Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Preview: Motorola’s design team strikes again


Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Intro

Motorola has launched its flagship lineup for 2024, and the most specced out model is the Edge 50 Ultra. Unfortunately, for now none of the Edge 50 Series has a counterpart for the US market, but they are available in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The Motorola Edge 50 Ultra in particular will cost you €999 for the base model, which comes with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It has one of the best chipsets on the market, a set of promising cameras and some AI features to elevate their performance, as well as a eye-catching and comfortable design.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty!

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Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Specs

AI magic for the masses

Let’s start with an overview of the expected Edge 50 Ultra specs:

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Design and Display

120 Hz for everyone!

The time has come for all midrange phones to amp up their game and offer a 120Hz display refresh rate. Gone are the days of stuttering 60Hz displays; now you can have that buttery smoothness on a phone that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

According to the latest info, the Pixel 8a features a 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED with a peak brightness of 1,400 nits. The usual camera cutout sits at the upper center of the display. We’ll have to test this claim, so stay tuned for our display tests.

Regarding the design and the overall materials of the Pixel 8a, there’s nothing groundbreaking; the model follows in the footsteps of the design philosophy started with the Pixel 6, and overall looks very similar to its predecessor, the Pixel 7a. Looking at the shape of the phone, it’s a little more rounded on the back and also on the sides.

The camera bar is still present, with an oval cutout for the two cameras. The overall shape and button layout scream Pixel, so you’re getting a very distinct design in a world where smartphones all kind of look the same, which is a bonus.

As far as colors are concerned, the phone is available in bay (light blue), mint (light green), obsidian (black), and porcelain (beige), and they all look very hip, especially the blue version that will further make the Pixel 8a pop up in the crowd.

The Pixel 8a relies on the same under-display biometric tech as its predecessors. There have been some issues with the fingerprint scanner of the early Pixel 6 models, but Google has addressed all of these, so you’ll be fine. Face unlock was introduced on the A-series Pixels with the Pixel 7a, and it’s onboard here as well.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Camera

Looks great on paper

The camera of the Edge 50 Ultra is where Motorola obviously takes the most proud and joy from its latest high-end flagship. Not only does it come with some rather impressive hardware, but it is also where the AI utilization is most visible.

Here’s a quick look at the full Edge 50 Ultra camera specs:

  • Main (wide): 50MP, f/1.6 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
  • Ultra-wide: 50MP, f/2.0, Autofocus
  • Telephoto: 64MP, 3X Zoom, f/2.4, Autofocus, OIS
  • Front: 50MP, f/1.9, Autofocus

You can record 4K video at 60FPS, and 1080P video at a maximum of 960FPS for slow motion. There’s also an option to record in 10 bit HDR10+, although that would take up a lot of space.

As far as AI is concerned, there are a few features that aid the camera performance. For one, you have Action Shot, which is the phone’s ability to adjust shutter speed and ISO in low-light environments to capture as much light as possible.

Next, we have Auto Focus Tracking, which helps keep subjects moving fast inside the frame clear to see when recording videos. Another video feature, and the more important one in my opinion, is the Adaptive Stabilization, which adjusts the stabilization based on how you are holding the phone and your movements.

Lastly, we have the Auto Enhance feature, which actually comes from a master in photo editing software, Google. Motorola just decided to bake this feature into the camera app on the Edge 50 Ultra. Users have the option to choose from Natural (the default) and the Auto Enhance mode, the latter of which aims to edit the image so that it looks better.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Performance

Flagship performance with higher power efficiency
One of the best things about the Motorola Edge 50 Ultra is that it comes with the latest and greatest of Qualcomm chipsets, the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3. This chip is absolutely a capable one as far as performance goes, although not as capable as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (notice the lack of an “s” after the “8” there). 

The difference between the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is that the former cannot be overclocked and has more efficiency cores, while the latter lass less efficiency cores and an additional one for performance. In other words, the 8 Gen 3 is more powerful, but the 8s Gen 3 should be more power-efficient while still very capable.

The Edge 50 Ultra comes with 12/16 GB of LPDDR5X RAM, which is fastest currently used in flagship mobile phones. It also has 512GB/1TB storage variants with built-in

UFS 4.0 storage, which is also up to par with the competition.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Software

The Motorola Edge 50 Ultra comes with Android 14 straight out of the box, and a Motorola’s Hello UI skin on top of it. That includes familiar features such as the twist gesture to turn on the camera even while the phone is locked, or the chop gesture to turn on the flashlight.

Motorola has also added some AI pazzaz in the form of generative wallpapers, which is admittedly a gimmicky feature for most of the time. However, the twist here makes this feature a bit more interesting, as you can generate a wallpaper based on a photo of your clothing, something I quite liked on the more affordable Edge 50 Pro.

Other than that, there are not generative AI features like the ones you would find on the Galaxy S24 or Pixel 8, unfortunately.

The software update situation is rather disappointing, however, as you you get only 3 years of Android updates and 4 years of security patches; below average for a today’s Android flagship scene.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Battery

The complete charging package

Motorola is one of the manufacturers that places a importance in charging speeds, and that can be seen throughout all of its Edge 50 series models. The Edge 50 Ultra comes with 125W charging speed, 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless.

With a 4,500mAh on board the phone can charge from 0-100% in about 23 minutes or so, if we are to judge from the already released Edge 50 Pro, which comes with the same battery and charging specs.

Speaking of the Edge 50 Pro, one of its downsides was the rather mediocre battery life (compared to the competition), so we expect something similar from the Edge 50 Ultra, especially with the more powerful Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 inside.

The 10W reverse wireless charging is also super neat in case you decide to buy Motorola’s first wireless earbuds, the Moto Buds Plus, or any other earbuds that allow wireless charging.

50W wireless charging is also pretty neat, as long as you have a wireless charger that supports this level of charge output.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra Audio Quality and Haptics

Motorola has been quite successful at offering great audio quality with its Edge series in the past couple of years. The stereo speakers on the mid-range Edge 50 Pro were overall pretty good, with great volume and overall good sound profile, but with a weird mushy/muted sound throughout the whole range.

We expect the Edge 50 Ultra to be one level higher in terms of audio quality compared to the Edge 50 Pro, with clearer and richer sound. We also expect the haptics on the Ultra to be more precise in comparison, as the ones on the midranger are rather disappointing.

Sadly, like almost all other phones on the market nowadays, the Edge 50 Ultra has no 3.5mm audio jack, so you would have to depend on USB-C connectors or Bluetooth headphones.

Should you buy it?

The Motorola Edge 50 Ultra is definitely looking good, especially with those different back panel materials it comes in and the thin formfactor. The curved display is not for everybody, though, but it also wouldn’t be an proper “Edge” phone if it didn’t include that.

We are happy to see the importance Motorola has placed onto the camera system, which sounds like a potentially very capable one, especially if we were to speculate based on the Edge 50 Pro’s camera performance.

You also get quite the capable chipset inside, which is doesn’t match the competition from Samsung exactly, but should offer more power-efficiency instead.

The one issue—and it isn’t a small one—that we have with the Edge 50 Ultra is that it only comes with 3 years of Android updates. Now, granted, if you don’t plan on owning the phone for any longer than that, then maybe you wouldn’t mind this setback. That said, you are paying €999, and the reselling value will drop significantly because of that.

For now, while we do like how the Motorola Edge 50 Ultra sounds on paper, we would recommend you wait for our full review before hitting that “pre-order” button.

Meanwhile, you can take a look at some of the competition such as the Galaxy S24 (€959), which comes with a great set of cameras, an even more powerful chipset, more compact body, and 7 years of support. Your other option is the OnePlus 12 (€949), which comes with the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip as in the Galaxy S24, but with the same charging speeds as the Motorola Edge 50 Ultra—kind of like the best of both worlds.

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