Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

GSMArena Team, 16 April 2024.

Design and handling

The Edge 50 Ultra's overall design language follows the Edge 50 family's and since the phone shares the same screen diagonal as the Edge 50 Pro, the two handsets feel identical in hand. The Ultra comes in two variants - with a vegan leather or wooden back. The latter is a bold approach, but it will likely appeal to some.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

The available colors are Forest Grey and Peach Fuzz (both vegan leather options) and Nordic Wood (seen in the picture below).

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

The wooden back consists of several bonded layers of real wood fibres. Motorola has used special coating, which retains the wood-like texture while also protecting it from water and skin oil, so it won't change color or lose its looks.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

The Edge 50 Ultra and Pro look so alike that it's hard to distinguish them if they are both fitted with vegan leather. The camera hardware gives the 50 Ultra away, though, since the telephoto uses a periscope lens and the round LED flash is replaced by a smaller, vertical one.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra vs. Edge 50 Pro Motorola Edge 50 Ultra vs. Edge 50 Pro

The front and back panels are still rounded, which help with the grip, and to be honest, the wooden back is nicer to grip than your plain glass sandwich-type phone. It also brings back a distant memory of Motorola's Moto X from 2013 with its bamboo and wooden back variants.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

The side frame is still aluminum, while the front glass is Gorilla Glass Victus. And for a 6.7-inch device with this many cameras, tipping the scale at 197 grams is pretty impressive. The vegan leather and wood are lighter than glass, so this could be an explanation.

 - Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review  - Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review
 - Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review  - Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

As one would expect from a high-tier smartphone like the Edge 50 Ultra, the device has IP68 ingress protection.

Hardware

The Edge 50 Ultra and Pro have very similar hardware for the most part, but as we already mentioned, the Ultra has a more powerful Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chip, providing flagship-level performance and features. One notable limitation is the chipset's inability to record 8K videos. It caps at 4K.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra vs. Edge 50 Pro Motorola Edge 50 Ultra vs. Edge 50 Pro

The curved OLED panel is a small step above the competition in terms of refresh rate, as the Edge 50 Ultra's 6.7-inch screen supports 144Hz refresh rate. It remains to be seen whether Motorola was able to utilize the display's capabilities to the fullest.

In addition to the 144Hz refresh rate, the panel also boasts HDR10+ support, 10-bit color depth and DC dimming for people who may be sensitive to regular PWM dimming. It can also go up to 2,500 nits peak brightness, but we suspect this is achievable on small patches during HDR video playback.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

For a complete multimedia experience, Motorola put some extra effort into the speakers too. They are Dolby Atmos-tuned and support Dolby Head Tracking.

A rather modest 4,500 mAh battery keeps the lights on but capacity isn't everything. We will see whether Motorola's hardware and software optimizations can make up for the smaller-than-usual battery pack. Good thing the Edge 50 Ultra is equipped with 125W wired and 50W wireless charging.

Motorola Edge 50 Ultra hands-on review

The Motorola Edge 50 Ultra also has two notable hardware advantages over some of its competitors. It supports Ultra Wideband connectivity (a feature seen only in a handful of Android smartphones) and USB 3.1 gen 2 with DisplayPort 1.4 compatibility. This would work pretty well with Motorola's Ready For desktop-like working environment.

Reader comments

  • Tony
  • 20 Jun 2024
  • 3@4

You know, some people, like me, would absolutely HATE screen with curved edges. You can't apply protective glass edge-to-edge on these.

  • adam anon
  • 04 Jun 2024
  • qF}

why does everrry phone have to miss features we all expect from the days of galaxy s9.................... WHHHHHYY its insane, oh look this one is missing micro sd, oh look that one is missing wireless charging, oh look that one is missing ltpo (ok...

  • ATB
  • 31 May 2024
  • kE6

Man, no offense whatsoever, but are you in the marketing or design field? No doubt there will be many people who have a negative 'opinion' about the choices Motorola made, like yourself. That being said, I have a feeling that Moto/Lenovo di...