Motorola debuts Edge 20 flagships globally with fast refresh screens and 108-megapixel cameras

Motorola is keeping its return to flagship devices running for the second year in a row with today’s global announcement of the Edge 20 Pro, Edge 20, and Edge 20 Lite. The top-end 20 Pro includes a periscope-style telephoto lens for the first time in a Motorola device and includes a Snapdragon 870 processor.

All three devices support sub-6GHz 5G, offer 108-megapixel rear-facing cameras, and include 6.7-inch OLED screens with fast refresh rates. They’re due to arrive in August in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. While Motorola doesn’t offer specifics, it says that it plans to bring a 5G Edge device to North America this fall.

Priced at €699 (about $830), Edge 20 Pro comes with many features common to the premium midrange class, including a Gorilla Glass 5 front panel, a 144Hz screen refresh rate, and 12GB of RAM with its capable 800-series chipset. Its main rear camera uses a 108-megapixel 1/1.52-inch sensor and f/1.9 aperture, specs that line up with last year’s Edge Plus camera. There’s also a new 8-megapixel 5x telephoto periscope-style camera with optical image stabilization. A 16-megapixel ultrawide does double duty as a macro camera, along with a 32-megapixel selfie camera around front.

A couple of specs don’t quite measure up to the flagship class, though, which was something we noted about its “great but not quite good enough” Edge Plus predecessor. For starters, Motorola is committing to only two OS upgrades for the device, which ships with Android 11 — a policy that lags behind much of the field. The 4,500mAh battery can be charged via fast 30W wired charging but there’s no support for wireless charging. And its IP52 rating means it’s protected against splashes of water, but isn’t guaranteed to survive full submersion like the IP68-rated Samsung Galaxy S21.

The €499 (about $590) Edge 20 gets the same 6.7-inch OLED with 144Hz refresh rate (though just Gorilla Glass 3 on the front), but includes a stepped-down Snapdragon 778 processor. Rather than the periscope zoom, it offers a stabilized 8-megapixel 3x telephoto camera, but its main and ultrawide cameras match those on the 20 Pro.

The budget-friendliest Edge 20 Lite, priced at €349 (about $415), uses a MediaTek Dimensity 5G-B chipset, includes a 6.7-inch OLED with a slower-but-still-fast 90Hz refresh rate, skips the telephoto camera altogether, and includes a bigger 5,000mAh battery. It maintains the IP52 rating of the other two devices and still includes 30W fast charging.

We liked last year’s Edge phones, particularly the more attractively priced midrange Edge, and a lot of that was thanks to some strong camera capabilities. It’s promising to see Motorola leaning into that strength with a new telephoto lens, though the highest tier device still appears to lack a couple of key specs to compete well in its class. Maybe the midrange will be Motorola’s sweet spot again this year.