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The ZTE Blade S6 Plus is a nice phablet for £200, but it doesn’t offer enough to make it worth an extra £50 on top of the standard model, which already has a large 5in screen. In comparison to that phone it’s lost some of the features we liked, and despite having a larger battery runtime still isn’t great. If you’re looking for a 5.5in phablet at £200, our money would be on the Kingzone Z1.
We were impressed with the ZTE Blade S6, but if you thought the ZTE Blade S6 Plus was merely a larger phablet version of the mobile phone you’d be wrong. Find out why in our ZTE Blade S6 Plus review. Also see: Best phones 2023 and best Android phones 2023.
If the ZTE Blade S6 looks a bit like an iPhone 6, the Plus looks a bit like, well, an iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a plastic smartphone, but its clean white front, circular home button, rounded corners and curved screen edges do look a bit Apple-esque. It’s stylish for the price, just £203 from GearBest‘s EU warehouse with free shipping.
Its 5.5in screen is an HD IPS panel. Not only does it offer a larger screen area than the 5in ZTE Blade S6, but it supports a Family Mode that is in essence an easy mode, enlarging the type font and putting only the essentials on a tile-based home screen not too far removed from the appearance of Windows Phone. You won’t find this on the Blade S6. See all Android phone reviews.
The larger screen makes for a slightly lower pixel density – 267ppi against the standard S6’s 294ppi – but it’s bright and clear, and adequate for watching films and playing games.
A few cosmetic differences include the loss of a speaker grill at the top (here it’s just a slit), central positioning of the bottom-mounted charging port, a dual- rather than single-LED flash and the addition of an IR blaster. Other connectivity specs are the same, with 4G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
One useful new software feature is the ability to turn off the home button LED that glows blue when the phone is on charge or the battery is low. Also see: Best phablets 2023.
There are other differences between little and large, too. None of the gestures we admired in the Blade S6 are supported by this Lollipop phablet, and performance is a tad slower, despite the same hardware inside, but still acceptable for a mid-range phone. The battery is larger at 3000mAh against 2600mAh, yet battery performance still isn’t ZTE’s strong suit.
Rather than side-accessed trays for the dual-SIM- and microSD slots the rear cover is removable, although the battery hidden below is not. In common with the mini Blade the Plus is a dual-SIM dual-standby phone, although here you’ll find one Micro and one Nano, rather than two Nano.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Price and UK availability
The ZTE Blade S6 Plus was supplied to us by GearBest, which was charging £203.33 with free shipping at the time of writing. Using the coupon code ZTES6PLUS you’ll get it for £180.66. This phone is despatched from its European warehouse, which means you won’t be liable for import duty when shipping it to the UK. Nevertheless, before you buy you should read up on our Best cheap 4G phones 2023.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Design and build
Hands up, I’m not particularly keen on phablets. And that would be small girl hands up – phones are just getting way too big these days. With its 5.5in screen and 156.6x77mm chassis the Blade S6 Plus isn’t a phone I could comfortably use in one hand without fear of dropping it. The left- and right screen bezels are reasonably slim; it’s the top and bottom bezels that make this phone feel huge – more so than the Kingzone Z1, which is actually only a few millimetres smaller.
Admirably, though, in common with the smaller Blade it’s just 7.5mm thick (thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, for example); it’s also pretty light for a phablet at 150g. That certainly makes it easier to manage.
Despite my reservations about large phones, they do have clear benefits. The rear-facing speaker is no longer in a position to fire sound into your palm, for example, and the larger screen is useful for playing games and watching video. Those who have eyesight problems will also enjoy the benefits of larger fonts, icons and buttons, especially when used with the aforementioned Family Mode.
It’s a nice screen, too. The resolution is only HD (we’d rather see full-HD on a phablet), but its a good-quality IPS panel with nice colours and good viewing angles. The pixel density is much lower than that of phones such as the iPhone 6 Plus (401ppi) and Note 4 (515ppi), but at 267ppi it’s not fuzzy either. (There’s also a massive difference in price, of course, and you could buy three of these for one of those.)
For a mid-range Android the ZTE Blade S6 Plus is nicely designed. The screen has a slippery but silky smooth feel to it when swiping, and its rounded screen edges are so well done that you realise the rear cover comes off only when you can’t find the SIM tray.
The white front is very clean, and the buttons below it glow a cool blue. Usefully, you can now turn off these blue LEDs when the phone is charging or the battery is running low, which can be irritating at night. The silver plastic rear is more standard mid-range fare, but the way it wraps around to the front prevents it feeling flimsy or creaking in use.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Hardware and performance
At £200 performance is decent, if not mind-blowing. Given the identical hardware inside – a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core processor, Adreno 405 graphics and 2GB RAM – you might be surprised to find slightly lower performance than what you get with the £50 cheaper Blade S6. Also see: What’s the fastest smartphone 2023.
In our benchmarks we measured 663 points in the single-core and 2095 points in the multi-core component of Geekbench 3.0. By comparison the standard S6 recorded 658 and 2420 respectively.
It was also faster in SunSpider, with 1088ms against this Plus’ 1309ms (lower is better in this test). That’s in Chrome, however, which we use to ensure a fair test across phones; using the preinstalled browser the Plus scored 1117ms.
GFXBench graphics results showed less difference. The standard S6 saw an extra frame per second in T-Rex with 25fps against the Plus’ 24fps. In Manhattan both phones scored 11fps.
We’ve recently begun using Geekbench 3.0 to also measure battery life, but for now we have few results to compare, and we have not run this test on the standard S6. However, even with its larger 3000mAh battery (the S6 has 2400mAh), the S6 Plus didn’t score particularly well. We recorded 3 hours 58 minutes, with a battery score of 1587 points. There’s no power-saving mode on this phone to extend that life; neither does it support quick charging.
In terms of storage you get 16GB, plus a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB. After installing our benchmarking apps only 7.83GB was available, but you can uninstall some of the preinstalled apps. And this is Android, so you have all manner of cloud storage services available to you. See all smartphone reviews.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Connectivity
Connectivity wise there’s 4G LTE on one of the two SIMs, plus dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, USB OTG support and an IR blaster. Like the S6 you also get AliveShare, which lets you share games, content and more with handsets that also support AliveShare. NFC is not supported. This phone is dual-SIM as standard, accepting one Nano and one Micro. For more details on what that means see our best dual-SIM phones 2023.
Check your mobile network is compatible before you buy the ZTE Blade S6 Plus, as we understand customers in North America will have issues. The Blade operates on GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz and FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2600MHz.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Cameras
When we tested the ZTE Blade S6 we noted that the 13Mp Sony camera with 28mm lens and f2.0 aperture produced realistic colours and sharp detail, but that the LED flash did little to help photography in low light. ZTE has rectified this with the Blade S6 Plus, adding a second LED flash to the camera. In other respects it’s the same, which means 1080p video remains a bit jerky.
The Camera has a Simple mode that makes taking decent pictures easy even if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can also select from a range of modes such as HDR, Panorama, Smile, Beauty, and add filters in real time. Having taken a photo swiping in from the right opens the Gallery, and you can choose to edit photos either in Google’s standard app or the preinstalled PhotoEditor, which offers options to add effects, borders, decoration and annotations, and crop, straighten or otherwise adjust your image.
The 5Mp selfie camera has Beauty and Smile modes, but you can’t adjust the effect. Whereas we used Camera360 to edit selfies on the standard S6, this app isn’t installed on the Plus. If you want it, though, it’s a free download from Google Play. Also see: Best selfie phones 2023.ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Software
The Blade S6 Plus comes with Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, and ZTE installs the MiFavor 3.0 UI. The biggest difference between standard Android and MiFavor is that the latter removes the Apps menu, displaying every app on the home screen, in the same way that Apple does with iOS. We don’t like this approach – it’s just too messy, and half these apps we will never use and therefore don’t need to see – but you can easily hide away unwanted items in folders by dragging one app on top of another.
All the usual Google apps are preinstalled, as are many of ZTE’s own, which means in some cases you have two apps for one function, such as editing pictures. We don’t really mind that, although it is a waste of storage space if you have no intention of using them. Some of the third-party stuff can be deleted including WPS Ofiice and Clean Master, but not the core stuff.
Some of ZTE’s software is useful, though. Mi-Pop, which we also saw in the standard S6, is much more useful here, placing onscreen a back button that you can position anywhere you like, making one-handed operation with the large screen easier. Hold and drag it to also see buttons for home, the multitasking menu and more options, or long-press it and you also get options to turn on and off the sound, turn off or reboot the phone, lock the screen or take a screenshot of a specific part of the screen.
The Family Mode we mentioned earlier will be useful for beginners or those with poor eyesight, enlarging fonts and turning the home screen into a tiled interface much like Windows Phone that shows only the items you need (you can add extras if you like).
But while the Plus has this useful Family Mode, it’s lost the gestures supported by the Blade S6. And that’s a shame. The ability to turn on the flashlight with a shake or launch the mirror app by lifting the phone and pressing the volume up button are among those we missed.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.Specs ZTE Blade S6 Plus: Specs
Android Lollipop 5.0 with MiFavor 3.0 UI
5.5in (1280×720, 267ppi) IPS display
1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core processor
Adreno 405 graphics
16GB storage (plus microSD up to 32GB)
dual-SIM dual-standby (one Nano, one Micro)
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz, FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2600MHz
dual-band 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
13Mp Sony Exmoor IMX214 rear camera (f2.0 aperture, 28mm lens, LED flash), 1080p video
5Mp front camera (f2.2 aperture, 80-degree wide-angle lens)
Geekbench 3.0: 653 (single-core), 2095 (multi-core)
GFXBench: 24fps (T-Rex), 11fps (Manhattan)
SunSpider: 1309ms (Chrome), 1117ms (preinstalled browser)
battery life (Geekbench 3.0): 1587 (03:58)
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With more memory and excellent battery life the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a powerful phone and a great choice if you want a large screen. However, it’s expensive, unwieldy and Samsung has dropped the IR blaster and hardly added anything to the edge screen. With the regular S6 available for less than £340 it’s a no brainer.
Samsung made a splash in the smartphone market with the curved screen Galaxy S6 Edge. Well there’s an even bigger model now so here’s our full Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review. Also see: Best new phones 2023 and Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, price and specs rumours.
The S6 Edge+ was announced in August at Samsung’s Unpacked 2023 event along with the Galaxy Note 5. This would normally be launched in September at IFA but it was seemingly brought forward to avoid a clash with the iPhone 6S – and other rivals in Berlin.Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Price and competition
The original Galaxy S6 Edge was one of the most expensive phones we’ve ever seen at launch price. Well the Edge+ beat it with Samsung initially selling it at £749.
For a while it was reduced to a cheaper price than the smaller Edge at £599 but it’s now £629 from the official Samsung store. That’s not too bad but it’s still one of the most expensive phones around. However, head over to Amazon and you can pick one up for just £519, a relative bargain.
That’s £100 cheaper than the iPhone 6S which comes with half the storage but you need to consider that the Galaxy S6 can be purchased for under £340 which can only be described as a bargain.
See also: Samsung Galaxy S6+ release date, price and specs.Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Design and build
There’s not a great deal to say about the design and build of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ since it is really just a bigger version of the original model. It retains the same look and feel compromising of a rounded metal frame and glass on the front and back.
It’s one of the most stylish phones around but we haven’t found it as comfortable as the regular Galaxy S6 due to the slightly sharp metal running down either side in order to house the curved edges of the screen – this hasn’t changed much on the Edge+. It’s still thin at 6.9mm but the Edge+ model being even larger makes it all the more unwieldy.
Despite increasing the screen size, Samsung has managed to make the Edge+ 0.1mm thinner than the Edge. There’s a larger battery too and yet the phone is only around 20g heavier. This is some impressive engineering from Samsung.Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Hardware and specs
As alluded to, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is larger than the original model. If you thought a 5.1in screen was a bit small, the Note range is no longer your only option if you’re a Samsung devotee. The Edge+ features a 5.7in display which matches that of the new Galaxy Note 5 – it’s quickly becoming the standard size for larger phones with the new Nexus 6P also offering this screen size. Also see: 100 funny things to ask S Voice
The display still uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology and uses a Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560). This does mean a drop in pixel density from 577- to 518ppi but we’re talking seriously high numbers here so it’s still awesomely crisp.
Also see: Best smartphones 2023.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is one of a handful of phones announced with 4G of RAM which is plenty of memory – an extra 1GB compared to the Edge which power users may find helpful. On the storage front you might be sad to hear there’s still no Micro-SD card slot and the 128GB model has been dropped from the line-up, leaving just 32- and 64GB choices. As mentioned earlier, getting 32GB as standard is good when compared with devices like the iPhone 6S.
What’s even more impressive than the above numbers is the battery life on offer here. In our test the Galaxy S6 Edge+ lastest a whopping eight hours and 39 minutes with a score of 5192. The nearest contenter to date is the Honor 7 which managed just over seven hours.
The larger physical size means there’s room for a 3000mAh battery inside and the Edge+ also offers wireless charging which is something we always want to see from a high-end handset.
We didn’t think Samsung would drop any of its usual extra features so while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a fingerprint scanner in the home button and a heart rate monitor, the IR blaster has been dropped with the firm promoting new features such as ‘Live Broadcast’ although we don’t really see the need for this with apps like Periscope. There’s also 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, GPS and 4G LTE support.
With such high-end specs on the existing Galaxy S6 models, it’s not really a shock that things haven’t changed for the Edge+. This means there are still top-notch cameras at 16Mp at the rear with optical image stabilisation (it still sticks out a few millimetres but is one of the best on any smartphone), a single LED flash and support for 4K video at 30fps. There’s also still a decent 5Mp camera at the front.
With so many specs remaining the same, the key difference is the screen size and battery life (although more memory is welcome and it’s a shame to see the IR blaster gone) here so Samsung is delivering for all of you out there with a craving for an S6 Edge in a larger model.Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Software
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ comes pre-loaded with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and Samsung’s own TouchWiz interface – as you would expect.
Unfortunately, not much has changed but you can position the tab with with to access the People Edge where is most comfortable on the edge. There’s also the added feature of accessing your most used apps with via the People Edge on top of contacts.
We were hoping for more.
There’s little in TouchWiz that’s stock Android, it’s really just the recent apps menu. Otherwise Samsung has opted for its own way of doing things. That’s fine for fans of the UI but others may be put off.
Bloatware is much less of an issue these days but the Edge+ comes with a number of apps which can’t be uninstalled. This includes a folder full of Microsoft apps and Samsung’s own such as S Health and S Voice.Specs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: Specs
Android 5.1 Lollipop
5.7in Super AMOLED dual edge screen Quad HD (1440 x2560)
Exynos 7420 Octa-core processor
16Mp rear camera with OIS
5Mp front camera
Heart rate monitor
Bluetooth with atpX
The Emie Power Blade is expensive for an 8000mAh power bank, but we think it’s well worth the outlay with a fantastically unique thin-and-light design, dual-output adaptive charging and high-end features such as passthrough charging. For students and workers with ringbinders, it’s highly recommended.
The Emie Power Blade is big brother to the Emie Power Note and won a Red-dot Design Award in 2013 for its outstanding product design. But how does the Emie fare as an emergency charger for your phone or tablet? We find out in our Emie Power Blade power bank review. Also see: Best power banks 2023.
We were in awe of the Power Note’s premium aluminium alloy design, with its unique binder holes along one edge of the ultra-slim power bank used to effortlessly secure it into a ringbinder, and its handy built-in Micro-USB cable. The Power Blade features those same binder holes along its left edge, and while it lacks the built-in cable you do get a felt case for protecting it on the road. A handy front pocket lets you also carry the supplied Micro-USB cable, along with a pair of headphones or whatever you like.
The Power Note is slim at just 7mm, but Emie claims the Power Blade is the slimmest power bank in the world at just 5.2mm. It’s a little larger than the Note, given the increased capacity available, but it truly is remarkable how Emie has achieved such a thin-and-light design.
You might be wondering how Emie has managed to squeeze two USB outputs into a device so skinny, and the answer is their ingenious collapsible design. To connect a USB cable you must first push forward the top edge of the USB output to slide out the metal casing and enlarge the port.
Both USB outputs are specified at 10.5W (5V, 2.1A) for fast charging of your connected devices, and the Power Blade offers adaptive charging with one port optimised for iOS devices and the other for Android and other devices. Our Samsung Galaxy S6 was just as happy to charge from the iOS port, however. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
With 8000mAh on offer, and an average efficiency rate of 70 percent for most power banks, expect to find at least 5600mAh available for charging your phone or tablet. That would provide our Samsung Galaxy S6 (2550mAh battery) two full charges with some power to spare. Also see: How to charge your phone or tablet faster.
Four LEDs are activated at the press of the small power button to show you how much juice remains. When the power bank is empty the Emie can refill its own battery at 10W (5V, 2A), given a compatible charger (you can use whichever adaptor came with your phone or tablet). We found the Power Blade was able to simultaneously charge itself and a connected device. Also see: Best MiFi 2023.
In passthrough charging mode we needed to press the power button to begin charging our S6, but with the Emie not connected to the mains it was a simple case of plugging in the device and the Power Blade sprang into action. However, while there is auto-on, there is no auto-off. You’ll need to unplug your phone or tablet once charging has finished to ensure no power is wasted.
This small power button can also be held down for three seconds to put the Emie into adaptive charging mode, although we were surprised to find it wasn’t able to automatically recognise the attached device without our input.
Emie’s official outlet is Nathan Rd, where the Power Blade costs $79.99 (£51). If you’ve not heard of Nathan Rd, it specialises in bringing you the best, most unique, and passionately designed products to suit an urban lifestyle. Each stylish piece is hand-picked by the Nathan Rd team.
At £51 the Power Blade is very expensive for an 8000mAh power bank, but it absolutely oozes style. The warranty is short at just six months, but even without its protective felt case the tough aluminium alloy design feels reassuringly well built. It didn’t become even warm in use, with the metal design effectively dissipating heat.
Also see: Best desktop chargers 2023.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.Specs Emie Power Blade 8000mAh: Specs
8000mAh power bank
2x 10.5W (5V, 2.1A) USB outputs with adaptive charging
1x 10W (5V, 2A) Micro-USB input
four-LED status system
felt carry case
Micro-USB cable supplied
Update (July 9, 2023): Root is available for Sprint Galaxy S6 Edge too. This page has been updated accordingly.
Root has been achieved on Sprint Galaxy S6 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update finally, and all you need to do is flash a modified kernel using Odin PC software. This will set the KNOX flag in download mode from 0x0 to 0x1, meaning, your warranty will be void because of the tripping of KNOX. If you want to preserve warranty, you better stay away from this, at least for now.
Be sure to prepare the phone as said in the instructions below, because Odin won’t be flash until you allow it from phone. Yes, that’s new. Earlier, you could just flash anything using Odin, but now, you need enable the Odin flash. By the way, credit for the Sprint S6 Root goes to , djvoleur (lead) and g.lewarne (from international and T-Mobile S6 Root) for figuring the way out, and crating the custom kernel that simplifies it all for us mortal users!
By the way, this doesn’t works on Sprint S6 Edge, for which a custom kernel of its own should be available real soon. For now, DON’T TRY ON SPRINT S6 EDGE !!
Update (July 9, 2023): Root is available for Sprint Galaxy S6 Edge too. This page has been updated accordingly.
→ Now that UniKernel is available as root solution, it’s highly recommend that you use UniKernel to root your Sprint S6 and S6 Edge. While the old root kernel would most probably be still working, and there was nothing wrong with it either, but because UniKernel is latest and will be more updated, we’d go with UniKernel.
UniKernel Root kernel:
To download latest files available for installation, check the official page here: for Galaxy S6, and for Galaxy S6 Edge.
SPRINT GALAXY S6 & S6 EDGE, model no. SM-G920P and SM0G925P
Don’t try on any other device than S6 and S6 Edge set from T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, international, etc. or any other Android device whatsoever!
Warning: Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.
Backup necessary stuff. In case your device is wiped off while following the guide below, it’s good to have a backup of contacts, photos, videos and other files already saved on PC.
Here’s a video that will guide you to rooting Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge on Android 5.1 update. Device used in video is international Galaxy S6, SM-G925i, but the video applies for every Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge set out there. Oh, in case you were wondering how come we have 5.1 on G925i when Samsung didn’t release for it, well, there’s a page for that guides you to install 5.1 update on G925i Galaxy S6.
Disable Reactivation lock. This is very important! For this:
Enable OEM Unlocking. It’s important and you need this to be able to flash anything on you Sprint S6 using Odin software after Android 5.1.1 update. Do this:
Go back to settings, and tap on ‘Developer options’.
Now, find the ‘OEM unlocking’ option, and use its toggle button to enable it.
Boot your Sprint S6 into download mode:
Power off your Sprint S6. Wait 6-7 seconds after screen goes off.
Press and hold the three buttons Volume Down + Power + Home together until you see warning screen.
Press Volume Up to continue to download mode of S6.
Extract the Odin file. You should get this file, Odin3 chúng tôi (other files could be hidden, hence not visible).
Connect your Sprint Galaxy S6 to PC now using USB cable. Odin should recognize your device. It’s a must. When it recognizes, you will see Added!! message appearing in the Log box in bottom left, and the first box under ID:COM will also show a no. and turn its background blue. Look at the pic below.
You cannot proceed until you get the Added!! message, which confirms that Odin has recognized your device.
If you don’t get Added!! message, you need to install/re-install drivers again, and use the original cable that came with device. Mostly, drivers are the problem (look at step 2 above).
If Odin gets stuck at setup connection, then you need to do steps 5 to 11 again. For this, close Odin, disconnect your device, reboot it to download mode and then start again.
You should have root access when device reboots. If you get nagging notifications about security issues, kernel being permissive or like, then to fix this, disable the SecurityLogAgent service on your device using, what else, root access. For this, install Titanium Backup, open the app and provide it root access, and then search for this on the all apps screen, then tap on it, and select Freeze. That will do the trick.
If you face any issues with root access, like apps force closing, then just reboot to recovery mode and wipe cache. Here’s how:
Power off your Sprint S6. Wait 6-7 seconds after screen goes off.
Press and hold the three buttons Power + Home + Volume up together until you see Samsung’s logo. Then let go of the buttons. You will soon see TWRP recovery.
Move the selection highlight to wipe cache using volume buttons, and then tap on power button to select it. Once wiping off cache is done, select ‘reboot system now’ to restart the device. Shouldn’t face any force close now.
To confirm root access, download a root checker app from play store, and open it. Tap on Verify Root to confirm that our Sprint S6 is as root access, and SuperSU working fine.
If you need any help, do let us know about this.
About this Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: I tested the Motorola Edge Plus review unit over a period of seven days. It was running Android 12 on the February 2023 security patch. The unit was provided by Motorola for this review.
Update, June 2023: We’ve updated this review with new alternative devices worth checking out.
Motorola Edge Plus 8GB/128GB (Verizon): $849.99
Motorola Edge Plus 8GB/512GB (Unlocked): $999.99
Does the design stand out?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Motorola continues to bewilder with respect to its high-end smartphone strategy. When the company first launched the Edge series in 2023, it had two offerings: a flagship model and a sub-flagship model, each with an appropriate price tag. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) was a beautifully crafted glass and metal sandwich. In 2023, Motorola trimmed its Edge portfolio to a single model that was more of a sub-flagship. That phone lost the high-end materials in favor of cheaper glass and polycarbonate. Now, in 2023, Motorola is once again pitching the Motorola Edge Plus as a true flagship — but it forgot to bring a flagship design along for the ride.
The first thing I said to myself when I pulled the Edge Plus from its box was something along the lines of, “Huh, this doesn’t feel like a high-end phone.” And it’s not, at least not compared to other premium phones. Like its 2023 predecessor, the new Edge has a plastic frame. Motorola says the frame is light and strong, and I’m sure it is. Many of the Edge’s peers, though, boast metal frames that boost their perceived premium factor.
The front panel of the Edge Plus is made from 2013-era Gorilla Glass 3, rather than the modern Gorilla Glass Victus that graces the front of many 2023 flagships. This is especially bizarre when you consider that the original Edge Plus from 2023 had a Gorilla Glass 5 panel. Thank goodness Motorola at least opted for Gorilla Glass 5 for the rear glass. Shame that it went and sullied that glass with a frosted coating that makes it feel like plastic. True, you won’t get any fingerprints on the satin rear panel, but that’s little comfort when you have a high-cost phone that feels so cheap. People who pay top dollar expect the best experiences. The Edge Plus ain’t that.
Motorola didn’t do too much to differentiate the phone from the pack, either — from a distance, it could be any phone. The front is a flat piece of glass that’s fitted into the black frame. The frame is fairly thick along the side rails and widens a little at the top and bottom. Motorola picked an aggressively curved, smooth piece of glass for the back panel. The Cosmos Blue colorway you can see pictured changes shades depending on the angle at which you hold the phone. It sometimes comes across as more of a green or aqua color than blue. Motorola has long preferred these deep blue colors, but we’re glad there’s at least a white option; it might be time for Motorola to move on from blue.
Motorola didn’t do too much to differentiate the phone from the pack and it falls behind with some flagship essentials.
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is a big piece of hardware, but not the largest. At 163.1 x 76 x 8.8mm, you’ll find it’s smaller than phones such as the Google Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but larger than the Galaxy S23 Plus. Motorola also kept the weight down at just 196g. That plastic frame surely helped the phone from becoming too heavy.
The controls could be better. For starters, the power button and volume toggle are placed way too high up the right edge of the phone. If you have smaller hands, these buttons could be a hassle to reach day in and day out. The volume toggle is also too close in size to the power button and the two keys are only a few millimeters apart. This makes it too easy to hit the power button when you mean to hit the volume toggle. I can’t tell you how many times I accidentally turned the screen off when I intended to lower the volume and vice versa. The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader. I didn’t have any trouble training it and it worked very well for unlocking the phone.
Camera modules are getting harder and harder to design. With multiple lenses, flashes, and other components, arranging them all in a way that doesn’t look like a jumbled mess can be a challenge. The Edge Plus didn’t quite rise to meet that challenge. The entire module takes the shape of an oval with curves that are at odds with the squarish bend of the corner into which the module is tucked. The three camera lenses are arranged vertically, but because they aren’t centered in the oval the module looks imbalanced. Most people likely won’t pay it much mind, but there’s definitely room for improvement as far as the design is concerned. Perhaps what’s most important to people is that the module is relatively flush with the back surface.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Haptics of the phone are decent. Motorola gives you lots of room to tweak the feel of the phone’s vibrations. I found I needed to make a few adjustments to get them where I wanted them. Out of the box they are somewhat harsh.
Even with all the issues we’ve mentioned so far, we’ve saved the worst for last. The biggest transgression of the Edge Plus’ design is the poor IP rating. Like the bulk of semi-premium Motorola phones released over the last decade, the Edge Plus supports a rating of just IP52, which makes it resistant to light splashing and only “limited ingress” protection against dust. That’s well short of the immersion protection and “no ingress” that an IP68 certification guarantees you with similarly-priced phones, and even many that cost significantly less. This was a concerning omission with the original Edge Plus. Two years later, and with an increased price tag, it’s unacceptable.
At this point, you might be wondering what, if anything, has Motorola upgraded here. Most of the improvements year over year are hidden under the hood. That leaves the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) looking and feeling somewhat like an also-ran in the fierce market for high-end flagships.
Motorola selected a fine display for the Edge Plus (2023).
Sticking with the impressive on-paper specs, the Motorola Edge Plus’ screen also has a fast touch response rate. The display can register taps at up to 360Hz when you’re using your finger or up to 240Hz when using the optional stylus. Strangely, the screen’s touch sampling rate is actually slower than the 576Hz rate of the 2023 Edge, but it’s still nice and responsive, which is especially useful for gamers.
How long does the battery last?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
The Edge Plus (2023) has a 4,800mAh battery that’s right in line with the capacity of most competing devices, but battery life isn’t necessarily all about size. Plenty of factors determine what sort of battery life you’ll get from a phone and managing all of them is a delicate dance that some phone makers are better able to coordinate than others. And if there’s one thing Motorola knows how to do, it’s to build a battery that lasts and lasts.
Motorola claims the Edge Plus (2023) is a two-day phone. It isn’t quite, but it’s certainly a one-and-a-half-day phone. The Edge Plus easily cruised through a single day with plenty of power to spare and often pushed through midday the following day before requiring a recharge. That tops many of today’s leading phones, which typically need to be charged nightly or first thing in the morning. We pushed the phone pretty hard, too. In addition to regular smartphone stuff like reading email, scrolling through social media sites, and viewing plenty of YouTube, we made sure to spend lots of time with the camera, and even used the phone as a mobile hotspot for a while.
The Edge Plus (2023) easily cruised through a single day with plenty of power to spare.
The phone powers up relatively quickly, though not as rapidly as some of the competition. It supports wired charging up to 30W and actually ships with a 30W “Turbocharger” plug in the box. That’s a bonus considering how many phone makers no longer include chargers with their phones. Using the 30W brick, the Edge Plus took about an hour to recharge fully from zero. It reached a 50% charge swiftly, in about 22 minutes, but then slowed to charge the remaining 50%. While the likes of OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi have pushed full recharging times into the 20- to 30-minute range, around an hour for a full top-up is a respectable figure.
How powerful is the Motorola Edge Plus (2023)?
Most daytime photos I captured with the Edge Plus’s main camera (above) looked good. Focus was sharp and color was spot on. Exposures when outdoors were excellent. My only complaint would be the small amount of noise that’s visible in images when you drill in close. This applies to both the main and ultrawide shooters, which were approximately equivalent with respect to color, tone, and appearance. Motorola kept edge distortion mostly in check on the ultrawide shots (below), which not all competing phones manage to do.
Zooming from 1x to the 10x maximum is all accomplished digitally via the main camera. I wish the zoom picker had notches at 2x and 5x, but it’s a generic slider. Unsurprisingly, zoom is not the Edge Plus’s forte. Shots zoomed as close as 2x lose sharpness and gain noise. Anything between 5x and 10x is really soft and grainy. You can get away with 5x shots in a pinch in strong lighting, but most 10x shots were not worth keeping. The Pixel 6 Pro, Galaxy S22 Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro, and their successors all have telephoto lenses that deliver excellent zoom at least to 3x and hybrid zoom beyond that, so this leaves the Edge Plus wanting. You can see samples from across the entire zoom range below.
Photos taken indoors or in low-light situations add noise across the board. Color and sharpness remain decent, but exposure starts to suffer a little. Auto HDR is on by default but I found it struggled to find balance in some situations. You can seen in the mall shots below that the lower portions of the photo are really dark.
The Edge Plus has a dedicated night mode and it is pretty terrible. These shots are a total disaster. The longer exposures are devoid of detail and full of noise. You can see how the phone treated scenes when taken with and without night mode in the samples below. At night, the Edge Plus camera is simply not competitive.
Few phones offer selfie cameras with as high a megapixel count as the Edge Plus’ 60MP front-facing shooter. It has an aperture of f/2.2 and bins photos down by a factor of four so you get 15MP images with a 1.2μm pixel size. Selfies look pretty rough. I had to double check the shots below to be sure there wasn’t a strange analog filter applied to them. The selfies have incredible amounts of noise, bleached colors, and really soft focus. The portrait mode stripped out even more color and lost all dynamic range. These shots are just not what we expect to see on a 2023 premiere device. And the really low-light shot is among the worst I’ve seen.
Motorola boosted video capture capabilities to 8K at 24fps. Despite the fact that most people still won’t have 8K screens, this is a nice upgrade for future-proofing. More importantly, the phone can record 4K video at 60fps, which is the real benchmark. You can snag HDR 10 Plus video as well, though it’s limited to 30fps. The video I captured looked really good. No matter the resolution or frame rate, the results came across clean, with good color, exposure, and focus. You’ll see way more noise in low-light scenarios and colors start to look a little dull.
Motorola completely reimagined the camera system on the Edge Plus (2023), but it’s still well behind the very best camera phones.
Taken as a whole, Motorola improved the core photography suite of its flagship phone, but it’s well behind the very best camera phones. The lack of a telephoto lens, in particular, is a head-scratching omission and the low-light performance and selfies are simply not up to par.
You can view full-resolution photo samples in this Google Drive folder.
Software: The Edge Plus ships with Android 12, and a fairly clean build at that. It retains all of the core Android 12 features and it acts closely to what you’ll see on a Pixel phone (albeit without the Pixel exclusive extras). The one exception is the app drawer, which is highly irritating to use by default. I had to turn off most of the features (two sets of app suggestions, really?) in order to get it to a usable state. Android 12’s Material You design peeks through here and there, though Motorola has cooked up its own process to coordinate wallpapers and colors. Thankfully, the majority of the extras you get from Motorola are bundled into a dedicated Motorola app that you can ignore or put to use at your leisure. These include the My UX-specific stuff, such as twisting the phone to launch the camera or multi-finger gestures to take screenshots or enter split-screen mode. Motorola’s flagship has since received Android 13, which brought minor tweaks to the customization options.
Updates: Motorola’s update commitment to the Edge Plus (2023) is questionable. The company says it will deliver two years of operating system updates and three years of security updates to the Edge Plus, the latter of which will likely be offered on a quarterly basis, rather than monthly. Google and especially Samsung are setting a higher standard for the length of support for flagship Android phones. This push has encouraged other OEMs like Xiaomi and OPPO to improve their update commitments to at least three years for their flagship phones, leaving Motorola’s premium offering in a rough spot. Cadence is also a concern here — quarterly security updates aren’t what you’d expect on a premium phone. Motorola says it is always evaluating its customers’ needs, and we hope it reconsiders. It’s possible that it will since the newer Motorola Edge (2023) will get three years of OS and four years of security updates; however, when we asked Motorola if it plans on extending the update promise for the Edge Plus (2023) to at least match that of the Moto Edge (2023), the company would only say: “we’re constantly evaluating our strategy.”
Bloatware: We tested a Verizon-branded variant of the Edge Plus (2023), one that was riddled with ridiculous bloatware. There were no fewer than eight games preinstalled on the phone in addition to bloat apps such as Verizon Messages Plus, Pluto TV, Cash App, and more. More than a few of these apps delivered unnecessary and ad-like push notifications. Some of these non-stock apps can be deleted and some, sadly, cannot. It’s a stark reminder that carrier-bought phones can be super annoying. We expect the unlocked model will ship with fewer unwanted pre-installed apps.
Audio: The Edge Plus ships with stereo speakers that support Verizon Adaptive Sound and Dolby Atmos. This means you can select from a handful of Verizon-tuned presets to adjust the sound based on what you’re doing, such as listening to music, watching movies, or playing games. The speakers are clear and loud. You won’t hear the most bass ever, but there’s enough to get the point across when things go boom in your favorite movies. I could take or leave Verizon Adaptive Sound, as I often prefer to tune the sound myself. The phone also supports Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound. Provided you’ve got a pair of compatible wireless headphones, you’ll get the best that Qualcomm has to offer via Bluetooth. Unlike the original Edge Plus, the 2023 model does not have a headphone jack.
Connectivity: The Verizon model we tested (using a Verizon SIM) supports mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, and speeds were generally very good throughout. The phone can handle T-Mobile’s sub-6GHz service, but not its mmWave spectrum as the unlocked model only supports sub-6GHz 5G service. The Edge Plus does not support AT&T 5G for the time being and would be limited to AT&T’s 4G LTE service. The phone also supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, which is good for future-proofing. There’s no word on ultra-wideband support, but considering the limited use cases that isn’t a deal-breaker.
Ready For: Ready For is Motorola’s Samsung Dex-like interface for connecting the Edge Plus to external displays or Windows computers. It lets you share files and images, use the phone as a webcam, as well as share a mobile data connection to select peripherals. You have to have a device that accepts Miracast (wireless), or HDMI or USB-C DisplayPort (wired) in order to get it working properly. It’s a little janky, but I was able to get it up and running on an external display I have on hand. It’s passable to use but hardly worth the effort as far as I’m concerned. Dex is certainly more capable (though that’s not saying much), and a tablet of just about any variety is much more useful.
Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: The verdict
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Motorola made some questionable choices when it cobbled together the Edge Plus (2023). The company clearly wants to play in the same space as today’s market leaders — at least when it comes to what it charges for its flagship. The Edge Plus costs the same as many of the best phones in the market. That would be fine if the Edge Plus offered the same high-quality experience that many of those phones do. Sadly, it does not.
Motorola cut some corners and it shows. It could have swapped out the polycarbonate framing for a more appealing aluminum chassis, but it didn’t. It could have engineered the phone in order to score an IP68 rating, but it didn’t. It could choose to better support its devices with ongoing OS and security updates, but it hasn’t. It could have lent more resources to its camera team for a more competitive photography suite, but it didn’t.
While it’s not a bad phone overall, we think there are much better alternatives available at this price point, including the Galaxy S23 Plus and Pixel 7 Pro.
Sales of the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) in the US kicked off back in March 2023.
The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) is IP52 rated, which makes it resistant to light splashing and gives it a “limited ingress” protection against dust.
No, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) doesn’t support expandable storage.
Yes, the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) ships with a 30W TurboPower plug in the box.
The Verizon variants of the Motorola Edge Plus (2023) support mmWave as well as sub-6GHz 5G. The unlocked models, however, don’t support mmWave technology.
Earlier version of the Tata Sky STB worked as a personal video recorder (PVR) apart from just streaming live TV, users were able to record the TV programs into the available storage in the box and were able to watch it later. This one is slightly different from the older one; you can transfer your recorded content directly to your Smartphone using the Tata Sky Mobile app. Users can record TV shows, movies from different channels and watch it later on their phones or tablets on the go. This new-age set top box wants to find an alternate for bigger screens, and wants the mobile device to be your portable TV.Setting up is facile
It does not require a working internet connection to record, transfer or view the videos.Transfer Process and Speed
The transfer process was very effortless and smooth, it took me 2 minutes to understand the whole process and start copying the content to my smartphone. The speed is something that may take your patience to a different level if you with to transfer the content in HD. It is a time consuming method as the PVR compresses the size of the content to a smaller sized format to save space on your portable device.
It takes almost 5 minutes to transfer 10 minutes of standard quality video content and takes almost equal time matching the duration of the content while transferring it in HD format, which is 1 minute for every minute of content. After re-encoding the video format, it takes around 100 MB for 15 minute of content which means we can easily store a lot of content on a device with bigger storage.The Plus Points
These are some factors where the Tata Sky+ Transfer HD proves handy and future ready:
It comes ready to record content from up to 3 channels at one time. For now, only 2 channels can be recorded simultaneously but the company confirms that it will enable the third slot with future upgrades.
It offers 1080p resolution (p means progressive), where the predecessor Tata Sky+ HD STB offers 1080i (I means interlaced). 1080p is better as it displays sharper images – each row is refreshed 60 times per second which is double the rate of 1080i which refreshes only 30 times per second. With this upgrade we noticed an immediate improvement in terms of clarity and colour.
The wireless remote comes with a touchpad, which definitely means it has been planned to be used with upcoming apps and services.App Features and Feedback
The Tata Sky Mobile app has a few functions to control your programs and recording, basically this STB has moved from remote to smartphones. The mobile has taken the centerstage and we can get a glimpse of how the future of satelite television is going to change. Here are some useful features of Tata Sky+ Transfer:
Watch the content without transferring it to your smartphone, you can directly stream the content over Wi-Fi network. All you need to make sure is that your smartphone and the STB are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So while you are at home and away from your TV set, you can enjoy your favorite recorded content on the smartphone without consuming your data.
You can watch live TV on the go, if you have forgot scheduling the recording for your favorite program and cannot reach a nearby TV set; it’s still possible not to miss that show. Just activate the Everywhere TV feature on your Tata Sky app and watch TV using your data connection from anywhere around the globe.
You can schedule the recording for your favorite program using the Remote record feature on the Tata Sky Mobile app. Browse through the program you want to record and schedule its recording using the mobile app. You need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the STB.Conclusion
We appreciate the initiative and effort to take the TV experience to such portability and enhance the user convenience but we wish the price would have been a little more convincing.
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