January 27, 2021
Motorola has made a great comeback in recent years, producing some of the best phones on the market. Its strength is its diversity – you can buy a £100 or £1,300 Moto phone, depending on your needs and tastes, and still get a quality and consistent user experience.
Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, focuses on a consistent design ethic, has software close to stock Android and, often, offers incredible value for money. The Moto G series is a consistently-excellent choice for those looking for a genuinely excellent budget phone.
At a similar price you’ll find the Motorola One series, where each phone focuses on a specific element with a unique feature, such as a zoom lens or an action camera. But Moto also makes the more expensive Edge line to cater to bigger budgets, including the newly announced (but so far China-exclusive) Moto Edge S, and that’s before we mention the return of the Razr.
Best Motorola phones 2021
1. Motorola Razr 5G
Obviously, the price alone renders the return of the Razr an aspirational purchase for most, but that isn’t why it tops the list.
For a phone brand that once rode high and has since settled to serve up solid affordable Android phones instead, the Razr 5G is an impressive statement piece that highlights the company’s technical capabilities as well as reminding us of its pedigree.
There are obvious downsides to getting a foldable flip phone beyond price but this 5G model is more robust and more considered than the 2019 revival, with more power and better cameras to boot.
Read our full Motorola Razr 5G review
2. Motorola Edge
Though it’s more expensive than most other models in this chart, the flagship Motorola Edge does offer great value for money – compared to the Edge Plus, anyway. It features the same 6.7in OLED Endless Edge display as the Plus model, giving the phone a high-end look, and it boasts many of the features of other Motorola phones in our chart in a single package.
There’s a downgrade in terms of performance, sporting a Snapdragon 765 where most rivals feature the flagship 865 and the trio of rear cameras do a decent job, but it’s not what we’d class as industry-leading. It might not be perfect, but it’s still a stunningly good looking, wallet-friendly flagship 5G smartphone.
Read our full Motorola Edge review
3. Moto G8 Plus
The Moto G8 Plus delivers in principal areas like photography, performance and battery life. It also brings a premium-looking design, a clean user experience and some smart modifications on top the Android experience to the table.
The biggest challenge it faces is pricing. Despite being a touch cheaper than its predecessor, the competition has grown more fierce over the past year and newcomers, primarily from Chinese manufacturers that weren’t previously established in Europe now throw their weight around with more impressive specs or lower price tags for equivalent performance.
Read our full Moto G8 Plus review
4. Moto G 5G Plus
The Moto G 5G Plus doesn’t necessarily have the wow-factor compared to some of the competition, but it more than makes up for it under the hood, sporting the same combination of the Snapdragon 765G and 4/6GB of RAM as the OnePlus Nord and Realme X50 Pro, offering lag-free performance at a slightly cheaper price, and the tall 21:9 6.7in display is great for watching movies on-the-go.
There’s also a decent camera setup fronted by a 48Mp rear snapper, even if the 5Mp Macro lens is a little pointless, and the 5,000mAh battery is certainly enough to get you through the day, even with moderate-to-heavy use.
It’s not the perfect smartphone, but it’s a decent all-rounder at a tempting price.
Read our full Moto G 5G Plus review
5. Moto G8 Power
If battery life is your main concern the Moto G8 Power is the best budget phone for battery right now, and one of the best for simple software too, with stock Android shipped as standard.
On the downside it’s not much of a looker, it can get a little sluggish, and while the main camera lens is fine the additional shooters – an ultra-wide, telephoto, and macro – don’t add much.
This price point is all about compromises and priorities though, so you’ve got to decide what matters most to you. And if that’s battery, then look no further.
Read our full Moto G8 Power review
6. Motorola Moto G Pro
One of the more unusual phones in Motorola’s 2020 lineup; partly due to its name and partly due to its nature.
Ignore that fact that this is the ‘G Pro’ and not the ‘G8 Pro’ as would make more sense, this phone is a large-screened all-rounder that serves as the best budget alternative to those after a Galaxy Note-style stylus-driven user experience.
The camera also has some fun shooting modes too.
Read our full Motorola Moto G Pro review
7. Motorola One Action
The One Action is yet another decent phone from Motorola with a lot going for it at an affordable price. It’s even cheaper than the Moto G7.
You also get better performance and more storage, but this phone has a more niche appeal partly due to its extremely tall (or wide) screen which makes it tricky to hold and use at times.
The Action, as the name suggestions, is also all about the dedicated video camera. While it has good stabiliation and shoots landscape while holiding the phone in portrait, it’s capped at 1080p, you can’t easily mount it to things and the phone isn’t fully waterproof.
Read our full Motorola One Action review
8. Motorola One Vision
At less than £300, the Motorola One Vision is certainly appealing. Aside from an eye-catching design and a rather unique finish that gives the Vision a high-end look, the phone sports a decent array of tech.
The FHD+ 6.4in display is gorgeous and the 21:9 aspect ratio is perfect not only for those that enjoy ultra-wide movies on Netflix, but for those with small hands too. And while it’s not perfect, the 48Mp rear-facing camera is capable of taking decent images, especially when used in conjunction with one of the phone’s many shooting modes.
If you’re a media-driven, snap-happy kind of person on a budget, the Motorola One Vision may be the right choice for you.
Read our full Motorola One Vision review
9. Moto G9 Play
If you’re not hankering after super-fast 5G mobile speeds, the Moto G9 Play is a great affordable option with a big screen and a huge battery.
The display needs work, as does the camera but for the price and paired with Motorola’s slick user experience, the G9 Play isn’t a bad budger offering by a long shot.
Read our full Moto G9 Play review
10. Moto G7 Plus
The Moto G7 Plus is a fantastic mid-range phone. You’re getting the kind of design, specs and features that you’d expect for a lot more money.
The G7 Plus doesn’t have a larger screen or battery like most plus models. Instead, you’re getting more niche things like OIS, faster charging, stereo speakers and Bluetooth 5.0.
Read our full Moto G7 Plus review
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