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The best Motorola phone in 2021

best Motorola phone: Promo image with footballer exploding out of a smartphone
(Image credit: Motorola)

The best Motorola phones don't get quite as much press as, say, Samsung Galaxy or Apple phones. But that doesn't mean you should dismiss them. In fact, you might find a Motorola phone does everything you wish, at a much lower price than these supposedly more glamorous brands. 

Motorola was a huge name in the early years of mobile phones. Today the Moto brand is best known for its budget camera phones, and that applies to most of the models we've featured on this list. But they also do some great mid-range and high-end smartphones too, so we've included some of these as well.

There are a lot of models to choose from, though, and most of them are pretty similar. So to pick out the best Motorola phone for your needs, you need to think about which features and specs are your red lines, and which ones you're not that bothered about. 

For instance, do you need a large screen, or will a smaller one do? Is 5G connectivity important, or are you happy with 4G? Do you need to capture pro-quality photos and video, or just quick snaps for social media?

With all that in mind, below we bring together the best Motorola phones available today, at a range of prices. And we'll give you all the information you need to make the right choice for you.

Best Motorola phones in 2021

(Image credit: Motorola)

1. Motorola Edge Plus

The best Motorola phone overall

Specifications
Operating system: Android 10
Screen size: 6.7 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Weight: 203g
Dimensions: 161.1 x 71.4 x 9.6mm
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Cameras: 108MP + 25MP
Reasons to buy
+High-end specs+108MP sensor+5G support
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Motorola is a brand that’s generally associated with cheap and cheerful budget smartphones. But they do premium models as well, and the cream of the crop is the Motorola Edge Plus. 

It has specs that are up there with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy ranges, including 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery. The high-res, curved OLED display has a a 90Hz maximum refresh rate, which makes for sharp and clear images. And it’s great for photography too, with a quad-lens rear camera boasting a 108MP main sensor, an 8MP telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom, and a 16MP ultra-wide sensor. 

The Motorola Edge Plus also comes with a fingerprint sensor, supports 5G, and has a stylish design that befits its premium price. In short, while this is one of the most expensive models on our list, you’re certainly getting value for money. 

(Image credit: Motorola)

2. Motorola One Zoom

The best mid-range Motorola phone

Specifications
Operating system: Android 9 Pie
Screen size: 6.4 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Weight: 190g
Dimensions: 158 x 75 x 8.8 mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 25MP
Reasons to buy
+Reasonable+Decent camera  +Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Mid-range not high-end

Serious about your smartphone photos, but not dripping with money? The Motorola One Zoom offers an impressive camera at a quite affordable price. It comes with a quad-core rear lens, featuring a 48MP main sensor; a 16MP ultrawide; an 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 5MP depth sensor. There’s also a very capable 25MP front camera. 

Overall, the design of this phone looks a bit basic. The rest of the camera’s specs, too, are quite standard for a mid-range phone, and nothing to write home about. However, we think those are both acceptable compromises to provide such a good phone camera at an affordable price. For more details, read our full Motorola One Zoom review

best Motorola phone: Motorola Moto G10

(Image credit: Motorola)

3. Motorola Moto G10

The best cheap Motorola phone

Specifications
Operating system: Android 11
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1600
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: 165.2 x 75.7 x 9.2mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Cheap +Stylish looks +Runs Android 11
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest

Keeping to a strict budget? Then the G10 is the best Motorola phone you can buy today for a rock-bottom price.

For a cheap phone, it sports quite a stylish design. Its 6.5-inch screen is a decent size, and it comes with a quad-lens on the rear (48MP wide + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth sensor). Admittedly, the overall image quality isn’t the greatest, especially in poor light, but it’s certainly good enough for quick shots for sharing with friends or on social media.

This phone is not the fastest performer, and on the whole you're getting a lower-powered device than others on this list, with fewer features. But it's still quite an impressive smartphone for such a low, low price.

(Image credit: Motorola)

4. Motorola One Action

The best Motorola phone for shooting video cheaply

Specifications
Operating system: Android 9 Pie
Screen size: 6.3 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2520
Weight: 176g
Dimensions: 160.1 x 71.2 x 9.2 mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 3,500mAh
Cameras: 16MP + 12MP
Reasons to buy
+Dedicated video sensor+Stablisation tech+Film naturally
Reasons to avoid
-21:9 screen not for everyone

If you’re primarily interested in video capture, and want to keep to a budget, then the Motorola One Action has a lot to offer. 

Specifically, its triple lens camera features a 16MP sensor that’s dedicated to shooting video. Stablisation technology works to smooth out bumps and slips while you’re filming. And, brilliantly, you can film in landscape orientation while holding your phone in portrait; a much more natural way to film. Plus, when it comes to playback, the high-res screen boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio, so you can view your footage in all its widescreen glory.

Video aside, this is a very capable phone too for such an affordable price. Features include a fingerprint sensor, IPX2 water resistance, and 128GB storage, expandable via MicroSD.

(Image credit: Motorola)

5. Motorola G30

A great value Motorola phone at a low price

Specifications
Operating system: Android 11
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1600
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: 165.2 x 75.7 x 9.2mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Runs Android 11+Good battery life+90Hz refresh rate
Reasons to avoid
-Basic features

Want a more powerful phone than the G10, but willing to spend only a little more money? Then the G30 is your best bet. 

Running Android 11, its processing speeds are faster, and the battery life is impressive. The 6.5 inch screen comes with a fairly low resolution of 720 x 1600, but that’s mitigated in part by the 90Hz refresh rate, which makes for smoother scrolling, motion and video. The cameras are decent enough, too, with a rear camera offering four lenses (64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP sensors), along with a 13MP selfie camera on the front.

In short, if you’re looking for a basic phone with long battery life and good on-board storage, this is a great value buy.

(Image credit: Motorola)

6. Motorola Moto G50 5G

The best cheap Motorola phone with 5G

Specifications
Operating system: Android 11
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1600
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: 164.9 x 74.9 x 9mm
Storage: 64GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 13MP
Reasons to buy
+Supports 5G +Shoot 1080p video +Good battery life 
Reasons to avoid
-Generally basic

On a budget, but want to access 5G? Then the Motorola Moto G50 5G lets you do just that, at a surprisingly low cost. 

Beyond that, you get decent enough (if not wow-factor) images from the the rear camera, which features a 48MP main sensor, 5MP macro sensor, and 2MP depth sensor. There’s also a solid 13MP front camera, and you can shoot 1080p video, either at 30fps or 60fps. There’s good battery life from the 5,000mAh battery, too, as well as quick fast 15W charging.

In other ways, this is quite a basic, if solid and dependable, phone. But if you need 5G, then this is the cheapest Motorola phone in town.

(Image credit: Motorola)

7. Moto G9 Power

The best Motorola phone for battery life

Specifications
Operating system: Android 10
Screen size: 6.8 inches
Resolution: 720 x 1640
Weight: 221g
Dimensions: 172.1 x 76.8 x 9.7 mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 6,000mAh
Camera: 64MP + 16MP
Reasons to buy
+2 day battery life+Fast charging+Affordable price
Reasons to avoid
-Generally low specs

As the name might suggest, this device offers the best battery life of any Motorola phone on this list, thanks to its high-powered 6,000mAh battery. Depending what you use it for, it should be good for around one to two days’ use. It supports fast 20W charging too. 

Don't get too excited: this is a budget phone (and it looks like one), with very standard specs: 720p screen resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 4GB RAM. And consequently performance is relatively slow and unexciting compared with a more expensive phone. But if you want to keep costs low, and your main priority is long battery life, that may be a compromise you’re happy to make.

(Image credit: Motorola)

8. Moto G Stylus 5G / Moto G Pro

The best Motorola phone with a stylus

Specifications
Operating system: Android 10
Screen size: 6.8 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2300
Weight: 217.5g
Dimensions: 169.5 x 77.5 x 9.4 mm
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Nice stylus+Excellent speakers+Supports HDR
Reasons to avoid
-Stylus not pressure-sensitive

One good thing about Motorola offering such a wide range of phones is that there’s something for everyone in its line-up. For example, if you like using a stylus with your smartphone, then you’ll be well served by the Moto G Stylus 5G, known as the Moto G Pro outside the USA.

It’s a little pricier than most of the previous budget models on our list. But for the extra cash you get a metal stylus, with a plastic cap, which slots nicely into the phone so you’re less likely to use it. It’s not pressure sensitive, so you wouldn’t want to use it for drawing or sketching, but for quick and easy notetaking it works well.

This phone also boasts excellent speakers, 128GB of internal storage, and support for HDR. Plus the camera comes with a quite capable (if not spectacular) night vision mode. In short, while this is generally a fairly standard budget phone, the extra features do justify the slightly higher price.

(Image credit: Motorola)

9. Motorola Moto G8 Plus

Low-priced Motorola phone with a lot to offer

Specifications
Operating system: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10
Screen size: 6.3 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2280
Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 158.4 x 75.8 x 9.1 mm
Storage: 64GB
Battery: 4000mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 25MP
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Decent battery life+48MP camera
Reasons to avoid
-Poor for low-light shooting

The Motorola Moto G8 Plus is one of the cheapest around, and is another good choice if you’re looking for a budget smartphone. At this price, the battery life is quite impressive, and 64GB of in-built storage is not too shabby either.

The main camera brings a 48MP sensor along with a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens and a 5MP depth sensor, while there’s a 25MP selfie camera on the front. These capture sharp, bright and colourful images by day, although they’re not so capable in low light. 

The main lens can record videos in 4K at 30fps and Full HD at up to 120fps, and you can also shoot horizontal videos while holding the phone vertically, like on the Motorola One Action. For more details, read our Motorola Moto G8 Plus review

(Image credit: Motorola)

10. Motorola RAZR 5G

The best foldable Motorola phone

Specifications
Operating system: Android 10, upgradable to Android 11
Screen size: 6.2 inches
Resolution: 876 x 2142
Weight: 192g
Dimensions: 169.2 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm (unfolded), 91.7 x 72.6 x 16 mm (folded)
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 2800mAh
Cameras: 48MP + 20MP
Reasons to buy
+Foldable+Supports 5G+Fast performer
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

In case we’ve given the impression Motorola only cares about budget phones, we’ll end with a device that’s at the opposite end of the scale. The RAZR 5G will cost you top dollar, and to be honest, you can get better phones from other brands for the same price. However, its foldable nature is a lot of fun. 

You also get a 48MP rear camera, a 20MP selfie camera, and 5G connectivity for your (not inconsiderable amount of) money. It shoots 4K video at 30fps, storage is generous at 256GB, and processing speeds are fast too. To learn more, read our Motorola RAZR 5G review.

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Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.