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Best Motorola phones 2022: find the top Moto smartphone for you

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
The Moto G200 on a green background
(Image credit: TechRadar / Motorola)

If you're looking for the best Motorola phone, you've probably heard about the company's reputation for making impressively affordable devices that are the epitome of the phrase 'cheap and cheery'. 

But Motorola makes more phones than you'd think, with its cheap phones joined in the company line-up by a few mid-range and premium phones - and often the odd foldable phone too. So there's something for everyone.

So there's the Moto E, Moto G and Motorola Edge lines, as well as a few outliers in the foldable and rugged categories - enough for a range of different interests and needs. However with so many phones, the choice could get confusing, which is why we've written up this guide.

Here at TechRadar, we test every new Motorola phone that gets released, using them as our everyday mobiles to see how long their batteries last, how good the photos they take are, whether they've got the chops to play games, and anything else you'd want to do on your phone.

Using that information - and also by looking at the value for money they all offer - we've ranked the ten best mobiles from the company, with options for people with various different budgets and needs.

The list is regularly updated with new Motorola phones frequently added once we've reviewed them comprehensively. Motorola releases a slow deluge of its G phones, so expect updates regularly with new entries from this family, as well as any others we see.

If a Motorola phone doesn't appeal to you, check out our look at the best phones, best Android phones and best iPhones for something else, though you'll probably find much pricier mobiles there, given Moto's predeliction for affordable handsets.

Best Motorola phones 2022

The Moto G200 leaning on a plant.

(Image credit: Future)
The best Motorola phone overall

Specifications

Release date: November 2021
Weight: 202g
Dimensions: 168.1 x 75.5 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2460
CPU: Snapdragon 888 Plus
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of processing power
+
Hardy design

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen is only LCD
-
Not suited to one-handed use

The Moto G200 straddles the line between 'budget phone' and 'mid-range' mobile, but it's far more affordable than most devices that pack similar specs.

For a relatively low price, you're getting a big, good-looking screen, a giant battery, a powerful chipset and a high-res main camera - it's a 5G phone too. It feels a lot like a more affordable, but equally useful, alternative to Moto's Edge handsets.

When we tested the phone, we loved how we were able to get access to all these cool features without having to break the bank - the affordability of this phone is its biggest selling point.

We did have a few issues – inevitably some corners were cut to achieve the relatively low price here, with the screen being LCD rather than OLED, the 33W charging being slower than some rivals, and given the size of its screen, the phone itself is inevitably on the large and cumbersome side.

But those are small complaints compared to everything the Moto G200 delivers, so if you’re in the market for a great Motorola handset, or just a great phone that won’t break the bank, then this is a top choice.

Read our in-depth Moto G200 review

The Motorola Defy standing on a table

(Image credit: Future)
A great rugged phone

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
It has a well-protected design
+
It comes under a two-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
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.

And it does its job just fine - its built-in lanyard, hardy design and long-lasting warranty ensured that we felt safe using the phone, though we did think that a USB port cover could have helped.

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

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro on a plantpot

(Image credit: Future)
Motorola's best premium phone

Specifications

Release date: August 2021
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

Reasons to buy

+
Its battery easily lasts a day
+
It has a high screen refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
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, with the G200 bringing many of the same features but at a lower price.

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 was sometimes disappointing.

The Edge 20 Pro doesn't quite compare to other similar-priced phones, as it's simply not as competitive as rivals from Xiaomi, Google or OnePlus, but in the canon of Motorola devices it's not bad.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge 20 Pro review

The Moto G100 on a windowsill

(Image credit: Future)
An older Moto champ

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
It has lots of processing power
+
Its cameras are good for a Moto phone

Reasons to avoid

-
You have to buy it with a dock
-
It's pretty big

It's odd to call a phone from mid-2021 'old', but the Moto G100 has been supplanted by the G200 in many ways, including in price. The Moto G100 is near the top of the company's 2021 line-up of G-series phones, but it's somewhat of a spiritual successor 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 that 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

The Moto G22 on a stone slab

(Image credit: Future)
The best budget Motorola phone

Specifications

Weight: 185g
Dimensions: 164 x 75 x 8.5 mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 720 x 1600
CPU: Mediatek MT6765V/CB Helio G37
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64/128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy

+
Reliable build quality
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic screen
-
Underwhelming camera

While the Moto G100 and G200 are technically part of Motorola's line of budget devices, the G22 is the top option on this list that's a 'true' affordable phone, looking at its price. So this is going to be the top pick for people who don't need top specs, and just want a cheap and cheery handset.

Our two favorite things about the phone were is durability and its long-lasting battery life, so if that's what you need from a smartphone, you're in luck here. The low price is just the cherry on the cake.

Motorola has cut corners to hit this price, with a dim screen, no 5G connectivity and limited camera modes (though we did find the main snapper to work well in good lighting).

But if you don't need a feature-packed phone, and just need a useful mobile that'll see you through the day, this should be your top pick.

Read our in-depth Moto G22 review.

The Motorola Edge Plus on a table

(Image credit: Future)
The last 'true' premium Motorola phone

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Its display looks great
+
It has lots of processing power

Reasons to avoid

-
The zoom camera is limited
-
It costs quite a lot

The Motorola Edge Plus is the oldest handset on this ranking, and we've kept it around because it's the last real premium phone from the company, with a huge price and some top features.

When we tested the phone, we loved its great-looking display and top specs, and it made the handset stand toe-to-toe with its Samsung Galaxy and iPhones contemporaries.

Nowadays, other Moto devices like the Edge 20 Pro and G200 beat it in most departments, but the Edge Plus stands out in one way: it has a super-premium build, with a 'waterfall' screen that curves steeply at the edges. This gives the phone a striking appearance and a smooth feel in the hand.

So if design is a key element for you, then consider this phone.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge Plus review

The Moto G30 on a bannister

(Image credit: Future)
Another budget Motorola phone

Specifications

Release date: March 2021
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

Reasons to buy

+
It has an excellent battery life
+
It's pretty affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
We found the fingerprint scanner tricky to use
-
The display has a low resolution

The Moto G line gets great representation on this list, largely because it's Motorola's busiest line of phones, and the G30 is a great entry from 2021.

The handset has a surprising amount of storage for a budget phone, as well as a long-lasting battery and hardy plastic shell that ensures the phone will survive a few knocks.

These were are favorite elements of the phone when we tested it, though we did face some issues with the fingerprint scanner and Google Assitant button, so it's not a perfect device. You probably knew that, you're in the lower half of our 'best Moto phone' ranking.

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

A Motorola Edge 20 Lite from the front in someone's hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
A Moto G phone in all but name

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
It has a punchy screen
+
Its software is clean-looking

Reasons to avoid

-
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 and unreliable camera performance.

It's not a bad phone, but there's a reason it's not the top phone on this list - if you're looking for a budget Moto phone, there are better options further up.

Read our in-depth Motorola Edge 20 Lite review

The Moto G10 on a stone floor

(Image credit: Future)
The G30's cheaper sibling

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Its price is very low
+
Its battery life is impressive

Reasons to avoid

-
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. Lots of the things we liked about the G30 are also the case here.

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.

The software experience is clean too, making this a very easy-to-use device for people who are a little technophobic.

We should point out that the G10 is the most affordable phone on this ranking, so if all you care about is the price, maybe the G10 is the phone for you.

Read our in-depth Moto G10 review

The Moto G50 on a cushion

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The middle child of its generation

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
It supports 5G
+
It has a 90Hz screen

Reasons to avoid

-
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.

It's an interesting balancing act, and some might consider the G50 equal to those devices, though from testing them all we can't say that the G50's higher price makes it worth it. If you need 5G it's better, but for most people it's not.

But it's still a dependable affordable handset that's worth taking a peek at.

Read our in-depth Moto G50 review

How to choose the best Motorola phone for you

The first thing you need to ask yourself is "how much am I willing to spend?". If you've got no set budget, and can splash out a bit, the Edge series is what you want to consider. If you don't want to break the bank, though, stick to the G series.

After that, think about what the key features you need are. Do you need a great camera? A durable device? A high-res screen? A long-lasting battery? Fast charging? Lots of performance power? Most of the G-series phones are decent in all areas, but certain models stand out in certain departments, and we've highlighted these in our rankings.

You should also consider whether you want lots of software updates or if the newest version of Android isn't quite as important - Motorola doesn't always keep its handsets updated for very long, so older phones may already have been discontinued.

How we test Motorola phones

Simple: we put our SIM cards into the phone we're testing, load over all our apps and contracts, and simply use the Moto phone as our own for several weeks.

This means we don't just test the performance power, battery life and screen brightness in controlled, lab settings, but we get a great idea of the everyday work performance of the handset.

This also helps us stumble upon the little quirks, both the good and bad ones, that you might not normally find just by looking at a phone: if there are specific software bugs, or finickity fingerprint sensors, or if the phone overheats, we'll notice it.

Since we test most of the smartphones released in our regions, testing them in a hands-on way like this also means we can compare key features between phones, which really helped with creating this ranking.

Which Motorola phone is the newest?

Despite releasing its phones in quite a sporadic pattern, there is a rhyme and a reason to the naming behind the phones.

The Edge series sees a new number each year - in 2021 it was the Edge 20 series, and 2022 brought the Edge 30, and so on. The Razr is also easy, as this foldable phone is often named after the year - so Razr (2020) and so on.

The G series is a little bit harder, but each new version gets a new suffix number - so if you see the G35 next to the G33, you know which is the newer version. The first number refers to the relative ranking - so the G55 will be as new as the G75, but not as top-end.

Tom Bedford
Tom Bedford

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.


He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.