These are the Best Motorola Phones to buy: Edge Plus, G Power, One Action, and more!

These are the Best Motorola Phones to buy: Edge Plus, G Power, One Action, and more!

One of the few smartphone brands that existed in the “dumb” phone era, Motorola’s smartphones are still churning along today, especially in North America where there are openings for those seeking alternatives to the Apple-Samsung duopoly. While Motorola mostly sells more affordable handsets — some of which cracked our Best Cheap Phones list — it has some fancy flagships and foldables too that can hang with the big boys on the Best Android Phones and Best Phone lists.

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

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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
    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

Motorola Moto Edge Plus product render showing blue version of the phone

Motorola hasn’t released a flagship smartphone yet in 2021, so if you want the most powerful Motorola phone, that would be the Motorola Edge Plus, released in April 2020. Despite the phone being more than a year old, it still has a modern design that keeps up with 2021 offerings, and the Snapdragon 865 chip is still powerful enough today — not to mention 5G ready.

As the name implies, the Edge Plus features a dramatically curved 90Hz OLED screen that looks visually pleasing, and Motorola’s palm rejection software is good enough to mitigate most accidental palm touches. The quad camera system is headlined by a 108MP camera that captures sharp photos with a lot of details, and the 3D TOF sensor works with the 3x telephoto zoom lens to produce pleasing portraits. The 16MP ultra-wide, while nothing spectacular, gets the job done for wide landscape shots.

At 203g and 9.6mm thick, the phone is slightly on the big side, but thanks to its curves is still quite comfy in the hand in our opinion. For a flagship that’s on discount now, you could do a lot worse than the attractive Motorola Edge Plus.

    Motorola Edge Plus
    The Motorola Edge Plus is the most recent Motorola flagship release, with a Snapdragon 865 paired with a gorgeous large 90Hz OLED screen. Even at a year old, the phone's components don't feel too outdated today.

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.

    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

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.

    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 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.

    Motorola G9 Plus
    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 for video shooters: Motorola One Action

motorola one action product render

If you shoot a lot of videos in the standard wide-screen/landscape format, the Motorola One Action may be of interest. Motorola built an ultra-wide-angle camera with a 117-degree field-of-view but placed it sideways in the phone, so you can shoot in landscape orientation while holding the phone upright in portrait orientation.

Elsewhere, the phone has a modern design with relatively slim bezels and a hole-punch housing a 12MP selfie camera. There’s also a standard 12MP main camera for normal photography needs. The Exynos 9609 SoC is a 10nm chip that still performs well in 2021.

    Motorola One Action
    If you shoot a lot of videos, this is the Motorola phone to get. The One Action features an ultra-wide angle camera placed sideways inside the phone so you can shoot landscape videos while holding the phone in portrait orientation.

Which Motorola phone do you like best? We’re partial to the Motorola Edge Plus for being the flagship and best-specced phone on this list. But the Motorola G Power 2021 is also of great value and holds plenty of appeal for those of us obsessed with our phones. Let us know in the comments.

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.