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Motorola 'Frontier': Everything we know so far

Motorola Frontier renders
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Motorola has had quite a few smartphone launches this year, but none of them really hit the premium segment of the market, at least not in any meaningful way. However, that is expected to change with the launch of a rumored flagship device; codename "Frontier" (it's not clear yet if this is the final name).

Rumors have emerged of the Motorola "Frontier" throughout 2022 (and even as early as late 2021). The device is said to arrive with some impressive specs and even a world's first. Of course, Motorola makes some great budget smartphones with fantastic value, but if the rumors are true, the Frontier could give Motorola a real edge among this year's top Android phones.

Design

Motorola edge+ (2022)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

While most Motorola phones have sported nearly the same exact design language in 2022, leaks of the Frontier show that the device is deviating from the pack. On the front, the device looks similar to some of Motorola's higher-end Edge smartphones, with a curved display and minimal bezels. However, the hole punch is now centered, which may look better to some depending on your aesthetic preferences.

Motorola Frontier

(Image credit: @evleaks / Twitter)

On the back is where things get switched up. Renders show a rear panel that's subtly patterned with a gray metallic finish. However, a live image shows that the phone might be available in a white colorway with a glossier finish. Motorola's logo appears squarely in the middle of the phone's rear panel.

We also get a good look at the phone's camera stove, which feature's three lenses and a flash unit to the side. The camera arrangements resemble other high-end smartphones like the Realme GT Neo 3, with a large sensor up top and two smaller sensors underneath.

Specs

Motorola edge+ (2022)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Motorola Frontier is expected to be a high-end phone, so it'll have some high-end specs. While nothing is official, some specs have been speculated.

For example, it will feature a 6.67-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It is also said to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which is found in many of the best Android phones launched this year. However, some reports indicate that it will actually arrive with the newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which would put it ahead of much of the competition. The phone may also feature 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.

While that's all impressive, the Motorola Frontier's signature feature will be its camera. The phone is expected to be the first to launch with a 200MP camera, nearly double that which you'll find on premium Android phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The sensor is purported to be the ISOCELL HP1 launched late last year. This sensor is capable of merging 16 pixels to output a 12.5MP image. Pixel binning also provides the equivalent pixel size of 2.56μm, which should soak up plenty of light for nighttime photos.

Leaked image of Motorola Frontier camera module

(Image credit: Weibo via SamMobile)

In addition to the 200MP primary sensor, the device is said to sport a 50MP ultrawide sensor and 12MP telephoto lens. On the front is a 60MP selfie camera.

Motorola often touts two-day battery life with its smartphones, so it would generally be safe to assume a capacity of at least 5,000mAh. However, one leak suggested the phone would be equipped with a 4,500mAh battery, which isn't small, but the company has managed to squeeze far larger batteries into its phones. That said, early rumors clock the charging speed at an impressive 125W wired and 50W wireless, so the battery life may not matter all that much.

Software

Motorola edge+ (2022)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Regarding software, the Motorola Frontier is expected to launch with Android 12 out-of-the-box. That's expected for a device at this point of the year, as Android 13 isn't likely to arrive on smartphones until Q4. Motorola's flavor of Android is pretty lightweight, going for a "stock" experience, similar to a Pixel smartphone. However, Motorola does add some of its own goodies with My UX, like useful gestures.

One area that Motorola doesn't often excel in is software updates. Many Motorola-branded budget Android phones often just receive one major OS upgrade, and a year or two of security updates. However, higher-end models will maybe receive two OS upgrades with an extra year of security updates, so we should expect the same promise for the Frontier.

Price and availability

Motorola edge+ (2022)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It's unclear when the Motorola Frontier will be available, but a Weibo post in May teased a July launch for the upcoming smartphone. The company posted an image of a camera lens, teasing "200 million pixels" and "Details, insights. Like never before" (via translation). That sounds like a pretty good indication that the July launch will feature the Frontier.

As for pricing, there's been no word on the expected cost of the device. However, the company launched the Motorola Edge+ (2022) for $999, and that phone featured some impressive specs alongside a 108MP camera sensor. Assuming Motorola wants to give its upcoming flagship a fighting chance, the company will likely price the Frontier similarly, or it could try and undercut the competition. Either way, don't expect this phone to be cheap.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.