Motorola’s Edge 50 Series Revives the Wooden Phone

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Key Takeaways

  • Motorola has introduced the Edge 50 series of phones, including options for wood and vegan backs
  • The lineup also focuses on photography and AI.
  • The Edge 50 Pro is available in some countries this week, while the Ultra and Fusion arrive in the weeks ahead.

Motorola has unveiled its latest flagship phones, the Edge 50 series, and their centerpiece is an option for a back made of real wood.

The newly introduced lineup also offers choices of vegan suede and an Italian-made “special edition” pearl polymer finish. Motorola is effectively reviving the lavish backs it introduced with the original Moto X in 2013. Other manufacturers have used non-standard materials (it’s easy to find leather elsewhere), but it’s not often as much of a focus as it is here.

Motorola added that the Edge 50 is IP68 water- and dust-resistant, with a Gorilla Glass Victus screen and an aluminum frame. The wooden option is relatively delicate, though. You may get scratches, and you’ll have to avoid high temperatures, paint, and other things that might damage the surface.

The new devices also put a greater emphasis on photography. Motorola said the Edge 50 series are the first phones with Pantone-approved camera and display colors. You’ll reportedly capture and see images that reflect the real world, including skin tones.

AI also plays an unsurprisingly significant role. In addition to longstanding industry features like subject tracking, Motorola gave the Edge 50 AI-based video stabilization, wallpaper generation, and Google Photos tools like Magic Editor and Photo Unblur.

The Edge 50 Ultra tops the new Motorola range. It reportedly has Motorola’s best camera system to date with a 50-megapixel primary sensor that promises better low-light photos through 2.4-micrometer “ultra pixels” (that is, pixel binning). The handset also includes Qualcomm’s fast new Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chip with a maximum 16GB of RAM, a higher resolution 6.67-inch 1220p OLED display, ultra wideband (UWB) support, and a 4,500mAh battery with 125W wired and 50W wireless charging.

The Edge 50 Pro lacks both the wood option and UWB, and starts with the mid-range Snapdragon 7 Gen 3, a 6.7-inch 1220p (if 144Hz) OLED screen, and a peak 12GB of RAM. It has a few advantages of its own, though, including a very wide f/1.4 aperture 50MP camera that should do well in low-light shots. There’s also a 10MP 3X zoom camera, a 13MP ultrawide and a 50MP selfie camera.

The Edge 50 Fusion is Motorola’s entry model. It still has a 1220p OLED display, but uses a Snapdragon 1 Gen 6 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a simpler set that centers on a 50MP f/1.9 camera, a 13MP ultrawide and a 32MP front camera.

All of the phones support Dolby Atmos audio, although only the Edge 50 Ultra supports Dolby Head Tracking for positional audio.

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro goes on sale first, launching in some European and Latin American markets this week with a starting price of €699 (about $743). The Edge 50 Ultra is due in the “coming weeks” beginning at €999 ($1,062), with the Fusion arriving at the same time for around €399 ($424). There’s no word on North American releases, but we’ve reached out for comment.