Lenovo-backed Motorola has a flagship killer in the Chinese market and it could be a global newcomer soon. OnePlus, which started off as flagship killers, is also slated to deliver a high-end smartphone to give the likes of Samsung Galaxy S21 a run for their money. The upcoming flagships – in their own right – Motorola Edge S 5G and OnePlus 9 could debut globally in a short while from now and will present buyers undeniable options – in different price brackets – of course.
Motorola Edge S 5G is available for pre-order in China, it will begin shipping on February 3. There is no word on global availability yet, but reports suggest a launch is on the cards and the phone will be released with moniker Motorola G100 outside of mainland China.
Edge S, which is slightly different from the company’s Edge range (we’ll discuss that in a bit), will be the first phone to roll out with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 870 SoC. It features a massive battery and consortium of six cameras for a price that’ll make it one of the best value-for-money smartphones on the market – provided it rolls out for a similar or around about the same price tag globally.
OnePlus 9 5G has begun to float around in leaks and rumors. The information about the new OP flagship is very thin at the moment, but there are enough reasons to be excited about this top-of-the-line device. One of the major factors being the expected preponing of its launch.
OnePlus generally releases a flagship device around April. This time – evidently the entire smartphone schedule is seeing some sort of a forward shift – the OnePlus 9 is likely to show up earlier. According to sources informing Android Central, OnePlus 9 could be launched in March. Rumors also have a couple of other variants – OnePlus 9 Lite and OnePlus 9 Pro expected to show up sometime this year – but we’ll stick with how OnePlus 9 could pan out at launch.
With a compromising display tech and a tall screen size, Motorola Edge S 5G will still be worth the reckoning for most set of users. The phone has a 6.7-inch LCD display with a resolution of 2520×1080. The smartphone boasts HDR 10 support yet the most exciting bit here is the dual-selfie cameras in punch-hole setting comprising 16MP main and 8MP ultra-wide cameras. If you’re not a big fan of in-screen fingerprint sensor, the Edge S, which drops the curved display for a flatter screen with 90Hz refresh rate, has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. This supposed screen is unlike the other two Motorola Edge series devices that have a curved display.
Early design renders of the OnePlus 9 hint that it will not deviate much from the layout of its predecessor – OnePlus 8T. It is expected to feature a 6.55-inch Full HD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate and slim bezels. The phone is tipped to support HDR content and feature a punch-hole selfie camera on the top left corner of the screen. While there is no information on this accord, we expect the OnePlus flagship to rollout with dual front cameras also. OnePlus is not new to this, the company had two selfie cameras on the OnePlus Nord – one of the finest mid-range smartphones of 2020.
A powerful, top-of-the-line processor is a pre-requisite for smartphones claiming flagship status. Motorola Edge S definitely fits the bill of a high-end flagship and no wonder it has processing power almost 12% higher than that of any 2020 flagship powered by Snapdragon 865. The Motorola baby is the first smartphone ever to have a Snapdragon 870 powering its guts. This is the second best – after Snapdragon 888 – Qualcomm has to offer, and perhaps the more affordable 5G SoC. Use of Snapdragon 870 along with an LCD display are two factors that have allowed Motorola to keep the Edge S price in check.
Gunning for the high-end status so it can present a head-on competition for the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S series flagships – the OnePlus 9 will be powered by Qualcomm’s flagship chipset – Snapdragon 888. A leaked benchmark with 1,122 single core score and 2,733 multi-core score, gives a tentative idea of what we can expect from OnePlus with Snapdragon 888 onboard. For reference, these scores better the Galaxy S21, but what OnePlus 9 will officially deliver remains to be seen for now.
Motorola Edge S has a quad-camera setup on the back in a very gas burner-style setting. Arguably there are three cameras comprising a 64MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth camera. Alongside is a 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor completing the curious camera setting. For ones with a photographic bent, the primary sensor touts f/1.7 aperture with 6K video support while the ultra-wide lens offers 121-degree field of view (FoV).
From how it appears at this point in time, the OnePlus 9 will feature a triple-camera setup topped by a 48MP main camera and followed by a 48MP ultra-wide lens, the specifics of the third sensor are unknown. There have been speculations of the OnePlus flagship featuring periscope camera – but the expectations have been nullified by a few rumors. So the OnePlus users will still have to settle with lesser optical zoom capabilities for another year, maybe.
Speculatively speaking, OnePlus could be expected to have bigger camera sensors onboard especially when the competition has 64MP and even 108MP cameras leading the front. The Chinese OEM seems less perturbed with the megapixel-bit and is likely to beef up camera prowess with tweaks on the software side, which reportedly could mean the OnePlus adding tilt-shift and moon mode for the new smartphone to take advantage of.
Motorola Edge S is powered by a massive 5,000mAh battery with support for 20W wired charging. The lack of wireless charging could be a drawback considering it’s a norm these days, but it’s utterly shocking for a flagship-level device to not have faster wired charging as well. The Motorola device somehow makes a little comeback with the IP52 splash resistant, but still, users would have expected more.
OnePlus 9 on the other hand could rollout with 30W wireless charging support, which is the same as that on OnePlus 8 Pro. Rumors also suggest the phone will feature 65W fast charging but there will be no water resistance – no official IP rating i.e.
As informed, there is no information on when Motorola Edge S would be available in markets beyond China. In China, the phone is available in two RAM configurations 6GB and 8GB and 128GB and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage options, expandable up to 1TB. While the 6GB + 128GB variant is available for 1,999 RMB (~$310), the top 8GB + 256GB model retails for 2,799 RMB (~$420). This price tag makes the Edge S one of the most affordable 5G phones. If it can launch in the global market without a major price bump, it will make some interesting inroads.
There are a few rumors around the expected release date of the OnePlus 9. We’d like to consider the March launch as the most favorable. It is reported to come in a starting configuration of 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Going by the fact the OnePlus 8 Pro started at $899 and the most recent flagship the OnePlus 8T is available for $749; the OnePlus 9 will be in the sub $800 category as well. However, the pricing will vary depending on what features make the final cut.