Motorola Edge 5G UW review: The middle child of phones

Motorola Edge 5G UW

The Motorola Edge (2021) and Motorola Edge 5G UW have a Nebula blue end that catches lights in beautiful methods.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The Motorola Edge (2021) and Motorola Edge 5G UW are strong telephones that boast premium options and an inexpensive value. The telephones are a part of Motorola’s 2021 premium lineup. Up up to now, the Chicago-based firm, which is owned by Lenovo, has spent most of 2021 launching a slew of sub-$500 telephones within the US. These embrace the Moto G Stylus 5G, Moto G Energy and Motorola One 5G Ace.

The Edge (2021), introduced in August, is outlined by simplified enhancements. The curved show is gone and changed by a decidedly flat one with a 144Hz excessive refresh charge. The glass again has been swapped out for a lighter plastic one with a placing blue end that, virtually hypnotically, modifications relying on the way it catches the sunshine. A brand new software program characteristic known as Prepared For allows you to wirelessly join your cellphone to a TV or monitor.


  • Battery life is excellent
  • Prepared For gaming on a TV is nice
  • You’ll be able to swap the display screen refresh charges as much as 144Hz

Do not Like

  • Digital camera lags between taking images
  • Display might be laborious to see outdoor
  • Prepared For’s cursor interface feels clunky

The Edge (2021) usually prices $700 which converts roughly to £520, AU$980 and is at present on sale for $600. The Edge (2021) has 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and 5G help for low and midband 5G networks on T-Cellular, AT&T and Verizon.

Beginning Oct. 14, you should buy a $550 model known as the Motorola Edge 5G UW, which I examined for this evaluate. The Edge 5G UW is particular to Verizon. It has 128GB of storage, 6GB of RAM and, because the UW in its title suggests, works on Verizon’s Extremely Wideband 5G community. Extremely Wideband is the model of 5G that permits actually spectacular speeds; you simply must be in a particular spot the place it is provided. Fortunately, I examined the cellphone in San Francisco and was in a position to get speeds of 800mbps close to the place I used to be staying.

Among the many sea of competing telephones, the Motorola Edge is the center baby. For about the identical $700 value there are extra premium choices just like the iPhone 13. However even whenever you evaluate the Edge with its discounted value, there are telephones just like the Google Pixel 5A with 5G that prices much less, have higher cameras and obtain software program upgrades for years longer. In comparison with the Moto G household and the Motorola One line of telephones, the Edge is a major step up by way of options and high quality.

Total, I like this second-gen model of the Edge much more than the unique. It represents an ideal worth for what you get, particularly by way of battery life. 

The Motorola Edge has a superb battery life

Whereas cellphone cameras get lots of the eye by way of opinions, not everybody cares about having the newest groundbreaking digicam tech on their telephones. Most individuals would quite have a cellphone with an extended battery life. And that is the place the Edge’s big 5,00Zero-mAh battery is available in.

Motorola advertises the Edge as a “two-day cellphone” and I agree. Even after I was related to 5G Extremely Wideband, the Edge made it a day and a half on a single cost. Throughout my time with the Edge, my screen-on time averaged four.5 hours.

In CNET’s looped video playback check with airplane mode turned on, the Edge lasted 21 hours and 20 minutes. And that was with the display screen locked in at 144Hz. 

Talking of the display screen, I like that I can select to lock it in at 144Hz or put it into an adaptive 120Hz mode. Indoors, the display screen’s brightness is okay, however there have been a couple of occasions outdoor when the show was washed out by daylight.

The Edge has a Snapdragon 778G chip, which was advantageous in on a regular basis use. There have been a couple of occasions the place I wished the cellphone to be extra peppy. I particularly observed this when opening apps or with Android animations that appear to take longer than they might on different equally priced telephones. For instance, if I’ve Chrome open and rotate the cellphone from horizontal to vertical, there is a second of hesitation earlier than the display screen modifications. Is that this horrible? No, however it’s annoying.

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We go hands-on with the $700 Motorola Edge


Prepared For takes the Motorola Edge to the large display screen

The Edge might be related to a TV or monitor with a software program characteristic known as Prepared For. You entry Prepared For through the Fast Settings shade. A window pops up and you’ve got two choices: You’ll be able to join your cellphone to a PC or to a show. I examined Prepared For with a few TVs.

As soon as related, the TV can mirror all the things on the cellphone’s display screen or you should use Motorola’s Prepared For interface. The principle window seems slick and appears like a hybrid of Android and Home windows. I used to be in a position to play video games on the Motorola Edge whereas utilizing my 65-inch TV to show them. It was a blast. I additionally used Bluetooth to attach a controller to the Edge and play PUBG cell on my TV.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

Prepared For is a software program interface that permits you to join your cellphone to a TV or monitor.

Patrick Holland/CNET

You may also do video chats utilizing Prepared For. It makes use of your cellphone’s cameras to movie you and shows the assembly in your TV. There’s a neat Topic Monitoring digicam characteristic that may seemingly reframe and observe you throughout a name. It is much like Apple’s Middle Stage characteristic on the brand new iPad Mini.

Generally I discovered the Prepared For interface clunky. You need to use your cellphone’s display screen as a trackpad, for instance, to navigate a cursor in your TV. Nevertheless it lacks the finesse and precision I am used to on an precise trackpad. The excellent news is you’ll be able to join a mouse over Bluetooth.

The Edge has a median major digicam

The Edge has three rear cameras: a major 108-megapixel digicam that makes use of pixel binning to create 12-megapixel images, an Eight-megapixel ultrawide digicam that may additionally take macro images and 2-megapixel depth digicam for Portrait Mode and comparable options. Total the primary digicam is nice. I reliably bought images with good picture high quality in brilliant and medium mild conditions. However as lighting bought dimmer, images seemed extra processed and particulars grew to become tender.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

I like that the primary digicam would not oversaturate the colours of the pumpkins.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This was taken with HDR. Particulars within the shadows look tender.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This can be a good photograph, however I would like the small print and textures to look extra crisp.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

I like how the Edge handles pores and skin tones.

Patrick Holland/CNET

There have been a number of occasions the place I observed a lag between taking one photograph and the subsequent. I ought to make clear that this wasn’t dangerous, nevertheless it’s not as peppy as I’ve turn into accustomed to on different telephones.

The ultrawide digicam presents a beautiful perspective nevertheless it’s a noticeable step down by way of picture high quality in comparison with the primary digicam. Even in one of the best lighting, particulars look tender.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This was taken with the ultrawide digicam. Every part seems tender. Particulars are muted.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

Right here is one other photograph from the ultrawide. This is perhaps one of the best one I took, nevertheless it nonetheless is not nice.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The front-facing digicam has a 32-megapixel sensor and makes use of pixel binning to provide respectable selfies.

Total, the digicam system on the Edge is simply OK. It is nonetheless a step behind what Apple and Google are doing.

The Motorola Edge prioritizes worth

Motorola must be happy with the brand new Edge. It presents wonderful worth by way of options. And in case you’re set on getting one, maintain an eye fixed out for offers. At the moment Motorola is taking $100 off the value of the Edge (2021) and Verizon is promoting the Edge 5G UW for $13.29 a month over a 30-month contract.

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