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The best Motorola phones of 2019: find the best Moto smartphone for you

best Motorola phones
(Image credit: Motorola)

Motorola phones, alongside Nokia phones, and certain LG phones, are champions of the budget smartphone market. That means if you're looking for a decent handset that won't break the bank, you're in the right place. 

Motorola's smartphones run the gamut of lower-end price points, but each has impressive features that may convince you to pick one up. The Moto Z handsets can support additional features - including 5G - with Moto Mods; the Moto G range consists of budget devices with certain impressive specs each; and the Motorola One handsets are wacky and interesting in even more novel ways.

Of course, these phones won't compete with the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S10, but they won't cost you as much either. They're reliable, with impressive specs for their price tag.

The exception, of course, is the officially unveiled Motorola Razr, a throwback to the original's iconic design with a flexible inner screen that technically makes this a foldable. Despite its hefty pricetag - it's fully three times the cost of a Moto Z4 - it isn't the fastest phone; instead, it folds into a footprint half the size of any regular smartphone.

But the Razr isn't on sale - yet. Once it starts rolling out to consumers (and we've had a chance to test it at length), we'll add it to the list. Until then, we're hopeful for this nostalgia-baiting phone that could break the deadlock of smartphone design.

Motorola has a lot of phones, and tends to release a bunch of new ones at the same time, so it can be a little tough getting your head around the products. That's why we've made this list of the best Moto phones to guide your hand.

We also update this list regularly, when Motorola releases a new phone, or when software updates cause the rankings to shift, so keep checking back to see which devices we recommend the most.

Best Moto phones 2019 at a glance:

  1. Moto Z4
  2. Motorola One Zoom
  3. Motorola One Macro
  4. Moto G8 Plus
  5. Motorola One Action
  6. Moto Z3
  7. Motorola One Vision
  8. Moto G7
  9. Moto Z2 Force
  10. Moto G7 Plus
  11. Moto G7 Power

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Future)

1. Moto Z4

The Moto Z4 is the top Moto phone, is 5G-capable - and is solidly midrange

Release date: June 2019 | Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 158 x 75 x 7.4 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 675 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP | Front camera: 25MP

Cameras are better
Supports Mods, including one for 5G
Snapdragon 675 chip is solidly midrange
Phone design still basic Moto Z we've had for years

The Moto Z4 is a safe move from Motorola - it looks nearly identical to its predecessors, with only minor shifts in size and shape - but that likely arises from the company's decision to keep supporting the Moto Mods, which require phones to keep roughly the same shape. 

Thus, the phone doesn't look like it's changed. Look closer and you'll find some improvements, like an expanded 6.4-inch screen to the edges (around a top notch), an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and the return of a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Gone also is the dual 12MP lenses in the rear camera bump; instead, the Moto Z4 follows the midrange (and Google Pixel-like) trend of dropping lenses and using software to make up for it. We found the Moto Z4 took slightly better photos with its lone 48MP rear camera, and similar improvements with its 25MP selfie lens.

The phone is speedy enough, though its performance might drag on over the years: instead of packing an older but still flagship chipset like its predecessor, the Moto Z4 opted for a Snapdragon 675 - a new, but definitively midrange option. This is more speculation - we'll have to see whether this chipset lasts longer than we expect - but the phone's 4GB RAM (only option) isn't promising for longevity either. 

Read our in-depth review: Moto Z4

(Image credit: TechRadar)

2. Motorola One Zoom

A Moto phone with a great camera

Release date: Sep 2019 | Weight: 190g | Dimensions: 158 x 75 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 675 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP + 5MP | Front camera: 25MP

Excellent camera for price
Great battery life
Mid-range power
Mono speaker

Lenovo spent 2019 releasing many Motorola One phones, and the highlight of this series is the Motorola One Zoom.

The Motorola One Zoom has a whopping four rear cameras, which is loads for an affordable handset like this. They include a depth sensor, a telephoto lens, and a wide-angle snapper, as well as the main sensor.

Beyond that, there's a decent battery, and a good-looking screen. However, we found there were some sacrifices to be made to keep the price so low, like middling processing power and a design that leaves a little to be desired.

Motorola is a budget and mid-range champion, and this is pure Moto class, with decent specs and a low price.

Read our in-depth Motorola One Zoom review

Best Moto phones: Motorola One Macro

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3. Motorola One Macro

Software and price are on point with the Macro

Slick design 
Decent battery life
Cameras aren’t as good as advertised 
No NFC 

Motorola’s One range all run Android One - so are guaranteed security updates monthly for at least two years. This is a great reason to go for the One Macro that sports a camera designed to excel with close-up images.

Unfortunately, as this is a budget phone, the cameras are not as good as we’d hoped and shouldn’t be the phone you buy if you want a premium camera smartphone. But the solid design, decent battery life and clean, up to date Android software mean the One Macro has a lot going for it.

The display is better than the price suggests and performance is surprisingly good, too but there’s no NFC for mobile payments. It’s a fine Moto phone if you’re on a budget, just don’t buy it expecting amazing cameras, despite the marketing. 

Read the Motorola One Macro review.

Best Moto phones: Moto G8 Plus

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Moto G8 Plus

Versatile triple cameras

Minimal bezels 
Triple cameras 
Middling performance
No wide-angle camera 

Considering the price it’s amazing that the G8 Plus fits in small bezels, triple rear cameras, stereo speakers and decent battery life. It looks great too, with an attractively simple version of Android 9 Pie to boot.

The Snapdragon 665 means the phone has decent battery life but we found the performance wasn’t as good as hoped with occasional stuttering. You can forget high-end gaming, too. 

Despite this Motorola is promising two years of security updates and a software update to Android 10 making it a good, large-screened Moto option. The triple cameras and great stereo speakers add some excellent upgrades over the G7 range, too. 

Read the Moto G8 Plus review.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

5. Motorola One Action

A great budget phone for video-makers

Release date: August 2019 | Weight: 176g | Dimensions: 160.1 x 71.2 x 9.2 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2520 | CPU: Exynos 9609 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 16MP + 5MP | Front camera: 12MP

Smooth, easy-to-shoot video
Crisp Android One OS
Camera isn't phenomenal
21:9 isn't widely supported enough

The Motorola One Action has lots in common with the other Motorola One phones, like its chipset and screen quality, but it has one novel feature that makes it an interesting prospect for phones buyers.

As well as its main and depth sensing cameras on the back of the device, the Motorola One Action has an 'action cam' which is designed for impressive video recording. You can record in landscape while holding the phone in portrait, and the camera is great at picking up video detail: all in all it's a great device for people who take a lot of videos.

On top of that the handset is actually cheaper than lots of other Motorola ones, so you could do a lot worse if you're looking for a device with an intriguing extra feature.

Read our in-depth review: Motorola One Action

best Motorola phones

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6. Moto Z3

The Moto Z3 is still powerful - and the cheapest option to access 5G

Release date: August 2018 | Weight: 150g | Dimensions: 156.5 x 76.5 x 6.8 mm | OS: Android 8.0 Oreo | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Good specs for its price
Some Mods are useful, and one connects to 5G
Mods alter the form/weight without adding too much
Black rectangular design won't wow anyone

The Moto Z3 is still a solid pick in the Moto line, with a comparable (if not slightly faster) chipset than the Moto Z4. Best of all? It's still the cheapest way to access 5G through the 5G Moto Mod. When this Moto add-on first came out, it made the Moto Z3 the first 5G-capable phone to hit the market in the whole world. 

Of course, there are a lot of caveats to that fact – namely, that the mod is only coming to Verizon in the US, and will only work in that carrier's very limited 5G coverage areas – but it's still an impressive claim for a sub-flagship phone. 

Yes, the phone doesn't have the beastly specs of top-tier flagships – but at half the price, the Moto Z3 boasts impressive value. It sports a Snapdragon 835, which is respectable if dated, and comes in two average if unimpressive versions: 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of space (expandable via microSD to up to 512GB).

That's enough for streaming multimedia and moderate gaming, which look good on the phone's 6-inch (2160 x 1080) AMOLED display. Combine that with basic dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front-facing selfie shooter and you have a good phone sitting somewhere below the OnePlus 6T and lesser-performing midrange phones. The phone's glass back and side-mounted fingerprint scanner are similarly middle-luxe – a good compromise if you want performance at a lower price.

Read our in-depth review: Motorola Moto Z3

best Motorola phones

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7. Motorola One Vision

One of the oldest Motorola One handset

Release date: May 2019 | Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 160 x 71 x 8 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2520 | CPU: Exynos 9609 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 48MP, 5MP | Front camera: 25MP

Attractive design
Clean Android One OS
21:9 aspect ratio is troublesome
Camera doesn't live up to its specs

No, Motorola One Vision is not inspired by the Queen song, but it is one of the royalty of Moto handsets – its clean and clear Android One operating system (OS) cuts away the bloat and excess of normal Android, and the phone itself has an attractive and clean design.

The Motorola One Vision's 21:9 aspect ratio may be questionable to some, however, as the jury's still out on whether this is the future of smartphones or just an annoying gimmick.

If you're on-board with the phone's unwieldy length, and don't mind its weak specs in a certain few areas, the Motorola One Vision sits at a happily affordable price point and does impress in a few major ways.

Read our in-depth review: Motorola One Vision

best Motorola phones

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8. Moto G7

The more widely-available, and still good, mid-range Moto

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 172g | Dimensions: 157 x 75.3 x 8 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2270 | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP, 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Large, bright LCD display
Missing little from pricier G7 Plus sibling
Plastic frame is a little cheap
Occasional lag in apps

Why list the Moto G7 here? Sure, it's slightly less powerful than the G7 Plus, but it's also available in more regions (including the US), so we're covering our bases in case you don't want to pay international shipping on your budget-plus phone.

You don't miss much going for the G7, either: its Snapdragon 632 chip is a bit less powerful, sure, and its frame is plastic instead of aluminum. But the rest of its specs are essentially the same, which means you're getting a phone that's nearly as nice at a discount.

That means 4GB of RAM and 64GB of space, a 6.2-inch LCD display and dual 12MP + 5MP rear shooters/an 8MP front-facing camera for a great price. Plus it comes with Android 9 Pie right out of the box.

Read our in-depth review: Moto G7

best Motorola phones

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9. Moto Z2 Force

An upper mid-range phone that feels premium

Release date: July 2017 | Dimensions: 155.8 x 76 x 6.1 mm | OS: Android 7.11 (upgradeable to Android 9) | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 2,730mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

Still powerful
Works with mods -- including, eventually, the 5G
Two years old
Thick top and bottom bezels look dated

If you're looking for the ultimate Moto value, think about digging back into the reserves. The Moto Z2 Force came out in mid-2017, but it's still a relative powerhouse – and you can find it for a bit cheaper than the newer Moto Z3.

Despite over a year between releases, the Z2 Force packs the same Snapdragon 835 processor as its successor. Its screen is even higher resolution at 2560 x 1440, though its 5.5 inches are smaller than the Z3's display. 

Unfortunately, the Z2 Force shows its age in its chin and top bezels, which are significantly larger than those on phones released today. But if you don't mind not sporting the sleekest phone on the block, the Z2 Force has most of the newest top-tier Moto phone at a lower price.

And it works with Moto Mods -- including, eventually, the Moto Mod 5G, which will expand functionality to the earlier Z2 phones at some point after it's released on April 11.

Read our in-depth review: Moto Z2 Force

best Motorola phones

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10. Moto G7 Plus

A powerful budget phone striving for mid-range cred

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 176g | Dimensions: 157 x 75.3 x 8.3 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2270 | CPU: Snapdragon 636 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 5MP | Front camera: 12MP

Good power + effects for its price
Big LCD screen, good for gaming
Thicker bezels, including notch
Lots of competition from similar value phones

The Motorola Moto G7 Plus has been superseded by the G8 Plus, but is the top performer of the brand's G7 family, which counts four phones. The G7 Plus is the standout model, though it may not reach your region: Motorola confirmed the device isn't coming to the US.

But if you can pick the phone up, you won't be sorry. For sub-midrange price, you'll get a Snapdragon 636-powered phone with a decent 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 512GB). The phone even has one up on the more powerful Moto Z3 with its 3.5mm headphone jack.

So why the G7 Plus and not, say, an older (but still hefty) Moto Z2 Play? Simple: Android 9 Pie out of the box. That leads us to recommend the phone even over other more powerful Moto phones (like the Moto Z2 Force, which is nearly identical to the Z3), and the G7 Plus has other benefits of a later release date, like speedier Fast Charging and a higher screen-to-body ratio.

Read our in-depth review: Motorola Moto G7 Plus

best Motorola phones

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11. Moto G7 Power

The variant with a big battery

Release date: February 2019 | Weight: 193g | Dimensions: 159.4 x 76 x 9.3 mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1570 | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 3/4 GB | Storage: 32/64 GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 8MP f/2.2

Great specs for budget price
Excellent battery life
Heavy and hefty
Cheap-feeling plastic back

The third phone in the budget Moto G7 line is the G7 Power, which doesn't vary much from the standard G7 – aside from its enormous battery. Yes, for those of you who tire of recharging your phone everyday, here's one with a 5,000mAh battery.

Other phones have reached such heights, but they're either expensive flagships (like the gaming-focused Huawei Mate 20 X) or battery-focused brick-thick novelty items (like the Energizer Power Max P18K). The G7 Power is a much more affordable, sensible and normal-looking phone than others that offer its level of battery capabilities.

Otherwise, the phone is basic but not bottom-tier, with a Snapdragon 632 and either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (in the US) or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (elsewhere). Its 6.2-inch LCD screen is large but not terribly impressive (1570 x 720px). But in combination with the giant battery and an accessible price of $249 / £179 (around AU$330), the Moto G7 Power is a great bargain.

Read our in-depth review: Moto G7 Power review