The Motorola Edge 20 has a rather interesting tri-camera setup on the back. There is a 108MP primary, an 8MP tele snapper with 3x optical zoom, and a 16MP ultrawide shooter that can do macro shots thanks to the available autofocus. A dual-LED flash is also around.
The Motorola Edge 20's primary camera employs a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 1/1.52" sensor with 0.7µm pixels and an f/1.9 24mm wide lens. The color filter is Nona-Bayer, meaning 9 sensor pixels are combined into one 2.1µm, and the output resolution is 12MP. PDAF is available, though there is no optical stabilization. This is the only camera that supports Night Mode.
The telephoto camera uses an 8MP OmniVision OV08A10 1/4.4" sensor with 1.0µm pixels and f/2.4 78mm lens for 3x optical zoom. Both OIS and PDAF are available for this shooter.
The ultrawide camera is the same as the original Moto Edge - a 16MP OmniVision OV16A10 1/3.06" sensor with 1.0µm pixels behind f/2.2 17mm lens. Autofocus is available, and thus you can also shoot macro photos at about 4-8cm distance.
The selfie camera has a 32MP OmniVision OV32B40 1/3" Tetra-pixel sensor with 0.7µm pixels. It sits behind a 28mm f/2.3 lens. The focus is fixed. The default output is 8MP.
The default Motorola camera app has gone through some changes in the past couple of software versions, but the main way of navigating through the menus and camera modes remains the same.
The camera modes are arranged in a customizable carousel formation, with the hamburger menu holding a couple of other shooting modes. There's also a Pro mode giving you almost full control over the camera's settings like white balance, ISO, autofocus, exposure and shutter speed up to 32s for all three rear snappers.
Additional settings for each camera mode can be found by swiping up in the viewfinder, including video resolution. The gear icon for the general settings menu it houses even more settings, including photo resolutions.
One thing we've noticed in there is that the videos are set to H.265/HEVC encoding by default, so you might want to revert to H.264/AVC if you want the best compatibility when playing those videos on other devices.
Just like on previous models, the resolution is handled badly by the Motorola camera app. You have two choices for the rear camera megapixels - 12MP or 8MP and whatever you choose here applies to all three cameras.
The default setting is 12MP, as it should be for the main camera, and this forces the ultrawide and telephoto cams save their images in 12MP.
You can get native 8MP for the telephoto shooter by opting for 8MP, but this will cripple the main and ultrawide resolutions.
There is a solution, though it's not a good one - use Pro mode. The manual option saves images as expected - 12MP for main, 16MP for ultrawide, and 8MP for zoom. But using the Pro mode all the time takes away part of the processing, and it's not for the average smartphone user. So, for the purpose of this review, we shot our samples as it was intended - default Photo mode with Auto HDR, default 12MP resolution. But we can't say we're happy with how Motorola is handling the resolution selection.
The primary camera saves 12MP photos unless you opt for the dedicated 108MP mode. The daylight images we took this sunny day turned out excellent for this class. The resolved detail is plenty, and the dynamic range is good, but not over the top even if the Auto HDR is quite trigger happy.
We want to praise the great foliage rendition we observed across all photos. There is almost no noise either.
The sharpening is a little bit too much for our taste, but the images are not over-sharpened. Sometimes they do look a bit more artificial, we'd say. And the colors, while close to real life, are not as accurate - there is a barely noticeable reddish tinge.
Overall, we are happy with the photos from the main camera, we got more than we hoped for in this price range.
One way to get more natural-looking photos is to shoot in 108MP mode and then resize the image down to 12MP. Doing that yields an unprocessed photo with balanced sharpness and even more detail.
The dynamic range is a bit lower, but you get even better contrast and accurate colors (the reddish tinge is gone here).
The untouched 108MP photos are rather unimpressive - the detail is poor, and you can easily spot plenty of image artifacts.
The Edge 20 has a 16MP ultrawide camera, yet its photos are saved in 12MP for reasons we've explained already.
Anyway, the ultrawide images are okay - they do fit a lot in the frame, the corners are not smeared with proficient straightening, and the photos offer high contrast and dynamic range. But the resolved detail is mediocre, and the colors aren't that accurate.
The ultrawide camera supports autofocus, and that's why it can also do close-up photos, replacing the traditional 5MP macro snappers. And surprise, surprise, in Macro mode, the photos are saved in 16MP.
Macro is a separate mode in the viewfinder, and it introduces a crop with the same coverage level as the main cam. This means the photos we were happy to see finally in their native resolution were first cropped and then upscaled back to 16MP. Just when we thought Motorola has gotten its resolution control right at least once.
The resolved detail is okay if there is enough light, and the colors are nice and punchy. The contrast is great, too. But the noise levels are high, and upon pixel peeping, you can tell these images were upscaled. Hardly everyone is into pixel peeping these days anyway, so it may not be the big issue we make it out to be. After all, these are some great-looking closeups.
The 8MP telephoto camera saves 12MP images by default, too.
Anyway, the 12MP 3x zoom photos are nice - they offer enough detail for a tele camera, present good colors, contrast, and dynamic range. The detail is okay though not stellar, because of the 8MP to 12MP upscaling.
You can get 8MP zoomed images by lowering the resolution of all cameras, using the Pro mode, or manually downsize the photos to 8MP. No matter what you choose, it's a hassle Motorola could have avoided in the first place.
The portrait mode defaults to the main snapper, but you can also use the telephoto camera for portraits - there is a zoom switch on the viewfinder.
The 12MP portraits from the primary cam are great - the subject separation is proficient enough, the person is detailed and well exposed, the simulated background blur is likable, too.
As it is with these modes, if you have messier hair or a more complex haircut, do expect poorer results.
As we mentioned, shooting portraits with the tele camera is also possible, but we don't recommend it. The separation and the blur are as good, but the photos are often too noisy and/or blurred.
The 12MP low-light photos from the main camera are great - there is enough detail, the noise levels are kept low, the contrast is great, the color saturation is likable, and the exposure is balanced. Thanks to the Auto HDR, we observed fewer clipped highlights than usual.
Even if the camera doesn't offer OIS, all photos we took with the main camera were focused and sharp - we did not have a single blurred one due to camera shake.
Night Vision is available only on the main camera, takes about 2-3 seconds, and it works brilliantly. It restores all clipped highlights and makes for a brighter photo where that's possible. It introduces more noise to some scenes though.
The low-light photos from the ultrawide camera offer low noise levels, good colors and are well exposed, too. There is only one issue with them, but it's enough to ruin them - they are quite soft and are out of focus. All of them!
We guess having autofocus on the ultrawide camera is a double-edged sword, and Motorola has cut itself on this one.
The telephoto camera is a reliable shooter at night. Thanks to the optical stabilization, the snapper offers good photos with enough resolution, satisfactory sharpness, lively colors, and the contrast is okay. The images are noisy and a bit dark if compared to the main camera, but for a telephoto - these are some solid samples.
And here are photos of our usual posters taken with the Motorola Edge 20. Here's how it stacks up against the competition. Feel free to browse around and pit it against other phones from our extensive database.
The selfie camera on Motorola Edge 20 has a 32MP Quad-Bayer shooter behind f/2.2 fixed-focus lens. It saves 8MP images by default, as it should, but if you want - you can set it up to save 32MP photos instead.
The 8MP selfies are great - they are sharp and detailed, with accurate colors, good contrast, and the dynamic range can be boosted by the Auto HDR option where necessary. A bit noisy, though.
Note that if the light isn't ideal, the sharpness will suffer a noticeable drop.
You can save 32MP photos, too, but we cannot recommend this mode. The images are soft and noisy and often look out of focus.
Portraits are possible with the front camera, and they aren't bad - the subjects are detailed, and the colors are great, plus - the blur looks nice. The separation is rather bad, though and clipped cheeks, ears and other body parts are occasional.
The Motorola Edge 20 records 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p videos with up to 60fps. The other snappers are limited to 1080p@30fps. Optional electronic stabilization (EIS) is available only on 1080p@30fps mode across all snappers.
Audio zoom is available across all modes thanks to the three microphones across the phone. It can be turned on/off.
The video bitrate is super generous at 62Mbps in 4K and 20Mbps for 1080p. Audio is always captured stereo with a 256Kbps bitrate.
The 4K clips from the main camera are good - the detail is plenty, and noise is nowhere to be found. The dynamic range deserves praise, the contrast is great, too.
The colors are not that accurate though, they are a bit cooler than they should have been. And the sharpening is a bit excessive.
Still, these are some solid 4K videos for this class.
The 4K low-light videos are rather disappointing - they are soft and overrun by noise.
The ultrawide camera also offers good 1080p videos. They present enough detail for such type of camera, there is no visible distortion, and the corners look great. The dynamic range is commendable as usual, the noise is low, too. The colors and the contrast can benefit from some fine-tuning - more saturation and a bit higher contrast should be enough.
The 1080p videos from the 3x tele camera are the ones with the most natural look - they have spot-on while balance and vibrant colors, the contrast is great, dynamic range is good as well. The videos are not the sharpest, but we'd say they do offer enough detail, and the balanced processing helps for a very natural look. We liked what we saw.
Finally, here is the Motorola Edge 20 in our video comparison database.