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 budget or premium Moto phone, depending on your needs and tastes, and still get a quality and consistent user experience.
Motorola – nowadays 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.
But Moto also makes the more expensive Edge line to cater to bigger budgets, including the fresh-faced Edge 20 Series and that’s before we mention the return of the Razr.
Best Motorola phones 2021
Motorola Razr 5G – Best foldable
Pros: Elegant folding design | Improved build quality | Better cover display
Cons: Slippery and heavy | Middling performance | Price
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
Moto E7i Power – Most affordable
Pros: Ultra affordable | Good battery life | Nice design
Cons: No USB-C | Lacklustre camera
Once you recognise just how cheap the Moto E7i Power is, it’s hard not to be impressed by everything you’re getting.
Performance – an area cheap phones so often cut corners on – is surprisingly great despite what the benchmarks tell you. There was no need for Motorola to change what was already great software, while the modern design does a good job of imitating more expensive handsets.
The cameras are a bit hit-and-miss, but if you’re prepared to be patient, it will pleasantly surprise you. There are compromises dotted throughout the Moto E7i Power, but for what you’re paying these are incredibly easy to forgive.
Read our full Motorola Moto e7i Power review
Moto G100 – Best for productivity
Pros: Great performance | Ideal for gaming | Good battery life
Cons: Middling cameras | Cumbersome
One of the first phones on the market to sport Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 870 chipset, the Moto G100 is a mid-ranger that offers superb performance. It’s so capable, in fact, that in our review we dubbed it as something of an “undercover gaming phone.”
Its internals are supplemented by a pleasing 90Hz display and superb battery life, thanks in part to the phone’s large 5000mAh cell, and while its cameras leave room for improvement, the desktop-like Ready For functionality (made possible by the included dock) turns the G100 into a productivity beast when needed.
Read our full Moto G100 review
Motorola Edge – Best display
Pros: Premim design | Nice display | Decent performance
Cons: Limited update support | Average cameras
While the Edge 20 Series has arrived (and we’re currently testing them out), the flagship Motorola Edge still offers some degree of 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, plus it boasts many of the features of other Motorola phones in our chart in one single package.
There’s a downgrade in terms of performance, sporting a Snapdragon 765G where most rivals featured 2020’s top-tier 865, but a trio of rear cameras do a decent job, even if they’re not what we’d class as industry-leading. It might not be perfect, but this is still a stunningly good looking, wallet-friendly flagship 5G smartphone.
Read our full Motorola Edge review
Motorola Defy (2021) – Hardiest design
Pros: Resilient design | Affordable | Clean Android user experience
Cons: Lacklustre performance | Low resolution display | Basic cameras
Making a worthwhile rugged phone isn’t cheap and yet Motorola’s managed to create a solid offering in the revived 2021 Defy.
It struggles to keep step with like-minded rival, the Nokia XR20 – in terms of performance – but we can’t knock its hardy design, or its sizeable 5000mAh battery; which delivers some exceptional longevity. 20W fast charging isn’t the quickest around, but we’d rather have it than not.
While the display also misses the mark with its sub-Full HD resolution, Motorola’s clean Android experience does at least ensure it’s nice to use.
Read our full Motorola Defy review
Moto G 5G Plus – Great for multimedia
Pros: Fast performance | Impressive main camera | Huge battery
Cons: Weak macro camera | Plastic build
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 4GB or 6GB RAM as the OnePlus Nord and Realme X50 5G; offering lag-free performance at a slightly cheaper price.
There’s also a decent camera setup – fronted by a 48Mp rear snapper, a tall 21:9 6.7in display that’s great for watching movies on-the-go and a 5000mAh battery that has what it takes 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
Moto G9 Power – Best for battery life
Pros: Affordable | Big, bright display | Water resistance
Cons: Plastic build | Lacklustre cameras
The Moto G9 Power offers up superb value for money, with a capacious 6000mAh battery validating the phone’s name.
The cell offers up enough juice for multiple days usage at a time and the Power also sports a pleasing display and a water-repellent design.
Its cameras are on the underwhelming side but if they’re not your top priority, there’s a lot going for the Moto G9 Power.
Read our full Moto G9 Power review
Moto G9 Play – Great value
Pros: Affordable | Lightweight | Clean Android user experience
Cons: Plastic build | Lacklustre cameras | Dim display
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 budget offering by any means.
Read our full Moto G9 Play review
Moto G Pro – Good for productivity
Pros: Good camera | Integrated stylus | Great longevity
Cons: Bland design | Average performance | Stylus underutilised in software
One of the more unusual phones from 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 stylus-driven experience.
The camera also has some fun shooting modes too.
Read our full Motorola Moto G Pro review
Moto G8 Power – Good for battery life
Pros: Good main camera | Great longevity | Clean software experience
Cons: Ageing hardware | Bland design | Sluggish performance
The same strengths and weaknesses as its successor, the Moto G8 Power is an ever-cheaper alternative with the same great longevity as the G9 Power.
The main sacrifice here is performance, but in general, this is still a well-rounded low-cost offering.
Read our full Moto G8 Power review
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