[Exclusive] Motorola 2022, Part I: Edge Roadmap Revealed

Here are some exclusive details on Motorola's upcoming Edge smartphones

  • Motorola’s upcoming Edge 30 Pro Ultra, codenamed Frontier, is likely to come with a 200MP main camera and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ chipset
  • The company is also expected to release two Edge-branded handsets, codenamed Dubai and Dubai+, later this year
  • Another handset codenamed Miami is expected to be released as the Edge 30 Lite

As a historically US-based company now under Chinese ownership and with deep ties to other regions like Europe and South America, it’s not totally surprising that Motorola has seen its fortunes rise over the last several years. Since its brief period as a Google subsidiary and the strategic reboot that saw it release just a handful of Moto + [letter]-branded models per year, the company has steadily been increasing the size of its portfolio under Lenovo’s stewardship – to the point that we should expect no less than 19 unique handsets this calendar year, allocated throughout the manufacturer’s nearly global market footprint. While these reports should not be considered the final word in the company’s lineup, both because plans change and due to uncontrollable factors such as supply chain issues, it should give a fairly complete picture of what remains from Moto for 2022.

First, a quick recap to catch up on where we stand so far. The company has already launched one of its most well-spec’ed flagships of the year in the form of the Edge 30 Pro (codenamed Rogue, and sold as the Edge X30 in China from late last year). Additionally, it’s announced two mid-range handsets, the 4G version of the Moto G Stylus 2022 (codenamed Milan and set to be joined imminently by its 5G counterpart) as well as the Moto G22 (codenamed Hawaii+). You may recall that starting in 2020, to accommodate a significant expansion of its lower and mid-tier offerings, Motorola ceased naming its Moto E and G phones sequentially on an annual basis, and instead moved to a nomenclature more akin to the Samsung A-series and its nearly 10 constituent variants.

Like the rest of its portfolio, Motorola is clearly starting to flesh out its high-end, flagship and flagship-adjacent lines in the form of its Edge subbrand, which has replaced the modular Moto Z devices atop its lineup. Last year saw three or four variants of the Edge 20, depending on region (regular, Lite, Pro, and Fusion), and this year will be no different, with the 30 Pro / Rogue followed by other Edge variants Frontier, Dubai, and Miami.

There’s already been a considerable amount of buzz around Frontier — expected to come to market as Edge 30 Ultra globally and Edge X30 Pro in China — thanks to its beefy main camera which, at 200 megapixels, will be among the highest resolution ever included in a smartphone (other cameras include a 50MP wide-angle, 12MP, 2x telephoto, and hole-punch-mounted 60MP front-facing selfie cam). What’s more, it’s set to be powered by an as-yet-unannounced, top-of-the-line system-on-chip from Qualcomm: the SM8475, or Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+. Other specs include a curved 6.67-inch POLED display at FHD+ resolution, various memory configurations consisting of either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1-compliant storage. Add to that a 4,500mAh battery capable of 125W wired charging, the latest wireless data standards, and of course, Android 12.

While Frontier is not expected until the third quarter, its little brother — codenamed Dubai and set to be released as the vanilla Motorola Edge 30 — should arrive much sooner, perhaps early next month. It’s expected to be a 6.55-inch model with 2.5D glass and FHD+ resolution, using POLED display technology and offering 144Hz refresh rate. Dubai will ship in three distinct memory configurations: 6GB/128GB, 8GB/128GB, and 8GB/256GB of RAM/ROM, respectively. As far as image capture goes, it’s expected to offer a 50MP, f/1.88 primary camera, paired with another 50MP shooter for wide-angle and 2MP cam for depth sensing, plus a 32MP module up front. At just 4,020mAh, its battery will be on the smaller side for this category of phone.

Later in the year, during the third quarter, Dubai will be joined by a Mediatek-powered, Edge-branded handset codenamed Dubai+. The particular chip, tipped to be a pre-production component known as MT6879, is an octa-core model with two A78 cores running 2.6GHz and six A55 cores at 2.0GHz; it’s paired with a Mali G79 GPU. Its display is the same as Dubai’s, and its cameras are similar — though not identical — so the primary differences are a much more capacious, 5,000mAh battery and the same stylus support offered by the Edge 30 Pro.

Finally, tentatively scheduled to ship between the two Dubai models, Miami looks to be the most modestly spec’ed of the bunch – essentially an Edge 30 Lite, though that branding is not set in stone. It’s got a 6.28-inch, FHD+ POLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, along with a Snapdragon 695 5G CPU, and memory configurations consisting of either 6GB or 8GB LPDDR4x RAM paired with 128GB or 256GB of storage. Dual rear main and wide-angle cameras are 64 and 13 megapixels, respectively, with the selfie shooter clocking in at 32MP. Miami also looks to sport a 4020mAh battery, but that may be partly forgiven thanks to its physical aspirations: Motorola is aiming for a thickness of less than seven millimeters.

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