For the first time in recent history, Motorola is positioning itself to take on Samsung and Apple in the question smartphones of elite. The last time the Brazilian market saw a Motorola premium cell phone was in 2017, with the launch of the Moto Z2 Force in Brazil. After that, other countries got to know the Z3 and the Z4, but no other top-of-the-line handset family of the brand was announced again.
Despite the differentiated incursion with the reboot With the Razr riding the folding bandwagon, the manufacturer, under Lenovo’s control, was focusing its strengths on input and intermediate devices. However, this “comfort zone” does not reflect the history of Motorola, which is an iconic name in the cell phone market. The first call with a mobile phone, for example, was made in April 1973 with a Motorola DynaTAC.
In recent years, the market for smartphones suffered an apotheotic rally followed by a slowdown. Indicators pointed out that people wanted cheaper devices. However, parallel to this, giants like Apple and Samsung began to set a new price level for premium devices: one thousand dollars (or 10 thousand reais). And that was exactly the dollar price chosen by Motorola for its Edge+.
According to IDC data, the smartphones Intermediate products became more popular in Brazil in 2019, especially the intermediate-premium models, which feature top-of-the-line features with prices ranging between R$700 and R$1,099. However, as prices increased and sales of smartphones fell, companies like Apple and Samsung have rethought their strategies. Last year, they chose to release “less expensive” versions of their smartphones premium, like Samsung Galaxy S10e, Pixel 3a and iPhone 11.
In this sense, we have a point for Motorola, which has already arrived with a “more affordable” option in relation to the plus version of its new device. The Moto Edge is expected to cost about $300 less due to differences in camera set, battery and processor.
But can Motorola still get back into the fray?
5G is a differentiator
Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm, said the release of more devices that support 5G should encourage people to upgrade their smartphones. However, 5G phones tend to be more expensive than models without this technology — the Galaxy S10 5G, for example, was released for $1,300.
In the first half of 2020, we noticed a new movement in the market: the arrival of intermediate devices with 5G support, including family launches Galaxy A, from Samsung. In March, Xiaomi also “kicked the bucket” by launching what it called the “world’s cheapest 5G smartphone”, the Mi 10 Lite, for 349 euros.
Motorola has already paid attention to this and brought the 5G as a killer feature of the Edge line. The company claims that it is equipped with a set of antennas compatible with mmWave and frequencies below 6 GHz, which should be adopted in our country. Also according to Motorola, the smartphone is capable of reaching speeds above 4 Gbps.
Cool, but we still don’t even have a forecast of having 5G in Brazil, so what does this really mean for us Brazilians? This means that a good set of antennas will also improve the reception of your 3G and 4G signal, in addition to leaving the consumer with a device ready for when the fifth generation networks are made official here. In addition, in a still uncertain future, it will be possible to use the device during the longing for international trips to countries that already have this technology available.
Focus on details
Of course, Motorola also hasn’t left out the basics we expect from smartphones top of the line, like Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful processor, the Snapdragon 865 and 12GB of RAM.
The screen’s 90Hz refresh rate with HDR10 support is also a plus, but commonplace. The Edge feature has already been seen in competitors like Samsung, but Motorola claims that the display curves at an almost 90-degree angle on the side of the phone, pointing to a more “waterfall” style experience of Oppo Find X.
The 3 rear cameras of the Plus version are also what we expect from a flagship, including a 108-megapixel main that lets in lots of light, an 8-megapixel telephoto, and a 16-megapixel wide-angle.
However, I would like to draw attention to three details that are often overlooked even in smartphones more expensive:
- audio quality;
- 3.5mm headphone jack;
Motorola points out that the Motorola Edge audio was tuned by software Waves MaxxAudio, GRAMMY winner. Among other features, it manages to extend the bass response curve beyond the physical capabilities of hardware. In addition, the system also features presets that automatically change to specific sound settings according to content, including games, video, music or voice. According to Motorola, the algorithms of software give Edge+ the most powerful speakers ever seen on a smartphone.
Still talking about audio, a detail that may seem silly, but it is definitely not: the presence of a 3.5mm jack for headphones, a rarity in smartphones premium. So, one more point for Motorola!
Moving on to the battery, seeing 5,000 mAh in an elite device is also something rare. This is one of the points that most caught my attention in Edge+, since it is the same as in Galaxy S20 Ultra, while Brother Edge has 4,500 mAh. However, this is something that needs to be tested in practice to see if autonomy is really all that.
Is it still time?
There are 6.7 inches of immersive, curved and HDR10+ screen. The main sensor of your triple camera is 108 MP for great photos. It has 5G available, stereo sound, 5000 mAh battery and 12 GB of RAM.
On paper, the Moto Edge+’s specs are very interesting and it looks ready to go head-to-head with its heavyweight competitors.
The main battleground for mid-tier brands trying to attack premium phones revolves around displays and cameras, so Motorola already has some small advantages with 5G, in addition to differentiated audio.
It is still strange to see that Motorola has returned to risk in the premium world, mainly because, in the United States, it will limit the initial sale of Edge to just one operator. We still don’t know what the strategy will be in Brazil, unless the models are produced locally, at the Jaguariúna (SP) plant.
However, this year may be the worst possible year to launch an expensive smartphone. Of course, no global pandemic was described even in the manufacturer’s worst forecasts, but the fact had to be faced and, here we are, eager to test this new foray from the traditional Motorola up close.