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

Best Motorola phones
(Image credit: Motorola)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

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.

Best Motorola phones 2021

Motorola Moto G100

(Image credit: Motorola)

Proof of Moto G supremacy

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

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)

Motorola's well-specced 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.

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)

The top phone for 2021

Specifications
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
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.

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)

A top-spec, top-price Moto 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 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)

Cheap and cheery

Specifications
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
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

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)

A cheap phone with a 108MP camera

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.

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)

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.

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)

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. 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)

On the Edge of success

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+It feels great in the hand+It has an impressive battery life
Reasons to avoid
-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)

Solidly dependable on a budget

Specifications
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