Motorola is in headlines as I type this because they’ve launched a new phone called the Motorola Edge+ (2023) in the US. The early reviews of it all have mostly good things to say, which is awesome in a space that is desperately in need of some old-yet-fresh players. Android could really benefit from someone outside of Samsung and Google delivering the goods on a regular basis and meeting the moment. There’s an opening here.
But it wouldn’t be a Motorola launch without having to remind you about their poor software support. In recent years, we’ve reviewed Motorola’s top tier Edge+ line and were one of the few to give each release glowing remarks. I was a big fan of the original Edge+ (2020) and liked the package of the Edge+ (2022) as well. We also were clear that if software updates were important to you, that you might want to skip these phones.
Now that the Motorola Edge+ (2023) is available (and tempting!), you should consider the current situation of those two phones I just mentioned.
You may recall that when the Edge+ first launched in 2020, Motorola was only promising a single Android version update. They received enough criticism that they had to immediately promise a 2nd update. They ended up delivering that update as Android 12 in April of last year, but the phone is basically done seeing big updates going forward. It does appear to still be receiving semi-regular security patch updates.
The newer Motorola Edge+ (2022) launched with Android 12 about a year ago and is still currently on Android 12. In case you forgot, Android 12 went stable in 2021. We’ve had stable Android 13 since last summer. We’re deep into beta testing Android 14 because it will launch to stable on Pixel phones and others in a few months. Motorola’s flagship phone from last year, which was priced at $1,000, is about to be two Android versions behind.
Motorola has started to sporadically deliver Android 13 updates to some of its high-end phones around the globe, like the Edge 30 and Edge 30 Pro. For the US, though, it appears that only the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion has started to see it. I know, you have no idea what that phone is.
Thankfully, Motorola is at least promising 3 years of Android OS updates and 4 years of bi-monthly security updates. The thing is, yearly Android OS updates only make sense when you get them yearly, or within a year of their launch. As I just mentioned, last year’s Edge+ launched on old Android 12 and is still on it over a year later. So, what does Motorola mean by 3 years of OS updates? Are they going to issue Android 14 in 2024 even though it’s scheduled to release mid-2023? Will Android 15 show up in 2025 and Android 16 in 2026? Will it take longer than that?
And look, this goes beyond the new Edge+ (2023). Motorola is going to announce a new Razr+ foldable on June 1 and it looks ready for the US. They’ll likely promise the same 3 years of OS updates for it, but you should really hesitate on it too because there’s no guarantee that the update situation from Motorola is ever going to improve.
We often refer to Samsung as the “King of Android Updates.” Motorola is the worst at them.