The 9 Best Motorola Phones of 2020

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Best Overall: Moto G5 Plus

5

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 12-megapixel HD back camera, a 5-megapixel 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.

Best for 5G: Moto Z4

Moto Z4
3.6

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 12-megapixel cameras to one 48-megapixel camera on the rear and a 25-megapixel 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: Motorola Moto G7

Moto Z3

 Courtesy of Motorola

3.8

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.

Best Camera: Moto One Zoom

Whether you're a professional photographer looking to expand your arsenal or just want to take awe-inspiring photos with family and friends, the Motorola One Zoom is worth your consideration. This smartphone is built specifically with photography in mind. It has four rear cameras (standard, optical zoom, ultra-wide-angle, and depth) as well as a 25-megapixel selfie camera to capture every detail even in low light or night shots. The Moto One Zoom features a variety of photography modes to help you take the perfect picture. 

Shot Optimization automatically chooses the appropriate mode for taking pictures. Smart Composition uses an algorithm based on photography's Rule of Thirds to create more interesting photos. And the Auto Smile Capture automatically takes a picture when it detects smiles on up to five faces. The depth camera works in tandem with the standard lens to focus on the foreground of a picture and blur the background for stunning portraits; you can even adjust the intensity of the background blur after you take a picture. And if you're worried about taking blurry photos at a concert or other high-energy event, the Moto One Zoom features Optical Image Stabilization so that your pictures come out clear no matter what.

Best for International Travel: Moto One

If you travel a lot for business or just for fun, check out the Motorola One smartphone. It features dual SIM card slots so you can have one for a domestic mobile number and another that can connect to international networks. The Moto One has built-in security software that updates monthly to keep your information safe both at home and abroad. 

The battery gives you up to a full day of power, and Motorola's Turbocharge technology gives you up to six hours of power in as little as 20 minutes. The body of the phone is splash resistant so you won't have to worry about taking it with you to the pool or beach, or if you get caught in the rain. The Moto One uses both Google Lens and Google Assistant to help you search for restaurants, hotels, or whatever else you need on a business trip or vacation. This smartphone utilizes Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE cellular connections so you can make calls no matter what network is available.

Best for Shooting Video: Moto One Action

In recent years, mobile phones have become a viable option for professional and amateur filmmakers as well as folks just looking to capture memories with family and friends. The Motorola One Action smartphone is built for stunning video capture. It features a 117-degree ultra-wide-angle video lens to help you capture more of every scene. This works in both portrait and landscape mode to make shooting video easier and more comfortable. It also uses video stabilization programming to help keep your playback smooth and clear even if you've been jostled or shot the clip while moving. 

The display features Motorola's proprietary CinemaVision for crisp details and stunning colors in both photos and videos. The battery in this smartphone is designed for anyone who loves to both shoot and watch video on the go. You can watch up to 11 hours of movies on a single charge, and it also gives you up to 6.5 days of standby time. The Moto One Action comes with 128GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards to expand your storage options.

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 12-megapixel camera is joined by a 5-megapixel 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 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: Motorola Moto G7

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.

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.