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Motorola

Motorola Edge 20

17.10.2021
An attractive medium phone with a great potential

Motorola has the most to say in the lower price range from the G series, but sometimes it ventures into the premium smartphone segment. For example, with the representatives of the recently presented Edge 20 series. We have for you the review of the basic model in this line - Motorola Edge 20 . And I admit, our cooperation was excellent for two weeks.

The new line presented by Motorola consists of three models: Edge 20 Lite, Edge 20 and Edge 20 Pro. They have in common, among others 6.7-inch screen or 108 MP main camera. They differ in specifications such as battery capacity, CPU, and the number of gigabytes of RAM and internal memory.

Motorola Edge 20 is the entry-level model in the series and quite a pretty mid-range device. It has a 6.7-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 144 Hz, a Snapdragon 778G processor and a battery with a capacity of 4000 mAh. It supports 5G networks and offers the ability to work in desktop mode (Ready For). It provides the system in an almost unmodified version, without heavy overlays and unnecessary applications. And above all, it looks great, attracting attention with a slim design and low weight. How much has this gem been priced? You have to spend 499 euros on them.


Table of contents



Packaging and accessories

The sales kit is rather basic and includes a 30W wall charger, a cable with a dual USB-C connector, a transparent case, a pin to open the SIM card tray and a handful of papers. In some markets, headphones and a 3.5 mm mini-jack to USB-C adapter are additionally added.


Construction and Screen

Edge 20 is one of Motorola's smartphones, which attracts attention to its design, slim build and attractive appearance. In my opinion, it is one of the prettiest smartphones in the brand's portfolio and one of the prettiest in the mid-price range. The relatively light weight (163 g) and the slimness of the phone (only 6.99 mm not counting the photo module) make it a pleasure to hold it in your hand. Unfortunately, such a construction forced some compromises - we do not get a microSD card slot or a headphone jack, the photo module protrudes well above the housing, and the battery is - by today's standards - not very capacious. It is worth adding that the smartphone provides dust and water resistance at the IP52 level - the same as the budget G series. In models from the higher price range, Motorola should offer better protection. The device combines an aluminum body, a glass front with Gorilla Glass 3 and plastic backs (specifically PMMA, i.e. plexiglass).

The Max Vision screen is perfect for "consumption" of all kinds of multimedia, as well as while playing. It is a 6.7-inch OLED screen with a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz (you can also choose 60 Hz or auto mode) and Full HD + resolution. It supports HDR10+, is bright, and offers great contrast and deep colors. It is one of the biggest advantages of the reviewed device, but it must be added that it is not suitable for one-handed operation - it is large enough for that. What's more, there is no mode that facilitates one-handed operation of the device. It is worth noting that the screen is completely flat - and yet it is the roundness of the Motorola Edge display that gave the name of the series... Personally, it does not bother me, it is more practical and it just looks better. In addition, the 19.5: 9 aspect ratio is perfect for surfing the Internet and watching movies. Overall, it is a smartphone with one of the best displays in its price range.

There is no protective foil on the screen, but it is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 - this is information from the manufacturer. I note this because Corning claims Edge 20 has GG 5 on the front and GG 3 on its backs. The selector camera is placed in a centrally located hole, and the frames surrounding the screen are narrow enough not to draw attention to themselves. There is no notification LED, but there is a function that will work great instead - Moto Display. A gentle movement is enough for the screen to display the date, time and charge status battery and notification icons. I would also like to add that the smartphone can be used without any problems wearing glasses with polarization.

The back of the phone is covered with a matted layer of plastic, which is very pleasant to the touch and gives nice reflections depending on the incident light. However, it is quite slippery and you can see grease and fingerprints on it. That is why it is worth putting your smartphone in a case - and also to take better care of the cameras.

There are three cameras, each of which is great for a specific task. Basically the whole element has three levels. The first layer contains a LED, a microphone and information about the camera. The next "floor" is a relief with cameras, each of which additionally protrudes even more above the casing.

Motorola Edge 20 is a very slim device, so it's no surprise that the protruding photo module is more eye-catching here than most smartphones. The difference in levels is not even matched by the case included in the set - to protect the lenses that are the most distant from the surface, the case itself has a large hump around the photographic module. There is also the manufacturer's logo on the back of the device.

The smartphone has a fairly angular frame with a typical set of elements. On the left side there is the Google Assistant button, on the upper side there is a microphone opening alone, on the right side there are volume control buttons and the on/off screen, connected to the fingerprint scanner. At the bottom edge there is an external speaker, a USB-C port and a tray for two SIM cards - unfortunately, after installing an additional memory device, you can forget it.

The buttons on the right edge do not exactly match my location. When I hold the device in my right hand, my thumb lands well below the power button, integrated with the fingerprint scanner, and to reach the volume control, you have to flex a bit. The same is with the button on the left that launches the Google Assistant. They are all generally too high. Of course, this is something you can get used to, but it is worth paying attention to. The fingerprint scanner itself is fast and accurate. I had practically no false readings, and unlocking the screen was basically immediate. On the other hand, the Google Assistant button, which I consider completely redundant, is an annoying element that cannot be deactivated or changed to something more useful/personalized.


System and Applications

Motorola is known for pre-installing in its smartphones a clean system without original overlay or unnecessary applications (the most tripping was Motorola Defy). There is only the company's camera application and the Moto application, the functionality of which really enriches the smartphone's capabilities (including the Ready For mode, Moto Display or popular gestures). The smartphone has Android 11, and the safety frames are dated July 1, 2021. The manufacturer pays attention to the issue of security - users of the Edge 20 model can use an additional level of protection - the ThinkShield for mobile platform - but also two operating system updates, monthly updates for three years, as well as a three-year warranty, which further strengthens the security status of smartphones.


A clean system wouldn't allow the user to develop too much in terms of personalization if it were not for My UX. It's a tool that allows you to modify the visual layer to some extent through styles - changing colors, icon format, wallpaper and font. There is also a Moto application providing, among others popular gestures or Moto Display. Let's not forget about the Ready For platform - it can be a nice thing for people who have used a Samsung solution (ie DeX) before. I discussed this platform in detail when reviewing the Moto G100. Moreover, if you have a TV that supports Miracast, then you do not need a cable to use Ready For. I'll also mention that Motorola Edge 20 supports Widevine L1, so you can watch FHD+ movies and series on Netflix or Prime Video.


Sound

Motorola Edge 20 got a great screen that is great for gaming and watching movies and series. Therefore, it is even more puzzling why the manufacturer did not install a stereo speaker here. The smartphone would really benefit from it. Meanwhile, the sound source is one, and it is quite a loud external speaker located on the lower edge, tuned by Waves Maxx Audio Mobile. Its sound is not impressive - the sound lacks depth, and in the higher volume scale the sound deteriorates a bit. Unfortunately, in the absence of a 3.5 mm mini-jack (and a suitable grommet in the set), our favorite headphones will not help us either - all the accessories connected via Bluetooth remain.


Photos and videos

The smartphone got a triple camera, which consists of: 108 MP main camera (f/1.9, OIS), 8 MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom (f/2.4, OIS) and 16 MP camera with ultra-wide angle lens (119 degrees, f/2.2). I liked this whole set - it provided very good photos in daylight and acceptable results for shooting at night.

In terms of video recording, Motorola Edge 20 allows you to record in maximum 4K quality at 30 frames per second, as well as super slow motion in 720p quality at 960 frames per second. There is a Dual Capture mode, which records simultaneously from the main camera and the selfie camera. Another plus is the Audio Zoom function, which uses microphones to more accurately record the sound from the point of view of the camera, reducing unnecessary noises from the surroundings.


Photos taken with the main camera of Edge 20 have very well reproduced colours, they are sufficiently sharp and illuminated. Full resolution is 108MP, but by default 9 pixels are combined into one Super Pixel and 12MP photos are produced. The main camera also works quite well in night shots - with sufficient lighting, it can cope without the night mode. However, if you activate it, the photos will gain slightly better brightness, but also a disturbingly lot of noise. When it comes to nighttime imagery, the Edge 20 is weaker than competing models and is an area that Motorola can still work on.


I also positively assess the effects of shooting with an ultra-wide angle camera. However, you have to accept slightly warmer colours compared to the main camera and worse detail. But although the camera does not distort the image corners too much. Let's not forget the 3x optical zoom that is provided by the 8MP camera with OIS. The shooting effects are maybe not the sharpest, but it always gives the possibility of more interesting framing.


I wouldn't expect to say this again, but macro mode also works great here. The close-ups are not due to a weak "dedicated" macro camera, but an ultra-wide-angle camera. And it does a great job, providing photos with the right colours, sharp (thanks to AF) and full of details. Finally, it is not an unnecessary clog of space, but something really useful.


Motorola Edge 20 accompanied me for two weeks and photographed it on several occasions. I have no doubts - she showed the class. I didn't even think for a moment that I might need another camera.

The camera application offers a lot of operating modes, but in terms of handling, I have the same attention to it as in the case of the Moto G30 - the fields with the selection of modes located under the shutter button, not above it. I'm not a fan of this app but maybe it's just a matter of habit.


If you are people for whom the front camera is more important than the one on the back, then Edge 20 has a lot to offer here - it is equipped with in a 32-megapixel selfie camera, although by default they are saved at a resolution of 8 MP (four pixels are combined into one). The camera usually produces great, full of details photos with natural colours, but some shooting effects ended up in the bin right away due to lack of focus or unnatural colors. Camera operation can be erratic, especially when various "intelligent" enhancers are activated, such as image optimization, low-light enhancement or beautification mode - it's best to turn it off at all, so as not to turn your face into a smooth mask. In turn, the portrait mode sometimes has a problem with correct detection of edges and can blur fragments of clothes or hair.


Communication

Edge 20, as befits a modern smartphone, offers all the necessary communication options: 5G support, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, NFC and navigation, it has the necessary sensors and a lightning-fast fingerprint scanner. There is only a USB-C port of the physical connectors. As for voice calls, I have no objections - everything is heard loud and clear and the issue of configuring the operation of two SIM cards is not the slightest difficulty.


Memory and performance

The smartphone is delivered with 128 GB of memory, of which 108 GB is left for the user after the first start. If this space is insufficient, cloud solutions remain - Edge 20 does not support microSD cards.

The device drives a relatively new system, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G, probably presented in May. It has 8 cores divided into 3 groups: the main core Kryo 670 Prime clocked at 2.4 GHz, 3 Kryo 670 Gold cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and 4 Kryo 670 Silver cores clocked at 1.9 GHz. The same processor can be found in Honor 50 or realme GT Master Edition. It is supported by 8 GB of RAM, which turns out to be a strong set in terms of speed and performance. On a daily basis, the smartphone works flawlessly, is perfectly smooth and can even handle many applications that open in the background. It also works well in games - in such titles as Asphalt 9, Subway Surfers or Real Racing 3, I did not notice that it would heat up during a longer game, there were also no drops in liquidity. I also used it to play one of the most visually impressive - and resource-consuming - games, Genshin Impact - it ran smoothly with the default graphics settings.


Battery

Motorola Edge 20 has an unimpressive battery - it has a capacity of 4000 mAh, while the market standard is currently 5000 mAh. Well, with such a slim design, there was nowhere to fit a larger link. Therefore, the working times will not be particularly impressive, although the smartphone usually lasted the whole day with me without a charger. Of course, it all depends on what it is used for and which power-hungry modules are running at that time. Moderate use of a smartphone - frequent checking of notifications and social media, sporadic watching movies and series, a few conversations and conversations on Messenger - translated into a full working day - with a reserve of interest in the evening time to charge the device only during the morning coffee.

  • lifetime with the screen on (YouTube, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness, minimum sound level) - 16 hours and 49 minutes;
  • PC Mark battery test result - 10 hours and 30 minutes (similar times were obtained at 60 Hz and 144 Hz, which indicates that the application most likely does not support the higher screen frequency);
  • Geekbench score (full discharge, dim screen) - 7064 points, 11 hours and 54 minutes;
  • an hour of video streaming (Chrome, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness) - 8% battery less;
  • an hour of playing video from the phone's memory (airplane mode, KMPlayer, 50% screen brightness) - 8% less battery;
  • half an hour of using online navigation - 5% less battery;
  • half an hour of playing Real Racing 3 - 8% battery less (in Genshin Impact - 11%);
  • 8 hours in standby mode - 3% less battery.


The kit comes with a 30W charger. Provides really fast charging - in an hour with a few minutes, a completely empty cell will be 100% charged. If we have less time, there will be no drama either - in 30 minutes the battery will be 56% full, and after another quadrant it shows 82%. Unfortunately, the smartphone does not support wireless charging, like other models from the Edge family in 2021. It's a pity.

Summary

Motorola Edge 20 is in many ways one of the interesting mid-range models. I appreciated it primarily for its great screen, providing a lot of space for work or using multimedia, great accessories supplied with the Moto application and pure Android, which ensured a high comfort of work. It's impossible not to pay attention to the slim design - Edge 20 is simply a very attractive device. The smartphone powers the new Qualcomm chip, Snapdragon 778G, in addition, you can use the Ready For platform - this will allow you to work with the smartphone in desktop mode. The cameras won't let you down either. What can you complain about? First of all, the lack of a 3.5 mm mini-jack and the unimpressive battery capacity. Compared to the competition, the Edge 20 lacks stereo speakers or support for a microSD card.

On the market Motorola Edge 20 will be a direct competition for models such as Samsung Galaxy A52 5G or A72, as well as Xiaomi Note 10 Pro and OnePlus Nord 2 5G.


Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • brilliant 6.7 inch screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz with HDR10 + support
  • flat screen surrounded by narrow frames
  • camera effects
  • slim shape, elegant design, quality of workmanship
  • standard IP52, ie splashproof
  • pure Android with added value Moto app
  • light weight
  • Gorilla Glass 3 on the front of the device
  • performance
  • support for ThinkShield for mobile and Ready For
  • great cameras
  • good price (taking into account the equipment and possibilities)

Cons:

  • no headphone jack
  • relatively low battery capacity
  • single speaker
  • does not support microSD cards
  • no support for one-handed operation
  • button layout and redundant (in my opinion) Google Assistant key
  • button locations
  • only minimal degree of dust- and water resistance, the same as in the much cheaper Moto G series
  • quite slippery casing
  • night shots could be better

Source GSMchoice.com; viewed: 704 times.


By:
Monika Krasicka-Kulińska

By:
Jolanta Szczepaniak



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