Can good specs save the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)?

The Edge Plus (2023) is Motorola's next US flagship, priced at $799. But honestly, will anyone truly care?

Motorola Edge Plus for 2023.

Motorola announced that its Edge Plus flagship for 2023 is making its way to the United States, and that’s a nice thing to hear since it means more options for American customers, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if anyone cares.

The tech press obviously does; the US doesn’t see nearly as many flagship Android phones as other markets like Europe or Asia, so any time there’s a new one, there’s a good amount of fanfare. I think Motorola is deserving of that fanfare, mind you–it’s Motorola after all, and they’ve had a good amount of hits in the past.

But it’s no secret that their last few flagship phones to hit US shores have been letdowns. The Edge series hasn’t exactly resurrected the success of the Moto X line, nor does it share the same gravitas as the Z series. Instead, Motorola plays it safe with the Edge lineup, focusing on good specs and a nice design. Is that enough to sell a smartphone in an overly-crowded market? I don’t think so.

The Motorola Edge Plus for 2023, featuring the back panel and display.

Still, Motorola will continue to try, and the Edge Plus (2023) at least seems like a strong contender. The device is made of Gorilla Glass Victus and aluminum, with an IP68 certification for water resistance. On the front, you’ll find a 6.7-inch p-OLED display with a 2400×1080 resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. All four sides of the screen are curved (hence the name), and it includes Dolby Vision support and peaks at 1,300 nits bright.

There’s a triple rear camera system on the back of the Edge Plus, consisting of a 50MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (which doubles as a macro lens), and a 12MP f/1.6 telephoto lens. Motorola tosses in 8K video recording, video portrait mode, and a 60MP selfie camera for good measure, which shakes out to a pretty well-rounded camera setup.

Inside is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. That’s a recipe for solid performance, but I’ll obviously need to go hands-on to tell how speedy it is. The battery weighs in at 5,100mAh (larger than what’s in Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra) and comes with fast 68W wired charging (wall adapter included) and 15W wireless charging.

Out of the box, you get Android 13 with Motorola’s light customizations on top (like the Moto Actions app and some UI tweaks). The company is promising up to three years of major OS upgrades and four years of security patches, which is more than previous flagships have received but still behind what Samsung and Google promise for their phones.

In addition, the device features Wi-Fi 7 support, 5G, NFC, and a weight of about 204 grams (a little less than the S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max).

The Motorola Edge Plus for 2023, featuring the curved edges on the screen.

Priced at $799, Motorola clearly wants the Edge Plus (2023) to catch as many people’s eyes as possible. For techies, yes, that price tag will work. But for general consumers, I’m not sure it will. Moto isn’t selling this phone through any carriers besides Boost Infinite (the new Boost Mobile under Dish) and Consumer Cellular. If the company wanted to actually catch anyone’s eye, the Edge Plus has royally screwed up that opportunity.

Still, I hesitate to dunk on the device too much, mostly because I haven’t tested it yet. Maybe it’ll be a well-rounded, pleasant alternative to the Galaxies and Pixels of the world. Or maybe it won’t be; Moto’s history doesn’t exactly promise that won’t be the case.

The phone will go on sale May 25th in the United States at Amazon, Best Buy, and Motorola’s website (the two carriers I mentioned will get it in the coming weeks). I’ll be pursuing a review unit in the mean time, so stay tuned.