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The Motorola Edge Plus aims for full flagship status — with a price to match

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With the latest Snapdragon processor and a $999 price tag

The Motorola Edge X30, announced in China at the end of last year, is coming to the US as the Motorola Edge Plus (or the 30 Pro in Europe and other markets). It comes with higher-end specs than 2021’s Motorola Edge offered, starting with the Android flagship chipset-du-jour, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. While Motorola appears to have addressed some of our complaints about that mid-range device, this is also a much more expensive phone at $999, setting the bar that much higher for its feature set.

The Edge Plus checks plenty of boxes for a flagship phone in 2022: there’s a big 6.7-inch 1080p OLED with up to 144Hz refresh rate, sub-6GHz 5G including C-band (a Verizon version of the phone will have mmWave, the unlocked model won’t), a 4,800mAh battery, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, fast 30W wired charging, and 15W wireless charging. Motorola even includes a 30W charger in the box, a quaint vestige of years past.

Motorola is also offering a new Smart Stylus, sold separately as a bundle with a case designed to hold it. It’s an active stylus in the vein of Samsung’s S Pen that can do more than the simple passive stylus sold with phones like Motorola’s Moto G Stylus. Like the S Pen, it’s sensitive to pressure and can be used as a remote control for certain actions without touching the pen to the screen. Motorola says it will announce pricing and availability for the stylus and case “in the coming weeks.”

There are two 50-megapixel cameras on the Edge Plus’ rear panel: an f/1.8 standard wide with optical image stabilization and an f/2.2 ultrawide. The main camera should offer improved autofocus, which was a weak spot for the 2021 Edge. The third lens on the phone’s rear triple-camera array is a 2-megapixel depth sensor of questionable utility. On the front, there’s a 60-megapixel selfie camera.

However, there are a few spots on the spec sheet that don’t look as rosy, especially for a $1,000 phone. Weather resistance is only rated at IP52, meaning there’s some protection against water spray, but it can’t be fully submerged like the IP68 devices in this class.

There’s glass on the front and back of the phone, which is good, but it’s the older Gorilla Glass 3 and 5, respectively. Both the Pixel 6 and Samsung S22 Plus use newer Gorilla Glass Victus (Victus Plus in the S22’s case) on the front to protect from both scratches and drops. The Edge Plus is also built with a polycarbonate plastic exterior frame rather than aluminum. Motorola says it will support the Edge Plus with three years of security updates, which also falls short of the best support policies among Android phones.

If nothing else, the Edge Plus is another high-end Android option in the US, where we have precious few devices to choose from. The Edge Plus is available unlocked for $100 off for a “limited time.” It will be offered from Verizon and other carriers in the coming months, according to Motorola.