Motorola Edge 5G UW overview: The center baby of telephones

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

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 stable telephones that boast premium options and an inexpensive worth. The telephones are a part of Motorola’s 2021 premium lineup. Up thus far, 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 price. The glass again has been swapped out for a lighter plastic one with a hanging blue end that, virtually hypnotically, modifications relying on the way it catches the sunshine. A brand new software program characteristic referred to as Prepared For permits you to wirelessly join your telephone to a TV or monitor.


  • Battery life is excellent
  • Prepared For gaming on a TV is sweet
  • 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 screen might be laborious to see outdoor
  • Prepared For’s cursor interface feels clunky

The Edge usually prices $700 which converts roughly to £520, AU$980 and is presently on sale for $600. The Edge 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 referred to as the Motorola Edge 5G UW, which I examined for this overview. The Edge 5G UW is restricted 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 really spectacular speeds; you simply must be in a selected spot the place it is supplied. Fortunately, I examined the telephone in San Francisco and was capable of 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 worth there are extra premium choices just like the iPhone 13. However even whenever you examine the Edge with its discounted worth, there are telephones just like the Google Pixel 5A with 5G that value 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 when it comes to options and high quality.

Total, I like this second-gen model of the Edge much more than the unique. It represents an awesome worth for what you get, particularly when it comes to battery life. 

The Motorola Edge has a superb battery life

Whereas telephone cameras get a variety of the eye when it comes to critiques, not everybody cares about having the most recent groundbreaking digicam tech on their telephones. Most individuals would quite have a telephone with an extended battery life. And that is the place the Edge’s big 5,000-mAh battery is available in.

Motorola advertises the Edge as a “two-day telephone” and I agree. Even once 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 4.5 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 just a few occasions outdoor when the show was washed out by daylight.

The Edge has a Snapdragon 778G chip, which was wonderful in on a regular basis use. There have been just a few occasions the place I wished the telephone to be extra peppy. I particularly seen 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 telephone 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


Ready For takes the Motorola Edge to the big screen

The Edge can be connected to a TV or monitor with a software feature called Ready For. You access Ready For via the Quick Settings shade. A window pops up and you have two options: You can connect your phone to a PC or to a display. I tested Ready For with a couple of TVs.

Once connected, the TV can mirror everything on the phone’s screen or you can use Motorola’s Ready For interface. The main window looks slick and feels like a hybrid of Android and Windows. I was able to play games on the Motorola Edge while using my 65-inch TV to display them. It was a blast. I also used Bluetooth to connect a controller to the Edge and play PUBG mobile on my TV.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

Ready For is a software interface that lets you connect your phone to a TV or monitor.

Patrick Holland/CNET

You can also do video chats using Ready For. It uses your phone’s cameras to film you and displays the meeting on your TV. There is a neat Subject Tracking camera feature that can seemingly reframe and follow you during a call. It’s similar to Apple‘s Center Stage feature on the new iPad Mini.

Sometimes I found the Ready For interface clunky. You can use your phone’s screen as a trackpad, for example, to navigate a cursor on your TV. But it lacks the finesse and precision I’m used to on an actual trackpad. The good news is you can connect a mouse over Bluetooth.

The Edge has an average main camera

The Edge has three rear cameras: a main 108-megapixel camera that uses pixel binning to create 12-megapixel photos, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera that can also take macro photos and 2-megapixel depth camera for Portrait Mode and similar features. Overall the main camera is good. I reliably got photos with good image quality in bright and medium light situations. But as lighting got dimmer, photos looked more processed and details became soft.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

I like that the main camera doesn’t oversaturate the colors of the pumpkins.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This was taken with HDR. Details in the shadows look soft.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This is a good photo, but I want the details and textures to look more crisp.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

I like how the Edge handles skin tones.

Patrick Holland/CNET

There were several times where I noticed a lag between taking one photo and the next. I should clarify that this wasn’t bad, but it’s not as peppy as I’ve become accustomed to on other phones.

The ultrawide camera offers a wonderful perspective but it’s a noticeable step down in terms of image quality compared to the main camera. Even in the best lighting, details look soft.

Motorola Edge 5G UW

This was taken with the ultrawide camera. Everything looks soft. Details are muted.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola Edge 5G UW

Here is another photo from the ultrawide. This might be the best one I took, but it still isn’t great.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The front-facing camera has a 32-megapixel sensor and uses pixel binning to produce decent selfies.

Overall, the camera system on the Edge is just OK. It’s still a step behind what Apple and Google are doing.

The Motorola Edge prioritizes value

Motorola should be proud of the new Edge. It offers amazing value in terms of features. And if you’re set on getting one, keep an eye out for deals. Currently Motorola is taking $100 off the price of the Edge (2021) and Verizon is selling the Edge 5G UW for $13.29 a month over a 30-month contract.

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