No sharp edges on ours. We do not use ours daily like some posters have shared, but so far it works well and is without flaws. The removable plates are a must have for equipment like this, and much appreciated. The only issue we have had so far is that the drippings that seem to run off the rear of the unit when in use. This tends to create a mess and is impossible to avoid. This has to do with the hinge design allowing the top plate to hang over the back when opened. A simple design change could fix this by extending the bottom plate to catch these drippings. i would suggest using the grill on some kind of tray to keep the mess to a minimal. Once you get use to the settings it works great.
The plate corners are not sharp to me at all. The edges around the clip may have a slight sharpness to them however without it being pointed out I would've never even noticed or felt them. I don't have another model to compare it with so hopefully this is somewhat helpful.
There are no sharp pieces or corners on mine. I cannot say if the new plates are better as I did not ever have an older model, but I can tell you that these are great. Easy to get out and put in, easy to quickly wash and dry, and the food that comes out of it is great. It is a wonderful tool to have in the kitchen!