Motorola launched its much-rumored $1,000 Edge+ smartphone on Wednesday with a sharply curved 6.7-inch display edge.
Notable electronics include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, and Micron Technology’s low-power DDR5 DRAM with 12 GB of memory to deliver what Micron and Motorola called a “lag-free consumer experience.”
The phone also runs over 5G with faster data speeds and lower latency, increasing the performance of cloud-based apps like gaming and video streaming.
Micron is making headway in LPDDR5 for 5G flagship smartphones, having recently supplied that same memory for the recently announced Xioami Mi 10 smartphone. The LPDDR5 has 1.5 times faster speed than the LPDDR4, which has been standard until now, according to Christopher Moore, vice president of mobile business marketing for Micron, in an interview. The new memory has a data speed of 6.4 Gbps.
There is also a 20% power efficiency improvement with the new memory chip, Micron said, which will improve smartphone battery life.
Moore said he has personally tested the Edge+ and found reduced lag when using its 108 megapixel camera to take pictures and then encode the image and save it to flash. “It might have taken a second to encode the image with the 4, but with the 5 it happens seamlessly,” he said. “People will see the difference.”
Moore said COVID-19 will hurt smartphone sales somewhat in 2020, including the high-end 5G models, but he sees a recovery in 2021. Moore agreed with many analysts that 5G will emerge first in the high-end phones but in 2021 will appear in mid-tier phones. “5G was expected to be ubiquitous pretty quickly, but the virus has thrown that into question,” he said.
In March, Micron also announced it is sampling its LPDDR5 with universal flash storage in a multichip package to be used in slim midrange smartphones, but no smartphone models using the package have been named.
The Edge+ is expected to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 11 Pro. In the U.S., Motorola’s newest phone will be sold exclusively by Verizon.
Motorola, owned by China-based Lenovo, has been plotting a resurgence in smartphones going back to November when it announced the $1,500 Razr flip phone with a full-length touchscreen. The original Razr, released in 2004, became a fashion icon.