Motorola Edge 50 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: The dark knight rises

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Intro

The latest addition to the Motorola Edge lineup is live in the form of three models: the Motorola Edge 50 Fusion, Edge 50 Pro, and Edge 50 Ultra. In typical Motorola fashion, we have fancy names flying around, but today we’re going to focus on the Motorola Edge 50 Pro and compare it to a very potent rival, the iPhone 15 Pro Max.These two might look nothing alike, but the Motorola Edge 50 Pro hides some interesting specs inside that can give the iPhone a run for its money. The Motorola costs 699 euros at the moment, and it might land on US soil soon, so the price of the base model is very attractive as well.

Today we’re going to compare the two and answer the most important question: which one should you buy? And is the Motorola Edge 50 Pro a worthy opponent in this particular fight? Here we go!

Motorola Edge 50 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

The old curved vs flat battle again
The Motorola Edge 50 Pro comes with a slightly curved display and a different aspect ratio compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The latter sports a flat display, making it much wider in the hand. Now, it’s pretty subjective, and there are people who prefer curved displays, and there are those who advocate for flat screens.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and in this case, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro feels much more comfortable in the hand, even without a case, while the boxy and edgy (ironically) iPhone 15 Pro Max is a bit of a handful in that regard. The iPhone is also heavier, which doesn’t help the situation either.

As far as design goes, the Motorola follows in the footsteps of the Edge lineup, with an elegant and almost completely flushed to the body camera system in the upper left corner, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max relies on the traditional square camera system.

The back of the Motorola is also slightly curved, which further improves the feel when you hold the phone, and overall, holding the Motorola is a much more pleasant experience. That being said, a case would negate all those differences, so don’t pay that much attention to them.

There’s a difference in the materials used for the back as well. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro comes with a very nice vegan leather back in two color variants, Black Beauty and Luxe Lavender, and a Moonlight Pearl special edition, which is a mother of pearl-like material. The iPhone comes with a traditional glass back.

Moving to the displays of both phones, there are again differences, even though the diagonal is the same, at least on paper. The Motorola comes with a taller display that’s curved on the sides, while the iPhone has a traditional flat screen.

Looking at the benchmarks below, both phones are very bright; the actual difference is around 100 nits in favor of the Edge 50 Pro, but in reality, you won’t be able to spot the difference. The iPhone comes with a 120Hz ProMotion panel, while the Motorola has a 144Hz screen, but it can’t do 1-144Hz dynamically.

In terms of resolution, both phones are pretty close. The Motorola sports 2712 x 1220 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 446 PPI, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a 1290 x 2796 pixels display and 460 PPI, respectively.

Overall, the display isn’t a deciding factor here when it comes to pure performance. Both are excellent and bright enough, with crisp resolution and buttery smooth refresh rates. The only thing that would matter is whether you prefer curved or flat displays. So, yeah. In the end, it all boils down to the old curved vs flat dilemma.

Performance and Software

Advantage iPhone
Probably the biggest sacrifice Motorola had to make lies in the silicon used for the Edge 50 Pro. We’re looking at a Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor, and even though it’s not a slouch and actually a potent midrange chipset, this silicon is no match for the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone, at least when it comes to benchmarks.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max just obliterates the Motorola Edge 50 Pro, doubling the score of the latter in every performance benchmark. The Motorola may come with more RAM and base storage, but when it comes to raw power, the iPhone wins hands down.

Performance Benchmarks:

We all know that synthetic benchmarks don’t tell the full story, though. In reality, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 performs admirably in the Motorola Edge 50 Pro, and the phone feels snappy and fast. But if you want to stay at the forefront of smartphone hardware technology, the iPhone is the better choice here.

As far as software is concerned, it’s a different experience altogether, as people love to say “apples and oranges.” On the one hand, you have an almost stock Android experience; on the other, you have the typical iOS affair. The deciding factor, leaving personal preference aside, should be longevity. Motorola promises three years of major OS updates, while the iPhone comes with five, and because it’s nearly one year old, we can count that as four more years.

Camera

It’s pretty close, boys!
And here we are at the most important place nowadays when we talk about smartphones. The camera. It’s the area that enjoys some level of innovation even today and is one of the most interesting things to actually test.

So, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Motorola Edge 50 Ultra both sport a triple camera system with a very similar configuration. We have one big and mighty main camera, an ultrawide, and a telephoto. If we look at specs alone, these should be pretty close.

The iPhone comes with a 48MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, a 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), and a 12MP tetraprism telephoto (f/2.8) offering 5x optical zoom. The Motorola, on the other hand, features a 50MP main camera (f/1.4), a 13MP ultrawide (f/2.2), and a 10MP zoom lens with 3x optical zoom capabilities.

We can write about specs all day, but at the end of the day, the results are what matter. So, let’s take a look at some side-by-side samples.

Main Camera

In good lighting conditions both phones produce decent pictures, but it seems that the Motorola Edge 50 Pro tends to blow up and overexpose the shots. The colors also look pretty oversaturated on the Motorola, especially next to the iPhone 15 Pro Max sample. 

This “defect” from the above scenario turns into an advantage when the light is dim. Here we can see that the picture snapped with the Edge 50 Pro is clearer and brighter, with more detail and definition. The iPhone sample, on the other hand, looks yellow-ish and soft.

Zoom Quality

3X zoom:

5X zoom:

10X zoom:

The zoom samples look rather strange. At low magnification, the difference is more apparent – at 3X zoom, the iPhone does a better job at preserving detail, which is strange because the native zoom level of the Edge 50 Pro’s telephoto is 3x. At 5X and 10X zoom, the difference starts to vanish, and both phones manage to do a decent job. There’s a noticeable difference in color tone, though. The iPhone shots are definitely warmer and there’s that yellow-green tint we’re all familiar with.

Ultra-wide Camera

Looking at the ultrawide samples, the status quo remains unchanged. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro produces brighter images. Check out the white cars in the picture above, they look almost burnt. There’s a difference in the field of view as well. The iPhone gets more stuff inside the frame, even though on paper both offer a 120-degree FOV.

Selfies

Selfies look good on both phones, the Motorola comes with an impressive 50MP front camera, while the iPhone can’t win the megapixel war here. Truth be told, the iPhone images look more detailed, despite being shot with a 12MP camera. The Edge 50 Pro takes good selfies, smooth and somewhat softer and also darker but they look closer to what we saw with our eyes when snapping the samples.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

Here’s a quick video comparison. What do you think? Who wins the video challenge?

Audio Quality and Haptics

We all know how good the iPhone 15 Pro Max is when it comes to haptics and audio as well. It’s not just the size of the phone, but the Taptic engine and the quality of the of the loudspeakers. The Motorola Edge 50 Pro also sports a stereo speaker setup, but it’s slightly less impressive when put next to the iPhone.

Not that it’s bad or something; in isolation, the Edge 50 Pro sounds great, but the 15 Pro Max just has a wider frequency response, and it’s also louder and clearer at high volume. Not by much, but definitely better. Neither of these has a 3.5mm audio jack, so a tie on that front.

Battery Life and Charging

Supercharge!
The battery capacity of both of these phones is very similar. The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes equipped with a 4,422 mAh cell, while the Motorola sports a 4,500 mAh battery. This is where things get interesting. In our battery tests, when we used a fixed refresh rate, the results were pretty similar—around 9 hours of video streaming and gaming for both phones.

When it comes to web browsing, though, the iPhone and its ProMotion system managed to deliver almost 20 hours of uninterrupted web surfing, while the Motorola Edge 50 Pro managed “only” around 14 hours.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

When we get to the charging part, the Motorola Edge 50 Pro has a huge advantage, thanks to the included-in-the-retail-box 125W fast charger. It was able to charge 73% of the battery in just 15 minutes and pump it up to 100% in 23 minutes total! Amazing. The iPhone, on the other hand, is still a few generations behind when it comes to charging, despite the transition to USB-C. What a shame.

Specs Comparison

Here’s a quick specs comparison for the specs nerds out there. We have a detailed Motorola Edge 50 Pro vs Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max specs comparison if you want a deep dive, so check out that one as well.

Which one should you buy?

On the surface, these two are really different, no one would consider the Motorola Edge 50 Pro a threat to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But if you take some things into consideration, the winner of this battle becomes not that clear, at all. The camera system of the Edge 50 Pro is very potent and it delivers decent results, the display sports a similar performance to the one on the iPhone (both on paper and in real life), and when it comes to charging, the Edge 50 Pro wipes the floor with the 15 Pro Max. Add the price to the equation and the Motorola Edge 50 Pro suddenly becomes a pretty decent choice.

On the other hand, there are things we can’t overlook. The raw processing power of the iPhone is unmatched and the Edge 50 Pro can’t compete with its Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor. The video recording is better on the iPhone, and battery life is also better, thanks to the better dynamic refresh rate management. The iPhone 15 Pro Max also offers longer software support, even though the series is older than the Edge 50, it will outlive it by more than a year.

So, we’re viewing this with price in mind as a deciding factor. Because, for 699 the Motorola has a lot to offer. If you’re on a budget and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is too expensive for you, by all means, the Edge 50 Pro will do the job and you’ll be happy with the result. Otherwise, if money’s not important, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the obvious choice.


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