These are the Best Motorola Phones to buy in 2022

These are the Best Motorola Phones to buy in 2022

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 which 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.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY

Here is XDA’s guide to the best Motorola phones to buy depending on your need (or budget).

Navigate this guide:

Best foldable Motorola phone: Motorola Razr 5G

Motorola Razr 5G in different colors

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.

The Motorola Razr 5G delivers for both groups. From the thin body (when opened) to the boxy outside screen to the angular corners, the modern device resembles the original Razr’s looks and feel. The inside foldable screen is sharp, vibrant, and has a less noticeable crease than Samsung’s Z Flip series.

The Snapdragon 765G inside isn’t the most powerful SoC around, and there’s only a single 48MP camera which means you won’t get much focal length versatility. But 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 hard to beat.

    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 mid-ranger: Motorola Edge 2021

Motorola Moto Edge 2021 on white background

Unlike the last Motorola Edge device released in 2020, the Edge 2021 reverts back to an LCD panel, but the refresh rate got bumped up to 144Hz, making for super zippy animations. There’s also a 5,000 mAh battery which is enough to power the device all day for most people, and a Snapdragon 778G SoC.

On the camera front, the Edge features a 108MP main camera, with an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP depth sensor. The main camera is solid, sometimes good, but the ultra-wide and the depth sensor are underwhelming. However, the front-facing 32MP camera is above average and can be used as a webcam too thanks to Motorola’s software allowing for easy pairing with PCs.

The 6.8-inch screen gets bright and vibrant and is covered by Gorilla Glass 3, but the plasticky frame can be improved. At $499, this is a good option for those who liked what they saw in the Motorola Edge 20 Pro but want to save a bit of money.

    The Motorola Edge 2021 offers a large screen, awesome 144Hz refresh rate, and a solid main camera at a mid-range price.

Best Motorola phone with a stylus: Motorola G Stylus 2021

Moto G Stylus

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 2021 is one of the more credible stylus phones around, behind Samsung’s iconic Note series, of course.

While lacking some of the smarts of Samsung’s S-Pen, Motorola’s stylus is comfortable to hold with acceptable degrees of latency that 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 a fingertip.

Elsewhere, the phone packs just mid-tier parts with just a plastic body, Snapdragon 678, and an LCD display. But at least you get a headphone jack, a large 6.8-inch screen, and an entry-level price tag. If you want a stylus but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, this is the one to get.

    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

Moto 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 for most people on a single charge.

Everything else about the phone is average, from the Snapdragon 662 SoC to the 3GB of RAM to the 8MP selfie camera, but this is also one of the cheapest 2021 phones in the US, so it’s hard to nitpick too much. Ultimately, the Motorola G Power 2021 has a specific audience — those who want their phone to last — and it delivers on that promise.

    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 phablet: Motorola G9 Plus

Motorola Moto G9 Plus official render

Does size matter? The smartphone industry seems to think so, as most brands have adopted the unspoken rule that the best phones also get the largest screens, and conversely, mid-tier and entry-level phones get smaller screens. So this makes the Motorola G9 Plus an anomaly. It’s priced as an affordable, entry-level phone, but it’s got a large 6.8-inch screen.

This gives it clear appeal to those who want a phablet screen, but don’t want to or can’t afford the almost four-digit Pro Maxes and Ultras phones out there. In addition to that large, vibrant screen that’s great for movies or games, the G9 Plus also offers a respectable Snapdragon 730G and a 64MP camera that captures sharp photos. Add in a 5,000 mAh battery and you have yourself a winner for those who want more phone for less.

    The Motorola G9 Plus is a huge phone with a large screen and large battery but small price tag. It's also attractive looking with a small hole-punch, minimal bezels, and a clean camera module.

Best Motorola phone not sold in 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.


Which Motorola phone do you like best? We’re partial to the Motorola Razr for being the most unique and futuristic of all the phones, but the Motorola Edge 20 Pro is also quite appealing. If battery life is a constant concern for you, then consider the Motorola G Power 2021.

About author

Ben Sin
Ben Sin

I'm a senior editor at XDA Developers. I have been a journalist for a decade, the last five years covering the mobile tech scene closely, reviewing just about every phone and attending trade shows and launches. I also run a gadget review channel on YouTube.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.