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.
But that will change soon now that the Motorola Edge and higher-performance Motorola Edge Plus have been officially revealed. Both combine top specs, sharp displays, and 5G connectivity with flagship polish; they'll surely make this list when we've finished reviewing both.
But Moto’s current best phones are cheaper - the Moto Z range offers modular accessories, the Moto G line is a case study in excellent value smartphones and the Motorola One series tend to offer good update regularity and standout camera features.
These phones aren’t up there with the best phones you can buy, but they are certainly some of the better budget and mid-range phones you can find in 2020.
The Moto G8 Plus is already in our list but we’re still waiting to review the regular Moto G8 that’s only recently been announced. The budget Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus are also on our review to-do lists, with promising features on both.
We’ve even included our recommendations on the incredibly expensive Motorola Razr - a foldable phone that we wanted to love so badly but has too many flaws to be a killer device.
This list is updated regularly so you can be sure that it’s currently the definitive ranking of the excellent but often confusing world of Motorola smartphones.
Best Moto phones 2020 at a glance:
- Moto Z4
- Motorola One Zoom
- Motorola One Macro
- Moto G8 Plus
- Motorola One Hyper
- Motorola One Action
- Moto Z3
- Motorola One Vision
- Moto G7
- Motorola Razr
- Moto Z2 Force
- Moto G7 Plus
Best Moto phones 2020
1. Moto Z4
The Moto Z4 is the top Moto phone and 5G-capable
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
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
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
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
3. Motorola One Macro
Software and price are on point with the Macro
Release date: Oct 2019 | Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 158 x 75.4 x 9 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: MediaTek MT6771 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP
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.
4. Moto G8 Plus
Versatile triple cameras
Release date: Oct 2019 | Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 158 x 75.8 x 9.1 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 5MP | Front camera: 25MP
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.
5. Motorola One Hyper
Great price for an all screen phone with solid camera
Release date: Dec 2019 | Weight: 210g | Dimensions: 161.8 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 675 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP | Front camera: 32MP
The Motorola One Hyper adds to the company’s burgeoning smartphone range with an all-screen design and pop up camera. It’s a shame there’s no telephoto camera considering there’s two main rear cameras but the main 64MP sensor makes up for this with amazing detail in shots.
A Snapdragon 675 processor means decent mid-range performance for the price and battery life is solid, if not spectacular.
Unfortunately the notch-less screen struggles when trying to display many games, cropping the action incorrectly in many instances. It means if you are a keen mobile gamer this is one to avoid. For everyone else, it’s yet another solid Motorola phone.
Read the Motorola One Hyper review.
6. 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
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
7. 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
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
8. 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
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
9. 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
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
10. Motorola Razr
Its flaws outweigh the nostalgia
Release date: Jan 2019 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 172 x 72 x 6.9 mm | OS: Android 9 Pie | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 876 x 2142 | CPU: Snapdragon 710 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 2,510mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
The allure of the new Motorola Razr is undeniable. Recalling the original 2004 flip phone, the new version puts a foldable 6.2in display on the inside and tries to free us from the monotony of yet another black glass rectangle.
But the thing is incredibly expensive and has somehow arrived at that price with a bad camera, mid-range processor and bad battery life. Add to that potential issues with the display and it’s not a phone most people should consider buying.
If you really want a folding phone and were obsessed with the Razr back in the day then the nostalgia might be too much to resist. But for most people, any other Moto phone on this list will serve you better.
Read the Motorola Razr review.
11. 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
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
12. 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
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