The 9 Best Motorola Phones of 2019

A classic brand with quality products

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Moto G6 at Amazon, “The G6 is a satisfying release for Moto fans.”
  • Best for 5G: Moto Z4 at Amazon, "Those seeking a powerful and reliable, yet somewhat inexpensive phone will appreciate the Z4."
  • Best Special Features: Moto Z3 at Motorola, “The first phone with 5G capabilities, which would allow for speeds ten times as fast.”
  • Best Value: Moto G5 Plus at Amazon, “The best overall Motorola phone due to its affordable price, fast operating speeds...and other modern expectations.”
  • Best Design: Moto G7 at Amazon, "Brings a whole suite of improvements to the otherwise still-serviceable Moto G6."
  • Best Budget: Moto G5 at Amazon, “A superb device that offers good value for the money.”
  • Best Camera: Moto X4 at Amazon, “An affordable, mid-range phone with top-notch cameras that rival competitive flagship devices.”
  • Best for Kids: Moto E4 at Amazon, “This no-frills smartphone is a strong contender for the best kid’s phone across the board.”
  • Best Basic: Moto E5 Play at Best Buy, “If you’re not a power user, this phone’s performance is more than good enough.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Moto G6


When it comes to how the Moto G6 stacks up against the rest of the market, this is a solid new release, doing its best to keep up with the other flagship releases while maintaining a much lower price point. The 5.7-inch full HD+ IPS display sits pretty low on the pixel spectrum at 1080 x 2160, but at the dollar amount, it’s more than sufficient for your general browsing and streaming. The housing is glass, with sturdy Gorilla Glass 3 on the front, and the entire casing coated in a water-repellant material.

Motorola has chosen to keep the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and you charge the phone via the quick-charging USB-C port. There’s a 3,000 mAh battery, which is pretty good considering it only weighs about 167 grams. It runs the latest Android (Oreo), and offers 3GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in flash storage, and a micro SD card slot that lets you expand that storage up to 128GB. But perhaps what’s best about the Moto G6 is the tried-and-true skin that Moto puts over the Android OS. It runs smoothly and offers some great features, including a rudimentary face unlock, AI to predict the subject of your photos (so the phone can optimize the treatment of said photos), and more. All in all, the G6 is a satisfying release for Moto fans.

Before you buy, you may want to compare the Moto X with the Moto G family to see which one you may like more.

Best for 5G: Moto Z4

Moto Z4

Motorola is tossing its hat into the 5G ring with its new flagship smartphone, the Moto Z4. Because of its 5G upgradeability, it might come as a shock to some that the Moto Z4 is affordable, but it wasn't impossibly hard to make either. Users will recognize the same design as past Z models, intended to keep everything compatible with the Moto Mods. However, the screen has been stretched to a 6.4-inch OLED display with a teardrop notch and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Its cameras have also been upgraded from dual 12MP cameras to one 48MP camera on the rear and a 25MP snapper on the front. 

As far as software goes, the Z4 sits comfortably in mid-range smartphone territory. It runs on Snapdragon 675 and has 4GB of RAM, though its main claim to fame is its 5G capabilities. Those seeking a powerful and reliable, yet somewhat inexpensive phone will appreciate the Z4. Its 3,600mAh battery can last for up to two days, and its display features deep blacks and rich colors and is visible even in direct sunlight.

Best Special Features: Moto Z3

Moto Z3

 Courtesy of Motorola


With the Moto Z3, Motorola has ushered in a relatively standard mid-tier phone with one primary distinguishing feature: it claims to be the first phone with 5G capabilities, which would allow for speeds ten times as fast. The Moto Z3 also manages to come in at under $500, offering a reliable, affordable device, 5G potential aside. Featuring a six-inch Super AMOLED screen and barely-there bezels, the smartphone is incredibly thin, useful when you’re snapping on physical Moto Mods, which range from everything from a battery to a projector to a 360-degree camera, although the phone’s 12-megapixel dual cameras take decent-quality photos without it. Running on Snapdragon 835, storage clocks in at 64 GB and the 3,000mAh battery can last up to 14 hours.

However, the promised 5G upgrade should not be the sole draw as the necessary attachment isn’t expected to go on sale until early 2019, around the same time there will begin to be 5G becomes available.

Find out how to mod your Motorola Moto Z and help it reach its best potential.

Best Value: Moto G5 Plus


The well-rounded Moto G5 Plus wins as the best overall Motorola phone due to its affordable price, fast operating speeds, quick battery charging, HD display and other modern expectations, including a fingerprint sensor and major carrier network compatibility.

The Moto G5 Plus uses fast 4G LTE speeds for quick wireless connections (able to download 5 to 12Mbps) with a CPU system that acts much like a little computer with 2GB of RAM and a 2.0Ghz octa-core processor, so you can run Moto apps smoothly without any slow down. It has a 12MP HD back camera, a 5MP wide-angle front camera and a display that measures 5.2 inches, giving a full 1080p HD picture. The Moto G5 Plus also has quick battery charging — its TurboPower charger gives it six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. It comes in lunar gray and fine gold colors, as well as a 32GB storage plus 2GB RAM or 64GB storage plus 4GB RAM models.

You may also be interested in our picks for the best Motorola apps.

Best Design: Moto G7

In keeping up appearances, the Moto G7 brings a whole suite of improvements to the otherwise still-serviceable Moto G6. Instead of opting for a notch, the camera sits in a teardrop-shaped bezel. Therefore, the front of the device is virtually all screen, the rest of which comprises a stunning, 6.2-inch Full HD+ Max Vision panel, offering up a 2270x1080 resolution. Given that it's LCD, it won't be quite as bright or striking as an OLED panel, but the specs are impressive for the price point nonetheless.

The other main feature upon which Motorola hangs its hat is the camera system. On the back, a main 12MP camera is joined by a 5MP depth sensor. Together, these two cameras work together to achieve "High Res Zoom," a fancy software trick that aims to recreate lost pixels and fuzziness in heavily zoomed images. As a result, images taken with the Moto G7 will appear crisper than ever before. AI powers the camera itself, so it can read when everyone is in the frame, and naturally, Google Lens has full-fledged support out of the box. It also takes full HD videos from within the buit-in camera software, as it should.

Best Budget: Moto G5

Moto G5

 Courtesy of Amazon

Like its older sibling, the G5 Plus, the Motorola G5 is a superb device that offers good value for the money. This is a sharp-looking phone: Small enough to be used one-handed, its aluminum rear panel adds a little heft for extra sturdiness. The G5 has a five-megapixel front-facing camera (decent quality if you aren’t too picky about selfies) and the rear camera is a 13-megapixel shooter that adds strong low light performance with good detail.

A five-inch display offers 1920 x 1080 HD resolution on an LCD screen. The size adds to its friendliness for one-handed use. The Snapdragon 430 processor pairs with 2GB of RAM for reliable everyday use with quick-loading apps and seamless multitasking. With a 2800mAh battery, you can expect to get all-day battery life with average use.

As an unlocked device, the phone is compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s 4G LTE networks.

You may also want to check out our picks for the best budget smartphones for under $300.

Best Camera: Moto X4

Motorola has never really hidden its desire to lead the industry in smartphone camera development. With the Moto X4 they found the magic. This is an affordable, mid-range phone with top-notch cameras that rival competitive flagship devices. A 12-megapixel telephoto lens adorns the rear of the device next to an eight-megapixel wide-angle lens. Together, they snap great photos with plenty of detail. Review and edit them on the 5.2-inch HD display.

Whether you’re on vacation or just wandering around town, the X4’s 3000mAh battery keeps the phone charged all day. In the event you need to quickly power up, TurboPower charging is built-in, which enables 50% charge in about 30 minutes of charging. A 2.2GHz Snapdragon 630 processor and 3GB of RAM help you switch between camera and other apps in a flash. The X4 adds Android 8.0 with promised Android upgrades in the future.

Best for Kids: Moto E4

Parents who are searching for a child’s first smartphone should definitely consider the Motorola E4. An inexpensive device without too many extras, this no-frills smartphone is a strong contender for the best kid’s phone across the board. A five-inch display is large enough for social media and texting, which are likely your child's most-used apps. The 720p quality display is one of the more “budget” features, but given the size of the screen, the lower resolution isn’t as noticeable. And it works wonderfully with the 2800mAh battery — with fewer pixels to power, the battery lasts noticeably longer.

A quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor with 2GB of RAM keeps apps running smoothly and delivers the performance you’d expect for the price with minimal signs of slowdown with long-term use. There’s even 16GB of storage for downloading music and additional games or apps. When you look around the exterior of the device, the focal point is the eight-megapixel rear camera. It produces decent results that are more than ready for sharing on social platforms. The five-megapixel camera is equally suitable for selfies.

Best Basic: Moto E5 Play

Moto E5 Play

 Courtesy of Best Buy

The budget-friendly smartphone market is just as competitive as the high-end flagship market these days. Enter the Moto E5 Play. Following Motorola’s seemingly standard design language, the E5 is a sharp-looking device. A 5.2-inch IPS HD display covers most of the front of the device with bezels at the top and bottom. The rear of the device is made from a single piece of plastic that covers the removable battery. Motorola also adds a water-repellent coating to protect against splashes, but this device won’t survive a drop in a sink.

If you’re not a power user, the performance of the E5 Play is more than good enough. With Android 8.0, the hardware is designed to run smoothly with fast-opening apps. That’s assisted by a Snapdragon 427 processor and 2GB of RAM. Motorola added 16GB of internal memory plus a microSD card slot for expandable storage. That’s going to come in handy with the eight-megapixel camera that captures surprisingly good photos. All of this combines with a 2800mAh battery that will definitely get you through the day.

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Take a peek at our picks for the best Android phones on the market this year.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought three top-rated Motorola phones and our reviewers spent more than 430 hours testing them. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these phones, from size to photo quality. We've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Motorola Phone

Screen - The screen is the primary way in which you interact with your device; be sure to select a screen size that is comfortable for you to handle and view. Additionally, take note of the resolution of the phone that you're considering — a phone with a higher resolution will provide a clearer experience that will be easier on your eyes.

Camera - Looking to take photos and videos with your new device? Check out the Motorola’s camera resolution and read our review to see how it handles. The ultimate test for a phone camera is how well it captures low-light situations.

Carrier - Not all phones will work with your mobile carrier. Whether you have T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, or another service provider, be sure that your selected device will work with your existing network.

Test Results: Moto G6 (Best Overall)


What We Like

  • Charges quickly

  • Fantastic price

  • Sleek design

What We Don't Like

  • Sub-par audio

  • Slow network connection

Moto G6
moto g6
moto g6 motorola phone
Moto G6 phone

Our testers liked the Moto G6 for its camera quality, ability to charge quickly, and its amazing value. Overall, testers found the phone to be a good option. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another phone this capable for this price today,” one person said.

Test Results: Moto G5 Plus (Best Value)


What We Like

  • Excellent battery life

  • Amazing camera

  • Super lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • Aluminum finish may be slippery

Moto G5 Plus
Moto G5 Plus phone
Moto G5
Moto G5 plus motorola phone
Moto G5 phone

According to our reviewers, the Moto G5 Plus is a perfect option if you’re looking for a phone with superior display quality, clear audio, and an extensive battery life. Testers also raved about the camera: “It’s so clear that you can see the texture of someone's skin,” one person exclaimed. Some online reviewers did note that the smooth aluminum finish can be slippery, so be sure to use a case if you buy this phone.