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Motorola Edge Plus (2023)
What we like
What we don't like
Motorola Edge Plus (2023)
Motorola’s Edge series has gone through its fair share of changes throughout its short lifespan. It’s swung from not quite nailing flagship launches to taking on the mid-range market with its recent non-Plus models, and now it’s looking for a happy medium between the two. Maybe that’s where it should have been all along. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) might be the company’s most compelling flagship Android phone in years, but what changes did Motorola make to get it there? Find out in our Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review.
Update, October 2023: We’ve updated this review with recent software information and new alternatives to the Motorola Edge Plus (2023).
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: What you need to know
- Motorola Edge Plus (8GB/512GB): $799 / CAD$1,099
Motorola introduced its latest premium flagship, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023), alongside a supporting cast of Moto G devices in early May 2023. It picks up several upgrades over the Motorola Edge Plus (2022), both inside and out, and has a much more approachable price tag.
For starters, the Edge Plus (2023) is all-in on premium materials. It’s moved from its predecessor’s lower-tier Gorilla Glass and plastic to premium-level Gorilla Glass Victus for the display and rear panel, as well as aluminum for the frame. You’ll find the power and volume buttons on the right side of the slim frame, stereo speakers on the top and bottom, and a single nano-SIM tray flanking the USB-C 3.2 port. Motorola textured the rear glass, too, nearly copying the Sandstone finish that OnePlus made famous so many years ago.
The premium package also upgrades from what Motorola called a water-repellent design (usually code for IP52) to a full IP68 rating against water and dust. Motorola’s new quad-curved display may be the most noticeable change on the device. It now packs a 165Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision support, and 1,300 nits of peak brightness. The Full HD+ panel stretches 6.67 inches from corner to corner and houses an optical in-display fingerprint reader.
Gorilla Glass Victus and an aluminum frame are only the start of the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)'s upgraded specs.
Impressive specs continue once you reach inside Motorola’s premium glass and aluminum package. The Edge Plus (2023) comes in a single configuration with 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 512GB of fixed UFS 4.0 storage. It’s paired with Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and Motorola turned to a 5,100mAh battery to keep the pixels pumping. On top of the considerable cell, the Edge Plus (2023) supports 68W wired TurboPower charging and 15W Qi wireless charging, and still comes with a charger in the box. It’s also ready for Wi-Fi 7 and packs Bluetooth 5.3 LE and an NFC chip for wireless payments — and based on my experience with so many Moto G devices, the latter is not always a given on Motorola phones!
Our Motorola Edge Plus (2023) shipped with Android 13 onboard and the March 1, 2023 security patch. It packs three years of Android version support and four years of security coverage, carrying the phone into 2027. While it’s not the best update policy on the market, it’s an upgrade from Motorola’s previous pledge. So far, the Edge Plus (2023) has received up to the September 1, 2023 security patch and has not received Android 14.
Motorola’s changes continue once you reach the more minor, square camera bump. It still houses a pair of 50MP shooters — the wide and ultrawide lenses — but the laughable 2MP depth sensor is no more. You now get a 12MP 2x telephoto with a shallow f/1.6 aperture, which Motorola says is meant for portraits. The selfie camera is carried over from the previous Edge Plus, so you still get a 60MP punch hole front shooter.
We’ve already mentioned a full 68W TurboPower charger in the box, accompanied by a black USB-C to USB-C cable, basic paperwork, and a SIM ejector tool. Motorola also swapped its new natural-colored recycled packaging for all-black recycled packaging to match the Edge Plus (2023)’s single Interstellar Black finish.
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) launched for unlocked pre-orders on May 19, 2023, at Best Buy, Amazon, and Motorola, with open sales starting May 25. It’s also available on select carriers, including Boost Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and Consumer Cellular. The Edge Plus (2023) is available in Canada as well.
What I like about the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)
The Edge Plus (2023) is proof that somewhere, someone on Motorola’s development team is reading our reviews and taking notes. It checks box after box, righting several previous issues I’ve had with Edge series flagships and adding new improvements beyond what even I could have expected from the long-standing Android brand. This isn’t to say I had low expectations — I quite like what Motorola usually does — but the Edge Plus (2023) easily came in and set a new bar.
There’s no ignoring the fact that the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is equipped with top-tier internals. The 5,100mAh battery is enormous — larger than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Google Pixel 7 Pro. It lasts an eternity, too. This is some of the best battery life I’ve seen on a flagship in a while. Motorola boasted about two days of battery life when it unveiled the device to us at a press event in Chicago, a common claim among its budget-friendly devices. I didn’t expect the Edge Plus (2023), with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, massive display, and blistering refresh rate, to hit that mark, but it did. I easily make it two days between charges, jumping through my usual hoops of social media, Spotify streaming, Google Maps navigation, and a little bit of gaming. A few friends got me into Marvel Snap, which has consumed my free time (and battery life). Thanks, guys. It’s remarkable to open the Battery section of the Settings app and see around one day, 22 hours remaining when I’m sitting at 69% battery.
Motorola is after the wired charging crown, and 68W TurboPower (with a charger in the box) is a hell of a way to start.
Once you finally tick the Edge Plus (2023) down to nothing, its charging setup is just as much of a treat. Motorola brought over the snappy 68W TurboPower charging from the Motorola ThinkPhone, and you still get a charger in the box. Filling the beefy battery takes about 50 minutes, which is nothing to complain about. If you’d rather set your phone on a wireless pad, the Edge Plus (2023) supports 15W Qi wireless charging. It might not be as fast as the wired clip, but it’s a handy option if you usually charge while sitting at your desk. Also, props to Motorola for showing OnePlus that you can deliver both speedy wired and wireless charging on one device — and still make it a USB-C to USB-C charger with Power Delivery support for other devices.
Like most Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 launches we’ve seen so far, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) comes ready to perform. It breezed through most of our one-shot benchmarks, landing right in the neighborhood of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11 when run through Geekbench 6. Motorola’s flagship near-enough matches OnePlus’ flagship blow for blow on the 3DMark Wild Life test, too, landing in the mid-12,500 range for a single run. Stress test performance is a different beast, so we’ll come back to that later.
Benchmarking scores aside, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) shines in day-to-day performance. I never noticed any stuttering or lag, not that I would expect to, given the premium configuration. More importantly, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) never ran hot, either. It stayed calm and collected, even when scrolling through Instagram Reels for longer than I probably should. You might notice a little warmth if you’re hammering Google Maps directions or demanding 3D games for hours on end, but the hit to your battery temperatures shouldn’t be too extreme. I’ve rarely had to rely on Battery Saver in my week or so with the phone, not something I can often say.
Motorola’s My UX skin is regularly a highlight of the company’s budget-friendly Moto G series, and it’s even better on the Edge Plus (2023). Not because it’s any different, but the light, smooth skin runs like a well-oiled machine with proper flagship power behind it. It sticks to Google’s first-party apps for the most part, with a few Motorola standards like Ready For (Motorola’s version of Samsung DeX) mixed in. My UX also filters the entire suite of Google apps into a dedicated folder in the app drawer, which helps to clean up what can quickly become a cluttered list. Motorola’s widgets follow its light, simple style, which fits right in with my love for a clean home screen.
One of Motorola’s other key upgrades to the Edge Plus (2023) is that this finally feels like a premium device. The previous Edge Plus opted for Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, Gorilla Glass 3 on the back, and a plastic frame to pull it all together — pretty weak for a flagship phone. That’s all gone this time. Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus offers plenty of peace of mind on both sides, and the textured back panel is utterly immune to fingerprints. Extra durability is a good thing, too, because the curved edges of the Edge Plus (2023) make for one slippery phone, and it’s nearly come out of my pocket more than once.
I could probably do without the quad-curved display, but the overall quality is top-notch. It’s bright and sharp, and the colors are punchy no matter what I’m watching or playing. The pOLED panel makes the most of its 165Hz refresh rate, which might be overkill for my needs, but it is an impressive addition nonetheless.
The Edge Plus (2023) finally feels like a premium device
Motorola’s stereo speakers are excellent, too, even at peak volumes. Most flagships opt for a single down-firing speaker and the earpiece, but the Edge Plus (2023) has a dedicated speaker on the top edge instead. The speakers are tuned with Dolby Atmos, and I appreciate that the Dolby Atmos settings open every time you pair a new Bluetooth device so you can choose your profile (including music, podcasts, gaming, and general audio settings). I didn’t notice any distortion or loss of quality while streaming Boygenius’s The Film at full volume, even when moving between rooms in my apartment. The Edge Plus (2023) might not take the stereo speaker crown from the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it’s on the podium.
Oh, and the kicker to Motorola’s Edge Plus (2023) setup? It’s $200 more affordable than its predecessor. Motorola made a laundry list of improvements and then dropped its premium flagship from $999 at launch to $799. That’s a pretty stellar value when you compare it to rival flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Apple iPhone 14.
What I don’t like about the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)
For as much as the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) gets right — and it gets a lot right — it comes up short in just a few places. The first is that maybe it wouldn’t be a true Motorola Edge without its curved display (though the last Edge Plus had a flat display), but I find myself making accidental taps and presses almost constantly. Motorola’s four-way curve (yes, the top and bottom are curved, too) means you have to be very careful with how you position your hand, which can be tough with small hands. I often end up accidentally pausing Instagram Reels because I’m pressing on the edge of the display without realizing it.
Although the image above might make it look like I have an issue with Motorola’s optical fingerprint sensor, I found it fast and reliable in my testing. However, this image best exemplifies the Edge Plus (2023) curved display and the spots where I often run into accidental touches. Another drawback to Motorola’s expansive, curved display is that there isn’t an always-on feature. This is a pretty big omission in 2023, especially when even Apple has finally added always-on support to its iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The Edge Plus (2023) does offer Edge Lights, which light the curved edges in different colors when notifications come in, but it’s not as helpful as a true always-on panel.
It may shine in one-off benchmarks, but the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) comes up short when put under heavy load.
The Edge Plus (2023) tries to make up for its width and curve with an almost impossibly thin body, which leads to another unintended consequence — performance under load. While the Edge Plus (2023) breezed through most of our one-shot benchmarks, it struggled under the pressure of the 20-run Wild Life Stress test, plummeting from very respectable early runs above 12,000 to just over 6,500 by the end. This was the one time I experienced the Edge Plus (2023) run hot, too, so maybe Motorola had to sacrifice a few cooling elements to achieve its form factor.
Although the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) escapes some of the bloatware that has started to plague some newer members of the Moto G series, it’s not entirely clean. It still asks you to dive into some curated selections based on your age and gender. That meant I wound up with the Publishers Clearing House Plus app and World of Words, which I immediately removed. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about the entertainment, shopping, or gaming hubs from our Motorola Moto G Power 5G review — those extras appear reserved for the most affordable Motorola phones.
One other flaw with Motorola’s software experience is its update commitment. Three years of Android support and four years of security coverage is good, but it’s not great, especially when Samsung offers an extra year of each on its mid-range Galaxy A devices. Motorola has delivered on its security patch promise so far, though we’ve yet to see Android 14 roll across the Edge Plus’ curved display.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) camera review
Motorola is no stranger to, shall we say, interesting camera decisions that bar it from landing among the best camera phones. It’s kept dedicated macro and depth sensors longer than most others, even at measly 2MP resolutions. However, as the Edge Plus (2023) has shown in several ways, times can change. The dedicated macro and depth options are gone, but the functionality they provided remains. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) once again carries two 50MP sensors on its back panel — one wide and one ultrawide — but in place of the previous depth sensor, you now get a 12MP 2x telephoto to work with. On the front, a 60MP selfie camera is housed in a central punch hole.
Motorola’s camera app remains simple and straightforward, with just enough default toggles scattered around the interface. You can tap into timers, flash settings, and alternative aspect ratios at the top, while options like full-resolution 50MP images are tucked away under the More tab. The Edge Plus (2023) also has a dedicated tab for Slow Motion video, should you find yourself itching to test the 960fps frame rate.
I spent much of my time with the 50MP primary sensor, which bins to 12.5MP right out of the box. It delivers a good, mostly natural color profile in balanced scenes, though there’s no getting around the intense green saturation on bright, sunny days. As you can see in the image of the creek, the Edge Plus (2023) likes to turn an afternoon walk into a scene straight out of the Shire. Thankfully, the Edge Plus is far more controlled in other situations, like the record store on the right side. It perfectly captured the faded tones in the sign and smaller details like individual bricks and spots of rust.
The Edge Plus (2023) handles different sky conditions pretty well, too. It doesn’t wash out the clouds above the green barn nor turn the sunset into one vague orange mess above the railroad tracks. Overall, there’s not much to complain about from the 50MP primary sensor, at least not in good lighting.
Remember that 12MP telephoto lens I mentioned above? Portrait mode is where it shines. It’s not the longest zoom on a smartphone, not by far, but the extremely wide f/1.6 aperture means you can get impressive background blur to isolate your subject further. Motorola’s Portrait tab offers three default focal lengths — 35mm, 5omm, and 85mm. All three work well, though it may take some getting used to the fact that you can’t pinch to zoom for other lengths.
The man selling balloons was taken at 85mm, and the Edge Plus (2023) had no problem identifying the edges of the balloons or the man himself. It did keep a few other features in focus, like the pipe behind him and the cone, but the crowd is nicely softened out. My 50mm portrait of the one-man band tells a similar story. The camera accurately picked out most of his gear, though it clipped out a few cables connecting to the drum on his back.
I’m not the biggest user of ultrawide cameras — I prefer wide and telephoto focal lengths — but the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is no slouch. Like the primary camera, the 50MP ultrawide shooter bins to 12.5MP by default, and its 0.5x magnification shakes out to a 114-degree field of view. It’s capable of capturing expansive scenes like the two of Baltimore’s harbor below, though I prefer it for interesting visual effects like the grille of the classic car in the center. It stretches just enough without distorting the background to give the vehicle an even larger presence.
Check out the slider if you want to see just how much extra the ultrawide lens captures.
The dedicated macro lens is dead, long live the dedicated macro lens. Honestly, I’m glad that although Motorola ditched the dedicated hardware, it put macro photography back in the mix as a software feature on the ultrawide camera. This is where it should be on flagships, and most mid-rangers worth their salt, too. Motorola’s implementation is one of the best I’ve tested, and it almost invites you to keep getting closer and closer to your subject. The shot of the guitar pick was taken about a finger’s width away, and you can easily make out tiny scratches in the plastic and the ridges around each letter. I’m also pleased with the detail in the door handle, which shows the scratches and wear you’d expect from an antique front door. Macro mode does struggle in low light situations, but that’s no different from the struggles of dedicated hardware.
The problem with focusing your telephoto efforts on portrait mode is losing out on zoom capabilities. While the Motorola Edge (2023) can technically punch in up to 16x, I’m not convinced by the quality past about 4x zoom. I used the 2x zoom often, it’s one of the default settings on the camera app, but details give way pretty quickly once you have to start pinching and squeezing. For example, the final image of the sailboat and its crew reduces the three people onboard to little more than stick figures. Granted, the Edge Plus (2023) has slightly better luck with large subjects like the city pier, but a few letters are noticeably soft at the edges.
Although zoom quality tends to suffer at longer lengths, Motorola’s photo stabilization is excellent. It kicks in from 2x zoom onward and completely erases any shake from my hands. I would have been willing to trade a little of the stabilization for a bump in zoom quality, as the current results still aren’t usable.
Motorola’s implementation of night mode is a bit of a mixed bag on the Edge Plus (2023). On the one hand, it captured maybe my favorite image I took with the phone, the ultrawide shot of the car grille, but on the other hand, it can struggle mightily if you don’t hold your phone perfectly still. The Edge Plus (2023) doesn’t give you a clean, simple countdown, either — you have to watch for the small image preview to appear in your gallery. That said, it’s usually pretty quick, taking only a second or two, but I’d much rather have a countdown to keep an eye on.
Super high-resolution selfie cameras should probably follow dedicated macro lenses out the door. As Samsung showed off with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, there’s no good reason for them to exist. Lower-resolution sensors with larger megapixels skirt most of the low-light issues and don’t have to worry about binning out of the box. Motorola’s 60MP selection is more than you need, and bins by default. There’s plenty of detail in my face, and portrait mode edge detection is good during the day, but the selfie shooter let me down in low light.
You can easily see the difference between the standard and portrait selfies in low light, and the reason is due to the screenshot below. The Edge Plus (2023) automatically jumps into Auto Night Vision in the basic selfie camera, but it doesn’t offer the same option in portrait mode. The result is a selfie that’s comically blown out on my face paired up against a much more naturally lit selfie that’s extremely soft upon closer inspection. Thankfully, you can turn off the Auto Night Vision as needed, but it seems like it needs to be toned down or added to the portrait mode — or maybe a mixture of the two.
On paper, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) should be a video superstar. It’s capable of up to 8K recording at 30fps from the primary camera, 4K recording at either 30 or 60fps, and 1080p recording from 30fps up to 960fps slow motion. It also offers stabilization and horizon lock, but this is where the quality breaks down. Motorola’s electronic video stabilization isn’t nearly as good as its optical photo stabilization, resulting in videos that may be sharp but also show every little shake of your hands. Stabilization is also inactive by default, but the improvement when you activate it isn’t impressive. Horizon lock is a cool feature — it allows you to rotate the Edge Plus (2023) a full 360 degrees while maintaining a level picture, but the stabilization brings the quality back down to earth.
If you want to check out full-resolution versions of the samples above (and more that we didn’t include), check out this Google Drive folder.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) specs
|Motorola Edge Plus (2023)|
2,400 x 1,080 resolution (Full HD+)
165Hz refresh rate
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
68W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W wireless power sharing
- 50MP wide, f/1.8, PDAF, OIS
- 50MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 114-degree FoV
- 12MP portrait telephoto, f/1.6
- 60MP wide, f/2.2
Dolby Atmos tuning
8K at 30fps
4K at 30 or 60fps
1080p at 30 or 60fps
Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Wi-Fi 6E (Wi-Fi 7 ready)
Optical under-display fingerprint reader
Ports and switches
USB 3.2 via USB-C
3 full Android updates
4 years of bi-monthly security patches
Dimensions and weight
161.6 x 74 x 8.59mm
In the box
Motorola Edge Plus (2023)
68W TurboPower charger
SIM ejector tool
Quick start guide
Should you buy the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)?
I’ve said it once or twice (or maybe even three times), but the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is the company’s best flagship in a very long time. It not only fixes a few of our main issues with previous Edge models, like build materials and overall camera quality, but also mixes in improvements that we didn’t expect — like a premium 165Hz refresh rate and 68W wired charging that runs circles around Google, Apple, and Samsung. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) makes precisely the right changes, and it does so while getting a price cut in the process. The last Edge Plus felt overpriced at $999, but the new model is a downright steal at $799 — especially with 512GB of storage.
Motorola’s light, smooth Android skin has long been one of our favorites, and it feels perfectly matched to the rest of the high-end design. It keeps bloatware to a minimum, though we wish the commitment to software updates lasted longer. We also wish the phone itself were perhaps a bit thicker — as it stands, this is one slim, slippery flagship. Even still, the laundry list of improvements on the Motorola Edge Plus does more than enough to justify its asking price and brings serious punch back to one of the longest-standing Android brands.
Motorola's Edge Plus (2023) not only tackles some of our oldest complaints, it sets a new bar for Motorola's flagships.
Should you decide that the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) isn’t for you, the flagship market is rich with options. At the MSRP price, it’s stacked against Samsung’s Galaxy S23 ($799 at Amazon) and Galaxy S23 Plus ($999.99 at Samsung), offering specs to match the latter and a price that matches the former. Yes, Samsung will provide you with more software updates, has a wide product ecosystem to support the phone, and a more evolved camera experience, but Motorola’s light, simple software is one of our favorites, and it easily wins the charging battle. Motorola won’t upcharge you for ample storage space, either, since 512GB is its only configuration.
Apple’s iPhone 15 ($829.99 at Amazon) is another competitor at the same price point but doesn’t top the Edge Plus (2023) in meaningful ways. Its two cameras offer less flexibility than Motorola’s updated setup, even if Apple added its 48MP main camera. To Apple’s credit, some might prefer the continuation of its flat panel to the Edge Plus (2023) with its curves, but the 60Hz refresh rate continues falling further behind the Android competition. The iPhone 15 is also the software update king, carrying support for as long as Apple sees fit — usually upwards of six years. If you really want a competing iPhone, you want the iPhone 15 Pro ($999 at Amazon), but that’ll cost you extra.
Where the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) faces its stiffest competition is perhaps the affordable flagship segment. It’s more expensive than the Google Pixel 8 ($699 at Amazon) or the OnePlus 11 ($1296 at Amazon), leading on some specs while lagging on others. Although Motorola’s camera setup is more flexible than the Pixel’s, it’s hard to argue against Google’s image processing power. The Pixel 8 also stands up to the Edge Plus (2023) in terms of premium materials, and thicker side rails mean it’s easier to keep a grip on, too. As for the OnePlus 11, it’s the one phone on this list that beats Motorola’s 68W wired charging. It tops out at 80W in the US, though you’ll have to give up wireless charging and use the included USB-A block for the best speeds. We also prefer My UX to Oxygen OS right now, especially as the latter inches closer to OPPO’s Color OS.
One final rival for the Edge Plus (2023) to tackle is Google’s Pixel 8 Pro ($999 at Amazon). In fact, the Edge Plus (2023) is probably closer to the premium Pixel than it is to the vanilla model. Both phones share nearly 6.7-inch displays, though the Edge Plus has the faster refresh rate and curves on all four sides. Google’s rounded edges and soft-touch glass back give the Pixel 8 Pro a better feeling in the hand, too. While you get a wide, ultrawide, and telephoto trio on both devices, the Pixel 8 Pro is a clear winner in terms of zoom capability and image-processing power, you’ll just have to live without the in-depth manual controls that Motorola offers.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: FAQs
No, the Motorola Edge Plus does not have an SD card slot.
Yes, the Motorola Edge Plus uses Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and back.
Yes, the Motorola Edge Plus supports NFC for wireless payments.