Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Motorola offers more to mid-range in Edge 50, builds Bose buds

Two new Moto models are on the way to tempt folks with big screens for less, while the company also works with Bose for something new.

Four months done and dusted into 2024, new phones have felt a little underwhelming in terms of capabilities. There have been a few low-end releases ideal for folks who want to spend less, and there have been models in the high-end from Samsung’s S24 range, including the highest of them all, the Galaxy S24 Ultra. But that has largely been it.

If you didn’t want to spend very little or a whole lot, your choices so far have been very much from last year. Not that this is a major problem: 2023 had some great phones in it.

However, phone updates are normally consistent and regular, so it can make a lot of sense if you’ve been waiting to see what 2024 offers.

And as the fourth month transforms into the fifth, we’re beginning to see what that looks like, as Motorola looks set to make the mid-range a little more interesting with two options designed to bring big OLED screens, water resistance, and some unique approaches to features in its Edge 50 range.

Moto’s similar-yet-different 5G Edge 50 range

This year, the Edge 50 in Australia covers two models, the $599 Edge 50 Fusion and the $999 Edge 50 Pro, and while they look similar on the surface, there are some obvious differences.

In the more expensive of the two, the Edge 50 Pro, Motorola is providing a 6.7 inch pOLED screen running what’s being referred to as “Super HD”, which offers 2712×1220. That’s a little more resolution than Full HD or even Full HD+, with a 144Hz refresh rate along for the ride, as well as IP68 water resistance, an aluminium frame, and a choice of either vegan leather or polymer (plastic) on the back. Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 armed with a solid 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, plus 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and even support for wireless charging.

There’s also an emphasis on cameras in the Moto Edge 50 Pro, with three on the back covering a 50 megapixel F1.4 main wide, a 13 megapixel F2.2 ultra-wide with macro, and a 10 megapixel F2.0 3X zoom camera, plus a time of flight laser sensor to help with focusing.

But Motorola is doing a little more in this model, offering the first camera with Pantone validation. This addition seems to continue some of the work Motorola has been doing with Pantone, and goes beyond yet another phone casing colour, which has largely been what the Motorola/Pantone collaboration has been about.

Rather, this aims to keep colours captured from the camera the way you see it, with Pantone-validated colours and skin tones, the company says.

There’s also a bit of AI in the phone, with “Style Sync”, a feature that will let you upload a picture (maybe of yourself or others) and have patterns or wallpapers made from the colours and styles in that image for use on the phone, as well as device themes. That sounds a like a bit of an extension on a feature Android is built with, but it could provide some quick customisation for folks keen to make their phone more about them.

It won’t be the only phone like it, either.

The Moto Edge 50 Fusion will use the same size 6.7 inch pOLED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, but pull things back from Super HD to Full HD+, while also offering some slight differences in technology under the hood.

Instead of the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3, the Edge 50 Fusion uses the 7s Gen 2, but the memory and storage is the same: 12GB RAM, 256GB storage. Android 14 is also here, and there’s a sizeable 5000mAh battery, too, plus IP68 water resistance, 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, and most of the regular fix-ins you can expect in devices.

The Edge 50 Fusion doesn’t appear to have wireless charging and misses out on the edge telephoto camera, too, offering a 50 megapixel F1.8 main wide camera, and pairing it with the same 13 megapixel ultra-wide F2.2 with macro, but don’t expect the Pantone-validated camera in this model.

There is, however, a choice of vegan leather or plastic on the back, so that appears to be consistent.

The obvious difference between the Edge 50 Fusion and the Edge 50 Pro appears to be the camera and the price, with two on the former and three on the latter, and a $400 price difference in between.

As such, the Moto Edge 50 Fusion will cost $599 in Australia, while the Edge 50 Pro is $999. That’s a decent chunk in the mid-range, with the Edge 50 Pro reaching closer to flagship these days. Kinda sorta.

Moto collaborates with Bose on earbuds

Motorola is also launching one more gadget, and it’s a little unexpected: earphones. And not just any earphones, but some worked on with the likes of Bose.

The Moto Buds+ are a pair of stemmed truly wireless earbuds that look a little like black or beige AirPods, but come with some noise cancellation thrown in, plus some head tracking in select devices.

Motorola notes that Dolby Head Tracking and Dolby Atmos spatial audio is supported in the Buds+, but only when used with the Edge 50 Pro, suggesting it’s a feature found specifically in the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chip, and may not be in everything else. That’s distinct to the spatial tracking tech Bose uses in its own Ultra earbuds, which work without needing a special chip in the phone.

Like Bose’s own buds, Motorola’s collaboration with Bose includes active noise cancellation and support for high-res audio, as well as a water repellant design, though Motorola stops short in calling the Buds+ water resistant and giving them an IP rating. They seem like the old G-series phones in that they’re slightly water resistant, but hardly waterproof.

That’s something, sure, and they even come with a slightly wallet-friendly price, bringing Bose sound to the Moto Buds+ for $249 in Australia.

We’ll have to wait until Motorola lets us play with the Buds+ to find out not only how they compare with Bose’s own buds, but also others out there, but they could be an interesting way to keep people inside a Moto ecosystem, for sure.

Australian pricing and availability

All three devices, the Moto Edge 50 Fusion, Edge 50 Pro, and Moto Buds+ are heading to stores shortly, with the Edge 50 Pro in stores now for $999, the Edge 50 Fusion in late May for $599, and the $249 Buds+ shortly, too.

Motorola notes that people who buy an Edge 50 Pro before the end of May can redeem a free pair of Moto Buds+ by May 31.

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