Best Motorola phones 2021: find the top Moto smartphone for you

Whether you're looking for a dependable budget smartphone or a flashy premium device, the best Motorola phones will provide what you need, as the company makes good-quality phones usually offered at low price points.

Motorola offers several series of phones, but most of them are affordable. The E series is super-cheap handsets while the brands's most popular line, the G family, is also pretty low-cost but sometimes with features you rarely see on budget phones.

There's also the Motorola Edge family of mid-range and, sometimes, premium phones which offer something a little bit different from the E and G lines. Finally, in 2021 the company launched its first rugged phone, which we've also included on this list.

As you can imagine, then, the brand has loads of phones to choose between, and it can get quite confusing for people trying to buy a new phone. The company's roster is continually growing too, with a new launch every month or so.

That's why we wrote up this guide of the best Motorola phones: to give you an easy-to-consult list of the stand-out devices from the company's ranges, with their specs and prices attached.

We continually update this list when there's a new Motorola phone review published on TechRadar, so you can see where it slots into the hierarchy (and if ti's worth buying at all). Most recently, several members of the company's Edge 20 line have been judged and added to the list, though we've still got one of the phones to test.

Oh - if you're looking for the foldable Motorola Razr (2020), don't. It's not here because it simply isn't very good. A few too many compromises were made there but we're not holding that against the rest of the Motorola range. 

Not everyone wants a Motorola phone - though it's curious that you're reading this article if that counts for you - but no worries, as we've also got lists of the best phones, best Android phones and best iPhones. You can also check out our advice in our best budget phonebest camera phone and best 5G phone guides.

Don't forget - Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up at the end of November and we're sure to see some deep discounts on some popular phones. We've gathered the best phone Black Friday deals along with the best sim only Black Friday deals too. If you're looking for a specific network, there's also our list of the best Verizon Black Friday deals too.

Best Motorola phones 2021

Motorola Moto G100

(Image credit: Motorola)

1. Moto G100

Proof of Moto G supremacy

Release date: March 2021 | Weight: 207g | Dimensions: 168.4 x 74 x 9.7mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2520 | CPU: Snapdragon 870 | RAM: 8GB/12GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 16MP + 2MP + ToF | Front camera: 16MP + 8MP

It has lots of processing power
Its cameras are good for a Moto phone
You have to buy it with a dock
It's pretty big

The Moto G100 is the top-end member of the company's 2021 line-up of G-series phones, but it's somewhat of a spiritual predecessor to the Edge 20 handsets which came out several months earlier.

This is a great budget phone: it has a snappy processor, decent cameras, a big battery and a fingerprint scanner that's pretty convenient to use.

The big problem we had with the Moto G100 is that you have to buy it alongside a dock for Ready For, a software which lets you connect your phone to a display for a range of other functions. Ready For is useful to some, but not all, so it's irritating that you have to pay extra for a stand you might not use.

Overall, though, this is a really good smartphone, and one that's worth your money, especially if you're interested in Ready For.

Read our in-depth Moto G100 review

Motorola Defy

(Image credit: Motorola)

2. Motorola Defy

Motorola's well-specced rugged phone

Release date: July 2021 | Weight: 232g | Dimensions: 169.8 x 78.2 x 10.9mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 662 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

It has a well-protected design
It comes under a two-year warranty
It's not fast
There's no cover for the USB port

The Motorola Defy isn't your typical Moto phone. It's actually a rugged device, which means it's designed to work well in the outdoors - it's protected against drops, has a big battery, and includes a slot for lanyards. 

Moto presents the phone as designed for gig workers, like food delivery bikers or similar, and it's intended to have lots of stopping power for this kind of task.

Sure, it's not a perfect phone for every function: it's not got much processing power, so don't expect to play games at top graphics options, and its cameras leave a lot to be desired too. But we were impressed during our time with the phone and it's definitely worth looking at if you have a habit of damaging your smartphone.

Read our in-depth Motorola Defy review

Motorola Edge 20 Pro

(Image credit: Motorola)

3. Motorola Edge 20 Pro

The top phone for 2021

Release date: August2021 | Weight: 185g | Dimensions: 163 x 76 x 8mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 870 | RAM: 6GB/8GB/12GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 16MP | Front camera: 32MP

Its battery easily lasts a day
It has a high screen refresh rate
It's too big to hold comfortably
There are better-value alternatives

Motorola's top-end phone of 2021 was the Edge 20 Pro, the top-specced and most expensive member of its second generation of Edge devices.

This isn't a truly premium phone like the Edge Plus was in 2020, with a competitive price and some mid-range specs and features to keep the price low. In particular the high screen refresh rate and long-lasting battery impressed us. It's good for a Moto phone, but not perfect.

We found the body too big to hold comfortably, especially with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that was pretty hard to reach. Plus it was slow to charge and the camera software sometimes disappointed.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge 20 Pro review

Motorola Edge Plus

(Image credit: Motorola)

4. Motorola Edge Plus

A top-spec, top-price Moto phone

Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 203g | Dimensions: 161.1 x 71.4 x 9.6mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 16MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 25MP

Its display looks great
It has lots of processing power
The zoom camera is limited
It costs quite a lot

The Motorola Edge Plus is arguably the most exciting Motorola phone in years, as it’s also the first true flagship from the company in years.

That means it’s up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro, and it certainly has the specs to compete, with a high-end Snapdragon 865 chipset, a massive 12GB of RAM, and a huge 5,000mAh battery.

Its screen is thoroughly impressive too, as it’s a 6.7-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED one with a 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support, it’s also a ‘waterfall’ display, which means it’s steeply curved at the sides, giving it a striking appearance.

You also get a quad-lens rear camera, with a 108MP main sensor, an 8MP telephoto one (with 3x optical zoom), a 16MP ultra-wide one, and a depth sensor.

With support for both sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks it can also make the most of the latest mobile technology, so it’s no wonder we’re so fond of it.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge Plus review

Moto G30

(Image credit: Motorola)

5. Moto G30

Cheap and cheery

Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 165.2 x 75.7 x 9.1mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 662 | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP

It has an excellent battery life
It's pretty affordable
We found the fingerprint scanner tricky to use
The display has a low resolution

One of Motorola's line of low-cost G-series phones, the Moto G30 is a great showcase as to the type of phone the company is known for. It doesn't have many bells or whistles but it doesn't cost a lot, has a sturdy design and has a big enough battery to easily see you through a day.

If you just need a smartphone as a useful pocket gadget, instead of a tool you'll be using all the time for top-end tasks and photography, this will be perfect for you.

It's a very similar phone to the Moto G10 lower down in this list, but it has a slightly better processor and a higher price. Since the cost is only a tiny bit different though, we'd recommend this handset more (which is why it's higher in the list).

Read our in-depth Moto G30 review

Motorola Edge 20 Lite

(Image credit: Motorola)

6. Motorola Edge 20 Lite

A cheap phone with a 108MP camera

Release date: August 2021 | Weight: 185g | Dimensions: 165.9 x 76 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Dimensity 720 5G | RAM: 6GB/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP

It has a punchy screen
Its software is clean-looking
Its battery life is poor
Its camera HDR is unreliable

The lowest-end member of Motorola's 2021 series of 'top-end' phones is actually basically a Moto G phone in all but name, costing less than the G100 and coming with lots of similar specs.

The difference here is that, while the Moto G phones are solid all-rounders, the Edge 20 Lite aims to impress in a few key departments, namely cameras (with a 108MP main camera) and display (with a big, punchy OLED display).

The pitch doesn't completely pan out, and we had mixed feelings on the Edge 20 Lite. It excelled in some areas but fell behind in others, notably having a surprisingly short battery life.

It's not a bad phone, but there's a reason it's not the top phone on this list.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge 20 Lite review

Moto G10

(Image credit: Motorola)

7. Moto G10

The G30's cheaper sibling

Release date: February 2021 | Weight: 200g | Dimensions: 165.2 x 75.7 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 460 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP +2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Its price is very low
Its battery life is impressive
It's slow to use
The display is low-res

As a cheaper take on the Moto G30, the G10 has lots of the same perks, including its long-lasting battery, its hardy plastic design and its big screen.

The difference here is that it's even cheaper, but comes with slightly worse specs as a downside. We found the Snapdragon 400-series processor a little too slow for us, which is why the G10 is below the G30, but if you don't use your phone much, you won't mind.

Either way, this is the cheapest Moto G phone that's worth buying right now.

Read our in-depth Moto G10 review

Moto G50

(Image credit: Motorola)

8. Moto G50

The middle child of its generation

Release date: April 2021 | Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 164.9 x 74.9 x 9mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 480 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 5MP + 2MP | Front camera: 13MP

It supports 5G
It has a 90Hz screen
The cameras are mediocre
The performance is unremarkable

The Moto G50 is a curious entry to the company's 2021 line-up, as while its title suggests it's a higher-end model than the G10 and G30, and its price is higher too, it's actually a little lower-end in terms of specs.

The phone has a weaker chipset than the G30, as well as cameras that are more in line with those on the G10.

However it has some higher-end specs which justify the cost, namely its 5G connectivity and the high refresh rate screen. So if you prefer those specs over cameras and power, the G50 is a good choice for you.

Read our in-depth Moto G50 review

Motorola Edge

(Image credit: Motorola)

9. Motorola Edge

On the Edge of success

Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 161.1 x 71.1 x 9.3mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 765G | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 16MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 25MP

It feels great in the hand
It has an impressive battery life
The cameras aren't the greatest
Curved screen functionality is limited

The Motorola Edge is a cheaper, lower-end alternative to the Motorola Edge Plus, but while it’s not quite as good as its sibling, it still has a whole lot going for it.

That includes a big 4,500mAh battery, which in our review we found comfortably lasted a day even with quite heavy use.

It also has a 6.7-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10 support, and ‘waterfall’ curves, leaving the handset with a sleek look and a comfortable feel in the hand.

While you don’t get top-end power here, the Motorola Edge also delivers very decent performance from its upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset and 6GB of RAM – so much so that we found it handled almost all games well.

With a quad-lens camera too (including a 64MP main sensor paired with telephoto, ultra-wide and depth sensors), an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and just an upper mid-range price, the Motorola Edge certainly has an edge over many rivals.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge review

Moto G9 Power

(Image credit: Motorola)

10. Moto G9 Power

Solidly dependable on a budget

Release date: December 2020 | Weight: 221g | Dimensions: 172.1 x 76.8 x 9.7 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.8-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1640 | CPU: Kryo 260 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP

It has a long-lasting battery
Its screen is big
Its performance isn't amazing
It's a little big

The Moto G9 Power has a quite extraordinary 6,000mAh battery which is sure to attract those users who hate to need to recharge often. With nearly two days of life, it also supports 20W fast charging so you won't have to wait around for long on those occasions when you do need to recharge.

Elsewhere, it's a little bit business as usual for the Moto G9 Power but that's not strictly a bad thing given the price. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset and 4GB of RAM which brings with it fairly average performance, but it does the job well enough. 

A 6.8-inch 720 x 1640 screen means whatever you're doing looks reasonable with plenty of room although don't count on HDR support. Still, we found it to be pretty good for the price, especially when it comes to watching videos. Temper your expectations and you'll be delighted at this price.

Read our in-depth Moto G9 Power review

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