Historically speaking, Motorola’s budget and mid-range phones offer a value that competing brands can’t match. But the recent Pixel 6a launch could give Motorola a run for its money. So, how does the 2022 Motorola Edge stack up against Google’s Pixel 6a?
At launch, this year’s Motorola Edge will cost $500. The phone’s price will increase to an unknown amount shortly after launch, though we expect carriers to split the difference with deals and discounts. For comparison, the Pixel 6a costs $450 and recently went on sale for $400.
I should also note that both the Motorola Edge and Pixel 6a come with three years of guaranteed OS updates. Each device will end its life running Android 15, which is quite impressive.
Motorola went big with the Edge’s 6.6-inch OLED display. It supports HDR, and more importantly, it has an impressive 144Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6a’s 6.1-inch OLED panel supports HDR but caps out at a paltry 60Hz.
Under the hood, Motorola’s new Edge smartphone uses a MediaTek Dimensity 1050 chipset. Its processing power is comparable to the four-year-old Snapdragon 855. But the Pixel 6a uses Google’s custom Tensor chipset, which is more in line with the latest Snapdragon processors. In this area, Google is the clear winner.
As always, Motorola wins in the battery department. And not because the Motorola Edge’s 5,000mAh battery is larger than the Pixel 6a’s 4,410mAh cell—these products probably have a similar battery life, given the Edge’s 144Hz display. We’re more concerned with charging options.
The Pixel 6a can only charge over a wired connection at 15 watts. That’s not very “flagship” of you, Google! Motorola’s new Edge smartphone offers 30-watt wired charging, plus 15-watt wireless and 5-watt reverse wireless charging.
That said, both phones start with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. And they offer identical connectivity options—Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6E, sub-6 5G, and mmWave 5G (Verizon editions only).
Until we test the Motorola Edge, we can’t seriously compare its camera quality with that of the Pixel 6a. Still, we can look at the specs and make some educated guesses based on previous Motorola devices.
On paper, Motorola is the winner. The Edge uses a 50MP main camera, a 13MP ultra-wide lens, and 32MP selfie camera. These cameras use much larger sensors than the Pixel 6a’s 12.2MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and 8MP selfie cameras.
But hardware specs mean very little when you’re dealing with modern smartphone cameras. Google makes some of the best computational photography software of any smartphone manufacturer—it doesn’t need to use huge camera sensors.
Motorola sells dozens of smartphones with impressive camera specs. But none of these phones match the photo quality of older Google Pixel phones, including the three-year-old Pixel 3a.
Unless Motorola found a genie in a bottle, the Edge almost certainly falls short of Google’s camera quality. But as we discussed earlier, Motorola managed to beat Google in a few key areas, including display and charging specs.
Google Pixel 6a
Google’s Pixel 6a features the excellent Tensor processor and flagship-level photo quality. For under $500, it’s one of the best mid-range phones available today.
Which Phone Should You Buy?
To our surprise, the Motorola Edge and Pixel 6a are two very distinct phones. You shouldn’t have much trouble choosing between these devices—do you want the big 144Hz display and diverse charging options of the Motorola Edge, or are you a fan of the Pixel 6a’s powerful processor and awesome cameras?
Pricing may also be a deciding factor. At launch, the Motorola Edge costs $500, which is $50 more than the Pixel 6a. Unless you run into a generous carrier deal, the Pixel 6a looks like a better value.
That said, we still haven’t had a chance to review the 2022 Motorola Edge. If you’d like to keep up on all the new information on this phone, I suggest joining our free newsletter.