One of the few smartphone brands that existed in the “dumb” phone era, the Motorola branding still has a special place in the heart of some consumers. And while the North American smartphone market is still essentially a duopoly between Apple and Samsung, there’s a niche but lucrative space for a third brand, and that’s where Motorola aims to win over.
To that end, Motorola has a diverse portfolio, including a solid set of budget options that cracked our Best Cheap Phones list, but it still has sights on the flagship and foldable space. The best ones can hang with the big boys on the Best Android Phones, Best Phones, and Best Foldable Phones lists too.
Here is XDA’s guide to the best Motorola phones to buy depending on your need (or budget).
Best foldable Motorola phone: Motorola Razr 5G
If you’re older than say 35, there’s a chance you remember the original Motorola Razr and how it took the mobile industry by storm from the early to mid-2000s. Motorola’s revival of the model as a foldable phone caters specifically to that group, as well as foldable enthusiasts who want a more pocketable phone because that 91.7 x 72.6 x 16mm dimensions and 192g in weight makes it very compact.
From the thin body (when opened) to the boxy outside screen to the angular corners, the Razr is meant to be an homage to the original Razr’s looks and feel. The inside 6.2 foldable OLED screen is sharp, vibrant, and has a less noticeable crease than Samsung’s Z Flip series. The 2.7-inch screen outside can display any apps you want, so you can in theory use the phone even when it’s in folded form.
The Snapdragon 765G inside wasn’t the most powerful SoC around even at the time of release, and now it’s several tiers below the best Qualcomm offering, but it’s still a capable chip that can handle modern smartphone apps without issues. Just don’t expect best-in-class 2022 mobile gaming or video rendering speeds, however. The single 48MP camera also means you don’t get much focal length versatility, but the camera itself is quite capable and gets the job done.
If you want a phone that packs new smartphone tech into a retro, iconic body that brings back warm fuzzy nostalgia, the Motorola Razr 5G is a worthy option. However there is a caveat — this is no longer the newest Razr foldable phone, as Motorola has released a 2022 update that’s only selling in China for now (see our last entry in this article). Until that phone gains a wider release, however, this is still the best Razr for most people.
Motorola Razr 5G
Motorola Razr 5G is a cutting-edge foldable phone with a retro aesthetic that will bring back fond memories for those who owned, or wanted, the original Razr. It’s got a well-built hinge and a screen that doesn’t exhibit much of a crease, along with a useful outside screen for checking notifications.
Best Motorola flagship: Motorola Edge Plus 2022
The Motorola Edge Plus 2022 is the newest phone on this list and it offers some features that will seem particularly enticing in the limited US smartphone scene (in Asia, these features are not uncommon). The Edge Plus 2022 rocks a 6.7-inch, FHD+ OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 soC, along with up to 512GB of storage and a dual 50MP camera system (covering wide and ultra-wide).
The main shooter’s f/1.8 aperture and the usage of pixel binning mean photos are bright and lively even in dark scenes. The ultra-wide camera too, benefits from pixel binning and the relatively fast f/2.2 aperture, giving the 114-degree field-of-view plenty of details.
As if these components aren’t flashy enough, there’s also a 60MP selfie camera that’s used to shoot pixel-binned 15MP selfies with four times the image information than usual.
There’s also a 4,800 mAh battery, which when paired with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, provides excellent battery life. However, the 144Hz display can be a bit power-hungry. Still, you can expect the phone to last an entire day out unless you’re really pushing it.
While the IP52 water and dust resistance rating is less than what typical flagships offer, the Edge Plus 202 has a good excuse — it is not really priced like a flagship phone, at just $665.
Motorola Edge Plus 2022
The Motorola Edge Plus 2022 packs a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, a 50MP main camera, and a vibrant 6.7 inch OLED display.
Best Motorola mid-ranger: Motorola Edge 2022
The Motorola Edge has a lot of similarities to the Edge Plus listed above, they both offer a 144Hz OLED display, and this standard Edge isn’t even that much smaller than the Plus, as the display is still 6.6-inches. The Edge also packs the same 50MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture. The software experience will be similar too, as both phones are running on Android 12 with Motorola’s UI on top.
The major difference between this device and the Plus model is the processor — the Edge runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 1050. While still a capable chip, it is not on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 running in the Plus variant. Also, the ultra-wide camera here is just a 13MP shooter instead of the 50MP shooter in the bigger device.
Otherwise, you still get IP52 water and dust resistance rating, and surprisingly, the smaller Edge has a slightly larger 5,000 mAh battery. You should be able to get all-day battery life with this device, even if the display is 144Hz.
The Motorola Edge 2022 should be a good media consumption device, with stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, plus a thin-bezeled all-screen design. But best of all, the price is reasonable for the specs, at $499.
Motorola Edge 2022
The Motorola Edge runs on a less powerful Dimensity 1050 SoC, but it still brings a lot of what made the Edge Plus above so good — at a lower price.
Best Motorola phone with a stylus: Motorola G Stylus 2022
There’s an old English adage, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Well, for some computing tasks, we think the pen is mightier than the finger too. If you ever find yourself frustrated making precise photo crops or scribbling a digital signature on a phone because your finger is just too stubby, a stylus can make things much easier. And Motorola’s G Stylus 2022 is one of the more credible stylus phones around, behind Samsung’s iconic Note, and now the Galaxy S Ultra series, of course.
To be fair, it’s not quite fair to compare this device to a Galaxy Note or S Ultra, because this is an entry-level phone priced at $199. So of course, the stylus is going to lack some of the S Pen’s smarter features. Motorola’s stylus is still comfortable to hold with acceptable degrees of latency which makes it suitable for note-taking and making minor scribbles. Any app with tiny buttons will also be easier to access with the stylus than with a fingertip.
Elsewhere, the phone packs just mid-tier parts with just a plastic body, MediaTek Helio G88, and a 90Hz LCD display. But at least you get a headphone jack, a large 6.8-inch screen, and clean software that doesn’t get in the way of core Android performances. There’s also a large 5,000 mAh battery and a 50MP main camera that uses pixel-binning tricks to produce a 12.5MP photo with more details than usual. The ultra-wide camera, at 8MP, is a bit weak, but at this price point, it’s hard to really complain. If you want a stylus but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, this is the one to get.
Motorola G Stylus (2021)
The Motorola G Stylus 2021 is one of the very few phones on the market with a stylus, so if you need that finer point for photo editing or note taking, this is one of the better options. At this affordable price point, the G Stylus can be considered a good value purchase.
Best Motorola phone for endurance: Motorola G Power 2021
The Motorola G Power 2021 is a phone for those suffering from battery anxiety often. With a 5,000 mAh battery and a 60Hz, 720 x 1600 display, this phone will surely last well into the second day or perhaps the third day for most people on a single charge.
Everything else about the phone is solid but not spectacular, from the Snapdragon 662 SoC to the 3GB of RAM to the 8MP selfie camera, but this is also one of the cheapest phones in the US, so it’s hard to nitpick too much. And to be fair, the Snapdragon 662 is still perfectly fine for the average user whose smartphone usage consists of Instagram, texting, email, and maybe YouTube and NetFlix. The 6.6-inch panel is large and other than the chin, the bezels are thin enough so you get an immersive canvas off which to consumer media. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack and expandable storage.
Ultimately, the Motorola G Power 2021 has a specific audience — those who want their phone to last — and it delivers on that promise.
Motorola G Power (2021)
With a 5,000 mAh battery, the Motorola G Power is a phone that should be able to last two days for most people, and perhaps even three for light users. It’s also about as cheap a 2021 smartphone as you’re going to find in the US right now.
Best Motorola phone not sold in the US: Motorola Razr 2022
You know the Motorola Razr we listed in the Best Foldable section? That’s not the newest and best Razr. Motorola has released a 2022 update with a new design that is, for now, only sold in China.
This new Razr upgrades the processor to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, and packs a 144Hz main foldable display that also saw a drastic increase in size to 6.7-inches. However, the phone is still compact, as it can fold in half, and weighs just 200g.
The overall shape of the design has changed from the previous two Razr foldables, losing the relatively chunky bottom bezel for a more typical uniform border look. The main camera also got an upgrade to a 50MP, f/1.9 sensor with a larger 1/1.5-inch image sensor. There’s also now an ultra-wide camera, which the previous Razrs did not have, allowing you to capture sweeping landscape photos.
The 2.7-inch outside cover screen remains as useful as ever, with the ability to display any app, though many apps will look odd in that cramped space. But it’s still a useful option to, say, keep track of sports scores or work chat in one specific app you want to be displayed even when the device is folded.
The bump to Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 plus the increase in battery size to 3,500 mAh has improved battery life a bit. This phone still can’t be called an endurance king, but it should be able to go all day now on a more casual usage type of day — like a weekday. On a Saturday if you’re going out for an adventure, do make sure to bring a charger, which this phone still includes in the packaging.
Now, the Razr 2022 is only selling in China for now, but there is a good chance it will reach stateside eventually, so if you’re interested, just hang tight.
Motorola RAZR 2022
This phone is only selling in China right now, but if and when this does reach the US, it will immediately give the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 some much needed competition.
Which Motorola phone do you like best? We’re partial to the Motorola Razr (either the 5G model or the new 2022 China-only model) for being the most unique and futuristic of all the phones, but the Motorola Edge 2022 at $499 is quite a good value offering. If battery life is a constant concern for you, then consider the Motorola G Power 2021.