Especially in China, we have been waiting for an interesting model for a while. But this year, that wait ended with the launch of the new Motorola Edge S. As the first Snapdragon 870 smartphone, the brand is trying to regain its footing in the mobile industry. So let’s see how good the Motorola Edge S in real life.
Although it comes in a compact box, Motorola has, thankfully, decided to still include a charger and cable inside the box. It is worth mentioning that the Edge S’ case did not come separately in the box, rather it was already installed on the phone. I guess this should be the secret of how it is possible to make the box so small when there is a charger included.
Motorola Edge S Review: Design
If there was one word to describe the hands-on experience, it would be “Rough”.
The phone weighs 215 grams and is 9.69mm thick. Add a 6.7″ screen to this and the phone feels very bulky. The good thing is that the screen aspect ratio is 21:9, so it’s not particularly hard to grip. On the front, you’ll find a 1080p dual hole-punch screen with a 90hz refresh rate.
It is rare that the two holes are not combined into one oval shape. The back cover reflects purple or blue light when viewed at different angles. It looks like glass but is actually plastic. There is a fingerprint sensor on the side and even a headphone jack, which was surprising.
And there is an additional multifunction button. It can be customized to open programs with one click. Double tapping on the fingerprint sensor can also trigger a similar function.
However, some details of the Edge S are not quite good enough. For example, the screen protector is smaller than the screen size, resulting in the edges not being covered. There is almost no oleophobic layer on the screen and back cover. So the entire phone will be covered in fingerprints after a few hours of handling, which makes the display very shabby. The top and bottom bezels are also very wide.
Yes, I agree it retails for a cheap price tag but there are plenty of phones in its price range that are more refined than this. Unfortunately, if you are someone who wants a phone that feels premium, the Edge S may not live up to your expectations.
That said, I know that users who actually get this phone will be for its processor. This year’s Snapdragon 888 was too powerful resulting in overheating issues.
So can the Edge S with Snapdragon 870 give us a satisfactory performance?
Motorola Edge S Review: Snapdragon 870 Gaming & Performance
On Antutu Benchmark the phone scored a respectable 640,000 while in 3DMARK it got around 4900. Compared to the Mi 11’s Snapdragon 888 the gap is still very obvious. But Benchmark tests only show their peak performance, and gaming is the only real way to check the true level of sustained performance output for a smartphone.
So let’s play some games on the device.
PUBG naturally goes without saying, ran almost always at 60 fps. Genshin Impact was better optimized for the Snapdragon 888 chip after a recent update. We compare this to the re-tested Mi 11. The Edge S has an average frame rate of only 47 fps. Whereas the Mi 11 can reach 53 fps.
The Edge S averaged 48 fps in BrightRidge while the Mi 11 averaged 52 fps. So there is a visible difference in performance in terms of numbers. But in terms of real-world experience, the Snapdragon 870 still has the edge. The Snapdragon 888’s frame rate plummets when it overheats, which can be noticeably felt. But the Snapdragon 870 is largely immune to this phenomenon.
And the Edge S tops out at around 50°C. However, the Mi 11 can reach up to 55°C. It’s already hard to hold the phone when you are gaming. So if the Edge S is used as a phone dedicated to gaming, I think it’s still good.
Motorola Edge S Review: Camera
Next, we put the focus on the Camera system of the Motorola Edge S. Let’s start with the Edge S’ camera setup. The four rear cameras consist of a 64mp main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP portrait depth of field lens, and a TOF lens.
The daytime performance of the main camera is relatively good, with natural colors. Apart from the highlights and purple-fringing issue, which were not so well controlled, the camera quality was quite satisfactory for a phone at this price point.
Night Camera Samples
The nighttime performance is not as good as the daytime. Highlights overflow, details in dark are lost and noise is noticeable. Turning on night mode only improves the exposure imbalance, but the other shortcomings remain the same.
At night, it’s fine for recording. But note that you can’t expect much from its video performance in low light. We also tested the Ultra-Resolution mode. This mode outputs 64MP photos. But the difference in sharpness compared to the straight-out 16MP photos is not very noticeable.
Ultra Wide Camera
The ultra-wide camera performs similarly when compared to the main camera, although the purple-fringing issue is much worse in the daytime. In low light, the performance of the ultra-wide camera is worse than the main camera, and there is no night mode for the ultra-wide camera. So it’s best to stick to brighter places if you want to take pictures with an ultra-wide camera.
The ultra-wide camera can also take macro photos. The photos are good. But because there is no OIS, you need to keep your hand very steady when you shoot.
Motorola Edge S Review: Battery
The back cover is made of plastic, so you must be wondering why the phone is still so heavy? The reason is that it comes with a huge 5000mAh battery. But the battery life is not just about battery capacity, it’s also about optimizations. One hour of 1080p internet video consumes 14%, one hour of web browsing consumes 11%, half an hour of Genshin Impact consumes 12% and 20 minutes of BrightRidge consumes 13%. A day without charging should not be a problem.
However, the maximum charging power is limited to 20 Watts. You only get 37% charge in half an hour and 68% in one hour. A full charge takes close to two hours, which is a long time of waiting. If you forget to charge it before going to bed, it’s still a pain to get the Edge S completely charged.
Motorola Edge S Review: Verdict
So after looking at all the configurations, do you think the Motorola Edge S is worth
Well, it’s not great in a lot of areas. But with the Snapdragon 870 and 5000mah battery, and a very cost-effective price, it makes for an excellent gaming smartphone. If you’re on a budget and want a gaming phone, you should definitely consider it.