Motorola early 2021 flagship might be a 2019 holdover

The Motorola that we have today seems to be but a shadow of its former self, even the Motorola that was briefly under Google. Aside from the foldable new Razr, the company rarely makes notable phones these days, preferring to flood the entry-level and mid-range market with a dizzying number of similar-sounding phones. It does still try to make high-end ones, like the Verizon-exclusive Motorola Edge+ pictured above. It will try to make yet another one early next year but, at least based on a rumor, it might not be the premium flagship Motorola fans may have been wishing for.

To be fair, the lines that divide smartphone tiers these days have become less defined, especially with the introduction of mid-range 5G chipsets. One consistent mark, however, has been the processor used inside, with Qualcomm's latest 8-series Snapdragon pretty much determining what is premium and new for that year. That, unfortunately, is where this rumored next Motorola flagship will fall short.

Allegedly codenamed Nio, with a model number XT2125, will be running on this year's Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 rather than the upcoming Snapdragon 875. That means that by the time it launches in the first quarter of 2021, it will be up against smartphones using Qualcomm's latest system-on-chip (SoC). We still don't know the performance differences between the two generations, given the Snapdragon 875 hasn't even been announced yet, but, as far as perception goes, it isn't looking good for this Motorola "Nio".

The disappointment doesn't stop there, however. The leaked specs also give it only 8GB of RAM, a step down from the Motorola Edge+ even, when most flagships go with at least 12GB these days. Almost all the camera sensors are from OmniVision, a popular budget image sensor manufacturer, that might not compare to those that come from Samsung or Sony.

Going by specs alone, it might be hard to get excited about this upcoming rumored 2021 Motorola flagship. Unfortunately, the company hasn't exactly been notable in the software department either, making it difficult to imagine how this phone will stand out against 2021's early contenders.