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Microsoft filed suit against Motorola on Tuesday after, it said, it tried unsuccessfully to get the U.S. cell phone maker to license Motorola patents that have been incorporated into international standards under “reasonable and non-discriminatory” (RAND) terms. The charge? Breach of contract.
The move comes not quite six weeks after Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)sued Motorola (NYSE: MOT) for — the software maker alleges — infringing patents that it owns, which are used in Google’s Android mobile device operating system. Motorola makes smartphones based on Android.
The new suit appears to have little or nothing to do with the earlier one, however.
Whereas, the earlier suit accuses Motorola of improperly using patented technology without permission, the new one is about Motorola demanding what Microsoft feels are exorbitant royalties for patents that have been incorporated into an international video standard called H.264.
Microsoft’s new lawsuit states that Motorola has been unwilling to license the patents it provided as part of the standard at what it feels fit the norm for RAND pricing.
Additionally, Microsoft argues, in order for a patent owner to get a technology accepted for use in an international standard, the intellectual property holder is required to provide letters of assurance that any patent royalties will fit the RAND model. The idea is that no one wants to use a technology that is certified as an international standard, and then be forced to pay high royalties once the standard has been adopted.
In the filing, the points of contention circle around H.264’s use in Xbox 360 game consoles as well as some related wireless patents.
“Microsoft made its decision to provide its Xbox video game consoles with H.264 technology in reliance on, and under the assumption that, it and/or any third party supplier could avoid patent litigation and take a license to any patents that Motorola, or any other company, has disclosed to the ITU [International Telecommunications Union] under its well-publicized IPR policy,” the filing said.
However, Microsoft’s legal team appeared to signal that there is much more at stake. Microsoft has committed to use H.264 as the only video codecsupported in its upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has as well.
“Microsoft made similar investments in other fields, including Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7, based upon Motorola’s representations in relation to the H.264 technology standards,” the filing added.
In a statement e-mailed to chúng tôi a Microsoft spokesperson tried to clarify the reasoning behind the lawsuit.
“Microsoft filed an action today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for breach of Motorola’s contractual commitments to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to license identified patents related to wireless and video coding technologies under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. Those commitments are designed to benefit all parties that rely upon these standards, and Microsoft has been harmed by Motorola’s failure to honor them in recent demand letters seeking royalties from Microsoft,” the Microsoft statement said.
Meantime, Motorola had an official response to Microsoft’s suit.
“Consistent with Motorola’s normal licensing practices, we worked with Microsoft to reach an agreement that would have allowed Microsoft to use our proprietary technologies without infringing Motorola’s patents. Unfortunately, despite a fair offer from Motorola, Microsoft was unwilling to enter into a licensing agreement,” Motorola’s statement said.
“Motorola’s patent portfolio and licensing agreements are critical to our business, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to protect the Company’s intellectual property for the benefit of all Motorola stockholders,” the statement concluded.
Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.
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Weighing the potential outcomes of Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against HTC, several IP and patent lawyers say HTC’s phones could be barred from the United States, but both sides will probably look for a licensing agreement before getting to that point.
To recap, Apple sued HTC for allegedly infringing 20 patents in its mobile phones. The lawsuit calls out popular Android phones such as the Google Nexus One and the Droid Eris, but also mentions the Windows Mobile-powered Imagio. What makes this lawsuit particularly interesting is that Apple filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which has the power to stop infringing products from being imported stateside, as well as the U.S. District Court in Delaware.
Of course, it’s impossible to say whether Apple can win without having an attorney spend days or weeks looking through the individual claims, but Jason Webb, patent attorney for Webb IP Law Group, thinks Apple has reason to be confident. “It makes a huge difference that it is twenty patents instead of just one,” he wrote in a e-mail. Michael Downs, a partner in the patent law firm Fincham Downs LLC, agreed, noting that Apple has used some of the same patents in a counter-lawsuit against Nokia.
So let’s just assume that Apple’s lawsuit has merit. Experts say an injunction is possible, but not guaranteed.
Alex Poltorak, chairman of the General Patent Corporation, which represents independent inventors against large companies, lays out a juicy scenario: If the trade commission rules in favor of Apple, HTC would have little choice but to license Apple’s patents. Apple would then have the option to crush HTC in the United States by refusing to license, resulting in an injunction.
There is a chance HTC could modify its phones to the point that they no longer infringe Apple’s patents, but the attorneys I contacted wonder whether this is even possible. With a such a large number of patents, some of them quite broad, it’ll really depend on the trade commission’s ruling. In any case, HTC would have to work with Google to banish any infringing features, said Webb.
Alan Tenenbaum, a patent litigation attorney with Cohen, Pontani, Lieberman & Pavane LLP, offers a different take: HTC and Google aren’t foolish, and they’re surely prepared to make their own claims against Apple. As HTC noted in response to the lawsuit, it has its own stable of patents. Tenenbaum says the case could either be settled quickly out of court, or escalated with both sides making counterclaims against each other and eventually negotiating a settlement. In both cases, the likely result would be a cross-licensing deal — a boring outcome, perhaps, but one that seems reasonable.
That jives with a the opinion of Mark A. Goldstein of SoCal IP Law Group. He’s surprised Apple filed so many claims, because doing so makes litigation “unworkable.” A license or cross-license of patents seems like the most likely outcome to him.
Several attorneys said this case won’t take long to resolve, at least on the injunction side. Downs said the trade commission usually rules on cases in 15 months, compared to two or three years for District Courts. Peter Toren, lead IP partner with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP and formerly with the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime & IP unit, thinks a resolution is just six months away.
Given the response from these attorneys, I wouldn’t go stockpiling Nexus Ones just yet.
The XPRT has the features and the keyboard to please any business or IT professional, but its small display will turn off multimedia junkies.
If you feel sure you’ve seen the Motorola XPRT ($130 with a two-year contract from Sprint; price as of July 14, 2011) somewhere before, that’s because it is essentially Sprint’s version of the Motorola Droid Pro for Verizon. The design is slightly different and, of course, you’ll find Sprint branding and apps all over it, but the XPRT keeps everything we love about the Pro. If you’re an Android fan who needs BlackBerry-like functions, you’ll be happy with the XPRT.
(Editor’s note: Parts of this review were taken from our Motorola Droid Pro review
If you glance at the XPRT, you may well mistake it for the Droid Pro–the two phones are nearly identical. If you look more closely, however, you’ll notice some differences. The XPRT is a little squarer (literally, not figuratively!) at the top; it has chrome trim around its front; and it has a soft rubberized battery cover rather than a plastic back like the Droid. I definitely prefer the XPRT’s subtly textured battery cover to the Droid Pro’s; it feels higher quality.
The touch HVGA display is the same size (3.1 inches) and has the same resolution (320 by 480 pixels) as the one on the Droid Pro. Unfortunately that translates into a fairly small, low-resolution screen for a high-end smartphone by today’s standards. It’s adequate for viewing your inbox or doing casual Web browsing, but you won’t want to watch movies or play graphics-heavy games on it.
Beneath the display are the typical Android touch-sensitive buttons: Menu, Home, Back, and Search. The left spine of the XPRT houses the volume rocker and the micro-USB port. On the right spine, you’ll find a shortcut button that you can customize for whatever you need frequent and quick access to. To set it up, you just go to Settings, Applications, Quick launch. I programmed this button to launch my inbox.
Aside from these additional features, the user interface is almost identical to the Motorola Droid 2’s. Yes, regrettably, the XPRT ships with Android 2.2 and not the most recent version, 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Like other Motorola phones we’ve reviewed, the XPRT incorporates a not-very-impressive 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. Motorola’s camera user interface isn’t my favorite, but you do get a good number of scene modes and effects, plus face detection and geotagging. In my indoor photos, colors looked washed out and details were fuzzy. My outdoor photos fared slightly better, but they weren’t especially strong. The camcorder is mediocre, too: My 720-by-480-pixel-resolution videos looked somewhat fuzzy, though the camcorder function is acceptable for capturing short clips.
For your multimedia needs, you get the standard Android media player, which supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, H.263, H.264, and MPEG-4 video and music files.
Call quality over Sprint’s 3G network in San Francisco was quite good. My friends on the other end of the line reported that my voice sounded loud and clear, with no distortion or static.
Sprint’s 3G coverage in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco was reliably good. PCWorld’s mobile site launched in 9 seconds, and our full site launched in 43 seconds. As we grow accustomed to 4G speeds, this loading period may seem slow, but it’s pretty fast for a 3G network.
The specs have been flowing around for a bit for now of the Motorola’s 10 inch Android tablet that would run the biggest version of android, the Honeycomb, whose which this tablet is indeed a flagship device, much like what Nexus S was for Gingerbread. It’s not hard to notice the Verizon markup at the top right corner telling us that the tablet is indeed Verizon Wireless bound, but yes, didn’t we already know that fact. The leak, apart from bringing a few more blurry shots, also points out some of the specs of the tablet which might be called Stingray or Everest or in distant guess, Trygon, maybe because it boasts of nVidia’s Tegra processor. Which one is your fav?
As for the specs, it seems very much assured that this will be really boasting the 1 Ghz dual-core Tegra 2 processor powering the 10 inch screen capable of producing a divine 1280 x 800 resolution display, and running what is supposed to be game-changing version of android, the 3.0, aka Honeycomb. That apart, expect the main camera at rear capable of 5 MP shooting experience with a VGA camera on the front (near the logo) for video calling and all that. In case you were looking for it, the mini-HDMI port is there as also support for up-to 32 GB microSD card storage, 3.5 mm headphone jack and the micro0USB port.
What we still don’t know about the Motorola’s tablet is the lengths and breadths and in particular the weight of the tablet. The weight is what is hated most about the iPad and it’s really what makes the Samsung 7 incher Galaxy Tab a score above iPad, so we would expect a feather tech from Motorola here. Device size: lengths, breadth and thickness will be a tell-tale sign of weight and portability factor but it will surely be a hard job with dual-core processor inside. Right?
Well, the spec sheet surely makes you drool over unless you know you can’t keep letting water flow outta your mouth, given the magnitude of android stuff happening in (early) 2011 that’s gonna tear your tech beliefs. Yep! we are talking about the LG Star and Motorola Olympus, both powered by the same 1 Ghz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and, Samsung’s Galaxy 2/Stealth/etc. Oh, and let’s not forget Sony Ericsson’s good work in SE Zeus Z1 / PlayStation phone and Anju/X12. On the software part, Honeycomb itself will be revolutionary and should re-brand android’s perception in your mind. There was a reason why Google demonstrated the android’s next iteration a little bit in the same breadth they announced Gingerbread. Maybe, it meant the end of road of android 2.x versions signaling a leapfrog desired for android 3.x. Nice enough!
So, what do you think holds for us in the year 2011, early or later part? And where does it leaves your desire of Nexus S? Oh yes, Motorola’s also working on a 7 inch tablet, we hope Mr. Blurrycam will gratify us with that one too!
Gregory Q. Brown, director and president & CEO
David W. Dorman, non-executive chairman
William J. Bratton, named director
General Michael V. Hayden, named director
Vincent J. Intrieri, named director
Judy C. Lewent, named director
Samuel C. Scott III, director
Douglas A. Warner III, director
John A. White, director
Today we are also announcing that the Motorola Solutions board of directors plans to elect Greg Brown to the additional role of chairman of Motorola Solutions effective in May 2011 and Dave Dorman will transition into the role of lead independent director.
“I want to thank all members of the Motorola board for their service over the years,” Brown said, “and I am pleased about our new board for Motorola Solutions. Additionally, I would like to welcome new members Bill Bratton, General Michael Hayden, Vince Intrieri and Judy Lewent. I look forward to working with them in building and growing our new company.”
Precautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable federal securities laws. These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and generally include words such as “believes”, “expects”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “estimates” and similar expressions. We can give no assurance that any future results or events discussed in these statements will be achieved. Any forward looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the statements contained in this release. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements about the separation of the Company into two independent, publicly-traded companies. Many of these risks and uncertainties are based on factors that cannot be controlled by Motorola and include, but are not limited to (1) market conditions in general and those applicable to the distribution and reverse stock split; (2) factors affecting the expected timeline for completing our separation into two public companies; (3) the effect our separation and the reverse stock split may have on Motorola’s stock price; (4) the risk that the anticipated benefits from the distribution and reverse stock split may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; (5) tax and regulatory matters; (6) changes in economic, competitive, strategic, technological, regulatory or other factors that effect the operation of Motorola’s businesses. A detailed description of other risks and uncertainties affecting Motorola, is contained in Item 1A of Motorola’s 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K, in Item 1A of Motorola Mobility’s Form 10, in Item 1A of Motorola’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings are available for free on the SEC’s website at chúng tôi and on Motorola’s website at chúng tôi Motorola undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement or risk factor, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
About Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions is a leading provider of business- and mission-critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers. Through leading-edge innovation and communications technology, it is a global leader that enables its customers to be their best in the moments that matter. Motorola Solutions will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “MSI” on Jan. 4, 2011. For ongoing news, please visit our media center or subscribe to our news feed.
Office: +1 847-576-2462
Motorola, Inc., Investor Relations
Greg Brown is co-chief executive officer of Motorola and president and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions. Brown joined Motorola in 2003 and was elected to the company’s board of directors in 2007. He became president and CEO of Motorola in January 2008. Since that time, he has served as CEO or co-CEO of Motorola. Brown served as president and chief operating officer beginning in March 2007. Previously, he headed four different businesses at Motorola, including the government and public safety, networks, enterprise and automotive businesses. Brown also led the $3.9 billion acquisition of Symbol Technologies, the second largest transaction in Motorola’s history and an important strategic move to strengthen Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility business. Prior to joining Motorola, he was chairman and CEO of Micromuse Inc., a publicly traded network management software company. Before that, he was president of Ameritech Custom Business Services and Ameritech New Media Inc. Prior to joining Ameritech in 1987, Brown held a variety of sales and marketing positions with AT&T. In addition to his responsibilities at Motorola, Brown is an active member of the civic and business communities. In 2004, he was appointed by the White House to serve on the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and continues to be a member today. He is a member of the Business Council, Business Roundtable, Technology CEO Council, Commercial Club of Chicago and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital board. He is also on the executive committee of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and is a member of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University and is a member of the Rutgers University board of trustees and board of overseers.
General Michael Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general who entered active duty in the U.S. Air Force in 1969 and retired in July 2008. He served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from May 2006 until his retirement from federal service in February 2009. From May 2005 to May 2006, Gen. Hayden served as principal deputy director of National Intelligence. He also was director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005. Gen. Hayden currently is principal at Chertoff Group, a security consultancy. He also serves on the board of Alion Science and Technology and serves as a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Public Policy. Gen. Hayden received both a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in modern American history from Duquesne University. He is a graduate of the Air Force ROTC program.
Vincent J. Intrieri is a director of Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc., the general partner of Icahn Enterprises L.P., a diversified holding company. Since November 2004, Mr. Intrieri also has served as senior managing director of Icahn Capital LP, the entity through which Carl C. Icahn manages third-party private investment funds. Since January 2005, Mr. Intrieri has been senior managing director of Icahn Associates Corp. and High River Limited Partnership, entities primarily engaged in the business of holding and investing in securities. From April 2005 through September 2008, he served as president and chief executive officer of Philip Services Corporation, a metal recycling and industrial series company. Mr. Intrieri is a director of American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI) and served as ARI’s senior vice president, treasurer and secretary from March 2005 to December 2005. He is chairman and a director of PSC Metals, Inc., chairman of Viskase Companies, Inc. and a director of WestPoint International, Inc., Federal-Mogul Corporation and XO Holdings, Inc. Mr. Intrieri is a certified public accountant and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The Pennsylvania State University.
Judy Lewent was chief financial officer of Merck & Co., Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from 1990 until her retirement in September 2007. She was also executive vice president of Merck from February 2001 through her retirement and had additional responsibilities as president, Human Health Asia from January 2003 until July 2005, when she assumed strategic planning responsibilities for Merck. Lewent is a director of Dell Inc. and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. She served on Motorola’s board of directors from 1995 to May 2010. She is a trustee of the Rockefeller Family Trust, is a life member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Lewent received a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College and a master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Sam Scott was chairman, president and CEO of Corn Products International, a corn refining business, from 1997 until his retirement in May 2009. Scott serves on the board of directors of Bank of New York Mellon, Abbott Laboratories and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He also serves on the board of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and as chairman of Chicago Sister Cities. Scott received a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Sandy Warner was chairman of the board and co-chairman of the executive committee of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., an international commercial and investment banking firm, from December 2000 until he retired in November 2001. From 1995 to 2000, he was chairman of the board, president and CEO of J.P. Morgan & Co. He is a director of General Electric Company, chairman of the board of managers and the board of overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, chairman of the Yale Investment Committee and a trustee of Yale University. In addition, Warner previously served on the board of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. Warner received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
Dr. John White is a distinguished professor of industrial engineering at the University of Arkansas. Previously, he was chancellor of the University of Arkansas from 1997 until he retired in June 2008. Dr. White served as dean of engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology from 1991 to early 1997, having been a member of the faculty since 1975. He is also a director of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. In the last five years, Dr. White previously served on the boards of Logility, Inc. and Russell Corp. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. White received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a doctorate of philosophy degree from The Ohio State University.
90Hz OLED screen
Long battery life
Underwhelming camera performance
The Moto Edge 20 Lite is a mid-range smartphone with a lot going for it, including a good screen and dependable battery life. With disappointing cameras, average performance and only a mono speaker, however, it doesn’t quite do enough to earn a recommendation.
Sporting a 1080p OLED 90Hz screen that offers ‘1 billion’ colours, a 5,000mAh battery, a 108Mp main camera and 5G connectivity, it certainly has enough ‘specs’ appeal to compete at this level, but a smartphone is more than numbers.
Does the Moto Edge 20 Lite do enough to earn its place at the table?Design & Build
When it comes to the mid-range, any kind of distinctive design on a smartphone is generally the exception rather than the rule. While there are some which go for a more playful look, most tend towards a design that might charitably be described as bland. The Moto fits right in with the latter crowd.
Our ‘Electric Graphite’ model does nothing to get the blood racing, but it will certainly fit easily into most real-life situations, being as comfortable at home as in the office. The only element of flavour beyond a subtle ‘Moto’ blazon on the rear is the camera island, which is large and pronounced.
Build quality is mostly quite good. The handset resists all attempts to twist and bend it, and it has reasonable balance in the hand. As it is hewn from plastic, it will likely take a fall better than most glass ‘n’ metal sandwiches available on the market currently also.
It cannot be denied however that plastic just doesn’t feel quite as premium in the hand, you’ll never confuse this for a more expensive device – it looks exactly what it is worth.
One thing that cannot be overlooked is the sheer size of the device. With a 6.7in display and at 8.25mm thick it definitely isn’t usable one-handed, though at 185g it is a little lighter than some of the similarly-sized competition.
This is one of those devices that really stretches the definition of ‘phone’, almost crossing over into mini-tablet territory. Fans of smaller handsets should steer clear.Screen
Full HD resolution
90Hz refresh rate
There is no part of a smartphone that tends to come with so many marketing tricks as the display. It is, after all, the primary means by which the user interacts with the device, and as such is one of its most important parts.
The Moto Edge 20 Lite comes with an avalanche of these terms. It is OLED, meaning it has deep blacks and vivid colours, it has a fast 90Hz refresh rate which means it runs a little more smoothly than ‘normal’ 60Hz screens and it has a 1080p resolution.
All of these in tandem with the 6.7in size of the screen mean that the Moto is a delight for reading and watching videos.
There is plenty of room for content to spread out, making TV shows and movies just that bit more immersive. The display also supports HDR10+ certification, making compatible content pop more.
A slightly more nebulous claim is that the device supports ‘1 billion’ colours – meaning that to the naked eye it should offer slightly better gradation and dynamic range in supported content, but I found that this didn’t really make much of a difference in use.
In general, the panel gets bright enough to combat strong sunlight and dim enough for easy bedtime reading. Its white point tends to be a little warm but this can be adjusted with the built-in colour profiles via the settings menu.
If you are the kind of person who watches a lot of video on their smartphone, or who does a lot of reading, the Moto Edge 20 Lite will serve you well.Specs & Performance
Mediatek Dimensity 720 5G
It is inevitable with handsets built to hit a specific price point that compromise will be an inherent element of at least part of the user experience.
With the Moto Edge 20 Lite, a big compromise is the chipset used – the Mediatek Dimensity 720 5G. This is a relatively new 7nm fab SoC with an emphasis on efficiency over anything else, that performs very similarly to the likes of the Snapdragon 480 found in newer Nokia devices.
That it is backed up by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is welcome, but the lack of power simply can’t be forgotten.
In day-to-day use you’ll likely never notice an issue, navigating through the UI, browsing the web and more are generally quick and snappy. Problems start to arise with gaming, however, and especially with more demanding titles.
The likes of PUBG and Fortnite were somewhat playable at lower graphics settings and slow frame rates, but those who like to game a lot would be better served with a device offering a bit more oomph. Power users too, who edit video and more on their devices will also find the chipset here to be a bottleneck.
For most people, the Edge 20 Lite offers enough performance to get by, but when the likes of the Poco X3 Pro are offering a lot more power for less money, it does bring the important question of overall value to the fore.Cameras
108Mp main sensor
8Mp ultrawide and 2Mp depth
It seems to be the general consensus: the more megapixels it has, the better the smartphone camera it is. From budget phones all the way up to flagship-level devices, the megapixel wars continue to rage on.
The Edge 20 Lite sits in the highly competitive mid-range segment, so of course, it needed a sufficiently eye-catching number in order to stand out. As such its camera supports a whopping (on paper) 108Mp, though as usual, this is a 9-into-1 pixel binning sensor, outputting JPEG files with 12Mp of detail.
This main camera is accompanied by an 8Mp ultrawide sensor with macro-focussing capabilities, a 2MP ‘depth’ camera and a 32Mp selfie snapper. Video recording tops out at 4K 30fps, and a host of creative photo shooting modes are offered.
Starting out, the camera app doesn’t make a great impression. From the main screen, it is slow to open and then slower still in achieving a focus lock. This makes capturing either fleeting moments or fast-moving subjects exceptionally difficult without at least a little luck.
The rest of the app manages to be simultaneously too simplistic and over-complicated. Photo and Video are the sole swiping options available, while frequent picks such as ‘Night Vision’ are buried away in a pile of icons accessible through a burger menu. Overall the camera layout is confusing and a barrier to general use.
It is a shame then that photo and video quality too, aren’t quite up to par with the competition. The 12Mp files produced by the main sensor are decent when lighting conditions are good. Colours in particular have a bit of pop while remaining true to life. The white point is often off-balance however, often leaving images too warm.
Dynamic range, or lack thereof, is a major problem for the sensor, with the auto-HDR failing to balance difficult scenes properly. Sharpening halos can be seen prominently in most images, and are a detriment to detail in foliage particularly.
In low-light things don’t improve. Even with the use of the ‘Night Vision’ mode, which combines several long exposures, the files outputted are low in saturation and detail. Video is noisy and suffers from the same issues of dynamic range and slow focussing.
While it is entirely possible to capture images worth sharing using the Edge 20 Lite, if you particularly value a good smartphone camera there are better options available, and for less money.Battery Life & Charging
Having a big battery used to be a unique selling point in itself. Indeed Motorola has marketed its ‘Power’ branded devices for years around this sole point, that they have large power packs contained within.
In 2023, almost every smartphone in the budget and mid-range now comes with a monster juice pack in tow, or that at least how it seems. The takeaway is that the 5000mAh cell within the Edge 20 Lite might have been something special in the distant past, but in the present, it is the minimum that many might expect.
That is not to cast any aspersions on its running time however, for between its efficient chipset and beefier battery, this is a handset that can keep going and going. On my best day, with constant messaging, email, some reading, playing video and listening to music over Bluetooth I managed 6 hours and 30 minutes of screen time with around 14% left in the tank.
What this means is that for heavy users the Moto will likely always last a full day, and for anyone else this will be a 2-day handset. In our PCMark Work 3.0 benchmark, the phone lasted a decent 11 hours and 31 minutes.
Fast charging is supported, though it isn’t quite as fast as some of the competition is offering. In the box, a 30W charger is provided which managed to top up the 20 Lite by 60% in 30 minutes. It’s respectable, though the slower speed is likely a consequence of the larger battery used.Software & Apps
Stock with Motorola additions
Since 2013 with the release of the Moto X, Motorola has had a different approach to software than many other Android manufacturers. While the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung take Android and add a boatload of features and tweaks, Motorola’s approach is a little more simple.
It takes stock Android, adds a few usability tweaks and gestures and nothing more. The end result is an uncluttered interface full of genuinely useful touches that is generally a joy to use when compared to the bloated messes offered by some of the competition.
The familiar ‘karate chop’ will activate the torch, while a double twist of the wrist brings up the camera. ‘Ready for’ is a built-in desktop experience that can be used in conjunction with a PC to transfer data and more, while the Battery Care mode will learn your charging habits and optimise your battery to prioritise its health over time.
Perhaps the most useful inclusion is the ‘Peek’ display, which allows the user to meaningfully interact with notifications and more all while the screen is off.
Diving into the settings there are options aplenty for customisation, including adjusting the colour temperature of the screen, the refresh rate and much more. There are no duplicate apps, there is no clutter and moving through the UI is always smooth.
Though it isn’t quite enough to merit the purchase of a handset by itself, the Moto experience is a genuine value add and a model for the competition to follow.Price & Availability
The Moto Edge 20 Lite is available now for £299.99/€349.99 directly from Motorola, Currys, Very, Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis, Argos and Amazon in the UK. Two colour options are available, Electric Graphite and Lagoon Green.
There are lots of competitors at this price point. For £329 the Xiaomi Poco F3 offers a Snapdragon 870 processor, dual speakers and a 120Hz screen, while the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro sports a 120Hz AMOLED display and a 108MP camera for an asking price of £249.
There is no word yet on whether the Edge 20 Lite will be offered for sale in North America so you may have to opt for the regular Edge 20.
Check out our chart of the best mid-range phones to see more options.Verdict
The Moto Edge 20 Lite is a curious smartphone. While it has an attractive list of specifications, the competition completely outclasses it in terms of both performance and value.
Despite this, it has a great screen, strong battery life and a useful user interface that lends it a strong sense of personality.
Though it is let down by its cameras, the lack of stereo speakers and sometimes plodding performance, this is a charming handset to use. Though it won’t be the best pick for anyone in particular, for many people it will be just enough.Specs Motorola Edge 20 Lite: Specs
Android 11 with MyUX
6.7in Wide Full HD (2167×1080) 90Hz OLED 20:9
MediaTek Dimensity 720 processor
128GB UFS 2.2 internal storage
microSD card slot
108MP f/1.9 rear camera + 8MP f2.2 ultra-wide, 2MP depth sensor
32MP f2.3 selfie camera
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor/power button
Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
50000mAh non-removable battery
30W Fast Charging
165.9 x 76 x 8.3 mm
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