Moto Edge 50 Ultra review: A well-built premium smartphone but not the most bang for buck

Motorola seems to be competing with high-end smartphones while being a little more affordable than its rivals. Its latest Moto Edge 50 Ultra has been priced at Rs 59,999 (introductory price of Rs. 54,999) looking to take on the likes of the OnePlus 12, Samsung Galaxy S24 and Xiaomi 14. Let us see how it performs and whether it cuts any corners to save on the cost.

The device comes in wood, glass and faux leather back panel options. I tried the wooden panel variant and found it quite distinct looking from the crowd of phones. The triple camera and dual LED setup on a slightly protruding rectangle that isn’t separated from the rest of the panel. The front has a 6.67-inch curved display (20:9 aspect ratio) that’s complemented well by the curved corners and a narrow side frame (8.6mm thick) that’s made out of aluminium. The front-facing camera and earspeaker grille are neatly tucked near the top. The under 200g phone can be a little slippery when placed on a flat surface but is generally comfortable to carry around, provided you’re used to having to bigger phones.

Sporting a 6.67-inch rt full HD+ (2712×1220) curved display with support for up to 144Hz refresh rates as well as 720Hz DC dimming. The display is bright and usable outdoors even in harsh sunlight. It’s a vivid and sharp display and I preferred to use it in the natural display mode that seemed a little more colour accurate and suitable for watching movies or TV shows. Output for watching HDR10+ content on it is also not bad at all, retaining details and not sacrificing on shadows and motion when playing something with fast moving characters.

Moving to the cameras, Edge 50 Ultra sports three cameras on the back – 50MP (f/1.6) main camera (with OIS), a 50MP (f/2.0) ultra-wide, and a 64MP (f/2.4) telephoto camera (with OIS) as well. The phone’s camera performance seems to be quite strong, given the hardware packed in. It gave clear and well-stitched shots in daylight for the subject. Plus, the camera app is quick to switch between different modes. I liked the Action mode for capturing moving subjects, including children and pets, though with AI turned off for slightly better details in low-light shots. The front-facing 50MP (f/1.9) with autofocus handles most situations well enough to take good selfies, including portraits in day to evening kind of light shots. The front camera can also shoot 4K videos but only at 30FPS (and not 60FPS).

Under the hood, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset (up to 3Ghz octa core processor, Adreno 735 GPU and x70 5G modem) along with 12GB LPDDR5X RAM and 512GB UFS 4.0 internal storage. The phone runs on Android 14 with Moto’s Hello UX with the May security patch installed. The overall look and feel of the software is quite close to stock Android but with added features and some tweaks. The usual things like press the power button twice to open the camera or swipe the phone in chop-like gesture to open flashlight.

There’s no always on display but there is double tap to lock the screen. There are a lot of theming options, including the lockscreen, fonts and icons. The phone’s performance is really smooth and well optimised to handle animations and switching between apps. It played a heavy game like Wuthering Waves at 60FPS consistently. Having said that, Moto promises only three years of OS updates and four years of security patches, which isn’t at par with many others promising 5 or some even 7 years of updates. Plus, a better quipped chipset such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 isn’t too far in reach considering the competition, but then it all comes down to what are your priorities.

The phone is powered by a 4,500mAh battery unit, which lasted me a little under a day most of the times. Using the bundled 125watts TurboPower charger, you can charge the device in an hour. The charger can also be used to charge other USB-C devices such as a laptop via power delivery due to its better compatibility (not proprietary tech) compared to the likes of OnePlus and Realme.

The loudspeakers on the phone are quite loud and have decent depth to watch your videos and play games indoors around not too many people. WiFi and GPS didn’t show any glitches, while 5G network reception during my usage on the move was also quite reliable.

In conclusion, Moto Edge 50 Ultra is a well-made smartphone with a chipset that does most things well but not the most bang for buck in the price segment. The phone does have a capable set of cameras that generally performed well enough while its battery life remained decent at best.