating the fluidity of animations and interactions. Both the Edge (2023) and Edge (2022) come equipped with stereo speakers. Additionally, both phones integrate optical in-display fingerprint scanners for biometric unlocking.

Performance and software

Slow progress

Genshin Impact running on the Motorola Edge 2023

Packing an 8GB RAM and 256GB storage combo, the Edge (2023) one-ups its predecessor’s 6GB RAM and 128GB storage offering. Under the hood, the Edge (2023) comes with MediaTek’s freshly introduced Dimensity 7030 chipset, which might seem like an upgrade from the 2022 model’s Dimensity 1050. However, a closer examination reveals strikingly similar specifications, so much so that they’re basically the same chipsets for all intents and purposes. To put it bluntly, it’s like comparing apples to, well, identical apples rebranded in a new package.

Putting chipset semantics aside, both phones handle day-to-day tasks and casual usage consistently well. Their high refresh rate displays, coupled with Motorola’s streamlined MyUX software, ensure a reasonably responsive user experience. They can handle demanding games like COD Mobile and Genshin Impact at medium settings for casual gaming sessions. However, don’t expect them to handle sustained extended periods of heavy gaming like the best gaming phones can.

The Edge (2023) opts for a smaller 4,400mAh battery compared to its predecessor’s 5,000mAh powerhouse. This choice might hint at slightly lower endurance, but it compensates with lightning-fast 68W wired charging, zipping from 0 to 100% in under an hour. In contrast, the Edge (2022) settles with modest 30W charging, taking approximately 90 minutes to juice up. Additionally, both phones feature swift 15W wireless charging, catering to users’ varied preferences.

Ready For displayed on the Moto Edge 2023

In terms of software, both devices sport Motorola’s MyUX skin, a flavor close to stock Android but sprinkled with meaningful add-ons. The inclusion of beloved features like Moto gestures adds to the user-friendly experience. Motorola’s ‘Ready For’ feature, akin to Samsung’s DeX, lets users connect their phone to an external display for a PC-like interface — a nifty addition.

However, the one big difference comes when we look at their Android versions. While the Edge (2022) debuted with Android 12, the Edge (2023) arrives straight out of the box with Android 13. Motorola pledges three years of OS upgrades, which is already one less than competition like Samsung and Google. Still, for the Edge (2022), this could mean the end of the OS road with the upcoming Android 15, potentially impacting long-term users seeking extended software support.

Motorola has not been the most reliable name when it comes to swift and consistent software updates for its phones, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Cameras

It’s the same picture

Camera array on the Black Moto Edge 2023

While there haven’t been drastic camera hardware overhauls between the two generations, there are subtle yet meaningful differences. Both wield a 50MP primary camera, flaunting Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). However, the Edge (2023) takes a leap with a wider f/1.4 aperture, outshining the f/1.8 lens on the Edge (2022). This tweak promises improved light intake, which is especially handy for those dimly lit scenes and challenging lighting setups.

The ultra-wide camera seems to have gone the opposite route, opting for a narrower f/2.2 lens this time compared to the f/1.5 lens on the Edge (2022). Motorola has done away with the depth sensor found on the Edge (2022), and we can only hope this trend continues. Both phones feature a 32MP selfie shooter, but the one on the Edge (2023) can also record 4K videos, while the Edge (2022) is limited to 1080p selfie videos.

Beyond these hardware tweaks, the overall performance narrative remains relatively consistent. Motorola’s image-processing algorithms have trailed behind industry leaders like Google and Samsung. Prioritizing natural color accuracy, while commendable for authenticity, might result in photos appearing less visually striking compared to competitors’ vibrant tonal ranges and contrasts. Plus, the images consistently suffer in terms of quality in low-light scenarios or when using the ultrawide lens. Nonetheless, at their current discounted rates, both these phones offer acceptable camera performance compared to their peers.

Motorola Edge (2023) vs Edge (2022): Which is right for you?

Both the Edge (2023) and Edge (2022) share a common trait. At their original retail prices, these phones struggle to make a compelling case against their competitors, often overshadowed by more feature-rich alternatives. However, once the discount stickers come into play, the narrative shifts.

When discounted to $350, the Edge (2023) is the clear victor, armed with an IP68 rating for durability, enhanced aesthetics, a sleek curved display, an extra year of software support, and much faster charging. However, it does ask you to compromise on a slightly smaller battery size, without delivering substantial performance gains over its older counterpart.

Motorola Edge (2023) front and back, against a white background

Motorola Edge (2023)

Refined mid-ranger

Taste of flagship experience

The Edge (2023) introduces a refined, aesthetically pleasing design and an IP68 rating for enhanced durability. Compared to its predecessor it offers a curved display, faster charging, and an extra year of software updates. However, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t show notable improvements in performance or camera capabilities.

Conversely, if you’re willing to forgo the curved display, waterproof rating, and the extra year of software updates, opting for the Edge (2022) will save you a lot of money while delivering a pretty similar experience. It matches its successor’s multimedia prowess with a 10-bit OLED display, accompanied by stereo speakers, and maintains an equivalent performance level while housing a larger battery.

In fact, at its current price of under $250, it’s one of the rare offerings to have flagship features like wireless charging and a 144Hz OLED screen, and when its successor is at full price, the 2022 model is pretty irresistible.

Motorola Edge (2022)

Motorola Edge (2022)

Notable budget choice

A great bargain

$210 $492 Save $282

While it skips the curved display and waterproofing, the Moto Edge (2022) makes up for it with a beefier battery and a more wallet-friendly price tag. Plus, it throws in high-end treats like wireless charging and a vivid 144Hz OLED screen, making it a worthy consideration at its discounted rate.

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